RPG News, Press Releases, and Conventions – Wraith 5th Ed, Conan Lawsuit, The Fantasy Trip OGL, AetherCon VII, and more

RPG news is delivered in small bites and press releases throughout the week and, as best I can, I filter through them to focus on the under-reported odds and the ends. From White Wolf to Etsy, from upcoming conventions to legal rulings, this week there’s a lot to talk about.

 

NEWS BITES

  • At Gen Con, I had the opportunity to talk with both White Wolf and Onyx Path. While they White Wolf September as the month for a major Werewolf: The Apocalypse announcement, they preceded it on Facebook with a different revelation, Wraith: The Oblivion 5th Edition is on their agenda. What makes the announcement intriguing is Onyx Path’s Wraith: The Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition (licensed from White Wolf) was Kickstarted and funded in January, 2015 with the PDFs of the core book available as of February, 2018 and the deluxe edition of WtO 20th being printed now. While it’s logical that, with the success of Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition White Wolf will move forward with their other major games, it’s aggressive to announce a new one is coming before the current edition has completed its roll out.

NOTE – There are several White Wolf press releases with even more information about Vampire: The Masquerade games linked below.

Status: Coming Soon!

  • Conan Properties International LLC has successfully sued artist Richardo Jove Sanchez over his unlicensed Conan miniatures. From Amanda Ottaway with Courthouse News Service, “Cracking down on the unauthorized sale of miniature Conan the Barbarian figurines, a federal judge hit a Spanish artist on Wednesday with a $21,000 copyright judgment.” The key point pulled from this is: “Senior U.S. District Judge Frederic Block called it erroneous Wednesday to treat “characters as separate and distinct copyright subject matter, divorced from the works in which they are embodied.”” While I’m not a lawyer and I may be misreading the tea leaves, this ruling could have consequences for “homage” projects or projects that use characters whose founding works are in the public domain, but whose later works are not.

Conan Properties entered a screenshot of this post into evidence to support its copyright claims over figurines of its character, Conan the Barbarian.”

Read the full article on Courthouse News Service here.

Status: Case Closed

Status: Funding

  • On ENWorld, I share a few freelance RPG and fiction writing jobs. Do you want to write superhero fiction or design anthropromorphic adventures, and get paid? Read it all here.

Status: Hiring

Status: Coming Soon From You!

  • Can’t wait until 2019 to create a game? Venger Satanis (Kort’thalis Publishing) announced he is “officially opening up my neo-quasi O5Rish rules-light vampire RPG [Blood Dark Thirst] to those interested in licensing that shit for FREE!!! Yes, you can write, publish, and reap all the rewards for your very own Blood Dark Thirst supplement, sourcebook, or scenario from now until January 1st of 2020.” I’ve spoken to at least one creator that is interested in producing a down and dirty product related to BDT. If you’re interested, you can read the full announcement here.

Status: Venger Satanis-ing

  • On Esty, OddForge is selling a dice tower that clips to your GM screen and can handle or two dice at a time. It’s a 3D printed product, economically sized and ready for your gaming table or a convention.

Status: I like dice towers

  • I’m a part of the CREATE YOUR OWN FANTASY RPG ADVENTURE – RPG RESOURCES BOOKS Kickstarter. Its creator, Matthew A. Bogdan, gave me a glowing write-up on the fifth update for the campaign. I’m humbled and inspired by his praise. Join the whole wide world and read all about me, me, ME! here.

FEMALE HALFLING ROGUE

FEMALE HALFLING ROGUE

Status: I’m proud to be a part of this project!

 

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EGG’S MUSINGS

  • I’ve been reading about the end of the Buffy, the Vampire Slayer license at Dark Horse Comics. It reminded me of Eden Studio’s BtVS and Angel RPGs. It’s interesting that they ceased to be in-print in 2006 but are still available as PDFs at commercial sites. I’ve wondered why this license has not been picked back up, then I see that the original RPG is still available and I wonder, with the BtVS reboot on the horizon, will another company pick up this game?

 

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CONVENTION NEWS BITES

  • Online convention, AetherCon VII, is recruiting publishing companies and GMs for their November 9th to the 11th, 2018 con. It’s online, it’s free, you run games, you *may* win swag.

 

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DEAL

  • Cubicle 7’s The One Ring – Tolkien done right in an RPG! – is on Humble Bundle for $15 for 20ish books and maps and a coupon. This is an unbelievable deal! Go, get it here!
    • The game’s awards include:
      • Lucca Games and Comics Fair 2012 – Best in Show
      • Golden Geek 2012 – Best Art and Presentation
      • Origins Awards 2012 Nomination for Best RPG
      • ENnie Awards 2012 – Silver – Best Production Values
      • ENnie Awards 2012 – Gold – Best Art
      • Golden Geeks 2012 – Best Art and Presentation Nominee

One does not simply skip this deal.

 

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PRESS RELEASES

 

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CREATE YOUR OWN FANTASY RPG ADVENTURE – RPG RESOURCES BOOKS by Dark by Dezign (DriveThruRPG or Open Gaming Store)
Ends on Fri, September 14 2018 2:00 PM EDT.

Disclaimer: I am a creator on this project.
“Contributing authors James Ward, Lenard Lakofka and more share some of their pro tips on how to create your first fantasy RPG adventure”
Looking for advice on how to create your tabletop RPG along with stock art to get you going? Learn from ” industry greats and legends James M. Ward, Lenard Lakofka, as well as exceptional talents such as Johnn Four, Rick Hershey, Lucus Palosaari, Kevin Watson, Bobby Nash and Egg Embry.” I’m excited to be a part of this project and offer my insights into the world of crowdfunding!

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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Disclosures: This article contains affiliate links.

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™
Freelancer for EN WorldKnights of the Dinner TableOpen Gaming Network, and the Tessera Guild.
Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Want to share news? Press releases? Rumors? Sneak peeks? Deals? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

Gen Con 2018 Recap – Part Two

You can read part one here.

Day 2 (Cont)

Eclipse Phase

There are two potential hurdles when playing new games:

You are unfamiliar with the mechanics of the system.

By that, I mean actually how to play. What stats do what thing. What should you roll if you want to attack or climb a wall or hide. Many times you can lean on your overall knowledge to get you by. Other times you may not be successful.

You are unfamiliar with the language of the game.

D&D is fantasy – most of the stuff is easy enough to understand. Vampire the Masquerade is set in the modern world. But when you start getting into some of the science fiction settings, the language gets… complicated.

So that was the issue with Eclipse Phase. It is a science fiction setting with a language all its own and a ton of stats and skills that don’t always jump out at you as “Use me to do X thing!” It was a 2-hour session that really needed to be 4 hours if they are hoping for you to “get it”.

Luckily, our friend Nate has promised to run a game of it for us at some point in the future – so the nail has not been put in this coffin by any stretch.

Afterverse

Another sci-fi setting that was a bit easier to understand. The Game Master was actually the creator of the game (and is in the process of running a Kickstarter for the launch of the game if you want to check it out here!). The game ran fairly smoothly with only a couple of minor hiccups. During the course of the game, the GM (who was recording) had to leave a note to himself about a particular rule call. We were all interested in the potential for space combat (which sadly the adventure we played didn’t have) as he mentioned that he thought his system played pretty well on that front (everyone has something to do – as opposed to just having the pilot and maybe gunner being the only important jobs).

After the game, we chatted with him for a bit. He’s planning on running a few games at Dragon Con, so if you’re interested in checking out something completely brand new – check it out.

 

Day 3

Shadows of Esteren

Last year Lee mentioned that there was so much to see in the dealer’s room, that in order to actually make your way through it you had to have a high caliber for the artwork used to even bother checking out your project. However, even that doesn’t work because everyone has beautiful stuff adorning their booths, books, posters, and everything else. Shadows of Esteren has all of this in spades and we both lingered near their booth last year, but never pulled the trigger on buying any of their stuff.

Cut to this year, where we had a non-standard session. I believe one dice was rolled during the entirety of two hours. The conceit was that our session was actually one happening in the middle of a longer campaign, but that this particular session would be a spotlight on one character and their past. The other players at the table would then play other roles (in this case, a sister, a mother, a brother of the main character). The hope was through these various little scenes the main person would gain some insight about their charact, and the other players would become invested in that story.

Now for some people that might not work, but for Lee and I (Egg was detained elsewhere), it really got us thinking about stories, ideas for how to incorporate these type of scenarios in our home games. And while I wasn’t 100% on how the game was going to work (and since we really didn’t get to see the mechanics of the system, we may need to come back to this one at the next convention).

Legend of the Five Rings

It said “No experience necessary”, yet when we arrived there was a line to get into the room to play.

And people were grouping up together.

And various GMs were shouting things.

And Egg, Lee, and myself were confused.

“Are you new players?”

“Yes, it said no experience necessary.”

“That it did!”

It turns out that we found ourselves in the middle of the final battle of the weekend. Clan honor was at stake. A battle would rage at various tables… 3 rounds in fact. If you died, then you left the room. If you won your round, your team was awarded points, and those points were added to the total for your Clan.

Not knowing what we were in for (the fourth member of our table had only played twice before and one of those times might have been in the 90s), we opted for an easier scenario at first before ramping up each round. Around the room, you could hear tables roar out their approval at good plays. And while you were waiting for the next round to begin, people would go watch other games (not something you experience at most games).

Luckily, we were joined by 3 other players in time for the final battle who had a little experience playing the game (6 years running the game!). It worked out well as by that point I had a decent enough understanding of the rules, but one of the new players helped me understand a couple of other aspects I didn’t 100% catch previously.

While we may not have gotten a great feel for the world of Legend, we certainly were educated in how to play the mechanics… and they might have been my favorite overall of the games we’d played over the weekend. I can understand why it has such passionate fans.

 

Day 4

The Dark Eye

Apparently, The Dark Eye is the #1 game in Germany for the last 30 years. It is a fantasy game (so right in our wheelhouse). The GM did a great job with running the game, and I enjoyed the voices he used for the different characters.

However…

Within about 5 seconds of him explaining the system to us, I knew this wasn’t going to be “The ONE”. Most games you are asked to roll your dice to perform an action like climbing a wall. You roll one dice, add your bonuses and penalties and then see if you were successful. With Dark Eye you had to roll against 3 different skills… and if you failed one of those checks, then you failed the overall check.

I’m not sure how that works in the long run as I’d get too frustrated to bother. Just running simple odds would tell you trying to succeed at something 3 different times is probably going to fail a decent amount of the time. At some point, I’d like to seek out the players of the game and see if there is some good reason for the multiple checks (and hence why it might be in the game, to begin with).

***

Overall it was a great time at the convention. I was sore after all the walking, but made it through all the same. Got to see a couple of friends from the previous year, and somehow managed to hang out for 5 days and get along with my convention mates as we talked pretty much non-stop the whole drive back to Atlanta. So, until next year (hopefully)…

***

John McGuire has co-written, along with his wife, two Kindle Worlds novellas set in the world of Veronica Mars: Theft & Therapy and There’s Something About Mac.

He is also the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. The Trade paperback collecting the first 4 issues is finally back from the printers! If you would like to purchase a copy, go here!

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 other prose appears in The Dark That Follows, Hollow EmpireBeyond the Gate, and Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows.

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com

RPG News, Press Releases, and Deals – Fat Goblin Games and TinyD6, John Silence Open Call, New James S.A. Corey Expanse Short Story, and more

Yesterday I covered four RPG KickstartersTiny Supers, Spacecraft 2000 to 2100 AD, Art of War, and Power Outage here. Today, let’s look at some news, press releases, and RPG deals.

 

NEWS BITES

  • Are you a fan of The Expanse either the novel series or the TV series? If/when Green Ronin Publishing’s The Expanse Roleplaying Game reaches $300,000 and $400,000 in funding, the plan is to offer:

    “$300,000: James S.A. Corey Flash Fiction
    We will add a new flash fiction reward tier. Imagine if you could have Daniel and Ty write a one page story about your Expanse RPG character. A select number of backers will be able to do just that if we unlock this stretch goal. All backers who pledge $30 or more will get a PDF of these stories for free!

    $400,000: New James S.A. Corey Short Story
    The big enchilada! If we unlock this stretch goal, Ty and Daniel will write a brand new Expanse short story for the rulebook. It will be set in the period between Leviathan Wakes and Caliban’s War (the timeframe of our core rulebook) and feature new characters. How awesome is that?”These stories (getting official flash fiction is an amazing opportunity) will cement the RPG as canonical within the Expanse-verse.

