PRESS RELEASE – Forbidden Lands Released to all Backers – Last Chance to get Early Access to the Cursed World!

Free League Publishing

​Forbidden Lands Released to all Backers – Last Chance to get Early Access to the Cursed World!

Free League Publishing – Aug 16, 2018 13:00 BST

Adventurers that backed the Forbidden Lands RPG may now enter the cursed world.
New explorers have a final chance to make a late pledge and gain entrance.

All backers have received digital access to Free League Publishing’s upcoming fantasy RPGForbidden Lands and may enter the cursed world today. The tabletop-RPG Forbidden Lands is a brand-new take on classic fantasy roleplaying. 

New explorers have one last chance to make a late pledge and gain early access to Forbidden Lands. The Pledge Manager closes its gates at September 1st. Backers who make a Late Pledge will receive the game in advance of the retail launch in November.

The open world of Forbidden Lands created by Free League Publishing allows players to freely explore the dangerous realm and venture into the unknown, while still taking part in the epic campaign to decide the fate of the cursed lands.

In Forbidden Lands, you and your friends will be playing raiders and rogues bent on making your own mark on a cursed world. Discover lost tombs, fight horrifying monsters, wander the wilderness and, if you live long enough, build your own stronghold to defend. The unique rules created by Free League for exploration, survival, base building and campaign in Forbidden lands play can also easily be ported to any other game world.

The core boxed game set includes the Player’s Handbook and the Gamemaster’s Guide – two hardcover books with leather and gold covers, totalling over 450 pages – along with a large full-color map, a sheet of map stickers, and a booklet of tables.

Forbidden Lands is a legacy game, in which the players’ actions will permanently change the game map, turning it into a living chronicle of the players’ adventures.

For all backers – venture forward and gain information on Forbidden Lands access here:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1192053011/forbidden-lands-retro-open-world-survival-fantasy/posts/2262108

If any explorers out there were trapped in the wilderness and never saw the fires lit on high mountain tops and therefore didn’t back the Kickstarter, all hope is not lost. One last chance remains to make a late pledge, gain early access and enter the unknown lands.

New explorers have one last chance to make a late pledge and gain early access to Forbidden Lands, the Pledge Manager will close its gates at September 1. Make a Late Pledge here:

https://fria-ligan.pledgemanager.com/projects/forbidden-lands-retro-open-world-survival-fantasy/participate/

Link: Forbidden Lands trailer

Forbidden Lands was recently named one of the most anticipated RPGs of 2018 by EN World. The crowdfunding campaign raised over a quarter of a million dollars from thousands of backers across the world and was the third most successful RPG Kickstarter in the world 2017.

Forbidden Lands is the forth English tabletop RPG from the Swedish developers Free League. With art by the internationally acclaimed artist Simon Stålenhag and iconic fantasy artist Nils Gulliksson, lore by fantasy author Erik Granström, scenarios by esteemed game writers such as Patrick Stuart, Ben Milton and Chris McDowall and game design by Free League that created the award-winning RPGs Mutant: Year Zero, Coriolis: The Third Horizon and Tales from the Loop.

Free League’s latest RPG Tales from the Loop won no less than five Gold ENnies at Gencon last year, including Best Game and Product of the Year. The post-apocalyptic Mutant: Year Zero was awarded a Silver ENnie for Best Rules 2015 and has been translated into French, Spanish and Portuguese and German. The sci-fi adventure Coriolis – The Third Horizon was awarded a Judge’s Spotlight Award at Gencon 2017.

Free League Publishing is a Swedish publisher dedicated to speculative fiction. We have published several award-winning tabletop role-playing games and critically acclaimed art books set in strange and wondrous worlds.

Our first game, the post-apocalyptic Mutant: Year Zero was awarded a Silver ENnie for Best Rules 2015. The sci-fi adventure Coriolis – The Third Horizon, was awarded a Judge’s Spotlight Award at Gencon. And we are proud to say that our latest roleplaying game Tales from the Loop RPG based onSimon Stålenhags iconic artbooks made a grand slam at the ENnie Awards 2017, winning five Gold ENnies – among them Best Game.

Our upcoming fantasy RPG is Forbidden Lands, with art by critically acclaimed artist Simon Stålenhagand iconic Swedish fantasy artist Nils Gulliksson, lore by fantasy author Erik Granström and game design by the team that created Mutant: Year Zero, Coriolis: The Third Horizon and Tales from the Loop RPG. Forbidden Lands was the third most successful RPG Kickstarter in the world 2017 and was recently named one of the most anticipated RPGs of 2018 by EN World.

We have also released the critically acclaimed art books Things from the Flood and Tales from the Loopby artist Simon Stålenhag. His third book The Electric State has been released by Free League Publishing exclusively to the backers of the kickstarter campaign.

Website: www.freeleaguepublishing.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/FriaLigan
Instagram:http://instagram.com/frialigan/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/FriaLigan

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​Forbidden Lands Released to all Backers – Last Chance to get Early Access to the Cursed World!

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FORBIDDEN LANDS – PLEDGE MANAGER

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Forbidden Lands RPG raising over $250,000 on Kickstarter

Oct 10, 2017 16:26 BST

​With just days left of the Kickstarter, Free League Publishing’s retro fantasy sandbox RPG Forbidden Lands has raised well over a quarter of a million dollars from thousands of backers across the world.

Grand Slam at the ENnies for Tales from the Loop RPG

Sep 05, 2017 12:55 BST

Tales from the Loop RPG by Free League Publishing won no less than five Gold ENnies at the recently concluded Gencon 2017 convention. The tabletop roleplaying game, based on acclaimed scifi artist Simon Stålenhag’s artbook with the same name, was named Best Game and Product of the Year.

3 One-Hundred-Thousand-Dollar RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – The Expanse, The Fantasy Trip, and Your Best Game Ever/The Cypher System

On Kickstarter there are three RPG campaigns that have surpassed $200,000 in pledges with over a week to go as of this writing. Let’s look at the heavy hitters like The Expanse, The Fantasy Trip, and Your Best Game Ever!/Cypher System Rulebook!

 

Unfortunately, this goes live just a few hours before the $100,000 Atlas Games’ Over the Edge: A Roleplaying Game of Weird Urban Danger Kickstarter ends (Tue, August 14 2018 2:00 PM EDT) so I did not cover it, but the RPG is worth checking out.

 

The Expanse Roleplaying Game by Green Ronin Publishing (DriveThruRPG or OpenGamingStore)
Ends on Wed, August 22 2018 9:00 PM EDT.

“The Expanse Roleplaying Game brings James S.A. Corey’s award-winning series of science fiction novels to the tabletop.

Check out the free Quickstart PDF right now!
Check out the free Quickstart PDF right now!

Venture Into The Expanse!

The Expanse Roleplaying Game brings James S.A. Corey’s award-winning series of science fiction novels to the tabletop. Using the Adventure Game Engine (AGE) rules found in Fantasy AGE, Blue Rose, and Modern AGE, The Expanse takes players to a far-future solar system where humanity is divided: Martians, Belters, and the people of old Earth struggle for political power and resources, but even older, alien, forces are stirring in the universe, and human history is about to take an unexpected new turn. The Expanse applies the fast-playing and action-based AGE rules to spaceships, solar colonies, and adventure and intrigue in the far-future, where the actions of the characters may change the course of history!

As long time fans know, The Expanse was a roleplaying game campaign long before it was a series of novels or a TV show. We are delighted to bring it full circle with this game! And here’s the best thing about The Expanse RPG: we’ve been working on this for well over a year and rules are done! They’ve been through multiple iterations and playtesting, and we’ve worked closely with Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham (together, James S.A. Corey) throughout to ensure we are getting The Expanse right. Now let’s hear from Daniel and Ty themselves!

 project video thumbnail

Want to check the game out RIGHT NOW? Download The Expanse RPG Quickstart today! This is a 40-page PDF that includes stripped down rules, pre-generated characters, and an adventure you can play right away. The download is free.

The Expanse RPG Features

The Expanse is based on the exciting new Modern AGE rules-set, and includes many of its features, such as customized character building using Backgrounds and Professions, Drives for character engagement, and an abstract resources system. It also makes use of the Modern AGE approach to action, exploration, and social encounters, complete with stunts and systems for all of them. To get a closer look at Modern AGE, you can download the Quickstart here.

The following are some of the unique features of The Expanse in comparison to other AGE games:

  • Fortune: Rather than Health, characters have a Fortune score that measures lucky near-misses, close scrapes, and trivial hits before the character takes serious harm. Fortune is also useful for modifying die rolls and offering players some narrative control but, watch out! Spend too much of it and your luck could run out when you get caught in a crossfire!
  • Conditions: In addition to a running Fortune total, characters use various conditions to measure things like injuries and fatigue as well as tactical challenges like hindered movement or sensory abilities.
  • Interludes: The interludes in between encounters are given their own treatment, allowing players to make use of their “down-time” (including long hauls between destinations in the System) to recover, do maintenance, build their connections with others, or pursue their own projects.
  • Spaceships: The Expanse RPG features a system to model and create spaceships and its own system for space combat, including the assault on Thoth Station as an example of the system in action!
  • The Churn: The Expanse also offers something for the Game Master with the Churn: A ticking counter that measures the crew’s progress through a story and just when things are going to suddenly go sideways and become even more complicated!

Two Editions to Choose From!

We are offering the core rulebook of the Expanse RPG in two formats:

The Standard Edition is now (thanks to unlocked stretch goals) a 224 page full color hardback with a poster map of the solar system. This is the version that will stay in print after the Kickstarter has been fulfilled.

The Special Edition is a deluxe version of The Expanse RPG. It features the same beautiful full color interior of the Standard Edition with a black leatherette hardcover and a ribbon bookmark. This version is a Kickstarter exclusive, so it will not be available after the close of this campaign. Thanks to an unlocked stretch goal, the Special Edition now includes a dust jacket featuring the game’s gorgeous cover art!

The Expanse Game Master’s Kit

This Kickstarter also includes The Expanse Game Master’s Kit, which will ship alongside the book. It currently includes the following, but may expand with the unlocking of stretch goals:

  • A three-panel landscape format GM Screen with vital game system reference tables on one side and three panels of Expanse art on the player-facing side.
  • A set of game reference cards, including an initiative tracker, stunt references, and action references useful for players at the table.
  • Now includes pre-generated characters after a stretch goal unlock!
  • Now includes an adventure after a stretch goal unlock!

