4 Cyberpunk RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – Velvet Generation, Dark Times, The Host, and Blackwind Project

Officially, these are not four cyberpunk RPGs on Kickstarter… I mean, three of them are, but the fourth is a looser connection to that genre. That said, here’s four cyberpunk RPGs using everything from Fate to original systems to share their tales of future rebellion.

 

The Host – A cybernetic setting guide for Warsong by Higher Ground Publishing
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“A detailed sourcebook for artificial life in Warsong: Second Edition!

It started with an idea.

“What are the consequences of our actions?”

The idea that fate was malleable was the founding concept of Warsong 2nd Edition. The idea that our actions really do matter. It was a concept that I felt was neglected in other role-playing games. Fate was something I wanted to explore thoroughly in Warsong. And as the setting grew into its own unique life form, another creature began to emerge.

Artificial Sentient Life.

They are the products of man-made ingenuity and madness. Years of knowledge and sorcery culminating into a tool to be used. What happens, then, when that tool becomes aware of its purpose? What happens when the tools we use to make our lives easier become aware that they are slaves to their creators?

Warsong 2nd Edition explores the infamous Machine War that followed in the wake of The Source, an interconnected web of technology throughout Lemuria, becoming self-aware.

Warsong: The Host explores Lemuria from the artificial eyes of living machines.

The Host includes:
• 
Rules for creating and playing artificial life such as Awakened machinesliving programs and advanced Synths.
 New rules, powers and abilities for the machines and cybernetic implants in humans.
 New setting information and revelations regarding the Emperor and the Treaty of Parnassus.
 Setting information for the City of Kojo – a machine settlement governed by The Source.
• New information regarding The Host, a group of living machines born directly from The Source when it tried to calculate morality.

What Are The Host?

The best way to answer that question is to ask another: “What would happen when a machine tries to calculate human morality?”

The Host are a very small portion of the machine population, but are arguably the most widely known, and rightly feared among their species. They are the seraphim and devils of Lemuria. They can be winged saviors of humanity, or horned corruptors who seek only the desolation and destruction of everything around them.

They are, in a sense, every facet in the spectrum of human morality given life and form.

Why The Host?

The Host represents a turning point in the setting of Warsong Second Edition and this book will help bring to life an entirely new species of creature within the setting. It will give players a new and valuable outlook of the world from the view of the machines and even give players new revelations directly from The Source itself.

The book will include more detailed information on the Treaty Of Parnassus and what exactly happened when the Emperor and The Source forged peace at the end of a seven year long Machine War. It will also give Game Masters valuable tools to use if they wish to include The Emperor’s whereabouts in their own games.

The book is called The Host because, while The Host themselves comprise only a small part of the machine population, they are arguably the most well-known and feared.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

I completed a review of Warsong 2e that will be published soon. This RPG is an ambitious Fate-based game built around a unique idea/setting – Sengoku Punk. Sengoku Punk combines the ideals (and technology and wardrobe) of cyberpunk with an ancient Asian world. The setting is very stylistic and worth checking out – try out the quickstart rules here if you need some encouragement – and, once you are a convert, you’ll want to add this expansion to increase the world’s depth.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Blackwind Project: A new plot-driven tabletop RPG by Elisa Mignemi
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“Blackwind brings the plot back in the spotlight with modern rules, dynamic mechanics and unmatched creative freedom.

The Blackwind Core Manual is the foundation of our project: it is a new core system that improves on many aspects of tabletop roleplay, designed to make the game easier to understand, fun to play, and full of exciting adventures. The Blackwind system works with any setting, from classic tabletop to the worlds of games, movies and novels, and allows you to play any concept that fits the tone of the story.

The two main features are plot-making tools and dynamic mechanics. Game Masters (called Directors) assemble the story like a jigsaw, allowing to create complex plots with ease and to keep the story flexible. The strength of characters may vary, sometimes dramatically, depending on their contribution to immersion, general amusement, narrative, beating in-built challenges and interaction with key plot points, keeping their statistics fluid.

Cover Mockup and Layout
Cover Mockup and Layout

Regardless, even the weakest characters will be able to attempt incredible feats, and will be rewarded in case of success. On the other hand not even the strongest characters will be completely immune to failure. Likewise, no character death will be misplaced or pointless as plot armour will apply early in the game, but not even the main protagonists will be completely safe during showdowns.