    Status: Funding
  • Fat Goblin Games, recently we reported Rick Hershey’s public discussion about launching a new RPG stock art site. Well, that site is live to support all of your publishing art needs:Status: Live
  • I covered the Kickstarter for John Silence recently. After it successfully funded, they’ve started looking for submissions for an anthology. Do you have poetry or fiction for John Silence that you would like to submit by September 30th for paid publication? “The John Silence RPG & Anthology is a collective projective reinvisioning Algernon Blackwood’s “John Silence” short stories to focus on non-white/POC/ethnically and racially marginalized psychic detectives in an alternate American noir setting spanning the 1920s to the 1990s.” If so, they’re open to short submissions here.
    Status: Recruiting
  • New Agenda Publishing (Facebook link here, their website here, and check out the quickstart for their upcoming project, Orunhere) announced the list of writers that they hired from their open call for writers. On top of DC Comics writerRoute 3 creatorBlackSci-Fi.com EiC, and Tessera Guild member, Robert Jeffrey (Facebook), NAP selected David Castro, Samantha Day, Tim and Kristin Devine, Sharene Gilchrist, Kathryn Lee, Alexa Fae McDaniel, Thomas Manuel, Nell Raban, and Alex Whalen. Their bios are available here.

    Status: Writing
  • As John McGuire discusses (here), I had a chance to play Savage Worlds Flash Gordon at Gen Con 2018. It was excellent and if you’re interested in getting a copy, there’s still a few more days to do so (here).
    Status: Funding
  • Are you a fan of Fat Goblin Games? Did you back any of the TinyD6 Kickstarters or bought them from DriveThruRPG? FGG has signed “a licensing agreement with Gallant Knight Games to create roleplaying game supplements based on the popular TinyD6 Engine. … Fat Goblin Games has teamed up with Gallant Knight Games to expand on the amazing TinyD6 genre books with new supplemental material. … The first planned release will be Heritage Composer, a complete guide to creating new heritages for your TinyD6 games.” For more details, you can read the full press release here.
    Status: Funding
  • Have an original Mage: The Ascension product that you’d like to share with the world? The Storyteller’s Vault is now open to buy and sell 3PP Mage: The Ascension RPG products.
    Status: Creating
  • The Wraith: the Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition is available via DriveThruRPG. Funded via Kickstarter, this is the celebration of Wraith and its history within the Storyteller world.

Status: Available

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PRESS RELEASES
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DEALS ON KICKSTARTER
  • MAIN GAUCHE – a ZWEIHÄNDER Grim & Perilous RPG supplement – Ends on Wed, September 5 2018 11:32 PM EDT.
    At the $1 Beggar’s Bowl level, you will receive a PDF of a hat… which, at first blush may seem odd, but it’s put to clever use as a hat that tracks your damage level in-game. Here’s an update describing it in more detail. Check out the full Zweihander campaign here.
    more of our former winners
  • Folklore: Creatures of Myth and Legend for Fifth Edition D&D – Ends on Thu, September 6 2018 6:04 PM EDT.
    This is a limited time, early bird deal. At the CA$ 10 (US$ 8) Loremaster (Earlybird) level, you will receive a PDF of this 5e supplement at half price. If you’re going to back this, early is the time to do it! Check out the campaign here.
    Folklore
  • Domina Magica – A Magical Girl RPG – Ends on Thu, September 6 2018 10:00 PM EDT.
    At the $1 Classmate level, you will receive:
    💙Classmate💙
    At this level you […] get a “FIGHT LIKE A MAGICAL GIRL” slap bracelet!!! […] Fight Like A Magical Girl Slap Bracelet (US backers only)
    How cool is it that they’re bringing back slap bracelets? Along with this, there’s a lot of good coming from this Kickstarter! Check out the full campaign here.

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Disclosures: This article contains affiliate links.

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™
Freelancer for EN WorldKnights of the Dinner TableOpen Gaming Network, and the Tessera Guild.
Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Want to share news? Press releases? Rumors? Sneak peeks? Deals? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

Gen Con 2018 Recap – Part One

After the success of the trip last year (which you can read about here and here) (you know, none of us killed any of the others after being together non-stop for the better part of 5 days), Lee, Egg Embry, and I took a drive back to the land of corn and at one point Peyton Manning.

This year continued the idea of checking out all the gaming systems we’d never had the opportunity to play previously. In fact, much of the last year or we’ve played a handful of games just to get that different kind of exposure.

DAY 1

Thursday started off with a trip to the Dealers’ Room. I’m not sure if I mentioned it last year, but the room is enormous. Even if you were moving quickly and barely taking any time to look around it would probably be a couple of hours. Throughout the weekend we’d squeeze an hour here or an hour there to try to slowly move through the building and even then it was easier said than done. In addition, you have all the game demos going on, but if you are only in the room on a scattered basis, there is almost no way to fit it in. The best we can figure is MAYBE you set aside Thursday and not do anything but go through the room playing demos and squeezing everything you can out of that room and then basically be done with it.

However, we couldn’t do that, and after a couple of hours, it was on to the first game.

Flash Gordon (Savage Worlds)

While I’d like to claim that I have an in-depth knowledge of the old serials or the cartoons or even the comics, my brush with Flash Gordon is limited to three things:

  • The Queen Soundtrack
  • The 80’s Movie
  • And explaining to people that the Flash and Flash Gordon are two entirely different characters.

Savage Worlds is an interesting system in that the is probably just enough complexity to give those people who really like the more Crunchy systems, but for the most part, it was fairly easy to understand. We were introduced to the “Exploding Dice” mechanic which basically means that if you roll the maximum value on a dice you get to roll again (so a 6 on a d6 would mean a reroll and add it to the first result). I enjoyed the system enough that I wouldn’t mind seeing a bit more of it at some point.

Given that we were playing in a pulpy game setting with ray guns and short skirts and evil robots, Lee and Egg told me that I had to use my newsreel voice for whatever character I get (to get an idea of what that might sound like, think about the old movies where the news was also played along with the film and how the narrator might have sounded). I chose a Mad Scientist type character and put maximum effort into the voice. I hope that the other players had fun because I had a ball (as goofy as it might have been to say “What’s that dame up to now?” or “This just in, we need to get the hell out of here!”).

Rest easy, we stopped Ming’s latest plot to destroy the Earth, so you can thank me the next time you see me!

Wicked Pacts

I didn’t have any idea what Wicked Pacts might have been, but it was pretty easy to figure out as it plays in the Modern Day (Urban Fantasy, where the supernatural are all too real, and you get to play a magic user of some type). The system combined Tarot cards along with D10s. The DM did a great job, and the players seemed like they were having a good time as well. There were minor things that I wasn’t overly thrilled with in regards to the system, but there was plenty of good as well. I think that if you wanted to play a Dresden Files type of game this would be a good one to check out!

Day 2

Geist

We had it all figured out. A five-hour session playing Geist (a Storyteller/World of Darkness Game). We visited Onyx Press’s booth on Thursday and talked to one of the guys who had worked on the 2nd edition of the game. And promptly got screwed up… on the time and place of our game. He said he was running the demo at 10 AM and that was the time we had set up for our game. But it was actually in the dealers’ room – something none of us had done before. Still, we didn’t think anything of it until the game ended about an hour and a half… it was a five-hour session. At which point Lee double checked the ticket and realized we were in the wrong place!

The game just completed a Kickstarter for the 2nd edition we played. You can check that out here.

As to the game demo itself, I’ve now played Storyteller games a few times in the last year, so the familiarity is now there. I was more concerned with the story. I know nothing of the original 1st edition Geist, but this idea of people who deal with ghosts while dealing with the fact they’d come back to life in another way. Even as a simple short story, it suddenly clicked on how you could do a full campaign with the system and really have some fun with local ghost stories in your area.

Hmmm, research, where I have to visit creepy places in and around Atlanta, may not be the best idea…

***

Hope you enjoyed Part 1, Part 2 will be up next week.

***

John McGuire has co-written, along with his wife, two Kindle Worlds novellas set in the world of Veronica Mars: Theft & Therapy and There’s Something About Mac.

He is also the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. The Trade paperback collecting the first 4 issues is finally back from the printers! If you would like to purchase a copy, go here!

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 other prose appears in The Dark That Follows, Hollow EmpireBeyond the Gate, and Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows.

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com

PRESS RELEASE – World War Occult RPG Coming From Wet Ink Games, LLC

Wet Ink Games, LLC has partnered with artist Charles Ferguson-Avery to produce new tabletop roleplaying games based on his setting from the World War Occult art book which was successfully funded on Kickstarter in January of 2018.

World War Occult is a gritty horror setting where an eldritch hellscape flows over the battlefields in a fantasy World War, heavily inspired by the first-person accounts of the Great War.

The first book in the line “Never Coming Home: A World War Occult RPG” will detail the setting and the ongoing war effort, the soldiers caught up in the fight, and the strange magics that have begun coursing through the veins of humanity.

This full-color, 96-128 page book will contain all the rules and material needed to play the game, and will present a new narrative-focused, rules-light system based on Wet Ink Games’ innovative Compass System. It will release at Gen Con 2019, following fulfillment of a planned Q4 2018 Kickstarter.

 

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See the Kickstarter for the World War Occult Art Book here.

No automatic alt text available. 

PRESS RELEASE – Gen Con Reaches New Heights in 2018 with a Year of Firsts

Gen Con Reaches New Heights in 2018 with a Year of Firsts


INDIANAPOLIS (August 6, 2018) Gen Con, the largest and longest-running game convention in North America, has announced that its 2018 convention is the most attended ever, propelled by a record number of 4-Day badge sales, a 16% year-over-year increase in Saturday badge holders, and astounding 60% jump in year-over-year growth for both Sunday badge holders and children attending with wristbands.

“By any metric, Gen Con 2018 was an enormous success,” said David Hoppe, Gen Con President. “The combination of a record number of veteran gamers arriving from around the world with an amazing surge in first-year attendees illustrates the bright future of gaming. We were also delighted to welcome many game industry partners back to the convention, including Blizzard, Pokémon, and Magic: The Gathering, which celebrated its 25th birthday at Gen Con. We’re proud that while substantially more than 60,000 unique attendees were on-site over four days, the feedback from customers, sponsors, and exhibitors was that we provided a smoothly-run show and top-notch customer experience.”

Beyond attendance records, Gen Con also set philanthropic high marks in 2018, raising more than $50,000 for its charity partners, The Jack Vasel Memorial Fund and Second Helpings, through multiple on-site events. Since moving to Indy in 2003, Gen Con has now raised more than $300,000 for its charity partners.

In a year of firsts, Gen Con launched convention-long streaming of events on Twitch, the online gaming network, netting more than 300,000 unique viewers of its programming with more than three million minutes of watched footage. The convention also successfully released a successful beta test of its on-site electronic event ticketing system, supporting nearly 10,000 transactions with the intention of expanding that service in future conventions.

Gen Con’s Block Party debuted in 2018, expanding Gen Con’s outdoor, free, unbadged experience spanning Georgia Street, on to South Street, and with placements around the Indianapolis downtown. The 2018 Block Party included 65+ food trucks, two Sun King Beer Gardens, Hot Box Pizza stands, an activation from the Indianapolis Public Library, and a free concert with the bands Local H and Brother O’ Brother.

This year’s convention featured more than 520 game companies, more than 600 new games, 17,000 ticketed events, and a significant increase in programming in Lucas Oil Stadium. The convention plans to continue its development of Lucas Oil Stadium as a new hub of convention growth.

Gen Con will return to Indianapolis August 1-4, 2019.

Quotes about Gen Con 2018
“When Gen Con comes to Indianapolis, everyone leaves a winner,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “This year, a record-setting number of attendees enjoyed a quality convention experience, as well as our city’s world-class restaurants, hotels, entertainment, and amenities — resulting in a local economic impact of more than $70 million. Since 2003, the Indianapolis community has embraced this convention and we are excited to continue to break records and find new and better ways to host the Best Four Days in Gaming.”

“This year’s Gen Con was another epic experience for a record number of attendees and exhibitors, as well as for the city of Indianapolis,” said Leonard Hoops, president and CEO, Visit Indy. “We are proud to have hosted this incredible event for the past 16 years, and we look forward to hosting it more many years to come.”

“Gen Con lived up to its reputation as the Best Four Days in Gaming!” said Scott Gaeta, President, Renegade Game Studios. “Once again, it exceeded our expectations and we can’t wait to return next year!”

“Hot Box Pizza was honored to be the official pizza of Gen Con,” said Gabe Connell, Owner of Hot Box Pizza. “The engagement with tens of thousands of Gen Con attendees is exhilarating! We truly value our partnership with a first-rate organization and phenomenal group of visitors to our great city of Indianapolis.”