Abzu’s Bounty

Abzu’s Bounty is the first campaign for The Expanse  Roleplaying Game. This series of six linked scenarios will let you kick off your adventures in The Expanse in style. All six parts were unlocked as stretch goals so the full campaign is a go! Best of all, if you back the Kickstarter for $30 or more, you get a PDF of Abzu’s Bounty for free!

Design Team

We assembled a great team to design The Expanse Roleplaying Game. Steve Kenson is the lead designer. You may know Steve from our Blue Rose and Mutants & Masterminds RPGs, or from any of the dozens of RPG books he’s worked on over the last two decades. He had the able assistance of Seth Johnson, Ian Lemke, Rich Lescouflair, Rob McCreary, Jason Mical, Neall Raemonn Price, Zack Walters, Nicole Winchester, and of course James S.A. Corey!

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

James S.A. Corey’s The Expanse, the book series and TV series [with poorer pacing than the books (call it what it is)] started life as a homebrew game. With this Kickstarter, it’s coming around full circle using Green Ronin Publishing AGE System (Dragon Age, Fantasy AGE, Blue Rose, and Modern AGE) as the engine (I enjoy the system overall). Add to that, there are stretch goals to let fans get their characters written up by James S.A. Corey (Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck) and even include a fresh short story (reported on here). This campaign is well worth checking out.

 

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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THE FANTASY TRIP – Old-School Roleplaying! by Steve Jackson Games
Ends on Fri, August 24 2018 6:05 PM EDT.

 

“Help us bring back Steve Jackson’s first tabletop RPG.

In 1977, Steve started work on his first roleplaying game, The Fantasy Trip. It was published by Metagaming, and for a brief time it even rivaled D&D for popularity. The Fantasy Trip (TFT) was published first as a series of microgames and, later, expanded with full-size books.

Steve’s TFT works, published between 1977 and 1980, included:

  • Melee (1977): A microgame of fantasy combat and the first release in the series. At $2.95,Melee was inexpensive and formed the core of the line.
  • Wizard (1978): Spellcaster battles! Wizard, the second TFT game, was originally slightly more expensive at $3.95 and provided the line’s magic rules.
  • Death Test (1978): Steve’s first solo adventure — ever! — and designed for use with Meleeand/or Wizard. To learn more about solo adventures, see “Writing a Solo Adventure” atthefantasytrip.game website.
  • Death Test 2 (1980): A sequel to Death Test and a chance to explore a second dungeon using only the Melee and/or Wizard microgames.
  • Advanced Melee (1980): Originally designed as part of the TFT boxed roleplaying game,Advanced Melee was split by the publisher from its planned format and released to a separate book of expanded combat rules.
  • Advanced Wizard (1980): Also snatched from the never-released TFT box set, this title presented more magic rules for use with the series.
  • In the Labyrinth (1980): The roleplaying rules for TFT and what would have been the core of the planned box set, In the Labyrinth included character rules, GM advice, monsters, and more.
  • Tollenkar’s Lair (1980): An adventure for TFT.

Steve left Metagaming after completing his work on In the Labyrinth and the other titles that were planned as parts of a never-to-be-published TFT box set. After his time at Metagaming, Steve published The Space Gamer magazine and founded Steve Jackson Games.

The Fantasy Trip continued at Metagaming, under the guidance of line editor Guy McLimore (author of the excellent Grail Quest TFT solo adventure) and others. Several adventures were released . . . then Metagaming closed its doors, and The Fantasy Trip was unavailable for nearly 40 years.

Fast forward to 2017. Steve regained rights to his work! He’s now working on the Legacy Edition . . . what TFT should have been when it was first published 40 years ago.

The Fantasy Trip is an “old-school” RPG, with easy character design, realistic tactical combat, and an emphasis on story. It is unabashedly focused on dungeon crawls and arena battles. It’s a great introduction for your friends who are new to roleplaying, because it’s so easy to get started.

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

I was *briefly* GM’ed (in a round robin) by Steve Jackson at Dragon*Con in the 90s and met him again, briefly, at Origins 2018. Like that event in my life came around for me, Steve Jackson is returning one of his original properties to the players after decades. This is worth checking out for that old school nostalgia and a still-original game. Check out the philosphy of the game here – easy character design, realistic tactical combat, and an emphasis on story – then head to the campaign and back it!

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * *

 

Your Best Game Ever! [Cypher System] by Monte Cook Games
Ends on Fri, August 24 2018 8:00 PM EDT.

“A tool book for tabletop roleplayers. No matter what game you play or how long you’ve been playing–have your best game ever!

Your Best Game Ever is not your typical RPG sourcebook. It’s not a book with adventures, spells, creatures, or magic items. It’s not a book for characters at all, but a book for players! If you play or run roleplaying games, this book is for you. Inside this gorgeous hardcover book, suitable for your coffee table or your gaming table, you will find advice and suggestions for enhancing your RPG experience at the table and away from it. This is an insider’s look at everything that goes into the hobby—finding a group, making a character, running a game, creating adventures, finding all the right ideas, hosting a game…and that’s just for starters.

If You’re an Experienced Gamer
You’ve been gaming for a while now. Maybe even years. You get the concepts, and you understand the rules. No one needs to explain the dice to you. Your Best Game Ever embraces the hobby you love, and provides real tips, immediately usable advice, and hands-on pointers you can use at your game table. You’ll find everything here from enhancing immersion, tips for running games online, creating characters with depth, worldbuilding, designing rules, dealing with personality conflicts that arise at the table, and more!

If You’re Fairly New to Gaming
Your friends play RPGs. You’ve maybe watched some streaming games, or given it a try a few times. You get the general idea, but where do you go from there? How do you really get into this hobby the way so many others have? This book will give you everything you need to learn how to choose the right game, how to fit into your game group or start your own group, and get you going on the fast track to being a great gamer.

Not a Rule Book, But a Tool Book
Your Best Game Ever is divided into three major sections: general game topics, being a player, and being a game master. There’s even a section on designing your own game, and getting it published. And this isn’t just a stuffy book on theory, either. You’ll find actual suggestions you can use to create better characters with character arcs, real recipes you can make for game night (and even spruce them up for your genre of choice), specific suggestions for music and ambiance depending on genre, plot ideas, character ideas, and other ready-to-use material.

This 224-page book will enable you to become a better gamer. You’ll find ways to create and manage a great game group, tricks for game prep (and what to do if you haven’t prepared!), understanding and managing game balance, and taking everything around you and incorporating it as inspiration for your game.

Monte Cook, the principal author, has been playing RPGs for 40 years, and working on them professionally for 30 years. The MCG team, all of whom will be contributing, are an extremely seasoned group with a combined total of over 250 years of RPG experience. But we wanted to get an even wider and diverse set of experiences and points of view in this book, so we’ve recruited a team of folks that will provide feedback as well as their own contributions for the book. This dream team of consulting experts includes:

Eric Campbell
Matt Colville
Luke Crane
Stacy Dellorfano
Tanya DePass
Ajit George
Jennell Jaquays
Eloy Lasanta
Tom Lommel
Matthew Mercer
Susan J. Morris
Alina Pete
John Rogers
Monica Valentinelli

The book will also feature comics and cartoons from:
John Kovalic (Dork Tower)
Vickie Lee (Dungeons and Doggos)
Aviv Or (Up to Four Players)
Brian Patterson (d20 Monkey)
Len Peralta (Geek-a-Week)
Alina Pete (Weregeek)
Stan! (10x10Toon)

(Scroll down for more details on Your Best Game Ever)

In 2011, Monte created Numenera, and with it, a game system called the Cypher System. This game system has won awards and has been lauded by gamers everywhere as a wonderfully different way to play games of any genre. In 2015, we created the Cypher System Rulebook (CSR) to help gamers use the system for any type of game they wanted to play—fantasy, science fiction, horror, superheroes, and so on. You can get a copy of that book in this Kickstarter campaign, but we’re also Kickstarting a new version that will come out in 2019. The new version will incorporate lots of new options for players, but perhaps best of all it will take the concepts from Your Best Game Ever and apply them directly to the Cypher System. These two books will work hand-in-hand to create the best Cypher game ever!

(Scroll down for more details on the new Cypher System Rulebook)

If you’re new to the Cypher System and are curious about how it works, you can download the free Cypher System Rules Primer for an idea of how the game plays.

Now that the Kickstarter has funded, our stretch goals will focus on the development of various genre-focused books that will take the concepts found in the new CSR and take them one step further, with specific examples. Each of these additional books will include an entirely new and original campaign setting as well as lots of material and advice for making your own in the realms of science fiction, fantasy, and more.

You’ve read the effusive descriptions above. Is Your Best Game Ever really for everyone? More importantly, is it for you? Maybe it would be better to just show you what’s in the book. Here’s a brief listing of some of the topics we’ll cover:

Click here for a closer look! 

Our goal with this book is to make every game your best game ever. But we know–as GMs, players, and designers ourselves–that every game and every experience is unique. What’s the hardest struggle you have with creating great games, either as a player or as a GM? Looking for some GM or player advice? Let us know at this link. (Once the KS is complete and we’ve started working on the book, we’ll look through your comments to make sure the book covers players’ biggest issues and concerns.)

When we were finishing the new Numenera books, Discovery and Destiny, one of the first things that playtesters asked us was, are you going to incorporate some of the cool new material in these books into the Cypher System?

A valid question. And it got me (Monte) really thinking about the Cypher System Rulebook as a whole. I didn’t want to change the rules—I love the Cypher System, and wouldn’t touch the mechanics. But developing Numenera Discovery and Destiny showed me that there was a lot we could add in terms of player abilities and flexibility, and what the CSR really needs is flexibility. The idea that you can create any campaign in any genre is fundamental to the whole idea. And I realized we could take some steps to push that idea a lot further.

So we’re Kickstarting a brand new, revised 416-page Cypher System Rulebook. Before I go any further, though, let me say right now, if you’ve got the existing Cypher System Rulebookand you’re happy with it, great! These new ideas don’t change the way the rules work. You still roll a d20, you’ve still got difficulties 1⎼10, you’ve still got characters with descriptors, types, and foci. NPCs have levels. PCs use effort to decrease the difficulty. Everything is still fully compatible with everything Cypher-related that we’ve ever published. You’ll be able to play a game with half the characters from the original CSR and half from the new CSR all at the table at the same time. The difference isn’t in how the game is played, but in the choices players get to create and run their characters.