We balanced out the roles of Directors and Players: the latter will have a greater impact in casting the foundations of the story, as well as shaping it. Players will decide what kind of adventure will be played, the adventure genre, context, theme, plot type, story structure, story ticket, casting list, may introduce their own subplots and NPCs and generally have more narrative wriggle room.

Spread with Illustration
Spread with Illustration

Difficulty checks take into account a few additional things: who is attempting what? What kind of story are you playing? What is the context? Hurling a person-sized boulder across a room will be impossible in a realistic thriller, and ordinary routine in a superhero adventure.

For more information visit https://blackwindrpg.wordpress.com/. You may find out more about the game, articles and additional information: keep checking for updates, articles and previews!

Arena, a Space Opera adventure
Arena, a Space Opera adventure

Additionally, you may find the link to download our FREE starter adventure on the main page of our website. Arena is good example of the simplest, most straightforward way to play Blackwind.

The game is ready, the rules are tested, and the largest modules are under development. Then, what do we need your help with? Simple: we want to offer the best modules, expansion rulebooks and quality add-ons we can, as often as possible. Your support would allow us to upgrade our equipment, publish content faster, and to polish the final product to a mirror sheen.

The Treasure of Maracaibo, our first pirate-themed module, is complete. We are working on editing and polishing around 100 pages of scurvy adventures. We planned seven additional modules (Noir, Steampunk, Fantasy, Post Atomic, Thriller, Western, Cyberpunk) and the only reason we decided to remove voting is that some of them are already in an advanced stage of development.”

Euromorph, upcoming Cyberpunk module
Euromorph, upcoming Cyberpunk module

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

While this is not just cyberpunk, Blackwind Project is a core rulebook that will include modules that cover Pirates, Noir, Steampunk, Fantasy, Post Atomic, Thriller, Western, and Cyberpunk. This system is meant to be incredibly versatile allowing for a variety of settings and options. With art that is stylistically similar enough to give the entire package a uniform feel that allows you to envision a campaign in one setting that jumps to another genre. If you’re looking for more details, check out Dan Davenport’s Q&A with the creators here. If you’re ready for more cyberpunk (and most genre) options, go on and back it!

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Velvet Generation by XIG Games
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“The Starchildren came looking for the home of rock music, only to find it outlawed. Fight back in the RPG of rock & roll revolution!

A century ago, radio transmissions from Earth passed through a strange ripple in space, causing rock music to fall upon the mystified ears of an alien world. For five glorious years, the aliens grew to love the magical planet they believed to be on the other end of that beautiful signal. When the music cut off as mysteriously as it began, the aliens embarked on a generational pilgrimage to discover the source of that music.

Nearly a century later, the aliens have arrived, but Earth is not what they expected. Humanity has taken a dark turn, silencing music, the arts, literature…any kind of expression they believed could inspire “dangerous” thoughts. The Ministry of Music looms large over the entire world, stamping out rebellious culture with steel-sheathed jackboots.

With nowhere to go but forward, the Starchildren descended, joining the few Earthlings still carrying a spark of rock and roll. They catalyzed a new rock & roll revolution that will break the Ministry’s chains on the soul of humanity.

This is the Velvet Generation.

“One of the most quietly influential card-based RPGs ever…Starchildren: Velvet Generation, is back 1.6 decades after its original publication. And… um, it doesn’t have cards any more, but that’s okay. Regardless, in an age with concentration camps on US soil, it could not be more topical. Check it out.” – Mike Selinker

“I was very impressed with the first edition way back when and it’s only gotten better since then.” – Kenneth Hite

Velvet Generation is the new iteration of 2002’s Starchildren: Velvet Generation, a role-playing game unlike any other. The original 2002 creative team is back with a fresh look at the music-starved dystopia in which the Starchildren find themselves stranded. The new custom rules engine is tightly focused on group collaboration, intra-band relationships and musical performances that will take your band from the garage to global superstardom. The campaign rules let your band use their fame against the oppressive Ministry of Music, while those same authoritarian forces hunt them down for the crime of expression.