About Gen Con LLC

Gen Con LLC produces the largest consumer hobby, fantasy, science fiction, and adventure game convention in North America, Gen Con, The Best Four Days in Gaming!™. Founded in 1968 and acquired in 2002 by founder and former CEO of Wizards of the Coast, Peter Adkison, the company is headquartered in Seattle and takes place each August in Indianapolis.

RPG News, Sneak Peeks, and Deals at Gen Con 2018 – New Robotech RPG, Free Zweihänder Grim and Perilous, and Things to do at Gen Con

I’m headed to Gen Con 2018, excited to play games, see friends, and talk to publishers! As I’m headed up the road to Indianapolis, there are a few news items and deals worth mentioning.

 

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At EN World, Angus Abranson shares Strange Machine Games announcement that they’re launching a new Robotech RPG. In the 1980s, Harmony Gold licensed three Japanese anime series and bolted them together to create Robotech. This series spawned, among other things, The Robotech Role-Playing Game by Palladium Books (1986 to 1998, and 2008 to 2018). With the lapse of Palladium’s license, Strange Machine Games is picking it up and creating a new game. Which is a win for gamers! However, as Chris Helton (Dorkland Blog) pointed out, Harmony Gold’s Frankenstein-ime… er, license expires on March 14, 2021. [Here’s Karen Ressler’s article about that end here on Anime News Network.] They are hitting the ground running (From their Facebook page: “Hello Robotech Fans! If you want to see a hard copy preview of the Robotech RPG game, visit our booth at GenCon: 2963. We will have 1 or 2 on hand!”) That said, they have two-and-a-half years before the parent company’s license ends and that implies SMG’s Robotech RPG will have a limited run. Which begs the question, how much of the franchise will they be able to cover?

I contacted Strange Machine Games, however, Gen Con prep prevented us for connecting in detail but they are “happy to discuss the project”. Expect an interview/discussion post-con.

 

STATUS: Monitoring.

 

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From mid-June to early-July, New Agenda Publishing (Facebook link here, their website here, and check out the quickstart for their upcoming project, Orun, here) hosted an open call for writers and artists. In keeping with NAP’s founding mission, they listed three criteria:

  • Are you into tabletop RPGS?
  • Have you ever wanted to work on a game?
  • Are you a member of an underrepresented group in TTRPGs (Person of Color, Woman, Non-binary, Trans, Queer)?

Among the applicants was DC Comics writer, Route 3 creator, BlackSci-Fi.com EiC, and Tessera Guild member, Robert Jeffrey (Facebook). NAP selected Robert to freelance on their “Post Apotheosis Space Opera RPG”, Orun. As Robert shares below (screenshot from his Facebook page), I, too, am geeked as f&^% about this, NAP made a great choice and Robert is going to bring a lot of good to RPG.

STATUS: Congratulating.

 

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At Gen Con, on DriveThruRPG, and on Kickstarter there are DEALS to be had!

 

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Going to Gen Con 2018? Want a free PDF of the 2018 ENnie Award nominated Best Game and Product of the YearZweihänder Grim and Perilous RPG? “If you can find Daniel Fox or Adam Rose at the convention, they will give you a handout, good for either a free PDF or 15% off the print-on-demand hardcover of the two-time ENnie nominated ZWEIHÄNDER Grim & Perilous RPG!”

 

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At Gen Con, “Find Jerry, get a FREE MYTHIC D6 Book!” Jerry D. Grayson of Khepera Publishing (and New Agenda Publishing) will be looking for three folks that know the secret pass phrase of the day. If you see Jerry, give him the phrase, and get a free Mythic D6 book! A free physical book! Each day’s phrase is here.

 

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Ray Machuga of Higher Grounds Publishing is going to be wandering Gen Con. If you find him, take a picture, post it, and he’ll give you a copy of his game. Check out the details here.

 

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Gary Gygax Day – Zweihänder Grim and Perilous RPG

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Not going to Gen Con but you still want something free from Zweihänder? Introduced on Gary Gygax Day, Grim & Perilous Studios are offering a free Zweihänder Grim and Perilous RPG preview/supplement showcasing “our Henchman profession from the upcoming supplement Main Gauche. We’re also including the Dungeoneer, an expert profession from Zweihänder Grim & Perious RPG.” You can get the Gary Gygax Day – Zweihänder Grim and Perilous RPG as a Pay What You Want (“Suggested Price $0.00”) on DriveThruRPG here.

 

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On Kickstarter, Palegain Press is running a campaign to develop Flower of Heaven: Shrine of the Fallen Heroes, “An Asian themed module for the Universal Storytelling System: Second Edition“. The $10 backer reward, Mountain Spirits, gets you both a PDF of the module plus a PDF of the Universal Storytelling System: Second Edition.

Ends on Tue, August 14 2018 9:59 AM EDT. Find the campaign here.

 

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What Am I Playing At Gen Con 2018?

 

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Disclosures: This article contains affiliate links.

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™
Freelancer for EN WorldKnights of the Dinner TableOpen Gaming Network, and the Tessera Guild.
Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Want to share news? Rumors? Sneak peeks? Deals? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

PRESS RELEASE – Gen Con to Sell Out of 4-Day Badges this Week

Gen Con to Sell Out of 4-Day Badges this Week
Saturday Badges Also Expected to Sell Out Prior to Convention

INDIANAPOLIS (July 23, 2018) Gen Con has announced that it expects to sell out of 4-Day badges as soon as this week, setting a new record for the number of 4-Day badge holders. The convention also anticipates that Saturday badges will reach a sellout prior to the convention opening next week. Gen Con will alert attendees of any badge sellouts via Facebook, Twitter, and email newsletter. Those interested in attending all four days of the convention or on Saturday can purchase badges at gencon.com while limited supplies remain.

“So far in 2018 we’ve already sold more 4-Day badges than ever before in Gen Con’s 51-year history,” said David Hoppe, Gen Con President. “The team has honed our operations and event planning to allow for increased attendance while still maintaining the same level of comfort for everyone as they move about the convention. We want to allow the maximum number of attendees to experience Gen Con without diminishing the event’s quality one iota.”

This year, more than 80% of badges sold for Gen Con 2018 will be 4-Day badges. In addition to online sales, Gen Con plans to sell limited quantities of the remaining single day badges (Thursday, Friday, and Sunday) at the Indiana Convention Center, beginning at noon on Wednesday, August 1.

Gen Con returns to the Indiana Convention Center from Thursday, August 2 through Sunday, August 5. This year, Gen Con’s Sunday badges cost $15 and children 10-and-under may attend any day of the convention for free with a child wristband. All badges and child wristbands may be pre-ordered at gencon.com for Will Call pick-up at the convention while supplies last.

Last year, Visit Indy estimated that Gen Con provided $73 million in economic value for Central Indiana, and this year, the convention plans that number to rise. Gen Con’s sponsorship growth for 2018 has increased more than 24% year-over-year with partners including Lyft, Blizzard Entertainment, Square Enix, Pokemon, and Magic: The Gathering, which will celebrate its 25th year at the convention.

About Gen Con LLC
Gen Con LLC produces the largest consumer hobby, fantasy, science fiction, and adventure game convention in North America, Gen Con, The Best Four Days in Gaming!™. Founded in 1968 and acquired in 2002 by founder and former CEO of Wizards of the Coast, Peter Adkison, the company is headquartered in Seattle and takes place each August in Indianapolis.

8 ENnie Awards Dream Dates for Gen Con 2018!

Going to Gen Con? Need a “date” for the ENnie Awards on Friday, August 3rd 2018 at 8pm? Want a great seat for the event all while getting to know some of the premier publishers in the industry and some excellent swag? Then look no further, these RPG publishers and judges have you covered with the second annual ENnie Awards Dream Dates! [To read my review of last year’s ENnie Awards Dream Dates, click here.]

The best reason to go is the chance to talk gaming with some of the best creators in the industry and make a connection. But, if that does not move you to bid, keep in mind that the swag tends to be some of each publishers premier materials. Which publishers?

The ENnie Awards Dream Date Auctions on eBay “All proceeds from the Dream Date auction[s] are used to fund the production of the ENnie Awards each year.”

Want to “date” Cubicle 7 AND get swag? Here’s your chance!

What is Gen Con? “The largest gaming convention in the world held annually in Indianapolis, Indiana.” [August 2-5, 2018]

What are the ENnie Awards? “The Gen Con EN World RPG Awards (the “ENnies“) are an annual fan-based celebration of excellence in tabletop roleplaying gaming. The ENnies give game designers, writers and artists the recognition they deserve. It is a peoples’ choice award, and the final winners are voted upon online by the gaming public.”

Vote for the 2018 ENnie Awards here.

 

Cubicle 7 (with Egg [shorts]) at the ENnie Awards 2017 where C7 won the Silver ENnie (Best Rules) for Adventures in Middle-Earth Player’s Guide, and Egg *almost* got to bask in the spotlight of their success (literally… I tried elbowing poor Dominic out of the light…).

Cubicle 7 – ENnie Awards Dream Date 2018
Ends on July 22nd, 2018 – Sunday, 5:30PM EDT

Come experience the excitement of the ENnie Awards with Cubicle 7!

Winner of this auction will receive the opportunity to join the Cubicle 7 team at a specially designated table right in front of the stage at the 2018 ENnie Awards, held August 3rd 2018 at 8pm at Gen Con! You may also receive a gift from the publisher.

 

Why do you wanna “date” Cubicle 7? They’re the publishers of:

  • Adventures in Middle-earth (for D&D 5e)
  • The One Ring Roleplaying Game
  • Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Fourth Edition
  • Age of Sigmar Roleplaying Game
  • The Doctor Who Card Game
  • Doctor Who Roleplaying Game
  • Winners of multiple ENnie Awards, Origin Awards, and more
  • You may also receive a gift from the publisher
  • Last year, beyond the pleasant evening of hilarious stories, they rewarded me with every Adventures in Middle-earth book they had out at the time (hardcover and PDF) as well as maps. I was HAPPY with that but I was happier at Origins Game Fair 2018 (9 or 10 months later) when we had a chance to talk again and catch up. They are a lovely group of people and whoever gets to “date” them this year is in for a treat! 

You’ll be at the table with Cubicle 7 when they learn if they won an ENnie Award for:

 

Click here to bid on Cubicle 7 – ENnie Awards Dream Date 2018

 

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Chaosium Inc. – ENnie Awards Dream Date 2018
Ends on July 22nd, 2018 – Sunday, 5:45PM EDT

“Come experience the excitement of the ENnie Awards with Chaosium Inc.!

Winner of this auction will receive the opportunity to join the Chaosium team at a specially designated table right in front of the stage at the 2018 ENnie Awards, held August 3rd 2018 at 8pm at Gen Con!

You will also receive your choice of one of the following:

RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha, 13th Age Glorantha, and Glorantha Sourcebook + PDFs

OR Call of Cthulhu slipcase set + PDF

OR Masks of Nyarlathotep slipcase set + PDF

Khan of Khans special “dwarven metal” tin-box edition
—An additional slipcase you can fill with any of our current releases of your choosing.
Chaosium “tuxedo”black t-shirt

For over forty years, Chaosium has captivated gamers, readers and mythic adventurers worldwide. Its award-winning roleplaying games, board games and fiction have been acclaimed as some of the most engaging and innovative of all time.

Up for Best Free Supplement

Why do you wanna “date” Chaosium? They’re the publishers of:

  • Call of Cthulhu
  • Runequest
  • Khan of Khans
    I only listed three games but CoC has a depth of catalogue that can only be compared to D&D, which is to say it’s massive.
  • Winners of multiple ENnie Awards, Origin Awards, and more
  • The swag they’re offering is epic, especially the Khan of Khans special edition since it’s up for two awards that night

You’ll be at the table with Chaosium when they learn if they won ENnie Awards for:

Up for Best Free Product

 

Click here to bid on Chaosium Inc. – ENnie Awards Dream Date 2018

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Pelgrane Press Table One – ENnie Awards Dream Date 2018
Ends on July 22nd, 2018 – Sunday, 5:55PM EDT

Pelgrane Press Table Two – ENnie Awards Dream Date 2018
Ends on July 22nd, 2018 – Sunday, 6:15PM EDT

“Come experience the excitement of the ENnie Awards with Pelgrane Press!

Winner of this auction will receive the opportunity to join the Pelgrane Press team at a specially designated table right in front of the stage at the 2018 ENnie Awards, held August 3rd, 2018 at 8pm at Gen Con!