What I’m most excited about are the ways I’ve thought about over the last few years to make things more customizable so that you could even more easily use these rules in any setting. To that end, in this book we’re dramatically streamlining the chapter on character focus, so that you can customize your character’s focus to perfectly match the setting and your character concept. So if you’re making a starship pilot, a superhero, or an occult investigator, you don’t choose the one that fits best from a list of foci—you take your character concept and tailor your focus so that it really fits what you want to do.

Based on player feedback, we’re also making what we call subtle cyphers—cyphers that aren’t tied to a specific object—the default for all genres, and we’ll be including way more of them. (You’ll still be able to have cyphers as objects too.) This will make applying the concept of cyphers, which is obviously core to the system, easy no matter what kind of game you’re playing.

And of course, there’s all those new additions from Numenera Discovery and Destiny that add a lot of new options that just make the game better. They’re not really changes, they’re additions—new character abilities, more choices, player intrusions in addition to GM intrusions, and more. These will all be incorporated into the new CSR. And let me say again, it’s still all entirely compatible with existing Cypher System material, whether it be from theCSR or one of our settings like Gods of the Fall, Predation, or Unmasked (and of course, Numenera and The Strange).

Further, we’ll also be incorporating suggestions from Your Best Game Ever directly into this book. So, for example, Your Best Game Ever will talk about creating character arcs to enhance play, while the specific material for creating Cypher System character arcs as a mechanic will be included in this book.

Lastly, we’ll include even more genres you can use, in addition to fantasy, horror, and so on. We’re going to break science fiction into hard sci-fi and space opera/science fantasy, and we’ll add coverage for romance, historical gaming, and more! Learn more about the changes we’re planning to make here. 

Your Best Game Ever: This 160-page beautiful hardcover book is suitable for your coffee table as well as your game table! Decades of gaming advice and insight all in one tome. If you love RPGs, you need this book. Also available as a PDF.

Cypher System Rulebook: This 416-page, lavishly illustrated, hardcover corebook is fully compatible with the original Cypher System Rulebook, and all Cypher System products like Numenera, The Strange, Gods of the Fall, Predation, and Unmasked! It contains everything you need to play a Cypher System game of your own. Also available as a PDF.

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

Your Best Game Ever! is going to be an epic tool dealing with something that is not always covered in gaming, philosophy. When the rules are covered, the setting is immaculate, the game is scheduled, then this book deals with the connecting tissue between those elements, what will take them from a checklist of needs to a fun night of dice slinging. And it is written by some amazing writers!
I’m a fan of the Cypher System. Over on EN World, I write reviews for the Cypher System Creator Program (Monte Cook Games crowd sourcing RPG option that allows creators to produce and sale original content for the Cypher System) so I am eager to see the changes/non-changes coming in the revised Cypher System rulebook.

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

* * * * * *
UPDATE 2018-08-14 2:00 PM:
Ends on Fri, September 14 2018 2:00 PM EDT.
“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!
Check out the campaign here.
* * * * * *

 

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).

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
* * * * * *
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.

* * * * * *

 

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).

4 RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – Tiny Supers, Spacecraft 2000 to 2100 AD, Art of War, and Power Outage

I’m back from Gen Con 2018 [you can read Part One of John McGuire’s review of our trip here] and ready to focus on some amazing RPGs available via Kickstarter. These are projects that I have connection to (I’m friends with the creators or they are an all-ages game) and that look amazing! Let’s dive in!

 

Tiny Supers: Minimalist Superhero Roleplaying by Gallant Knight Games
Ends on Fri, August 10 2018 7:25 PM EDT.

“Tiny Supers – Minimalist, four-color tabletop superhero roleplaying based on the TinyD6 system!

Gallant Knight Games is happy to present the latest genre-book for our TinyD6 minimalist roleplaying system: Tiny Supers!

Using the rules in this book, you’ll be able to play superheroes of all types, from paragons and exemplars, to super-science heroes of the future or past, to cosmic guardians defending the far-reaches of the galactic civilizations from untold threats!

Alan was on Victory Condition Gaming talking about Tiny Supers! While the video is 40 minutes long, the first 5 to 10 minutes are hyper focused on the game and the contents of the campaign (but you can listen to the whole thing if you want!)

The Iconic Hero and paragon of the GallantVerse, Gallant! Art by Nicolas Giacondino
The Iconic Hero and paragon of the GallantVerse, Gallant! Art by Nicolas Giacondino

Character creation is simple, fast, and exciting. You pick your character archetype based on the exciting stories your Game Master is going to tell, you pick a few Traits or Powers that each grant a single benefit, and you’re done!

For the first time ever, a TinyD6 game will have it’s own detailed setting, as we bring the GallantVerse to you!

You can read more about the GallantVerse below!

Ryker Swift, aka Velocity! One of our Iconic GallantVerse Heroes. Art by Nicolás Giacondino
Ryker Swift, aka Velocity! One of our Iconic GallantVerse Heroes. Art by Nicolás Giacondino

Sometimes as the GM, you don’t have time to plot lengthy, detailed worlds, but you want that experience. Well, we’ve got your back, and that support comes in the form of micro-verses and our signature setting, The GallantVerse!

Micro-verses are short settings filled with adventure hooks, and designed to put your adventures and campaigns into high action-adventure.

Our goal is to fund a softcover edition, a limited number of hardcover collector’s editions, and the Tiny Supers dice. We’ve planned several stretch goals which will increase page count, add more art, add more special rules but all of our goals will provide you with more fun and engaging superhero tabletop content!

You might notice that our funding goal is much higher than previous TinyD6 Kickstarters. One of our goals with this project is to fund a full-color book, replete with gorgeous art from the very talented Nicolás Giacondino, with posters and covers by a variety of talented artists.

Additionally, the writing on the GallantVerse is being handled by top industry talent. We’re set on paying all our contributors well, and our goal reflects our commitment to an ethical pay rate for our writers, artists, and team members.

Pulsewave, one of our GallantVerse Iconics! Art by Nicolás Giacondino
Pulsewave, one of our GallantVerse Iconics! Art by Nicolás Giacondino

Tiny Supers uses a simple, fast, and dynamic ruleset to handle actions. The game uses up to three six-sided dice as part of action resolution.

If you roll a “5” or “6” on a die, your check succeeds. Most checks are made with two dice. However, if you are deemed to have “advantage” on a roll, you gain a third die to roll. If you have disadvantage, you lose a dice (rolling only a single die).

Characters are made quickly and easily. You will select a superheroic archetype (such as Paragon, Gadgeteer, Defender, Mastermind or more), three traits or powers, and write down some basic information and you are ready to play!

Bastion, one of our GallantVerse Iconics! Art by Nicolás Giacondino
Bastion, one of our GallantVerse Iconics! Art by Nicolás Giacondino

If you’re familiar with the TinyD6 ruleset, you’re probably wondering how Power Traits are different than Traits?

Well, Power Traits are new traits that gain better versions of themselves as you take them again and again. Let’s use an example, like SuperSpeed (Alan’s favorite power.) SuperSpeed has 3 Tiers. The first time a Trait choice is spent to select SuperSpeed.

  • Tier One: Any turn in which you move, you also count as having taken the Evade action.

If a Hero were to select the Super-Speed Power Trait again with a Trait Choice, they’d gain the Tier Two Power:

  • Tier Two: You can take a move action once per turn, without using up one of your two actions for the turn.

If they repeated it a third time, they’d gain the third and final power:

  • Tier Three: When you take a move action, you can move three times.

All the PowerTraits in Tiny Supers function on a level similar to this. There is a wide swath of powers, making almost any super imaginable!

Darklight, one of our Iconic GallantVerse Villains! Art by Nicolás Giacondino
Darklight, one of our Iconic GallantVerse Villains! Art by Nicolás Giacondino

The GallantVerse is the standard superheroic setting for Tiny Supers! Conceived by Alan Bahr, the GallantVerse is a near-future setting, where superheroes have recently come into being!

The GallantVerse is a setting focused on heroic and exciting heroes, with a slight science fiction bent and a focus on hope and optimistic heroism! All your favorite comic book angles are here, from mystical occultists, to mutants, to paragons of science and technology, and massive cosmic threats! We’re hitting all the notes!

Our core of the setting is the coastal city of Sentry City! A technological hotspot, Sentry City is the birthplace of superheroes and the central piece of the GallantVerse.

As the first cohesive core campaign setting for the TinyD6 line, GallantVerse is being overseen by Alan, with writing by an excellent troupe of freelancers!

The Eagle! One of our GallantVerse Iconics. Art by Nicolás Giacondino
The Eagle! One of our GallantVerse Iconics. Art by Nicolás Giacondino

Micro-settings are unique, small universes that exist in alternate dimensions adjacent to theGallantVerse!

They are specifically designed to be used as a tool, resource, or spring-board for your own campaigns.

All of the micro-verses come with some story and some fluff that is designed to be unique to that particular micro-verse.

The core book comes with some very different micro-verses, all of them written by those we selected from our Tiny Supers Open Call! 

Further down the page (and revealed as they’re unlocked) are the micro-verses that are included in Tiny Supers! All of them were unlocked by stretch goals, and we’ve compiled them below!

Asher Solomon, the Immortal Magus and GallantVerse Iconic! Art by Nicolás Giacondino
Asher Solomon, the Immortal Magus and GallantVerse Iconic! Art by Nicolás Giacondino

Gallant Knight Games is a indie game company ran by Alan and Erin Bahr. This is our 10th GKG Kickstarter!

Our previous TinyD6 Kickstarters (Tiny Frontiers and Tiny Frontiers: Mecha & Monsters) delivered early to backers (4 months in the case of Tiny Frontiers), and Tiny Dungeon 2e was on time!

Our micro-settings are written by some of the most talented freelancers in the RPG business!

Tiny Supers has been in development since late 2016 and been in play-testing for 12 months! The art is all in, and paid for (with the exception of any stetch goals). The goal of this Kickstarter is to pay for the print run and unlock our stretch goals, making this a truly gorgeous book.

Montebank, an Iconic Occult Villain! Art by Nicolas Giacondino
Montebank, an Iconic Occult Villain! Art by Nicolas Giacondino

As we continue along, we’ll be previewing bios of our fantastic freelancers and writers here!”