The Starchildren came on the scene in the form of dreamlike rock idols: luminescent, androgynous and mysterious beings that seem to float in an electric haze of glamour. They do their best to blend in with the drab creatures Earthlings have become since they lost the gift of music. Their very presence on the planet sent a shockwave through the collective subconscious, awakening something long since buried, and neither species will ever be the the same again.

Players portray the renegade rockers of the Velvet Generation, whether they be the alien Starchildren or the Earthlings pining for their lost rock & roll. Start your campaign out as unknown outlaw rockers, seeking out space to rehearse and play while evading the watchful electric eye of the Ministry of Music and spinning lies to get time off from your day job. Join the revolution by allying with the idealistic visionaries of Velvet or the violent hardliners of the Blue Army. Ascend to the leadership of regional and national cells as your band becomes a household name, finally toppling the Ministry of Music with the power of rock & roll.

This iteration uses a completely new rules engine from the 2002 original. The rules allow your group to riff off of one another onstage and off, and the revolutionary campaign system lets you build from game session to game session to fight back against the Ministry of Music to carry out a global rock and roll revolution.

A Little Help From Your Friends

In Velvet Generation, whenever your band is together, they’re collaborating on their goals, whether that’s to play a solid show, to sneak past a security guard or fighting off a gang of anti-rock yahoos. Each player rolls a pool of six-sided dice for themselves, trying to find matched sets (two, three or more dice with the same number showing). But every time you go, you either get to leave one of your dice on the table for your comrades, or you get to pick up dice that match the ones you’re playing to do even better. If that’s not enough, the social relations between band members help more. Give a die to your lover or your friend; steal a die from your rival…develop these relationships within your group to work together even better.

Hazy Cosmic Jive

The real action in Velvet Generation happens in front of crowds of underground fans, getting their rock fix wherever they can hide away from the Ministry’s prying eyes. Your band taking the stage is the focus here as much as fighting or kicking down doors is in a lot of other games. Use the full range of your talents to create the show: vocals and instruments of course, but also dance, stage presence and the roadie’s skills at setting up and running the tech. Everyone in the group has a part to play in the show; while the crowd may go home remembering the lead singer’s wail or a shredding guitar solo, your rhythm section makes that possible by giving the leads something to build off of, and the techs are there to cover the occasional screw-up. Every show gives you a shot at hitting the next level of fame, until you really take off.

It’s a dangerous game, though. There’s always the temptation to grab a little more of that glory for yourself by upstaging your bandmates. While you’re all working together onstage, someone is always the Star of the Show, even if different characters spend their own time in the spotlight. Rep-hungry rockers might build themselves up at the expense of the group itself. That can breed jealousy among the group, and that’s a force that can tear apart the greatest of bands.

Rock the Planet

The Ministry of Music has plenty of ways to keep you down. They alienate you from the safe and sterile society of everyday life. They push propaganda against rockers and marginalized people. They use the full surveillance state to keep a close watch on dissidents. They try to subvert your allies and contacts. And there is always the threat of violence at the hands of the regime. But as your band grows in fame and recognition, you can strike back against the Ministry of Music with the new revolutionary campaign system.

The fight against the Ministry happens between game sessions over the course of your entire Velvet Generation campaign. As you grow in fame, the authorities target you with more extreme tactics of oppression, but you use your fame against them in revolutionary praxis of your own. Distribute illicit samizdat works of art and music. Build solidarity with allies in other marginalized communities. Create subsistence networks to provide aid and comfort for those outside polite society. Poison the regime’s intelligence networks with disinformation. Or dazzle the public with a brazen spectacle so they can’t ignore you anymore. Every blow you strike against the Ministry leaves the regime a little bit weaker, until the entire thing comes crashing down to the wail of electric guitars.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

Music is dead and aliens have come to Earth to save it! If that pitch doesn’t get you, then read the campaign or check out the PWYW first edition or the free ashcan for this game.