You will also receive a signed, limited edition copy of the Fall of DELTA GREEN, along with an exclusive Fall of DELTA GREEN t-shirt from the Pelgane Press team.

Established in 2000, Pelgrane Press Ltd publishes award-winning tabletop roleplaying games, including 13th Age by Rob Heinsoo and JonathanTweet, Trail of Cthulhu and Night’s Black Agents by Kenneth Hite, and The Dying Earth, The Esoterrorists, Hillfolk and Ashen Stars by Robin D Laws.

Their groundbreaking GUMSHOE investigative roleplaying system shifts the focus of investigative play from finding clues (or worse, not finding them) to interpreting clues, solving mysteries, and moving the action forward.

Pelgrane Press is also the home of the webzine Page XX, The Birds comic, and RPGsoundtracks by James Semple and fellow composers.

Up for Best Rules

Why do you wanna “date” Pelgrane Press? They’re the publishers of:

  • #Feminism
  • 13th Age
  • Cthulhu Confidential
  • Dying Earth and Gaean Reach
  • The Fall of DELTA GREEN
  • TimeWatch
  • Trail of Cthulhu
  • The Yellow King
    [I apologize that I’m skipping so many of their best games]
  • Winners of multiple gaming awards
  • From either table you’ll get a “signed, limited edition copy of the Fall of DELTA GREEN, along with an exclusive Fall of DELTA GREEN t-shirt”

You’ll be at the table with Pelgrane Press when they learn if they won ENnie Awards for:

  • BEST RPG RELATED PRODUCT – #feminism
  • BEST RULES – Cthulhu Confidential, Authors: Robin D. Laws, Chris Spivey, Ruth Tillman [NOTE – Curious about Cthulhu Confidential and want to try a sample? Try it here.] 

 

Click here to bid on Pelgrane Press Table One – ENnie Awards Dream Date 2018 OR Pelgrane Press Table Two – ENnie Awards Dream Date 2018 (it’s the same reward for each, just different tables).

 

Up for Best Rules. Try the free sampler here.

 

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ENnie Awards Judges Dream Date 2018
Ends on July 22nd, 2018 – Sunday, 6:11PM EDT

“Come experience the excitement of the ENnie Awards with the 2018 ENnie Award judges!

The winner of this auction will receive the opportunity to sit with this year’s panel of judges at the 2018 ENnie Awards, held August 3rd, 2018 at 8pm at Gen Con! Sean McCoy, Reece Carter, Kurt Wiegel, and Brian Nowak spent this past year reviewing over 500 different submissions to determine the nominee list.

You will also receive a swag bag of RPG related items!

 

Why do you wanna “date” the 2018 ENnie Award judges?

  • These are the individuals that decide the ENnie nominees
  • To talk about 2017/2018 RPGs with some of the best informed individuals in the industry (after all, they looked at over 500 submissions)
  • To learn more about the process and decide if you want to be a judge
  • I’m going to combine two quotes and let you decide what it portends – “over 500 different submissions” [PLUS] “You will also receive a swag bag of RPG related items”
    I’m not in the know, I’m not saying that you’ll get amazing stuff, but there exists some possibilities…

 

Click here to bid on ENnie Awards Judges Dream Date 2018

 

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Modiphius Entertainment – ENnie Awards Dream Date 2018
Ends on July 22nd, 2018 – Sunday, 6:18PM EDT

Come experience the excitement of the ENnie Awards with Modiphius Entertainment!

Winner of this auction will receive the opportunity to join the Modiphius Entertainment team at a specially designated table right in front of the stage at the 2018 ENnie Awards, held August 3rd, 2018 at 8pm at Gen Con!  [You will also receive copies of both the Star Trek and Conan corebooks both signed by their team at Gen Con!]

Modiphius Entertainment is a British Entertainment publisher partnering with global creative talent to develop unique creative properties. 

Modiphius Entertainment has a wide range of worlds to explore, including their own terrifying vision of World War Two – Achtung! Cthulhu, a roleplaying setting for Call of Cthulhu and Savage Worlds.They have re-booted the fantastic sci-fi dieselpunk world of Mutant Chronicles with the 3rd Edition of the roleplaying game and the new edition of the Siege of the Citadel board game. They launched the official RPG for Corvus Belli’s Infinity universe, the Thunderbirds co-op board game by Matt Leacock, Airfix Battles, a new introductory wargame, Robert E. Howards CONAN -Adventures In An Age Undreamed Of! and Star Trek Adventures, the 4th edition of this fantastic roleplaying universe. Fallout: Wasteland Warfare is launching soon, a miniatures game set in Bethesda’s fantastic video game universe and now the official Kung Fu Panda board game!

Why do you wanna “date” Modiphius? They’re the publishers of:

  • Star Trek Adventures
  • Achtung! Cthulhu
  • Mutant Chronicles
  • CONAN -Adventures In An Age Undreamed Of!
  • Tales from the Loop as well as other Free League games
  • Vampire: The Masqurade 5th Edition from White Wolf
  • Winners of multiple gaming awards
  • You’ll receive a signed copy of the Star Trek Adventures: Core Rulebook and a signed copy of the Conan core rulebook

You’ll be at the table with Modiphius when they learn if they won an ENnie Award for:

 

Click here to bid on Modiphius Entertainment – ENnie Awards Dream Date 2018

 

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Gaming Paper – ENnie Awards Dream Date 2018
Ends on July 22nd, 2018 – Sunday, 6:38PM EDT

Come experience the excitement of the ENnie Awards with Gaming Paper!

Winner of this auction will receive the opportunity to join the Gaming Paper team at a specially designated table right in front of the stage at the 2018 ENnie Awards, held August 3rd, 2018 at 8pm at Gen Con!  You will also receive a massive prize pack of Gaming Paper swag!

Gaming Paper started as a single product -an inexpensive, reusable, and disposable 30 sq. ft roll of 1″ squares  paper. They have since grown into a variety of products that include additional color options, 8-½” x11″ single sheetswrapping paper, dry erase gaming tiles, and our own roleplaying adventures!

Why do you wanna “date” Gaming Paper?

  • If you play tabletop RPGs around the, you know, tabletop, their products make for a more fun experience
  • If you’re looking for some direction on how to enter the gaming market with something other than a game, this company has blazed that path and, I’m guessing, have some advice to share
  • You will also receive a massive prize pack of Gaming Paper swag!

You’ll be at the table with Gaming Paper when they learn if they won an ENnie Award for:

 

Click here to bid on Gaming Paper – ENnie Awards Dream Date 2018

 

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Magpie Games – ENnie Awards Dream Date 2018
Ends on July 22nd, 2018 – Sunday, 6:53PM EDT

Come experience the excitement of the ENnie Awards with Magpie Games!

Winner of this auction will receive the opportunity to join the Magpie Games team at a specially designated table right in front of the stage at the 2018 ENnie Awards, held August 3rd, 2018 at 8pm at Gen Con!  

The winner will also receive a choice of a pack of one of Magpie’s main product lines, for example: 

Bluebeard’s Bride pack – a copy of the core book, Book of Rooms, and the play materials, which include a silkscreened playsheet, tokens, and a set of Bluebeard’s Bride branded dice, 

or

The Masks pack – a copy of the core book, Halycon City Herald Collection, choice of either the Deck of Influence or the Deck of Villainy, and a set of Masks branded dice.

Magpie Games is a game development and production company devoted to creating interesting, innovative,boundary-pushing, and most of all high-quality games across a wide variety of genres and styles. The majority of Magpie’s productions are tabletop roleplaying games, ranging from games designed to recreate disaster movies, to games designed to tell the stories of baby dragons on adventures, to gritty games about supernatural criminals and power brokers.  Since its inception, Magpie Games has released many games, including Urban Shadows, Epyllion: A Dragon Epic, Masks: A New Generation, and Bluebeard’s Bride.

Why do you wanna “date” Magpie Games? They’re the publishers of:

  • Epyllion: A Dragon Epic
  • Bluebeard’s Bride
  • Masks: A New Generation
  • Urban Shadows
  • And other award winning games
  • You’re going to go home with everything you need to enjoy Bluebeard’s Bride or Masks and, either way, that’s a crit!

You’ll be at the table with Magpie Games when they learn if they won an ENnie Award for:

Click here to bid on Magpie Games – ENnie Awards Dream Date 2018

 

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Don’t need a “date”? With a badge to Gen Con, tickets to the ENnie Awards are free (click here to secure yours). There’s also a silent auction – ENnies Cocktail Reception & Silent Auction – just before the awards ceremony available here. And, again, vote for the ENnie Awards here.

 

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This arrived in my inbox from Pelgrane Press just as I went to press:

The innovative noir-themed one-player, one-GM game Cthulhu Confidential and award-winning RPG anthology #Feminism are available at 25% off unti the end of July.

Both books have been nominated for ENnie awards, and we’d love you to consider voting for them. Voting ends at 11 PM EST on July 21st.

Cthulhu Confidential drops your hero into the noir nightscape of hardboiled Los Angeles, New York, or Washington, D.C. Meet powerbrokers and politicians, and rub shoulders with Hollywood studio bosses and fiery evangelists. But beneath it all, under the scrim of all this human endeavour, lives corruption so old and inhuman you’ll need all your courage and resourcefulness to face it. Download sampler>>

Written by feminists from eleven different countries, #Feminism offers bite-sized takes on contemporary feminist issues. Each of the 34 nano-games in this collection requires between three and five participants, simple (if any) props, and up to an hour of play time. Download sampler>>

 

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Disclosures: I freelance for EN World, host of the ENnie Awards. However, I am not involved in the ENnie Awards.

This article contains affiliate links.

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™
Freelancer for EN World, Knights of the Dinner Table, Open Gaming Network, and the Tessera Guild.
Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Want to share news? Rumors? Sneak peeks? Deals? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

PRESS RELEASE – Magic: The Gathering to Celebrate 25 Years at Gen Con

INDIANAPOLIS (June 28, 2018) Magic: The Gathering will commemorate its 25th Birthday on August 2-5 in Indianapolis at Gen Con, North America’s largest and longest-running tabletop convention. Making an international splash at Gen Con in 1993, Magic: The Gathering has become a worldwide phenomenon with more than 100 booster releases, printings in eleven languages, and more than 20,000 unique cards. At Gen Con 2018, Magic will give back to the gaming community with a host of planned events, tournaments, and surprises.

“We are thrilled to see Magic’s exciting plans for 2018,” said David Hoppe, Gen Con President. “25 years ago, Magic’s debut at Gen Con changed the course of gaming history, and we’re eager to see not only what they have planned for this year, but for the next 25 years of Magic: The Gathering.”

Magic’s 2018 presence at Gen Con will include hundreds of events, including Learn-to-Play programming, competitive drafts, and signature offerings that highlight the 25th Birthday of the original tradeable card game.

Events include:

●     Magic’s 25th Birthday Championship- Eight qualifier events, open to all attendees, will take place over the weekend that will culminate in a Sunday eight-player event which will feature Beta boosters from Magic’s first year of existence.
●     Magic Panel- Attendees can learn about Magic’s history and glimpse its future at a ticketed, free panel.? Celebrate Magic’s 25th birthday with its creators! Come join us and members of Magic’s R&D team as they talk about their personal history with the game and where they see it in the next 25 years. Get a look behind the scenes at Wizards and learn about their journey from being fans of the game to creating it. Stick around for a Q+A session with our guests!
●     Multi-Player Events- The more players, the more fun! Multiplayer events will include Battlebond 2HG, Wizards Tower, Trios, and Grand Melee. These are great for parent & child teams!
●     Constructed Events- Great prizes await at Standard, Modern, Legacy, and Vintage events.
●     On-Demand Programming- Round-the-clock Magic including Core 2019 Drafts, Chaos Drafts, 2HG Drafts, Commander play, and TURBO TOWN events.
●     Weekend-Long Surprises- The Wizards of the Coast team will have some surprises in store all-weekend, and gamers should keep on the lookout for giveaways on social media, around the convention center, and in Magic’s play areas.

About Gen Con LLC
Gen Con LLC produces the largest consumer hobby, fantasy, science fiction, and adventure game convention in North America, Gen Con, The Best Four Days in Gaming!™. Founded in 1968 and acquired in 2002 by founder and former CEO of Wizards of the Coast, Peter Adkison, the company is headquartered in Seattle and takes place each August in Indianapolis.