Egg’s Thoughts:

This year I met Alan (Gallant Knight Games) Bahr at Gen Con (it’s nice to put a face with a name). During another campaign, I interviewed Alan Bahr about Tiny Dungeon 2nd Edition here (Tiny Supers uses the same core mechanic). The system is simple enough that it can be viewed as an all-ages option (which I love), but not so simple there’s no joy in playing it. TinyD6 is a popular system and it spans a variety of genres.

  • Tiny Frontiers: Minimalist Science Fiction Roleplaying – 403 backers pledged $12,413
  • Tiny Frontiers: Mecha and Monsters – 352 backers pledged $13,310
  • Tiny Dungeon: Second Edition – 1,661 backers pledged $62,585
  • Tiny Wastelands: Minimalist Post-Apocalyptic Roleplaying – 910 backers pledged $32,353

Of the Tiny-verse, only the campaign for Tiny Dungeon: Second Edition has more backers and pledges. Add to this, Fat Goblin Games will be creating “roleplaying game supplements based on the popular TinyD6 Engine” [read the press release here], this is a good time to try TinyD6!

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * *

 

Spacecraft 2000 to 2100 AD (40th Anniversary Reprint) by Battlefield Press International (DriveThruRPG or Open Gaming Network)
Ends on Sat, August 11 2018 12:59 AM EDT.

“A Terran Trade Authority Handbook. Full color reprint of the original books by Stewart Cowley.

No one would have believed, in the closing years of the 1970’s, that science fiction was to experience a boom that would last through to the present day. The summer blockbuster had only just been invented. There was only one Star Wars movie. The voyage of the Battlestar Galactica had only just begun, and Buck Rogers had yet to conquer television. But between the pages of the Terran Trade Authority handbooks, enthralled readers were discovering a beautiful and brightly-coloured vision of the future, where wondrous spacecraft explored strange planets, navigated shimmering nebulae and fought desperate battles among the stars. Illustrated by some of the world’s greatest science fiction artists and written by Stewart Cowley, the handbooks told the tale of mankind’s expansion into the unknown and the trials and wonders they encountered. Conceived of as a “Jane’s Guide” for the future, the books made use of the stunning artwork produced for the paperback science fiction market at the time, reproducing them in lush colour and on glossy paper. Beginning with Spacecraft 2000-2100 AD in 1978, the Terran Trade Authority series went on to become a cult phenomenon, loved and fondly remembered by all who came across them. The Terran Trade Authority presented a bright vision of the future, optimistic about man’s place in the universe, and featuring a strong undercurrent of mystery, wonder and adventure. In recent years the volumes have become collectors’ items – expensive and rarely found, but never forgotten – and have gone on to influence creators around the globe. The setting has spawned two role-playing games and has been cited as a clear inspiration for the best-selling computer game No Man’s Sky. Within the pages of the books are a veritable who’s who of science fiction art, including such names as Jim Burns, Alan Daniels, Peter Elson, Fred Gambino, Colin Hay, Robin Hiddon, Bob Layzell, Angus McKie, Chris Foss, Chris Moore, Tony Roberts, and Trevor Webb. Now, with your help, we are proud to present a special 40th Anniversary Edition of the first of the TTA handbooks; Spacecraft 2000-2100 AD. It’s time to return to the future!

ACM 113, Fatboy
ACM 113, Fatboy

About Spacecraft 2000 to 2100 AD

The Terran Trade Authority is an original science-fiction setting first presented in four large-format full-colour illustrated books, published between 1978 and 1980. Each book is presented as an “in-universe” document, detailing the history of the Terran Trade Authority and their spectacular spacecraft. This book covers the events immediately before and after the Proximan War Era, and is presented in the same manner as an aircraft recognition guide, made up entirely of spacecraft descriptions and art accompanied by details of their role and performance in the war, and occasionally their history afterwards.

Nomad Industrial Complex
Nomad Industrial Complex

Foreword to Spacecraft 2000 to 2100 AD: 40th Anniversary Edition

During the heady days of the Russian-American space race and the globally televised Apollo missions, the world watched enthralled as humans took the first faltering steps beyond gravity’s grip. But as time passed public enthusiasm waned. The value and relevance of space research and its huge costs were questioned In the face of global social, political and economic pressures. But eventually, popular interest in space exploration re-emerged. A major imperative was the growing awareness of Planet Earth’s fragility in the face of the demands we made on it. However successful we were in conserving our world’s resources and developing new forms of energy, the fact remained that we were simply outgrowing our homeworld. The search for Earth-like planets and the technology to travel there became of paramount importance. The post-Apollo drop in popular enthusiasm for space research did not mean that the scientific community relaxed their search for answers. On the contrary, a growing number of major players brought fresh resources to the table. In addition to NASA and Roscosmos, the Russian Federal Space Agency, China, Japan, India, the European Space Agency and even private enterprise grew our knowledge base. Not just in how we would travel in space but where we might go. A major contributor was NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope. Launched in 2009 to seek out exoplanets – planets beyond our own solar system – Kepler soon identified over 1000 of them. Only a dozen or so were Earth-like, as to qualify, planets could not be much larger than twice Earth’s size and therefore rocky, in order to increases the probability of surface water. Such planets also had to orbit the ‘habitable zone’ of its sun where the average temperature allowed water to exist in liquid form. Identifying the ‘Where’ brought us to the ‘How’, the greatest challenge of all. Entirely new aspects of astrophysics had to explored and manipulated for interstellar travel to become a reality. The strongest contenders were forms of Warp Drive where the space-time continuum, the actual fabric of space, is distorted. Work by NASA’s Dr. Harold ‘Sonny’ White made significant advances in Warp Drive technology using advanced Quantum Optics to create a space-time bubble around a craft that would enable it to move independently from the rest of space. By compressing space-time in front of the vessel and expanding it behind, faster-than-light speeds became possible. The key point in making interstellar travel a reality came about in 2012 with the founding of the 100 YSS (100 Year Star Ship Project) funded initially by NASA and DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency). The formation of Icarus Interstellar in 2011 and its Starship Congress of 2013 combined with the introduction of Brane Cosmology took faster-than-light (FTL) research to a new level. The creation of the Terran Trade Authority harnessed global research and made Warp Drive systems and our journey to the stars a reality.

~ CMDR Stewart Cowley Terran Trade Authority

Colonial III, Angus McKie
Colonial III, Angus McKie

Add-Ons

RPG Add-on

Terran Trade Authority: The Proxima War. This is the setting book written for the Savage Worlds game system. For an additional $15 you will be able to purchase a PDF of the book, for an additional $25 you will be able to purchase a softcover copy of the book. Shipping to be figured after the end of this kickstarter. 

Promotional Opportunity 

We know that as midshipmen, it can take forever to qualify for that promotion in the Terran Navy, so why not do what good midshipmen have done for ages, bribe your way up the chain of command. You can just add an amount for which ever rank you request promotion, you will be listed in the back of the book with a dedication to you at that rank. It’s the easiest way to be promoted. Ship assignments, where necessary, will be posted on the order sheet detailed in the back of the book.

  • +$10 Ensign. While its not a high rank, it does put you in the officers core.
  • +$15 Lieutenant. It’s a little higher on the chain of command, Captains are still above you, but you get to command Ensigns and midshipmen. You get to look forward to your own ship command one of these days.
  • +$20 Captain. Here you are, you immediately will be assigned to your own starship, at the assignment of the Admiralty when needed. The Admiralty will randomly assign you a ship (type and name) for your command.
  • +$25 Rear Admiral. You are in command of a squadron, imagine being in command of a fleet of ships. Its not easy baring that responsibility, but you are pretty sure you have the chops for it. The admiralty will give you a random assignment for your fleet, something like Terran Defense Command or Terran Training Command.

Book Specs

  • Author and Artist: Stewart Cowley and company (this book will contain all the original artwork)
  • Size: the print book will be a 8.5 x 11 book, either in softcover or hardcover, depending on your choice.
  • Layout: New layout will be done by J Gray.
  • 40th Anniversary logo is by Ian Stead 

Stretch Goals

  • $13000 – Terran Trade Authority RPG material for the Starfinder Role Playing Game published by Paizo Publishing in PDF. A POD version will be made available for purchase should we reach this stretch goal.
  • $15000 – Terran Trade Authority RPG sourcebook for the Cepheus Engine (A current Mongoose Traveller 1e clone) in PDF. A POD version will be made available for purchase should we reach this stretch goal.

SHIPPING THE REWARDS

Shipping is not included in the pledge levels. That’s because for this Kickstarter campaign, we’re going to send out surveys and collect shipping fees through BackerKit once we’re ready to ship out all physical rewards. This not only means all funds raised in the Kickstarter are going towards covering the costs of production (creating an electronic edition from a print is not cheap. The cost of production include licensing fees, layout, and printing) but it gives us plenty of time to source the best and least expensive international shipping options through fulfilment agents in Europe and Asia. Thanks for being understanding! We know that for some it’s much easier just to take care of the total costs all at once upon pledging, but we hope you’ll see that this approach is not only better for the project but affords you the lowest shipping costs when the time comes.

Cyclops, Colin Hay
Cyclops, Colin Hay

Spacecraft 2000 to 2100 AD is (c) 1978 Stewart Cowley. All art is (c) 1978 to the respective artist. All work used herein is used with permission and under license.

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

This is a campaign to reprint the first in a series of books, it has a stretch goal to make it the setting for two RPG systems (Starfinder [a new stretch goal] and the Cepheus Engine), and it will be beautiful. Everyone involved in this has a great deal of love for this series. On the Open Gaming Network, I interviewed Jonathan Thompson about this campaign (here), and it covers so much ground. If you’re on the fence, I recommend that interview.

 

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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Art of War for Savage Worlds by Amora Game (DriveThruRPG or Open Gaming Network)
Ends on Thu, August 16 2018 5:31 PM EDT.

“Art of War (relaunch): The Martial Arts Setting in a Fantasy Anime World. Powered by Savage Worlds. Be a Hero. Be a Legend.

Art of War is an anime inspired setting of over-the-top action. Art of War combines the exciting influences of Heroes of the East mixed with Samurai Champloo. A high-flying martial arts campaign where Players and Game Masters can tell epic stories of Outlaws of the Marsh and Forty-Seven Ronin using Savage Worlds.