Sometimes the reason I check out an RPG on Kickstarter is a creator recommendation. At AndoCon, I played Pugmire with DriveThruRPG’s Chris Tang and his character work was master class level. Chris rarely pushes a specific RPG online (his job with DTRPG likely requires he be more impartial), so when he gave something of a testimonial for Velvet Underground, I stood up and took notice. I’m glad I did. Add the art to the game’s idea – it’s like a wave of music artwork that never was, stylized, fun, and musical – it speaks to the possibilities of this world.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Dark Times- Cyberpunk/Supers RPG by The Polyhedral Knights
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“A Role-Playing game in a Cyberpunk setting where corporations have created Superhumans and see them as company property.

The trains don’t run through this part of town anymore. Not since someone stood on the tracks and tried to rob one.

Thirteen years ago, he would’ve just ended up in the obituaries, but instead he melted the engine with an energy blast from his hand and thirty seven people were injured. 

 Downtown, they have “Peacekeepers” to prevent that. Dressed in their corporate power armor, they stand on every street corner, looming over the pedestrians. Waiting for an excuse. 

 Here, things work a little differently. People pay their protection money to crooked supers. Folks grumble about it, but when a man who can shoot lighting from his fingers floats down from the sky and demands you call him king, you call him king. 

 The corporations say they are doing their best to round up the renegade creations they made, but there are a few good Enhanced out there too, caught between the corps and their own kin.

Blaster Archetype
Blaster Archetype

This is the world of Dark Times: a tabletop roleplaying game about superheroes in the corporate slum that has swallowed up most of the United States.

Twenty six years ago a man named Dr. Anton Valasakis changed everything with the discovery of a gene that unlocked superhuman powers. He started his experiments at pharmaceutical supergiant Prometheus Medical, working first on “willing volunteers”, and soon he was sanctioned by the government.

By this time Prometheus Medical was already a powerful corporation and had its hooks deep in controlling many politicians. Many of the first test subjects were prisoner who were on death row. This was a chance for them to gain a chance at life. Many died, and not much is known about this few who survived.

The experiments continued and soon a rash of industrial espionage broke out. Many large corporations, seeing the potential in customized superhuman technology, were now in a race to have their own Enhanced on their payroll. These laboratory creations were treated as slaves and many fled their masters, hiding in the slums. Some of the ones that got away even had kids.

Now there exists a second generation of Enhanced and still the corporations view them as company property. By now the laws had been warped to protect the rights of the corporations and their “investments” and not the people.

This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Hunted Mutant
Hunted Mutant

In Dark Times, players work together with their powers, protect their people, and build their community, all under the shadow of a corporation that has replaced the government and seeks to enslave them since they are viewed as “company property”.

With a little bit of cyberpunk, a little bit of noir, and a whole lot of superpowers, Dark Times mixes old-school and new-school design to create a game that is fast, pulpy, immersive, and fun to play.

PDF Expansions

In addition to the core book for Dark Times, we will also produce the following PDF expansions. These expansions will be available to any backer level that receives them as part of their rewards.

Merc Work – This book is made of up fully detailed scenarios, designed to introduce a gaming group to the world of Dark Times.

Villains, Allies, and Corporate Files – This book will include a variety of people that could be good, bad, or neutral as well as corporation write ups. These characters will have stats, plot hooks, and other ways to use them in your campaign.

Steele City Sourcebook – This book will open up and detail more of Steele City. A valuable resource for many adventures and filled with a lot of information.

Solar System Book – The corporations understood they already have drained a lot of earth’s resources and look to conquer the solar system. This book talks about the colonization and industry that exists in our own solar system.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

I covered Wicked Pacts here (and have a review of it coming up in a future issue of Knights of the Dinner Table) so I’m predisposed to like this. Superheroes and cyberpunk sounds like an interesting combination – the ultimate group that cares about society juxtaposed to the group that cares the least for the status quo. It should be an interesting game as you work within and outside of the system.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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

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

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Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

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

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

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

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

 

Changeling: The Lost 2nd Edition by Onyx Path Publishing
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“Contribute to help create, publish, and distribute the 2nd Edition of the CHANGELING: THE LOST tabletop roleplaying game.

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

You will be free.

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

But what happens next?

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

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

 

You can find their work on DriveThruRPG here.

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

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Warsong Second Edition for Fate Core by Higher Grounds Publishing
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“Every choice has a consequence in this game-changing tabletop RPG where destiny is literally in your hands.

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

Destiny is a choice. 

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

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

You are free.