About Wizards of the Coast
Wizards of the Coast brings people together through their shared love of games. Magic: The GatheringDungeons & Dragons, and other Wizards games are enjoyed by friends around the world, both at gaming tables and on digital platforms. We bring together world-class creators in game design, worldbuilding, fantasy art, and interactive events to create unforgettable moments. Wizards of the Coast is a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS). For more information, visit www.wizards.com
.
Media Contact for Gen Con LLC
Stacia Kirby, (206) 363-1492, stacia@speakeasy.net 

PRESS RELEASE – Gen Con Approaching Badge Sellout for Second Consecutive Year

Gen Con Approaching Badge Sellout for Second Consecutive Year
More than 90% of Convention’s 4-Day Badges Gone


INDIANAPOLIS (June 19, 2018) Gen Con, the largest and longest-running gaming convention in North America, has announced that it expects certain types of badges to sell out in the coming weeks as sales have surpassed the 90% threshold for its badge offering four days of admission to the show. The sellout of 4-Day badges will mark only the second time that this has happened in Gen Con’s 51-year history with the first sellout occurring in 2017. Prospective attendees are encouraged to purchase 4-Day badges quickly while limited supplies remain.

“Our goal at Gen Con is to provide the highest-quality experience possible for as many gamers as possible,” said David Hoppe, Gen Con President. “We continue to refine our operational planning for Gen Con each year, which has allowed us to increase the total quantity of 4-Day badges available. That said, we expect to sell out of these badges soon.”

The majority of Gen Con attendees purchase 4-Day badges; while single-day offerings provide more economical options to attend the show, including the convention’s new $15 Sunday-only badge. Children ages 10-and-under can attend for free with a child’s wristband option.

Gen Con 2018 returns to the Indiana Convention Center Thursday, August 2 through Sunday, August 5. Last year marked a historic milestone for the convention as it celebrated its 50th show, setting record attendance numbers and selling out for the first time in its history.

About Gen Con LLC
Gen Con LLC produces the largest consumer hobby, fantasy, science fiction, and adventure game convention in North America, Gen Con, The Best Four Days in Gaming!™. Founded in 1968 and acquired in 2002 by founder and former CEO of Wizards of the Coast, Peter Adkison, the company is headquartered in Seattle and the convention takes place each August in Indianapolis.

Media Contact for Gen Con LLC
Stacia Kirby, (206) 363-1492, stacia@speakeasy.net

Gen Con Reaches Agreement with Lyft as Official Rideshare Partner for 2018 Convention

John McGuire, Leland Beauchamp, and Egg Embry are attending Gen Con 2018 (as we did in 2016 and 2017 – read John’s 2017 thoughts here, here, and here), and, apparently, we’ll be Lyft-ing from our hotel to the convention. I say this because they sent me a press release and if you get a PR in your inbox, it’s official. 😉

 

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Gen Con Reaches Agreement with Lyft as Official Rideshare Partner for 2018 Convention

INDIANAPOLIS (May 3, 2018)
Gen Con, the longest-running game convention in North America, has announced a partnership with Lyft to become the Official Rideshare Partner for its upcoming convention, to be held August 2-5, 2018. Lyft will have dedicated pick-up/drop-off areas, include dedicated Gen Con information in their app, and give away more than $6,000 in ride share incentives as part of this agreement. Lyft also will offer exclusive promo codes for Gen Con attendees in Indianapolis, offering reduced rates on fares for new and existing users while supplies last.

“Lyft provides world-class service that will help connect attendees to gaming, dining, and lodging partners around the city,” said Megan Culver, senior director of sponsorship and sales. “We’re excited to team up with a customer-focused, cutting-edge company to offer an ‘epic’ amenity to our attendees.”

Last year’s convention hosted approximately 60,000 attendees for the first sell-out in its 50-year history. Gen Con anticipates a sell-out of attendee badges again in 2018, while hoping to expand attendance through further operational and space-planning optimization. According to Visit Indy, last year’s Gen Con represented a $73 million economic impact to the Indianapolis metro area.

“We are thrilled to partner with Gen Con, which has become one of our city’s largest and most anticipated conventions each year,” said Cebronica Luft, market manager of Lyft Indianapolis. “We know that gamers are active around the clock while they’re in Indy and we’re excited to provide affordable and convenient transportation during their stay. We can’t wait to welcome everyone in August.”

In 2018, Gen Con will host programming throughout the entire Indianapolis Convention Center, in several participating hotels, and on the field of Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts. Interested attendees can get their badge at gencon.com .

About Gen Con LLC
Gen Con LLC produces the largest consumer hobby, fantasy, science fiction, and adventure game convention in North America, Gen Con, The Best Four Days in Gaming!™. Founded in 1968 and acquired in 2002 by founder and former CEO of Wizards of the Coast, Peter Adkison, the company is headquartered in Seattle and takes place each August in Indianapolis.

About Lyft
As the nation’s fastest-growing rideshare company, Lyft is preferred by drivers and passengers for its safe and friendly experience, and operates in more than 350 cities across the U.S. The tech disrupter transports nearly 20 million riders per month and offers its customers both scheduled and on-demand ground transportation.

Gen Con 2017 Recap – Part Two

You can read Part One Here.

Day 1 Continued

The thing no one realizes is that navigating the Dealer’s Room requires a commitment of time. As it turned out, we had about an hour and a half before the room closed on the day. The goal became see as much as possible while also visiting with some contacts and old friends.

While not the largest Dealers’ Room I’ve been in (New York Comic Con takes that prize), Gen Con doesn’t short change you on the options. Who knew there were so many board, roleplaying, and card games being developed and played?

We immediately ran into David Rodriguez, of Skylanders, Destiny, IDW’s First Strike comic series, and about a billion other things that I’m forgetting right now. I met David many years ago (through Egg) when we roomed together at Chicago Comic Con. It’s always nice to see the successes he’s had over the years, and it led to one of my favorite conversations ever:

Egg – So what are you working on these days?

David – Destiny.

Egg – … um, what’s Destiny?

Yes, Egg doesn’t know what Destiny is. I thought we were going to have to pull David off of him. Luckily, calmer minds prevailed.

After our examining of 5% of the Dealer’s Room, it was on to the game library inside of Lucas Oil Stadium. I’m not sure I’m ever going to be in Indianapolis for a football game, so it was cool to be on the field in an empty stadium.

The Game Library was pretty extensive. So extensive that after our failed attempt to play Arkham House (I’d suggest if you are going to play really complicated games that you get someone who has played the game previously to be around to assist). As it was we spent over an hour setting the game up, played a bit, realized we were playing wrong, still couldn’t figure out how the good guys might end up winning, and put the game away.

At this point, we were saved from our own indecision by Ben. Ben was just looking to game and luckily had bought a copy of Hero Realms earlier that day. It was a fun game (I ended up winning our 4 player game). Pretty easy to teach the rules, and seemed like it had a fair amount of replay value. After the game, though, it was nearly 2 in the morning and time to get back to the hotel and catch some sleep.

Day 2

Friday was a tale of 2 different games: Call of Cthulhu and Tales from the Loop.

Call of Cthulhu is one of those games I often read about. People love Lovecraft and to hear it spoken about in such high regard made it one of those games we had to check out. It also helped that Danny O’Neil was our GM for the session (this was just Egg, Lee, and myself). Egg had contributed to the Dread House Kickstarter, so we were interested to see how it played. Luckily the scenario wasn’t the one he wrote for.

It felt like CoC was very much a Roleplaying game vs. a Roll-playing game. Yes, there are dice rolls, but much of the beginning session was spent gathering clues, talking to NPCs, and interacting in character with each other. When the weirdness began and Sanity checks were called for, it was almost more fun when you failed a check. What did that mean for your character? How would you react to the next bit of oddness? And would you have anything left when it was finished (my character’s answer was a NO, as he failed nearly all of his checks)?

I had a great time. Danny was an excellent GM. It would definitely end up as one I’d like to play again next year.

Tales from the Loop was the second game we played. It was just Lee and I as Egg was the Ebay high bid to be the guest of Cubicle 7 at the Ennies. And from what I understand, he had a great time. But I still feel a little bad for him, because after playing Tales from the Loop we proceeded to talk about it for the rest of the weekend.

There is a reason it won Game of the Year.

I want to write more about it, so I’m not going to go into a ton of detail about the session (in a forthcoming post). What I will say is that all those 80’s kids movies where all sorts of crazy nonsense seem to happen when the parents are away: Goonies, Explorers, Monster Squad, etc., well, that’s what this game is. It takes the best of that genre and lets you play as a kid.

Do yourself a favor and check out the game.

Day 3

Lesson Learned from Gen Con: don’t schedule things at 8 in the morning. That is waaaaay too early. You will skip it.

So it was that Mouse Guard was our first session. I really like the comics, so I was interested to see how the system worked. The basic setup was our group of Mouse Guard needed to find a snake’s nest and deal with the eggs we found there. Using pre-gens, each character had a few roleplaying style traits that they could appeal to during the course of play. Say that you often put other’s needs above your own – you might get a bonus dice to help with that particular skill check. In addition, if someone wanted to assist another character with a check, they could as long as they were willing to accept a condition (tired, injured, etc.) if the roll backfired.

The bigger question I had about the system was more that one of your Skills was your Mouse Nature. You could use this skill when nothing else seemed to fit (or pretty much whenever it might make sense – which could be nearly every time you checked something). As my character’s Nature was probably his best stat, I wasn’t so sure why I would ever use anything else. Perhaps it works itself out in longer campaigns?

The final Boss battle was very different. Basically, you could choose one of 4 different tactics (Defense, Feint, Attack, and Maneuver) as did the GM and then one by one you would almost play a game of Paper Rock Scissors where however the cards came up different things happened. In the end, the Guard was trying to reduce the enemy to 0 before they were reduced to 0 (this was a team determined score). A very interesting idea, but for some of the characters, there wasn’t much to decide. If you were primarily a defensive character, you should probably go with your strengths, but this would leave your combat turns more or less the same. Again, in a longer campaign, I could see a metagame forming as the DM tries to anticipate your moves based off previous battles.

The evening saw us play 7th Sea. Egg and I had supported the 2nd edition Kickstarter and now have more pdfs than I could read in a hundred lifetimes (seriously, it is the gift that keeps on giving). In regards to the session itself…

The successes (known as Raises) work well enough, but my problem is things don’t always feel balanced. The number of Raises you get basically helps to determine the number of things you can accomplish in a round (# of actions you get). Multiple times I saw people get 5 and 6 Raises to my 2 or 3, which meant that they were getting to just do more things. Over a short combat this is less of an issue, but as the rounds increase, the difference of 2 additional “things” means one of the players just isn’t able to do as much.

So while the over the top play was fun, the actual rules didn’t sit well with me.

Day 4

Did I mention not to schedule things at 8 AM?

In the morning.

When you should be sleeping?

Because we didn’t make that session either.

Since this was get-away day, we tried to do the remainder of the Dealer’s Room (you know, that last 95%). I’m proud to say that I think I saw nearly everything, even if it was a drive-by. One of the stand-outs was Shadows of Esteren, a series of RPG books that I nearly bought just to look at the beautiful artwork. It’s definitely one I’m going to keep my eye on for possibly adding to my pdf collection.

As to purchases, I did get a copy of Tales from the Loop (I told you I really liked the game) and a card game called Brass Empire (go figure a Steampunk game MIGHT appeal to me). Still, haven’t busted either of them out to play, but I’m looking forward to doing so.

Wrap Up

Would I go back? Absolutely.There are so many things that I would have liked to do. I’d never roleplayed at a convention before, so this was an eye-opening experience to that. There were tons of games and systems I would have liked to

There are so many things that I would have liked to do. I’d never roleplayed at a convention before, so this was an eye-opening experience to that. There were tons of games and systems I would have liked to play, so those would go to the top of the list.

So did the Convention live up to what I had in my head? Yes and then some.

***

John McGuire

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

Click here to join John’s mailing list to learn about the upcoming The Gilded Age Kickstarter.

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

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

 

Gen Con 2017 Recap – Part One

You can read Part Two Here.

Before

For as long as I can remember, for as soon as we learned of its existence, there was talk among my gaming crew about going to Gen Con.

“More games than you can imagine.”

“Artists all over the place.”

“Play games until you can’t see anymore. Then wake up and do it again.”

Yet, it might as well have been El Dorado or some other bit of myth. When you are in Georgia, Wisconsin or Indiana or wherever the convention was being held (“somewhere in the Midwest, right?”), that might as well be on the other side of the globe. Add to the fact that none of us had any money at this point.

A pipe dream. And like most pipe dreams it lingered for a while. Random mentions of it throughout our college years, but no one was ever serious. Heck, we had Dragon Con for all of that “stuff” right in our back yard.