Welcome to the San Empire…

It is the rise of a new dynasty for the people of the San Empire. After an invasion of an Oni horde, the Three Clans attempt to rebuild a nation with the help of a new Emperor. The proud Kitsune Clan slowly relinquishes territory to the Imperial Court. Members of the Tiger Clan work to restore the peoples faith in the land with the guidance of the Jade Stratagem. The leaders of the Serpent Clan remain silent keeping their plans secret.

Mock up only. Cover arrangement may change.
Mock up only. Cover arrangement may change.

Art of War introduces new features for Savage Worlds® fans and RPG enthusiasts. It offers unique &  updated setting rules inspired by the tropes of Anime, Samurai Sagas, and Wuxia Epics. These include:

Tropes: Adapted from the Iconic Framework character creation rules of Savage Rifts® and the standard archetypes, Tropes offer a chance for a player to choose a starting package and jumping off point of skills and abilities that reflect their role in the story. This is a simple “plug-in” to the core Savage Worlds® character creation process.

Chi System: A streamlined rule set based of the Power system of the core rules allowing for a combination of cinematic game play and martial arts flavor. Designed for ease of use, it syncs with the core philosophy of the Fast, Furious, Fun role-playing you have come except out of a Savage Worlds® game.

Glory & Honor System: For those that want to introduce a more social system, we have created an optional rule designed just for you. The Glory & Honor System is designed to track a Wild Card’s fame, honor, reputation and even notoriety throughout the course of a game in the world of Art of War.

New Races: While humans are the default race across the Empire, we pull from anime and have created the Kemonomimi and Terracotta. Animal spirits that grew by the side of mankind are the Kemonomimi. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but only seven species are prominent. The Terracotta are clay vessels that hold the spirit of those that have passed and have been given a second chance at life.

New Edges: New Combat, Racial, Social, and Weird Edges are introduced to add character background and story hooks for Game Masters.

New Hindrances: The epic folklore and inspiring tales of the past, humanize mythic heroes and make them relatable. It is the same for the stories that we tell in our home games. While not everyone’s favorite part, we introduce new hindrances to add both serious (like the Mute Hindrance) and comedic value (such as Nosebleed) to play.

New Skills: Two new skills are introduced, Acrobatics and Meditation.

Tropes & Races
Tropes & Races
  • Declaration of Red Pass ends the war between the Tiger and Kitsune Clans.
  • A horde of Oni invade from the southern wastelands, slaughtering everything in their path as they move up the coastline to the East.
  • Tiger and Kitsune launch a combined two year campaign expelling the Oni from the San Empire. Southern Wall is erected to keep the Oni at bay. Once completed, the ruling Emperor, Liu Shan, passes away leaving an empty throne and no heirs.
  • From the Northern Mountains the Serpent Clan emerges from hiding with a decedent from the First Emperor.
  • The Serpent Clan, Tiger Clan and the majority of the Kitsune Clan accept Wu Zhang as the new Emperor.
Not the final map.
Not the final map.

While welfare and prosperity is on the rise, the San Empire is not entirely stable. Along the eastern coast lies the loose alliance of feudal lands of former clan members who refuse to recognize Emperor Wu Zhang.

Rebellions of the poor and destitute cry for help. Hauntings from the wrongfully dead plague the lands after the sun goes down. Patches of Oni have been sighted north of the Wall. Each clan has internal power struggles as they clamor for favor with the new Emperor.

Players take up the mantle of Heroes in a land of need. Will they fall to the clan politics and internal struggle. Or will they rise to become Legends and carve their names into the scroll of history?

Art Montage 1
Art Montage 1

Imperial Scribe – Wojciech “Drejk” Gruchala (Contributing Writer): Drejk was born in the country historically marking the border between the West and the East, during the times when communist regime faded to democracy, in a city sporting an actual dragon cave. He was fan of SF and Fantasy since he can remember, having learned to read on a fairy tale book. He also discovered games when he was but a wee hatchling, starting with early computer games and board games, followed by more complex wargames, and then role playing games. Assembling worlds and creating snippets of fictional cosmology, history, culture, and science is his favorite part of role playing games. You can find his work on his blog: Shaper of Worlds

Ukiyo-e – Sasha Turk (Artist and sole Illustrator): Sasha Turk is a freelance concept artist. For three years, she has been published in several Amora Game products. Her most notable character designs appear in Kemonomimi: Moe Races and Xeno Files Issue 5. Sasha lives in Lake Forest, California. You can find her online portfolio here, and see sneak peaks of work for Art of War.

Humble Peasant – Greg LaRose (Creator & Publisher): Greg is the owner and operator of Amora Game, LLC. Art of War has been a labor of love and is happy to see it come to production. You can find Amora Game published works here.

This game references the Savage Worlds game system, available from Pinnacle Entertainment Group at www.peginc.com. Savage Worlds and all associated logos and trademarks are copyrights of Pinnacle Entertainment Group. Used with permission. Pinnacle makes no representation or warranty as to the quality, viability, or suitability for purpose of this product.

Art Montage 2
Art Montage 2

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

This is a relaunch of this campaign with new additions and a better goal (which it’s already met). For the first iteration, I interviewed Greg here and much of that still applies. I thought this looked strong on the first try and looks strong again here. But, don’t take my word for it, try some samples:

Download Goodies:

 

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

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * *

 

Power Outage – A TRPG for Kids and Adults by Bebarce El-Tayib
Ends on Sun, August 19 2018 12:00 AM EDT.

“Power Outage is a kid-friendly, kid-focused Superhero roleplaying game, that focuses on accessibility, learning, teamwork, and fun!

Power Outage is a kid-friendly, kid-focused Supers roleplaying game where it’s all about being the hero, taking down villains, and being accessible to the widest audience as possible.

It started out originally as a personal project to introduce my own children into the world of tabletop gaming. But Power Outage has grown and is now ready to bring a new generation into the world of tabletop role-playing.

A UNIQUE CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM  

Power Outage does not have classes or races. If your kids want to make a Human, a Robot, an Alien, a Ghost, or an 8-foot tall anthropomorphic zebra girl they can. Powers come from a library of effects that kids get to apply their own characteristics.

STREAMLINED CHOOSE-YOUR-OWN-ADVENTURES

Power Outage makes use of a CAPE (Combat, Alternative, Puzzle, Exploration) component technique that allows you to easily build your own adventures, or allows you to choose your own path through pre-made modules.

FOCUS ON ACCESSIBILITY

Power Outage offers guidance for gaming with kids of various ages and abilities. Through Differentiation and Accessibility guidance, GMs can make the table fun for everyone.

A COMPLETE PACKAGE  

Power Outage contains player instructions, GM guidance, a compendium of villains, and a complete adventure to play with! You supply dice and an imagination, and we will take care of the rest!

Mrs. Robotto
Mrs. Robotto

EASY ON RULES, BIG ON COOL

Power Outage focuses on the concept of guidance rather than hard set rules. You take from the book what you need, and build the game as you go. But there is enough guidance built in that you don’t need to question how to play. Free resources are also available for characters, powers, and adventures. The mechanics are easy enough to pick up in a half hour, but not boring or overly simplified. You’ll constantly find yourself rolling and strategizing.

THE POWER TO LEARN  

Power Outage is built not only as a game but a potential educational tool. The game slots in perfectly with a gamified classroom, but also works tremendously in counseling as well. Villains also have weaknesses based off of Meta actions that allow your players actions outside of the game to impact the world of Outage.

PLAY THE GAME YOU WANT  

5 distinct regions allow you to customize a game you want in this safe and wonderous sandbox world. Do you want to create a fantasy adventure? Try The Overgrowth or The Sink! Looking for your classic Super Hero Beatum Up? Turn to the soaring futuristic heights of Shorai City! Looking for a gritty detective story. Try delving into the murky alleyways of the Atomic Punk ever-night Atomnyy Zavod. The entire mythos is built into this single book.

WHY SO SERIOUS  

Well, it’s not. Power Outage is filled with fun adventures, puns, and references that even adults will enjoy. In fact, Power Outage is just as often played by groups of adults as it is by groups of kids. With villains like Break Fast, InstaGator, The Bulshefist, and heroes like SuburbanKnight, Rockin Troll, and Pocket Protector, the adventures are off the wall fun.

Product Information

Power Outage is currently sitting at roughly 160 pages in its rough draft form. That number might change during the edit and design process, which is this Kickstarter is funding.  Currently, the plan is to have this printed in Hardcover format at 8.5×11, with options for digital copies in PDF at its outset.  As mentioned the game is intended to be GMed by adults, but kids are welcome to try their hand at it.  The game can be played with as few as one player and one gm.  The core rulebook offers differentiation and accessibility guidance that allows you to play the game with varying abilities.

Power Outage 1.4 Cover
Power Outage 1.4 Cover

The core rulebook includes the following sections:

  • Quick Play Instructions –  A 4-page primer that gets you playing or demoing a game in only a few minutes
  • What Is Power Outage – An introductory to Power Outage, Tabletop RPGs, and external resources
  • Mechanics – Gameplay mechanics for Players or GMs
  • Heroes – Creating Heroes including Powers, Guidance, and Crafting Unique Experiences, as well a Character Sheet
  • The World – Information on the history and current standing of Outage, Its five primary regions, adventure hooks, travel information, notable villains and heroes, and region-specific roll tables that add complexities to your adventures
  • Villain Files – Information, stats and weaknesses for 120 villains, sorted by Region and leading Villain
  • Gaming with Kids – Guidance for playing with kids at different age ranges (from as early as 4 years old), abilities, and how to manage differentiated game tables where kids have varying degrees of capabilities
  • Accessibility Accommodations – Guidance for playing with kids that have disabilities, including Pre-Session communication, general guidance, and information pertaining to five accessibility domains (Physical, Communicative/Receptive, Behavioral, Cognitive, and Emotional)
  • Free Play Guide – A full guide on how to create your own adventures using the resources within the book
  • Trading Spaces – A level 1 to 4 adventure set in Shorai City against the villain Mrs. Roboto.
RoboTrouper
RoboTrouper

A majority of the Kickstarter funding is going toward art, design, editing, and some other miscellaneous production costs.

Here is an example of the quality of change that can be achieved.  While my design was serviceable, Rosanna Spucces will take the design to the next level.  To something that is professional.