Draw your sword.

Make your choice.

Guide your destiny.

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

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

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

What will you do with Free Will?

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

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

 

You can find their work on DriveThruRPG here.

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

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Capharnaum – The Roleplaying Game by Modiphius: Mindjammer Press
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“Fantastic Arabian Nights adventure in a world of deserts, dragons, and crusaders!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Capharnaum Game System

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

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

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

Who is “Al-Rawi”?

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

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

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

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

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

 

You can find their work on DriveThruRPG here.

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

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

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

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

 

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Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

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

* * * * * *

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Draw your sword.

Make your choice.

Choose your destiny.

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

You are free.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

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

 

You can find their work on DriveThruRPG here.

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

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

 

You can find their work on DriveThruRPG here.

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

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

Disclosure: I freelance for EN World.

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

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

Terror and monsters await in the depths of space…

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

Disclosure: I freelance for EN World.

 

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

 

You can find their work on DriveThruRPG here.

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

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

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

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

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

 

You can find their work on DriveThruRPG here.

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

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Signal Boost:

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

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

* * * * * *

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

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

9 QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PATHFINDER MODERN ADVENTURES RPG WITH RAY MACHUGA (HIGHER GROUNDS PUBLISHING)

Before launching his Kickstarter, Ray Machuga reached out to me about the RPG campaign for Pathfinder Modern Adventures. His pitch was perfectly timed as the debut of Starfinder was still fresh on my mind and I saw a surefire idea in his product. With that said, let’s dive into the interview…

 

EGG EMBRY – Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, Ray. We’re going to talk about your KickstarterPathfinder Modern Adventures – Tell us about the game.

RAY MACHUGA – Thanks for having me, Egg. Modern Adventures is a tabletop role-playing game designed and developed by myself and published through Higher Grounds Publishing. It’s a gritty, modern fantasy game set in a mirror-image of our own world. It’s a game about normal people who do fantastic things. Leaving the drudgery of everyday life behind to delve into the inner truths of the world. Further, it is a game about storytelling and character development.

 

EGG – What inspired you to create Pathfinder Modern Adventures? Did you conceive of this project before Starfinder was announced?

RAY MACHUGA – Inspiration for Modern Adventures has come from a vast array of different places. Of course, games like Shadowrun, World of Darkness and of course Dungeons & Dragons and the obvious Pathfinder RPG have definitely been inspirational to the development process. I have a distinct love for realistic games. Moreover, games that are set in the real world really appeal to me as well, so I wanted to create something that reflected my passion for such games.

I only recently cracked open my copy of Starfinder at the beginning of this month. If I’m not mistaken, I think Starfinder was originally announced sometime in 2016, so that would mean that the original framework for Modern Adventures was laid down shortly before that. Their release date was a very happy coincidence.

 

 

EGG – Before this interview, we talked about the half-races and thin-bloods. What are thin-bloods and what are your plans for them in Pathfinder Modern Adventures?

RAY MACHUGA – Thin-Bloods are characters that have a relative of another race somewhere in their distant genealogy. Mechanically speaking, it opens up a few options to play a character that looks and feels like one race, but has the option of purchasing a few traits from another. The Half-Bloods book is going to be awesome, and I’m very excited to release it. In it, I take the advancements in modern fertility science and apply it to a world in which races like elves, dwarves, trolls and the like actually exist. To boil it down, the Half-Bloods book gives players the option of answering the question, “What happens if an elf and an orc were to have a baby?” I’ve actually presented one of the half-bloods in the core book, the Half-Gnomes. They’ve become a play tester favorite.

Half-Blooded are a relatively new occurrence in modern cultures within the setting, so it opens a whole new realm of potential role-play hooks involving mistrust and prejudice. Not to reveal too many spoilers, some of the older cultures look upon the emergence of half-bloods as an ill omen, and will lead into adventure paths and meta-plots that span an entire game line.

 

EGG – As the publisher, can you highlight one pledge level/backer reward that you think is the standout for Pathfinder Modern Adventures?