Then as our college days faded and with it all the extra time we seem to have in our youth… well, now we had money, but no time to go do it. And even though we still got together from time to time, many of us had moved away, got married, etc.

You know, the adult stuff.

But it was an itch for one of my friends, Lee. He had always been the one to bring it up. Sometimes out of the blue, always trying to gauge potential interest. Even as people wearied of Dragon Con embracing other “stuff”, he continued to look north.

Last year he was convinced. Sort of a now or never some 25+ years since originally bringing it up. Egg Embry joined him and off to Indiana they went.

I must admit I was jealous. I had the opportunity, but after the trip to Alaska at the beginning of summer, a trip to Indiana didn’t seem the best decision.

When they got back the talk had changed. It was no longer something they wanted to do again… at some point in the future, but they were already planning for 2017. And there was no reason for me not to crash their party this time.

Who would have thought the nerds and geeks would need to take over the football stadium. Awesome!

Day 0

As a comic writer, I’ve done a few conventions over the years, but aside from Dragon Con and New York Comic Con, nothing else compares to the size of Gen Con. They took over Lucas Oil Stadium (where the Colts play) this year because the Convention Center didn’t have enough room. 4-day badges sold out. 60,000+ people.

And every one of them either want to play games, buy games, sell games, or maybe just soak it all up.

We arrived on Wednesday night, managed to get checked into our hotel room, and then headed out to see what trouble we could get into, maybe grab a bite to eat, get the lay of the land.

Indianapolis is flat.

And after a few hours of walking around, I was extremely happy with this situation.

We’d already planned out our gaming sessions back in May/June. The goal was to play about 7 different gaming systems. You see, we’ve been pretty much Dungeons and Dragons players most of our gaming lives. We’ve dabbled in the White Wolf Vampire/Werewolf games. There were at least one West End Games Star Wars campaigns. Even a bunch of one-offs with Palladium’s Rifts and Macros sessions. But this was an opportunity to play different things, branch out a little bit, maybe even figure out that the might be *gasp* a better system than D&D.

Day 1

Vampire 5th edition was held at 10 AM on Thursday, which also coincides with the actual “start” of the convention (basically when the dealer room actually opens). What this really means is a mass of people – and by mass of people I mean thousands of people – are lined up in the convention center waiting to be let in. It was so packed in that area there was enough room for two people to walk past each other if you sucked in your gut and possibly leaned into the other people pressed against the wall.

So it would reason our game was at the far end of this area. If only we had Fezik to clear a path… drowning in the sea of people we somehow pushed, slipped, sidestepped, and probably pissed off a handful of people who thought we were trying to cut in line, we made it to the room and a short time after we started the game.

This was actually a playtest. Whether you’d played Vampire back in the day or not, they were making tweaks to the rules (a good thing for me because all I remembered of the system was that I rolled a lot of 10-sided dice). For the adventure, we were provided pre-generated characters. They had their various stats right there as well as a brief background and desires. Well, I say brief, but it was two pages worth of information before you even reached the stats.

The story was one of a drug deal gone sideways. Personally one of the best moments of the session was when the Game Master said to us “yeah, you’re pretty much off script at this point”. In my head, it was like we had figured out a loophole in the story – and since this was a playtest, it kind of meant we actually were contributing to making the adventure better down the road.

As to the system itself – I enjoyed that when you’re playing a vampire the Hunger is always present. Mechanically they simulated that by having one of your die a different color (red anyone?) and if you rolled a 10 on the special die then things could get… messy.

I did see something in this game that would come up again and again in other games we ended up playing over the weekend. Playing non-combat focused characters works really well in a campaign as there will be plenty of places to really roleplay your abilities, but in a four-hour session where you’ll never play that particular character again… well, it makes things a bit more awkward once combat actually breaks out. It’s not so much that I mind other players being able to do cool things in battle, but more that I wasn’t sure how I might contribute with sub par physical stats.

Lil’ Egg Embry Reporting…

After the game, we rushed out to meet Dan Davenport and his wife, Lisa, for lunch (both extremely nice people who made the wait for our food all the more bearable) (check out Dan’s Blog here). Egg had connected with him online, so this became a great opportunity to put a face to each other. Of course, I’m not sure they knew what they signed up for as Egg peppered the two of them for a complete history of their gaming days. I kept waiting for him to say”Egg Embry, press corps, follow up question on my previous question about the

“Egg Embry, press corps, follow up question on my previous question about the aforementioned item…”

When lunch was finished, we made our way back to the convention center and dove into the Dealer’s room…

***

Hope you enjoyed Part 1, Part 2 will be up next week.

***

John McGuire

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

Click here to join John’s mailing list to learn about the upcoming The Gilded Age Kickstarter.

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

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

8 Wanna-lancer Dream Dates for Gen Con 50!

Going to the ENnie Awards at Gen Con 50 in Indianapolis, Indiana? Need a date to the ENnies on Friday, August 18th, 2017? Then the ENnies have you covered – on eBay. There you can bid on eight dates with RPG companies and creators that are a wanna-lancer’s dream! Get gifts, meet the professionals behind them, and see them win awards all in one magical night!

The ENnie Awards Date Auction
Avoid going stag and get bonus swag!
[EDITOR’S NOTE – The slogans made up by Egg Embry are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the creative abilities of the editorial staff of the ENnies Awards.]

What swag? Owen KC Stephens comes with an autographed Starfinder Core Rulebook (system premiering at Gen Con 50).

What is Gen Con? “The largest gaming convention in the world held annually in Indianapolis, Indiana.”

What are the ENnies? “The Gen Con EN World RPG Awards (the “ENnies“) are an annual fan-based celebration of excellence in tabletop roleplaying gaming. The ENnies give game designers, writers and artists the recognition they deserve. It is a peoples’ choice award, and the final winners are voted upon online by the gaming public.”

This year, the Mistress of Ceremonies for the ENnies is Stacy Dellorfano, one of the most prominent individuals in gaming and the founder of ConTessa.

What is a “wanna-lancer”? A tabletop RPG fan that wants to become a tabletop RPG freelancer (i.e., Egg Embry).

What are you getting yourself into by bidding on one of these dates? A cocktail reception, an awards ceremony, four-and-a-half-hours to pester your “date” for Gary Gygax stories, swag (some of which is highly sought after), and the chance to network with some of the largest tabletop RPG publishers and professionals in the gaming world. If you want to talk with Chaosium, Cubicle 7, Monte Cook Games, and Pelgrane Press, or gain industry insights from Sean Patrick FannonStacy Muth, and Owen KC Stephens, these are the wanna-lancer dream dates for you!

 

1) ENnies Dream Date for GenCon 50- Cubicle 7
Ends on Friday, 7/14 at 3:00PM EST

This year, the highest bidder will meet the staff of Cubicle 7.
If you win, you will meet up at the cocktail reception starting at 6:30pm and sit with them during the 2017 ENnie Awards ceremony taking place at Gen Con on Friday, August 18th, at 8:00pm in the Grand Ballroom of Union Station.
You will also receive their first three Adventures in Middle-earth books!

Why do I wanna date Cubicle 7

Publishers of:

  • The One Ring
  • Adventures in Middle-Earth [Tolkien’s world for 5e]
  • Doctor Who RPG
  • and more here

Egg’s Thoughts:

How much value is this? The cover price of “their first three Adventures in Middle-earth books” in US dollars is nearly $120. Until the eBay bids reach above that level, meeting the staff of Cubicle 7 is gravy. The books are almost – almost – the win. But keep in mind, meeting Cubicle 7 is going to be good gravy. Do you love Tolkien-based RPGs? Do you love games featuring The Doctor? Is this a no-brainer? Trust them. They’re The Doctors [of RPG].

You’ll be at the table with Cubicle 7 when they learn if they won ENnie Awards for:

Go here to bid on this ENnies Dream Date for GenCon 50- Cubicle 7

 

* * * * *

2) ENnies Dream Date for GenCon 50- Sean Patrick Fannon!
Ends on Friday, 7/14 at 3:00PM EST

This year, the highest bidder will meet Sean Patrick Fannon!
If you win, you will meet up at the cocktail reception starting at 6:30pm and sit with him during the 2017 ENnie Awards ceremony taking place at Gen Con on Friday, August 18th, at 8:00pm in the Grand Ballroom of Union Station.
You will also receive swag!

Why do I wanna attend the ENnies with Sean Patrick Fannon

Creator/contributor on:

  • Brand Manager for the Savage Rifts
  • Savage Worlds – Shaintar: Immortal Legends
  • Savage World – Primeval Thule (Thule is always near and dear to my wanna-lancer heart)
  • Star Wars RPG
  • and many more here

Egg’s Thoughts:

Sean Patrick Fannon has been making a living gaming for going on 20 years. He’s worked for, helped run, and created with a who’s who of the major players in the games industry. Based on the games he’s created, he knows how to make an engaging product for the whole table to play. Your bid lets you sit down with him and hear about his journey or pick his brain for more good game design tips than you could learn in a year of production.

You’ll be with Sean when he learns if Pinnacle Entertainment Group won ENnie Awards for:

Go here to bid on this ENnies Dream Date for GenCon 50- Sean Patrick Fannon!

UPDATED on 13:25 2017-07-11 – From Sean Patrick Fannon Facebook post: “Plus I promise good swag, even if it’s from my private stock.” To help make the ENnies a success, Sean is going above and beyond for this.

 

* * * * *

3) ENnies Dream Date for GenCon 50- Monte Cook Games!
Ends on Friday, 7/14 at 3:00PM EST

This year, the highest bidder will meet the design team of Monte Cook Games!
If you win, you will meet up at the cocktail reception starting at 6:30pm and sit with him during the 2017 ENnie Awards ceremony taking place at Gen Con on Friday, August 18th, at 8:00pm in the Grand Ballroom of Union Station.
You will also receive swag!

UPDATE: On Jul-11-17 at 11:57:25 PDT, seller added the following information:

We promise the Dream Date swag bag will contain really cool, high-end, one-of-a kind items.

Why do I wanna date Monte Cook Games

Publishers of:

  • Numenera
  • The Strange
  • The Cypher System Rulebook
  • No Thank You, Evil!

Egg’s Thoughts:

I really want to play No Thank You, Evil! for my EN World column about games for all ages. Also because I hear it is everything that is good in this world. If that makes it into the swag bag, so much the better! [Just putting that into the atmosphere… <wink, wink>]

If you win this auction, you’ll have a chance to politely inquire about Numenera or The Strange or Cypher System or game design or marketing or STUNNING art or what’s coming next? Do not miss this table!

You’ll be with Monte Cook Games when they learn if they won ENnie Awards for:

Go here to bid on this ENnies Dream Date for GenCon 50- Monte Cook Games!

 

* * * * *

4) ENnies Dream Date for GenCon 50- Owen KC Stephens!
Ends on Friday, 7/14 at 3:00PM EST

This year, the highest bidder will meet Owen KC Stephens!
If you win, you will meet up at the cocktail reception starting at 6:30pm and sit with him during the 2017 ENnie Awards ceremony taking place at Gen Con on Friday, August 18th, at 8:00pm in the Grand Ballroom of Union Station.
You will also receive:

  • a signed hardback copy of the Starfinder Roleplaying Game
  • the Starfinder GM Screen
  • the Starfinder Player Character Folio
  • the Starfinder Core Rulebook Pawn Collection

Why do I wanna attend the ENnies with Owen KC Stephens

Creator/contributor on:

  • Starfinder Design Lead
  • Developer at Paizo
  • Pathfinder Developer at Green Ronin Publishing

Egg’s Thoughts:

What comes with this “date” is just shy of $115 worth of Starfinder products. It’ll save you standing in line to get them, and I think that’s going to be a LONG line at Paizo’s booth. Why will it be a long line? Because Gen Con 50 is the launch of Paizo’s Starfinder. Those books are likely to be on many must-have lists. The debut is going to be the defining memory for many attendees of this convention. For one winning bidder, they’ll get to sit with the design lead for the system. That’s going to be its own story. “Yeah, at Gen Con 50 I got to attend the ENnies with Owen as Starfinder was dropping. Oh, let me tell you what happened…” and stories shall follow.

You’ll be with Owen when he learns if Paizo won an ENnie Award for:

Go here to bid on this ENnies Dream Date for GenCon 50- Owen KC Stephens!