Power Outage Character Sheet Redesign
Power Outage Character Sheet Redesign

My Designer and Editor will be Rosanna Spucces of https://www.rsdesignsnyc.com/

My Artist is Abhishek Ghimire”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

This is the second superhero game on here and the second all-ages RPG system. The system, just from a small sampling, looks more rules-heavy than most all-ages games. It’s a bold choice and I’m curious to get the rules details. The art looks great and I’m eager to see how it plays.

 

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).

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. 

4 RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – HeartBeat Pride Dice, John Silence, Behind the Masc Zine, and Interstitial: Our Hearts Intertwined

It’s Gen Con week, and I’m looking at four inclusive games. Since Gen Con is the largest tabletop gaming convention in the world, it feels like it’s the perfect time to look at some games that encompass all groups.

 

John Silence by Ginger Goat
Ends on Thu, August 2 2018 9:47 AM EDT.

“A complete rpg plus a shared-universe story/poetry anthology about psychic people of color saving the Earth from invisible monsters

The forthcoming book John Silence from Ginger Goat Press is an original RPG and shared universe collection of short stories and poems. Your John Silence game is about people of color who are psychic detectives committed to saving Earth from planar creatures invisible to most humans.

The story is set in the United States between the years 1938 and 1998. This universe is an updated version of the one in Algernon Blackwood’s 1908 novel, John Silence, Physician Extraordinary.

This game is inspired by the mechanics of D&D and various OSR games. However, attacks and combat have been replaced with rhetoric and conversation. You are not rolling to kill the monster. You’re rolling to convince them to do what you tell them. Unlike in most RPGs, violence is not the best way to achieve your goal.

Core concept

The John Silence universe is about black, indigenous, and/or people of color (BIPOC) psychic detectives. It is set in the United States at some time between 1938 and 1998. TV shows like The Dead Zone and Heartless fit the tone of this game, but we want a more diverse cast of characters.

Genre

John Silence is Weird Fiction or noir, but reinvented to be non-racist, non-sexist, and mostly non-violent. During a game, players are forbidden to use hate speech or slurs. Stories must not contain non-consensual sex or glamorized violence.

Stories might, for example, feature radios, cars, angels, witches, aliens or poltergeists. However, they will not feature smartphones, tablets, giants, or dragons.

GMs and players might want to explore these themes during a John Silence adventure.

  • Psychic powers are interdimensional. They involve other planes. Psychic monsters are attracted to human psychic activity.
  • Friendship, kindness, and forethought are heroic virtues.
  • Humans with psychic powers feel obligated to defend humans without.

The Book

The John Silence book is a complete roleplaying game (no other books needed) designed by Josh T. Jordan and his team. The book is also an anthology of several poems and short stories by writers of color. It will be full-color, 6×9 inches, and an estimated 160 pages long. We plan to make a pdf version, a softcover, and a Kickstarter-Exclusive hardcover version with a unique cover. This hardcover version will only be available to Kickstarter backers.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

Looking for a game with an option to talk through situations instead of planning ambushes? Looking for a yesteryear (1938 to 1998) setting where “black, indigenous, and/or people of color (BIPOC) [are] psychic detectives”? All while using modified D&D and OSR rules? John Silence is trying new mechanics that benefits game design while creating a setting that offers original thoughts.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Behind the Masc Zine by Brie Sheldon
Ends on Sun, August 5 2018 4:28 PM EDT.

“A game zine re-envisioning masculinity through the eyes of non-cisgender masculine creators.

Behind the Masc is a game zine using historical and cultural archetypes to re-envision masculinity through the eyes of non-cisgender masculine creators. The creators include experienced game designers and illustrators as well as newer people to the game industry. The project hopes to draw attention to indie creators in tabletop games who are still marginalized people, but can fall into the ether when it comes to representation and people campaigning for their work to be seen.

This game zine is a collection of game materials for a variety of systems. It will be available digitally and in print as a short-run booklet with half-letter (US) size pages.

What’s inside, and who is doing it?

Behind the Masc will include a variety of game materials, including a new Monsterhearts skin, a Twine narrative game, and some great illustrations! Illustrations will be half-page (so one page in the zine), black and white, with a brief on the concept. Game materials will fill up to three zine pages and have a brief discussing how their design expresses their concept of masculinity.

For culturally related topics, we’ll have a sensitivity reader review the content before publication. The editor is Brie Sheldon, who is also the curator of the project and a contributor.”

Our logo!

Our logo!

Eli Eaton is a trans-masculine person residing in Ontario Canada. He currently just runs and plays games, but has been dabbling with game design here and there for the past year or so. This is his first publication. His contribution to Behind the Masc will be a character skin for a PbtA game (to be determined) modeled after benign trickster characters from mythology and folk heroes. He does not have an official website, but he does most of his gaming talk on G+ and Facebook.

Patrick Lickman is a writer and designer from Sheffield, UK. They work at a board games cafe, where they run various roleplaying projects in a variety of systems, aimed to be accessible to newcomers to the hobby. They are a Forever GM, only playing their first RPG three years after running one. They will contribute The Demi, a godlike skin for Monsterhearts 2.

Raiden Otto is eager to be working on Behind the Masc. He is a nonbinary masc that uses he/him/his pronouns. While he is new to the video game design scene, for years he has been making art available on InstagramTumblrArtStation, and his portfolio sites. For this project, he will be creating a character concept sheet for an FtM man based in the Ming Dynasty of China with the use of Paint Tool SAI.

Adrian Heise is a writer and generalist/narrative game designer from British Columbia, Canada. He has contributed in the past to games such as Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare 2, The Long Dark, and the cancelled Visceral Star Wars project. For Behind the Masc, he is producing a short interactive Twine narrative exploring the role of the “protector” as it applies to masculine-identifying queer people.

Lemmo's contribution is the Harlequin, presented in illustration. Here's an ink draft of the work!
Lemmo’s contribution is the Harlequin, presented in illustration. Here’s an ink draft of the work!

Lemmo Pew (him/he, pan/fluid/non-binary) is an artist, illustrator and game designer from Minneapolis, MN. Lem’s art spans the indie gamut from self-publishing comic books and anthologies, to illustrations for independently published games and gaming websites, stretching from ’99 to the present. His most current web presence is the online streaming channel, HotSoup.TV, and can be found on Twitter at @Lemmo.

Alex McConnaughey (@variant_games) likes to design games that make your heart race, that make you laugh or shout or cry. They think games can be a great tool for learning and growth, but they mostly just try to engage the players around the table in an experience as quickly and deeply as possible. They have designed games for contests, including their first game, As We Know It, a Golden Cobra honorable mention, but last year they broke into formal (paid) design with The Imposters anthology. They’re designing a Minotaur Skin for Monsterhearts, for the obvious maze metaphor of understanding their gender and trying to navigate masculinity, as well as the role of existing solely as a challenge for someone else to conquer.

Lawrence Gullo (He/Him) is an Illustrator, comic writer, and playwright currently developing an exorcism dating sim. He enjoys larps that generate empathy and doing D&D homebrew. He’s spoken on trans and queer topics at cons for years, including Gen Con and Flame Con. He explores the spectrum of masculine experience in the sect of male Bacchae he’s designing for Behind the Masc, serving as a spiritual origin or location in an RPG setting. Find him @hismajesty on Twitter and bashback on Tumblr.

Brie Sheldon is a queer game designer, journalist, and editor and is a genderfluid nonbinary-masculine person. They are the creator of Script Change, Let Me Take a Selfie, and a number of other small products, and have worked on larger professional projects like Firefly Smuggler’s Guide to the Rim and Bubblegumshoe. They have managed the Thoughty Blogfor over 5 years and do interviews, create free games released through their Patreon, and also created Leading with Class, a leadership show teaching through games. Their passions are asking questions, selfies, and exploring exciting ideas in games. For this project, Brie is creating question pages, curating materials, doing layout and design, and filling in spaces where needed.

Tracy Barnett is a genderqueer (they/them) game designer (School Daze, Iron Edda Accelerated) and podcast producer (TheOtherCast). By working with other publishers and producing their own content, they hope to make game design and podcasting their full-time work. For Behind the Masc, Tracy will be exploring masculine physical presentation and non-traditional masculine behaviors through a D&D 5e Sorcerer you can use in your home games.

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

Let’s list this project’s positives:

  • It’s a zine (I love them)
  • It has an interesting theme that may prove eye-opening (“re-envision masculinity through the eyes of non-cisgender masculine creators”… Being dead-level-honest here, I don’t know what that means, but I’m interested to read about it as it relates to gaming because I feel I’ll gain a great deal from it)
  • What inspires me the most, though, is it lets some of the most innovative creators out there create the content that they’re passionate about. For as little as $5 (the “Behind the Masc PDF” pledge level), we’ll get content from Eli Eaton, Patrick Lickman, Raiden Otto, Adrian Heise, Lemmo Pew, Alex McConnaughey, Lawrence Gullo, Brie Sheldon, and Tracy Barnett for D&D 5e, Powered by the Apocalypse, Monsterhearts 2, and more.

It’s a lot of good creators doing their thing with a low cost of entry and I’m eager to see it happen!

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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HeartBeat Pride Dice by HeartBeat Dice
Ends on Mon, August 6 2018 1:33 PM EDT.

“A variety of layered Pride themed polyhedral dice sets for board games & RPG games.

Hello, we’re HeartBeat Dice and with your help we’d like to help bring your Pride to the gaming table with these 6 Pride Sets!

After the overwhelming success of HD’s Rainbow Dice Set we decided to expand our range of colors so that everyone could have a set to call their own but with a unique twist. In lieu of the 20 on the d20 we’ve made it a heart, because love always crits!

This first Kickstarter project will be very simple and straightforward. Below are the 6 sets we’ll be offering for this campaign and yes, Lesbian Dice are going to be included in this roster. The final design will be shared once our prototypes are in-hand.

  • Rainbow Pride Set
11pc set
11pc set
  • Transgender Pride Dice
11pc set
11pc set
  • Pansexual Pride Set
11pc set
11pc set
  • Asexual Pride Set
11pc set (As an additonal note the purple will be darker in the final design)
11pc set (As an additonal note the purple will be darker in the final design)
  • Bisexual Pride Set
11pc set
11pc set
  • Lesbian Pride Set
11pc set
11pc set

With your help and support we can continue to expand our line of dice to include more Pride Flags and other themed sets in the future.

UPDATE** As a thank you to everyone who has backed our project we’d like to also announce every order of dice will include a free HeartBeat Dice Bag!”