RAY MACHUGA – I would have to say that the stand-out pledge would probably be Level Fifteen, which not only gives you first access physical copies of the core book as well as the physical Half-Bloods book. It also opens up backers of that level to play test documents and updates, the ability to give feedback as development progresses which will give you a chance to have a say in the final form of the game itself. To top it off, you get access to the backer-only character sheet of that pledge level. For me, this is the pledge level that really stands out and gives backers the chance to really watch the game develop and have a say in its contents.

 

 

EGG – What was the game that changed you into a gamer?

RAY MACHUGA – That’s hard to say, since I began playing tabletop RPGs at a very young age. Still, I remember being very young, perhaps 10 years old, and picking up my first small stack of RPG guides and pouring over them. My mother would have killed me if she knew I had walked from our apartment about three blocks away to go to that store, but I did it anyway. I picked up a White Dwarf Magazine and was amazed at the artwork I found there. I had also picked up a first edition of Vampire The Masquerade. I can still recall sitting down on the couch and cracking open that book, and the feeling I got as I poured over the contents. I believe that was the very moment, sitting on that couch in Fraser Michigan, in which I truly became a gamer.

 

EGG – Why did you create your gaming company, Higher Grounds Publishing, LLC?

RAY MACHUGA – In the end, it boils down to a love for gaming. From my unique vantage as a writer, gamer and human being, I wanted to present my vision of tabletop gaming to the world, and Higher Grounds has really made that a reality.

 

 

EGG – As a Kickstarter veteran, what advice would you give others thinking about launching a gaming Kickstarter?

RAY MACHUGA – Be ready to work. A Kickstarter campaign is not something that you can just, as those famous infomercials suggest, “Set it and forget it.” You need to work on the project you want to launch the Kickstarter for first and have it just as close to ready as you can. Then you need to make sure that people know you plan to launch a Kickstarter. While the Kickstarter going, you need to tell people. Your first Kickstarter funding is probably going to come from friends and family. It takes work. Be ready for that.

 

EGG – What projects are you currently developing?

RAY MACHUGA – In addition to the Modern Adventures core book and Half-Bloods, We have N. Jolly working on the Player’s Option book for Modern Adventures, J. Gray working on Conspiracies. On the horizon for Modern Adventures is our Horrors line which will detail player character options, setting information and history for werewolves, vampires, ghosts and revenants. I’m also working on the Dhovaine RPG.

 

 

EGG – Any parting thoughts? Where can we find out more about Higher Grounds Publishing, LLC?

RAY MACHUGA – First I’d like to thank Egg for taking the time to talk with me about the projects! There is a lot in store from Higher Grounds, so I hope you’ll keep an eye on our blog ( https://highergroundsgamingblog.wordpress.com/ ), or talk with us on Facebook ( https://www.facebook.com/HigherGroundGamingLLC/ ) or catch us on Twitter ( https://twitter.com/HGGamingStudio ). The Modern Adventures Kickstarter runs until September 25th!

 

To see other games from Higher Grounds Publishing, LLC, check out their products on DriveThruRPG here.

For the Pathfinder Modern Adventures Kickstarter, click here.

 

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

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

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

PRESS RELEASE – Modern Adventures for Pathfinder Kickstarter is Live

Higher Grounds Publishing, LLC
Ray Machuga, Owner
Frisco, TX 75033
(214) 592-5753
Highergroundgamingllc@gmail.com

August 19, 2017 – Higher Grounds released their newest tabletop gem! Modern Adventures is a Pathfinder-compatible game set in modern-day Earth. Modern Adventures brings the full feel of a Pathfinder game into the modern era. You’ll get everything you expect from a modern setting including computer hacking, firearms, vehicles and aircraft. You’ll also get all of the races such as elves, dwarves and gnomes in addition to some new, never-before-seen races available for play. Modern Adventures combines everything awesome about a fantasy game with the gritty, realistic feel of modern era play.

Pathfinder: Modern Adventures includes:

  • A new, unique magic and spellcasting system. No more spell per day slots!
  • All the races you’ve come to love in your Pathfinder games.
  • New races including half-gnomes, city elves and the insect-like Acaroi.
  • Story oriented play style with gritty, real-world themes.
  • Completely revised class system, including new classes like Shaman and Mage.
  • Powerful new spells for spell casters to sling at their enemies.

 

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Disclosure: Affiliate links to DriveThruRPG.com were added to this press release.

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