 

* * * * *

5 and 6) ENnies Dream Date for GenCon 50- Table 1 of Pelgrane Press!
and ENnies Dream Date for GenCon 50- Table 2 of Pelgrane Press!
Ends on Friday, 7/14 at 3:00PM EST

This year, the highest bidder will meet the staff of Pelgrane Press and sit with them at [one of their two tables]!
If you win, you will meet up at the cocktail reception starting at 6:30pm and sit with him during the 2017 ENnie Awards ceremony taking place at Gen Con on Friday, August 18th, at 8:00pm in the Grand Ballroom of Union Station.
You will also receive  autographed copy of Cthulhu Confidential and a t-shirt!

Why do I wanna date Pelgrane Press

Publishers of:

  • 13th Age
  • The Yellow King [Currently wrecking Kickstarter]
  • Trail of Cthulhu
  • and many more here

Egg’s Thoughts:

Not to take away from Pelgrane’s other products, but The Yellow King is making itself known on Kickstarter. It’s doing impressive numbers! For the winning bidder for the Pelgrane dates (there’s two), they’ll get to sit down with the Pelgrane staff and find out more about that game as well as the rest of their catalog. I’m looking at you, 13th Age.

As an added bonus, Pelgrane Press is up for ENnie Awards for:

NOTE – There are two different opportunities to “date” the lovely Pelgrane Press staff!

Go here to bid on these ENnies Dream Date for GenCon 50- Table 1 of Pelgrane Press!
or ENnies Dream Date for GenCon 50- Table 2 of Pelgrane Press!

 

* * * * *

Russ Morrissey of EN World and the ENnies promises “some exciting new ENnies stage dressing!” Come see it!

7) ENnies Dream Date for GenCon 50- Ennies Judge and new Business Manager!
Ends on Friday, 7/14 at 3:00PM EST

This year, the highest bidder will meet Stacy Muth, our new business manager and one of our judges for 2016!
If you win, you will meet up at the cocktail reception starting at 6:30pm and sit with her during the 2017 ENnie Awards ceremony taking place at Gen Con on Friday, August 18th, at 8:00pm in the Grand Ballroom of Union Station.
You will also receive swag!

Why do I wanna attend the ENnies with Stacy Muth

Publisher and hosts of the ENnie Awards.

Egg’s Thoughts:

Do you want to be an ENnie’s judge? How is it done? How many games do you get handed to judge? What goes into the legwork of picking the award nominees? What’s the business side of awards like? Stacy will know.

Go here to bid on this ENnies Dream Date for GenCon 50- Ennies Judge and new Business Manager!

 

* * * * *

8) ENnies Dream Date for GenCon 50- Chaosium!
Ends on Friday, 7/14 at 3:00PM EST

This year, the highest bidder will meet the team of Chaosium!
If you win, you will meet up at the cocktail reception starting at 6:30pm and sit with her during the 2017 ENnie Awards ceremony taking place at Gen Con on Friday, August 18th, at 8:00pm in the Grand Ballroom of Union Station.
You will also receive swag!
Swag Will Be: In honor of Gen Cons’s 50th and to celebrate the 40-odd years Chaosium has had a booth at Gen Con, we offer up a nostalgic mix of old and new goodies from the vaults and also hot off the presses.

Included in your swag box will be:
1. Call of Cthulhu 7th edition slipcase set.
2. An additional CoC slipcase you can fill with any of our 7th edition releases of your choosing.
3. Chaosium “tuxedo” black t-shirt
4. Cthulhu for President Y2K Kit (1999)
5. Mint Copy of Lords of the Middle Sea (1978)

Why do I wanna date Chaosium?

Publisher of:

  • Call of Cthulhu
  • Runequest
  • Heroquest
  • and more here

Egg’s Thoughts:

Sanity check. The items they’re giving away are worth a pretty penny (several hundred dollars worth). I can’t predict the final bids but this auction may give you enough swag that meeting the Chaosium team is just a wonderful bonus. You’ll have enough Cthulhu product to make you something like a minor young one… right? Right? No? Ok…

Chaosium is up for 10 ENnie Awards. Between them walking up to get their awards, you can ask about Call of Cthulhu and RuneQuest and more. With this many awards, this is going to be an adrenaline rush of a night!

You’ll be at the table with Chaosium when they learn if they won ENnie Awards for:

Go here to bid on this ENnies Dream Date for GenCon 50- Chaosium!

 

* * * * *

 

So, what company or creator is your dream RPG date?

 

* * * * *

 

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:

Kickstarter RPG Reward Level: Validation – Chris Pramas of Green Ronin Publishing’s Thoughts on Breaking into the Game Industry

Chris Pramas of Green Ronin Publishing (publishers of Fantasy AGE, Mutants & Masterminds, A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying, and D&D 5e’s Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide among other role-playing products) wrote a post about how to break into the game industry. It is an excellent piece covering the practical ways to become a game designer. I recommend reading it for all of his thoughts.

Green Ronin Publishing Logo

Green Ronin Publishing Logo

Chris’ blog, falling at the end 2016, is an apt sounding board for a year-end review. For what my experiment – purchasing role-playing game writing opportunities via Kickstarter to build a resume and advance from RPG wanna-lancer to RPG freelancer – I want to compare the parts of his article that relate to my process as a gauge for how well I am doing.

Where is Chris Pramas at as 2016 closes? President of Green Ronin Publishing with a slew of games he’s designed and the awards to testify to their quality. He has two-plus-decades of experience seeing freelancers break into the game industry. With his position in the industry, his thoughts will make an excellent progress marker.

Where am I at the end of 2016? I’ve leveled from fan-with-a-plan to fan-acting-on-a-plan with a few pleasant RPG credits and I was invited to join this blog. With my day job and life leaving limited time to work on creative pursuits, I’ve enjoyed this year as I ramped up my skills and consistently met deadlines.

Let’s compare my plan to Chris’ suggestions. (All quotes are pulled from Chris Pramas’ article.)

Green Ronin Publishing - A Song of Ice and Fire

Green Ronin Publishing – A Song of Ice and Fire

Blogger

“[…] create a blog and write about games.”

I started buying vanity press RPG writing credits in mid-2015 and started blogging about the results fourteen months later. To spread out the blog’s content, I have not covered all of the writing opportunities I have bought to-date. At the close of 2016, I have 10 Kickstarter RPG writing credits (published or forthcoming), 1 RPG art credit, some RPG work-for-credits, 1 trip to Gen Con, and a comic book mini-series pitch approved. I’m not out of the wanna-lancer stage but I’m taking baby steps to get there. With content and a consistent theme for my blog, 2017 should be a good year in my journey to freelancer.

“This costs virtually nothing […] writing regularly is good practice.”

While blogging does cost “virtually nothing”, the route that I chose, buying RPG writing credits, does have a cost. Being financially invested heightens my interest in finding time to make this happen. It’s less about wouldn’t-it-be-nice and more about I-need-to-make-that-money-back.

The same thought process applies to regular blogging. Having a blog that runs two to three Tuesdays a month, while not a hard deadline, helps to build deadline “muscle memory”. It also makes the most of the money and time I’ve invested in these by turning each Kickstarter into a part of the narrative of my quest.

“[…] I suggest writing actual game content. […] pick a game or two that you like and start writing material for it. […] Design some monsters or magic items. Write a short adventure. Make some NPCs with adventure hooks. If you start creating useful content, you can develop a good reputation in the game’s community. This may eventually lead to freelance work.”

The beauty of buying a RPG writing assignment is being given a small, specific project to develop that you know will be published. As Chris suggests, I am developing a monster or a magic item or whatever the assignment is. However, instead of putting it onto the internet and hoping that gamers and publishers see it, I am putting these short projects into successfully crowdfunded RPGs that will be read by editors and fans. It is Chris’ advice turned up to 11.

Celltar Drumthunder. Art by Egg Embry

Celltar Drumthunder from Ember Design Studio’s Yrisa’s Nightmare and Rats in the Street. Art by Egg Embry

“At the very least you are developing a body of work that is easy to show off. If a developer asks you for a writing sample, you’ll have ready material for that.”

My plan has always been two birds with one Kickstarter pledge. Bird one is, of course, the writing and credits themselves. The opportunity to be handed an assignment from a publisher, work for them, get published, and, hopefully, open a door to become a RPG freelancer. As Chris suggests, I have submitted my published work as writing samples. Bird two is to blog about the experience and build interest with gamers for the product I’m in and the work I’ve contributed to it.

“Writing reviews can also be useful. It can show that you can think critically about games. Checking out a wide variety of game material is never wasted time either.”

Writing about the purchase and the creation process means, in a limited way, I get to review the product that I was in. With respect to these reviews, since I am not an unbiased observer, I don’t do an in-depth discussion. But, these blogs are a chance to bring up the product and cast a new perspective on it with some minor production information.

Some of the RPG assignments are for systems that I have limited experience with. My comfort zone is Dungeons & Dragons 5e. But, through purchasing assignments, I’ve added development work in Pathfinder, W.O.I.N., Call of Cthuhlu 7e, and touched on Castles & Crusaders. Doing this has exposed me to a growing list of game material, lockstep with the suggestion from the President of Green Ronin Publishing.

Green Ronin Publishing - Mutants & Masterminds

Green Ronin Publishing – Mutants & Masterminds

Freelancer

“[…] I’ve mentioned a couple of ways to break into freelancing already but there are others. Some companies do open calls from time to time. You will end up in a big slush pile but it’s a chance at least.”

In the year and a half I’ve been experimenting with this, I’ve only submitted for one RPG freelance assignment and that was under a month ago. Why did I wait this long?

  • It’s easier to buy an opportunity because, through the logic of commerce, they have to work with you because they took your money. For freelancing, the reverse is true – You have to work with them if you want their money. That means their schedule, their style, their notes, their way. I want to make sure I’m ready to follow other people’s rules before I raise my hand.
  • It seemed almost pointless to cold submit for projects with no resume. With no prior experience, I expect it would be a long while before anyone takes a chance on me. Now, I have some entries which have led to intern-esque opportunities.
  • I mention time a lot because I have very little of it that I can spend in front of a computer writing. That situation has improved recently so it is time to try these type of opportunities.

“You’ll also find game design competitions out there. You may not win—you probably won’t, in fact—but good work can get you noticed and may result in freelance opportunities. Once you get a gig, the most important thing to do is hit your deadline. If your developer asks for revisions, do them in a timeline fashion. It is better to do solid work on time than produce something of sheer genius months late.”

Through the Kickstarter for Kobold Press’ Tome of Beasts for 5e, about 100 backers and I submitted monsters for consideration in their book. Twenty were selected. Mine was not one of the selected entrants. However, I did get quality feedback from Wolfgang Baur and Dan Dillon on the design that improved the monster. Dan shared that mine was in contention for one of the final two slots (as were about 20 others). I lost but, based on their thoughts, I was not hopeless. Taking their advice, next time I’ll have a better idea of what to do.

Green Ronin Publishing - Fantasy Age

Green Ronin Publishing – Fantasy Age

Publisher

“[…] The biggest game changer though is crowdfunding. […] I’ll just note here that sites like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo make it possible for game companies to overcome the biggest hurdle most of them face: funding. […] Just do your homework before trying your first crowdfunding campaign. There is much to absorb about the process and the best practices of crowdfunding […]”

While I’m not racing to be a publisher, what I am doing would not be possible without crowdfunding and their decision to offer writing opportunities as rewards. Without those two things, I do not believe I would have a path to become a freelancer.

* * *

I only touched on some of Chris Pramas’ article. But based on it, I’m doing a number of the right things and I’m doing them my way. 2016 has been a successful year in terms of dipping my toe into the game industry. As I head into 2017, I have more products coming out and other irons in the fire. I am ready to make 2017 the Year of the Wanna-lancer!

* * *

I want to thank my gaming buddy, Sir Leland Beauchamp, for sharing Chris’ article with me. And Chris Pramas for sharing his insights with the world.

As the year closes, I want to thank Erica and our nieces and nephews for making every day worth living, my parents for their spirit of independence, the members of the Tessera Guild for letting me play in their sandbox, Michael Phillips at Midcity Comics for all of the good conversation and motivation, all of the RPG publishers that I have had the privilege to work with and all of the wonderful content that they’ve produced, and Michael Bugg‘s RPG group that keeps me in-character. Without each of you, 2016 would not have been a success for me.

* * *

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer

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:

  • Sasquatch Game Studio’s Primeval Thule for 5e (2015) available at DriveThruRPG.com
  • Ember Design Studios’ Yrisa’s Nightmare for 5e and Pathfinder available at DriveThurRPG.com
  • Ember Design Studios’ Rats in the Street for 5e and Pathfinder available at DriveThurRPG.com

Kickstart the Character – Creation Process of Kaiya Blackmoore

It’s not just my fellow guildmate, Egg Embry, who has dabbled his toes into the Roleplaying Kickstarters. I have kicked in for a couple, here and there. Sometimes it was because of the game, sometimes because of the creators, and sometimes just because.