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

These dice look perfect for any game, and they’re inspiring. I appreciate the set including 4d6. For gaming, that’s what I want to see in every dice set! I am glad to see this project receiving so much attention (it’ll exceed $100,000 easily).

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Interstitial: Our Hearts Intertwined (An RPG of friendship!) by Riley Hopkins
Ends on Mon, August 13 2018 10:48 AM EDT.

“A PbtA Tabletop RPG about traveling to other worlds, the bonds we have with other people, and how we’re stronger for them.

Interstitial: Our Hearts Intertwined is a tabletop RPG about our connections with other people, the power we draw from those connections, and traveling to different worlds.

For those that don’t know, a Powered by the Apocalypse Engine game is a roleplaying game that utilizes playbooks for characters, rolls using 2d6 plus your stat, and is generally a more narrative then crunchy roleplaying game. See Monster of the Week, Monsterhearts, or The Sprawl for other examples.  

In Interstitial, you will travel through the barriers between Worlds with your party. You’ll meet new friends, enemies, teachers and learn about yourself. You will also be able to visit and partake in events in your favorite intellectual properties or your own worlds ala Kingdom Hearts. In short; Take two worlds that don’t fit each other, smash them together, wipe away the dust and find out how they do.

Think of this game as a vehicle for you to play out Fanfiction. You control the story, either with your self-insert or another canon character from a different property just smashed into this other one.

The stories this game tells are invoking the tone and emotions of Kingdom Hearts, Super Smash Bros Brawl’s Subspace Emmisary, and Comic Crossovers/Events.

The Link System is the load-bearing mechanic of this game. It is used to represent the connections we have with others, and it boils them down into four different categories: Light, Dark, Mastery, and Heart.

Light link is all about positive relationships we have with others. They’re our friendships, our loves, some of our families, and anyone who helps lift you up in times of need. An example of this would be Luke and Leia.

Dark links are representative of rivals, enemies, and relationships that are overall negative. People who approach you in an antagonistic way, bullies, some of our families. They try to drag you down to their level. An example of this would be Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy.

Mastery links paint the picture of teacher-student relationships. Anyone trying to teach or learn has Mastery Links. Students, journeymen, cruel witches, and henchmen are all examples of those in a mastery link relationship. Mr. Miyagi and Daniel would have a Mastery Link.

Finally, Heart  links are the most complicated of all. They are how we view ourselves and things we decide about our own being by watching other people. If you looked at someone’s failure and said “I won’t make that same mistake.”, that’s a Heart link. If someone came to you in a time when you were faltering and watching them made you make the right decision, then that’s a Heart Link. Bucky has a Heart link with Captain America.

Art by Shannon Manor for The Mystic, Minit.
Art by Shannon Manor for The Mystic, Minit.

You gain links in play by rolling the Make a Link move, and adding the stat that you want to classify the link as. So if you met an NPC and after a first impression the two of you are bickering, you’d roll a Dark link.

These links don’t need to be the same in both directions, relationships are complicated things, and not everyone sees them in the same way. They can change over time, sometimes grow stronger and sometimes fade away entirely. But while we have a link with another person, we can draw power from it.

In game, you can spend Links to activate moves, gain advantage on rolls, and all in all mimic how you and other players know each other and react to each other. Each individual playbook also has a Link Move, so every time you successfully make a Link, your Link Move goes off, and effects the game in some way.

The game comes with 9 Playbooks to start. Each playbook will have playbook specific moves and their Link move.

This is a WIP shot of the Playtest materials. It does NOT SHOW THE FINISHED PRODUCT
This is a WIP shot of the Playtest materials. It does NOT SHOW THE FINISHED PRODUCT

The Playbooks are all dramatically different yet can work together in any combination you put them in. Interstitial comes with the following nine unique playbooks:

The Chosen: The class that is your base form “protagonist”. The mechanics of this book help you assist your friends in big set pieces and fights.

The Connected: This represents the allies you’d gain from world to world, and allows you to change your character in each new worldshould you choose to.

The Dark: Every party needs a dark force looming over them, and sometimes you want to play that force. If manipulation is your game, or if maybe you are a three-stage boss fight, this is the book for you.

The Discarded: If there’s a chosen, there’s someone who feels like they were looked over for the role. They take that disappointment, that resentment, and channel it into their combat.

The Displaced: As worlds sink into the darkness, people get taken and removed from their homes. These people end up somewhere different, and are trying to get their wits about them.

The Friend: Just like every story needs a hero and a villain, it needs a friend. Someone to be there and help strengthen the party in times of stress and help them overcome their fears.

The Light: The Light is all about creating Heart links with others and leveraging those. They anchor people down and help them find their way home in the darkness.

The Mystic: You know what’s best for everyone, even if they don’t quite know it themselves. The Mystic is all about keeping secrets, saving people, and sometimes making the hard choices no one else wants to make.

The Other: You aren’t the original one, you aren’t the first. People discount you and don’t believe in you and push you to the sidelines. This playbook comes with a feature that gives you a Counterpart that is the real you.”

Character Art for the Dark by Shannon Manor, Auxiliary Concern.
Character Art for the Dark by Shannon Manor, Auxiliary Concern.

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

This game is open to everyone, it’s fueled by interpersonal relationships using the Powered by the Apocalypse system. There’s a lot of potential to create unique worlds and situations without the stress of ensuring your characters are high enough level to dish out the violence. This is adventures over brawls. As with the other products on this list, this game allows everyone to play and have a good time.

 

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? 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).

4 Gaming Kickstarters Ending July 31st – Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2e, Animal Adventures, Delta Green, and Neoclassical Geek Revival

“[E]xample of [an] adorable doggie” from Animal Adventures Tales of Dungeons and Doggies.

On July 31st, just before the start of Gen Con 2018, a stack of RPG Kickstarters end. I’m looking at some of the bigger ones while, due to space, omitting some of the other winners. That said, I at least want to include links to the ones I can’t cover so you can see just how many gaming Kickstarters end on that day – The SuperverseTowns & Dungeons RPG DecksOccult Secrets of the Underworld, or Deck of Magical Mystery: Tier 3, 5e Compatible. Now, let’s look at four campaigns that are attracting a great deal of backer-love.

 

 

Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition by Onyx Path Publishing
Ends on Tue, July 31 2018 11:59 AM EDT.

“Contribute to help create a Prestige Edition of Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition and get the book into stores!

Death is not the end

You learned that firsthand when you died, and in the darkness you made a deal that brought you back — but not alone. Now, bound inextricably to a geist — a shade, a monster, a tragic, broken soul — you stand between the world of the living and the world of the dead. You stand between the dead and the hungry dark that would devour them. You give a voice to the voiceless and tear down cosmic systems of oppression. You will make a better world, and if you die trying… well, you came back once, and you can do it again.

In Geist: The Sin-Eaters, you play a person who died with a powerful burden on their soul — something they didn’t accomplish in life, or something they never found. On the other side of the veil, they made a bargain with a powerful being called a geist, which returned them to the world of the living and to their own body, at the cost of a permanent bond between them and the geist. Now your character stands as a medium, with one foot in the world of the living and one in the world of the dead. Will you bend your efforts toward the cosmic injustice of the Underworld, that consumes all who become trapped in its inky depths? Will you turn your wrath on the necromancers, the ghost-eaters, the two-bit frauds who exploit dead and living alike for their own enrichment? Will you reach out to the strange shade bound to you, to try to find the person beneath the inchoate fury and bring them peace? Will you bring a new faith to the masses and teach the living to welcome the dead into their lives? Or will you use all your newfound supernatural might to accomplish what you could not in life?

Originally released in 2009, Geist: The Sin-Eaters was a sleeper hit for the Chronicles of Darkness, finally bringing “life” to the realm of ghosts and death. And now this game of second chances gets a second edition, with Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition, offering a revised and updated rules system and an expanded setting.

This Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition Kickstarter is designed to enable us to create a prestige hardcover edition designed to match the look and feel of our other Chronicles of Darkness core rulebooks such as Vampire: The Requiem, Werewolf: The Forsaken, or Mage: The Awakening

We want to create an 8.5″ x 11″ hardcover with a beautifully designed, symbolic cover image printed on a metallic under layer, and featuring an emboss/deboss of the logo. We estimate the book to be more than 280+ pages, with a two-color interior and endpapers on high quality paper stock.

Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition includes all the rules you need to play as one of the Bound: Five Burdens reflecting the cause that pulled you back from the grave, five krewe Archetypes for building your own mystery religion, and the Haunts, Keys, and Ceremonies that provide the Bound with their macabre powers.

It also includes the Chronicle of the Dead, featuring the Sin-Eaters’ struggle against the all-consuming Underworld and a variety of terrifying threats. In addition, for the first time in the Chronicles of Darkness line, ghosts are presented as playable characters.

Chapters include:

  • The Quick and the Dead: the five Burdens (the reason a Sin-Eater comes back from the dead and what draws a particular geist to them) and krewe Archetypes (the common cause that draws a krewe of Sin-Eaters together).
  • The Road Back: On death and coming back, and why Bound make the Bargain, including possible consequences.
  • One Foot in the Grave: Character creation, with sections on both geist and krewe creation, Anchors, Merits, Synergy, Plasm, Abilities, Haunts, Keys, Ceremonies, and Mementos.
  • Old Laws: the core Chronicles of Darkness rules, with special rules for playing Sin-Eaters, as well as information on subsystems for krewes, ghosts, and the Underworld, including Avernian Gates.
  • Antagonists: villains for your Geist chronicle, including Reapers, Eaters of the Dead, necromancers, enemy Bound, and Kerberoi.
  • The Quiet Places: Setting information and story hooks for playing your Geist chronicle in specific times and places in history., from 16th-century Brazil to modern-day Edinburgh, Scotland to Mobile, Alabama in 1910, as well as information on Dominions.
  • Ghost Stories: Storyteller advice and information for running a Geist chronicle, including designing Remembrances, how to set theme and mood, story seeds, and various ways to play out the end of a game.
  • Appendix: The Absent: This Appendix details the Absent, playable ghosts, including Memories, new Merits, and a collection of possible ghost characters to expand on and use in your chronicle.
  • Appendix: Conditions and Tilts: Geist-specific Conditions and Tilts, including ephemeral Influence Conditions and Manifestation Conditions for ghosts, as well as Haunt Conditions and Tilts.

Throughout this Kickstarter campaign, we will be posting complete previews of the Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition manuscript as backer-only updates.