However, it wasn’t until Egg presented me with a fairly unique Christmas present last year that I ever got to participate in the creation side of the process. As he alluded to in his post “Kickstarter Reward Level: Vanity Press – Yrisa’s Nightmare and Rats in the Street“, myself, Egg, and our friend Leland all had the opportunity to come up with a trio of characters that would appear in Yrisa’s Nightmare.

Yrisa's Nightmare.

Yrisa’s Nightmare.

One of the things you tend to do when you roleplay, no matter the system, is create characters. Obviously you create the ones you are going to actually play, and then after you get them going you think of about 100 more that might be cool to play. I have folders upstairs of all the characters I’ve ever played in a game, but lost to time are the others who might have had backstories or perhaps some were just a collection of stats, never to see the light of day past some random afternoon or evening.

I like to think that this bit of daydreaming has come in handy for writing fiction. Novels normally have need of tons of characters – each the hero of their own stories. Perhaps some of those lazy Sunday D&D characters have gone onto a second life within some story without me even realizing it.

This was a little different, as this would be a character who needed to “fit” into the world Lucas Curell had created. And while it wasn’t stated anywhere that the three characters needed to be tied to each other, we felt like it might act as a cool Easter Egg for anyone reading the adventure.

***

Egg actually had his character, Celltar Drumthunder, mocked up by the time Leland and I came onboard. Here was a good-looking guy who travels from town to town playing his music wherever he can find a tavern with attentive patrons (or at least the kind who might part with some hard-earned coin). Of course, he repays their kindness by allowing them to invite him into their homes where he generally takes their most valuable of possessions. Through some form of magic, the people only realize it is gone, and not that Celltar might have taken it.

It was Leland who thought “I think it would be neat to brainstorm a connection between them, then make the character. If they blend together, it would add story.”

Would they be a gang? Or…

“One could be a bounty hunter looking for someone who is stealing these heirlooms.”

But then…

“Or maybe the lost love who is still under the spell.”

There was Kaiya right there. I took the lead on her character. Then a little later the thought of a Wererat was mentioned who would become “Sully” took shape (who Leland wrote up). And it was really there that the connection made some sense and how they tied together made some level of sense. The key points and connections were:

Sully:

A noble who was going to marry a noble woman.

He was cursed at their engagement by a thief.

Possibly mention he’s hiding from his ex-bride.

Celltar:

Cursed a noble at his engagement party.

Tried to use a spell to marry a noble woman.

Kaiya:

First groom was cursed, and they did not marry.

Almost wed to a bard who put a spell on her.

Rats in the Street. Featuring Wererats.

Rats in the Street. Featuring Wererats.

Now there was some concern that these types of connections might not work for Lucas. Perhaps it might be too overt. Maybe it just couldn’t fit in the world he was trying to craft. Heck, maybe we were trying too hard to put our own spin on these characters and doing the “group thing” was not a great idea. Still, we decided to work them up.

Worst case, we thought, we could use these characters for something else on our own.

The great thing about working with others on any kind of story/character/fiction is that you have someone to bounce ideas off of. People who can see something slightly different from you are able to do. And last, but not least, is that you have built-in editors to help make sure you’re not misspelling every other word. What followed was a series of back and forths among the three of us as we worked up a first draft, then a second, and then a final draft in a format Lucas was looking for.

Appearance – This is not only their physical appearance, but also trying to convey some level of insight into their actions. Sully might have been a “lost soul”, but he still held himself in a “regal manner”.

Personality – I’d say this one probably ties most to the actual roleplaying of the character by the Game Master. Celltar was “certain that the world owes him”. “Lazy, liar, and showman.”

Goals – These felt like something which would boil our characters down to their basic instincts. What did they want to do? And maybe how would they get there? To transform into someone they always wished to be. To restore themselves. To get through life as easy as possible.

Hobby – This was as simple as “drinking” or losing themselves in research.

In Yroden (where we lay our tale) – Here was our thoughts on how and why the character might be in Yroden (and thus how they might tie into the actual adventure). This was really the crux of the character and really would determine whether or not the character(s) would end up being used.

Now done, we sent it off and waited…

When Lucas responded he said he loved the interplay between them, but had a twist in mind for using them. Kaiya would actually appear in Yrisa’s Nightmare where the other two would get referenced. However, Sully and Celltar would get their proper appearance in the companion adventure Rats in the Street – especially since that one featured a gang of wererats.

kaiya-blackmoore

From the City of Brass Character Entry for Kaiya Blackmoore

***

And that, as they say, was that. The characters appeared in their respective stories, and my own hope is that some Game Master out there has not only spotted the connection, but worked it into his own story. Maybe Kaiya is out there helping fight wererats alongside some adventurers. Maybe Celltar has finally found the wrong person to charm. Maybe Sully has found a cure after all.

Maybe…

***

Kickstarter information:

Yrisa’s Nightmare, an RPG adventure for Pathfinder and 5e by Ember Design Studios
Raised $2,680 starting November 13th, 2015

If getting a NPC into an adventure is on your Christmas 2016 wish list, Ember Design Studios is running another Kickstarter and is offering two options to get your sailor NPC into the mix (see the 6th update on the Kickstarter). Sunken Temple, an RPG adventure for 5e, Pathfinder, & WOIN by Ember Design Studios
Raised to-date (this Kickstarter is still going at the time of this writing) $5,431 starting November 18th, 2016

sunken-temple

***

John McGuire

John McGuire is the author of the supernatural thriller The Dark That Follows, the steampunk comic The Gilded Age, and the novella There’s Something About Mac through the Amazon Kindle Worlds program.

His second novel, Hollow Empire, is now complete. The first episode is now FREE!

He also has a short story in the Beyond the Gate anthology, which is free on most platforms!

And has two shorts in the Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows anthology! Check it out!

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

Kickstarter RPG Reward Level: Vanity Press – Yrisa’s Nightmare and Rats in the Streets

“If I buy my way into RPG freelancing, will I ever be taken seriously?”

To obtain a job and be successful at it, generally, you need the applicable skills for that profession and you have to prove you possess said skills. I want to move from a role-playing game wanna-lancer to a freelance writer. My proof that I have those skills involves buying writing credits in RPGs via Kickstarter. Stocking my resume with vanity press entries. But if my resume is all vanity press, will that make me a laughing stock instead of someone to take stock in?

 

-=-=-=-=-=-=-

 

Yrisa's Nightmare.

Yrisa’s Nightmare.

Before I dive too far into these thoughts, let’s touch on how the Kickstarter vanity press idea works? Some RPG Kickstarters offer rewards that let you submit content to their game. They offer an opportunity to write and you pay them for the opportunity.

Due to my schedule, this is ideal. It lets me write something with a low word count, typically a few hundred words like an adventure hook, a NPC, a location seed, a monster, or a magic item that will be printed and credited to me.

This is my journey to freelancer and it starts with selecting the Kickstarter RPG Reward Level: Vanity Press.

 

-=-=-=-=-=-=-

 

For my first purchase, I participated in Sasquatch Game Studio’s Primeval Thule for 5e where I provided a location seed in their campaign setting. Another opportunity that presented itself was Ember Design Studios’ Kickstarter for Yrisa’s Nightmare and Rats in the Street.

Yrisa’s Nightmare, an RPG adventure for Pathfinder and 5e by Ember Design Studios

Yrisa’s Nightmare is a supernatural mystery set in a viking fort town. Your characters arrive, supernatural attacks happen to them and those around the settlement, and your party either uncovers why these attacks are happening or they don’t get to leave. Ever.

Rats in the Street. Featuring Wererats.

Rats in the Street. Featuring Wererats.

Rats in the Street (5e) by Ember Design Studios

Rats in the Street is a city adventure in the same world as Yrisa’s Nightmare. This time, you’re facing a gang of wererat thieves and you have to piece together the clues to stop them.

Launched in November, 2015, both adventures come from Lucas Curell the creator of the online RPG tool, City of Brass. The concept – viking mysteries – interested me but I collect Kickstarter writing credits. To get my $75 they needed something extra on top of:

  • Print and PDF copies of Yrisa’s Nightmare for either Pathfinder or 5e – $25 via Kickstarter / $25.53 (taxes and shipping to me) via DriveThruRPG.com
  • PDF copy of The Song of Aracos for 5e – Kickstarter Bonus / $4.95 via DMsGuild.com
  • PDF copy of Rats in the Streets for either Pathfinder or 5e – $5 via Kickstarter / $4.95 via DriveThruRPG.com

That extra sauce that captured my wallet was the:

  • World Builder add-on – “Work with [Lucas Curell] to create an interesting NPC for the village of Yroden or nearby countryside.
    Remember, Yroden will be released using a CC BY-SA 4.0 license so only select this option if your comfortable with that. These characters will all be included in the web supplement, and in the finished adventure.”
  • Vanity press upcharge – $15 x 3 = $45
Celltar Drumthunder. Art by Egg Embry

Celltar Drumthunder. Art by Egg Embry

The opportunity to create an NPC expanded my resume from just a location seed to a character. I bought the ability to create three NPCs for Yrisa’s Nightmare. It was just before Christmas 2015 and these seemed like fun gifts for my RPG buddies, John “Cursed Sword” McGuire and Sir Leland Beauchamp. What did we do with three NPCs? We alluded to a shared history through them.

Lucas picked up on the shared backstory and saw a clever way to use the characters. He put Kaiya Blackmoore as an important NPC in Yrisa’s Nightmare. In that adventure, Sully and Celltar Drumthunder appear as part of the supernatural effects that drive the tale. In Rats in the Street, Sully and Celltar take on some of the larger NPC roles within the adventure. The characters unite these adventures through their shared easter egg (no pun intended) backstory.

 

-=-=-=-=-=-=-

 

UPDATE – 2016-12-07 – John McGuire did a write up of his character and the process here.

 

-=-=-=-=-=-=-

 

City of Brass

City of Brass

Credit where credit is due. Lucas took these characters, saw their backstory and potential within his world, and wove them into the fabric of his tales in Yrisa’s Nightmare and Rats in the Street. The steps to bring this to life – pay, bat ideas between John and Leland, write, draw, submit, read, smile – were all easier than I could have asked for. These adventures have been delivered and enjoyed. Vanity press RPG writer’s credit number two and RPG art credit number one complete! On to number three…

 

-=-=-=-=-=-=-

 

To my initial question, will I be taken seriously if my resume is all vanity press Kickstarter rewards? It was a worry. Then Sir Leland* and I went to Gen Con 2016, my first Gen Con. There we had the opportunity to meet Lucas and play through another adventure he created,  Bella’s Yarn (5e), another excellent adventure. I really liked playing mideval detective to solve that mystery. For his part, Lucas was awesome. Instead of treating me like a joke because I am trying to buy my way through the door he was happy to talk gaming, and Kickstarters, and RPG websites. He treated me like a welcome addition to the community. It cured my concern.

Will I be judged for my start in the industry? Likely. Will that be the end of my quest? No.

*The “Sir Leland” reference is because my buddy’s name is Leland Beauchamp – Amanda, Jeremy, John, Chad, Robert, the whole Tessera Guild, we all know Lee – anyways, in high school, he named his D&D knight, Sir Leland. Could you imagine if I tried that? Ser Egg. Only George RR Martin could pull that off…

 

-=-=-=-=-=-=-

 

Sample NPCs from Yrisa's Nightmare.

Sample NPCs from Yrisa’s Nightmare.

Kickstarter information:

Yrisa’s Nightmare, an RPG adventure for Pathfinder and 5e by Ember Design Studios
Raised $2,680 starting November 13th, 2015

If getting a NPC into an adventure is on your Christmas 2016 wish list, Ember Design Studios is running another Kickstarter and is offering two options to get your sailor NPC into the mix (see the 6th update on the Kickstarter). Sunken Temple, an RPG adventure for 5e, Pathfinder, & WOIN by Ember Design Studios
Raised to-date (this Kickstarter is still going at the time of this writing) $4,273 starting November 18th, 2016

 

***

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer

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:

 

  • Sasquatch Game Studio’s Primeval Thule for 5e (2015) available at DriveThruRPG.com
  • Ember Design Studios’ Yrisa’s Nightmare for 5e and Pathfinder available at DriveThurRPG.com
  • Ember Design Studios’ Rats in the Street for 5e and Pathfinder available at DriveThurRPG.com