The primary goal of this Kickstarter campaign is to create the best version of Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition that is possible. Your support allows us to fund the best production, use the most appropriate components, and possibly even contract more art for the core book. We hope to not only deliver a beautiful hardcover book to all of our backers, but also fund at least one print run to be sold through distribution and into book and hobby stores that are so vital to our community.

Beyond that primary goal, we hope to gain additional funding to explore more of the world of Geist, expanding into rules companions and other Storyteller and player tools and accessories. The greater our funding for this project, the more resources we are able to explore this (Under)world.

Thirdly, we want to celebrate the quiet legacy of Geist: The Sin-Eaters by offering an affordable bundle of first edition PDF titles. The Underworld Reflections bundle is a quick-and-easy way to dive into the world of Geist and revisit those ideas and concepts as we move forward with our new edition.

Beyond all of those campaign-specific goals, we hope to do what our games have always done — open a path to a new world; a setting for our community to build new stories and entwine imaginations. Every person who participates in this campaign is joining with the goal of giving this game physical form — and like our protagonists, we all become Bound with common purpose. When you back this project, you join our krewe and we journey into the new edition together.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

I’ve been on a Storyteller buying spree lately. I backed Geist. I’m signed up to play one of the Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition sessions at Gen Con. And I covered this Kickstarter in my first deals article highlighting their $10 for [now-12] PDFs of Geist: The Sin-Eaters 1e (plus the Chronicles of Darkness core rulebook PDF for $5 more). I’m in and eager to see this series return to life.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Animal Adventures: Tales of Dungeons and Doggies by Russ Charles
Ends on Tue, July 31 2018 3:00 PM EDT.

“A range of highly detailed dogs compatible with role-playing systems.

Animal Adventures brings intelligent animal characters to your favourite fantasy roleplaying game! Dungeons and Doggies is the first in a planned series of Animal Adventures releases! It is a set of highly detailed miniatures combining some favourite dog breeds with the different classes of the fifth edition of the world’s greatest roleplaying game!

Tedric, Cornelius and Montague prepare for a new adventure.
Tedric, Cornelius and Montague prepare for a new adventure.

This set features not only the miniatures in preassembled ready-to-play or paint PVC, but also a bespoke set of fifth edition compatible rules for using your Animal Adventure miniatures and playing as dogs in ANY campaign setting.

You will be able to mix canine characters with your regular adventuring party or create an entire doggy team of heroes to save the world! The miniatures also make perfect companions and familiars for your existing characters in any fantasy setting or game!

Cornelius the Golden Retriever Wizard
Cornelius the Golden Retriever Wizard

Our range of canine characters are true dogs, four legged companions true of heart and pure of soul! We have chosen to develop a range of ‘non-humanoid’ minis to offer as much of a unique play experience as we possibly could.

Each dog has been lovingly designed and sculpted, by some serious dog fans, to be bursting with personality and detail. From the panpipes of Monty, the bard, to the magical spell bones of Cornelius, the Wizard, care has been taken to add flavour and fun to every model.

Nightingale the Pomeranian Monk
Nightingale the Pomeranian Monk
Tedric the Chihuahua Rogue
Tedric the Chihuahua Rogue
Montague the Cocker Spaniel Bard
Montague the Cocker Spaniel Bard

 The Fetch! Pledge $35/£27

Because this is Painting and Polygons’ first independent Kickstarter project (despite our experience on other projects), we have chosen to keep things as simple as possible to make it easy for us to support, while ensuring smooth delivery.

The Fetch! Pledge brings you 13 doggy miniatures along with the Rules and Adventure Companion PDFs, as well as art prints from our artist, April Prime.

Rather than include stretch goals that would complicate the process, in an attempt to encourage more participation, we are keeping things really easy with only one pledge level, that gets you everything we can cram into this campaign!

We have many more ideas for the future too, including more doggies (and maybe even kitties) so don’t panic if your favourite breed isn’t here! The world of Animal Adventurers is just opening up, and with your support, we hope to be able to make this our first step on our journey into it!

The dogs are designed on 25mm and 20mm bases and scaled to fit in with existing RPG miniatures ranges. And, although we are providing full rules to create your own doggy adventurers, each miniature comes with its own pre-generated character, complete with character sheet and short story! Whether you fancy being Hartley, a gruff and stoic fighter or Freya, a noble guardian druid, there’s a dog for every player.

We are proud to be able to support the excellent online comic Dungeons and Doggos! As part of our collaboration with them, every backer will receive as part of their pledge, a Kickstarter exclusive cross-over miniature; Tonka, the Mastiff Bard.

You can read all about Tonka, and the rest of our fearless canine friends, by joining in with the adventure, as depicted by V Lee Illustrations, every Friday at dndoggos.com.

Alongside our range of miniatures, we are proud to present and include in our campaign a full set of digital rules and a unique adventure that provides a perfect setting for a great one-shot RPG experience, for absolutely free!

Our rules set contains OGL fifth edition racial rules for creating an intelligent dog, unique canine feats and class options, notes on a canine deity for divine doggies and magic items specially tuned for dog use (which of course, are chew proof as well!).

The accompanying adventure, titled “Who’ll let the Dogs Out?”, is designed to be played either with the characters included in the rules or with any party of equivalent level and tells the fateful tale of sinister magics, dark druids and a chance for some brave dogs to save themselves, their canine cousins and the local village from a terrible fate!

Both the adventure and the rules pack feature stunning artwork from professional illustrator and dog lover April Prime, who’s previous work includes the excellent Baby Bestiary for Metal Weave Games.

Alongside the free rules PDFs, we are excited to be able to offer some of April’s illustrations as art prints, included as part of the campaign for free for every backer!

If you want to find out more about April’s work, you can do so at: www.artstation.com/april-prime, or by following her on Twitter, @April_Prime.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

Do you need magical dog miniatures for your campaign? Do you play Pugmire (a 3PP D&D variant where dogs and cats rule the world) and want to have your characters be quadrupeds? Just need a miniature of a dog in a hat and some 5e adventures? This project is likely for you then.

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Delta Green: The Labyrinth by Arc Dream Publishing
Ends on Tue, July 31 2018 7:00 PM EDT.

“Delta Green co-creator John Scott Tynes presents a sourcebook of threats, allies, and mysteries to deepen the terrors of your campaign.

Delta Green: The Labyrinth takes Delta Green agents beyond the beltway and deep into the fissures of America in the new millennium. From Silicon Valley startups to industrialist Super-PACs, from Oregon anarchist collectives to alt-right activists, from the depths of Reddit to this morning’s livestreams, American life has entered a labyrinth of twisty passages all alike. And while there are many ways in, there is no way out.

Written by Delta Green co-creator John Scott Tynes, this all-new collection of organizations presents ready-made sources of allies, enemies, mysteries, and surprises for your Delta Green campaign. Each group has its own story arc, progressing through three stages as it encounters Delta Green agents and the evils they fight. Some groups corrode, wither, and die. Others gain hideous strength and uncover profound new horrors. Each has connections to other groups, ensuring that players find fresh hells at every turn. But all are destined to change — and the journey each one takes holds up a mirror to the agents themselves.

Because things fall apart. The center cannot hold. And once you enter the Labyrinth, you will never escape.

Discussion

John Scott Tynes discusses The Labyrinth with Ross Payton of Role Playing Public Radio

Delta Green: The Labyrinth will be a sourcebook for Delta Green: The Role-Playing Game, about 192 pages long, hardback, in full color. Written by John Scott Tynes, illustrated by Dennis Detwiller, designed by Simeon Cogswell, edited by Shane Ivey, and published by Arc Dream Publishing, The Labyrinth will join the ever-growing line of beautiful and terrifying sourcebooks for Delta Green.

The Labyrinth will contain brand-new factions for players to encounter. Some will be sources of friendlies, allies, and aid. When their exposure deepens due to contact with Delta Green agents, however, those people’s lives and realities will corrode. A group that begins as an ally may end as a foe. Others will be enemy cults and monstrous exploiters of reality. Even those that start small may metastasize under investigation, gaining power and influence.

While this is a faction book, the combinations of story arcs for each faction, and the connections between factions, mean that it can also serve as a de facto campaign. For groups with more self-directed players who like to chase down their own clues, The Labyrinth will be a narrative sandbox they can explore in multiple directions at once.

Throughout, the point remains the same: the mosaic of American life is schisming before us and when exposed to the unnatural, and to the best intentions of Delta Green, it weakens and shatters. The Labyrinth portrays America’s march towards the End Times in microcosm.

“Deception is a right. Truth is a privilege. Innocence is a luxury. Born of the U.S. government’s 1928 raid on the degenerate coastal town of Innsmouth, Massachusetts, the covert agency known as Delta Green opposes the forces of darkness with honor, but without glory. Delta Green agents slip through the system, manipulating the federal bureaucracy while pushing the darkness back for another day — but often at a shattering personal cost.”

In Delta Green: The Role-Playing Game, the cosmic horror of the Cthulhu Mythos meets modern-day technothriller conspiracy. Delta Green postulates a secret group of men and women dedicated to investigating and neutralizing inhuman and supernatural horrors, misappropriating the resources of the U.S. government to wage a war that they must at all costs keep hidden. Delta Green has explored this world of secret horrors in dozens of game books, novels, and anthologies for over 25 years, winning awards and acclaim all along the way. Delta Green: The Role-Playing Game and the sourcebook A Night at the Opera were nominated for seven ENnie Awards in July 2018.

Learn more about Delta Green in the free quickstart rulebook, Delta Green: Need to Know.

John Scott Tynes founded Pagan Publishing and the magazine The Unspeakable Oath in 1990. He first wrote about Delta Green in “Convergence,” a groundbreaking scenario that appeared in The Unspeakable Oath issue 7 in 1992. The idea of Delta Green immediately seized the imaginations of gamers around the world. Tynes expanded it with co-creators Dennis Detwiller and Adam Scott Glancy in the sourcebooks Delta Green (1997) and Delta Green: Countdown (1999), both of which won Origins Awards. Tynes’ novel Delta Green: The Rules of Engagement also won an Origins Award in 1999.

Tynes continued to advise the Delta Green creative team over the years as Pagan Publishing and Arc Dream Publishing created Delta Green: Eyes Only (2007), Delta Green: Targets of Opportunity (2010), and Delta Green: The Role-Playing Game (2016 to present). Tynes also wrote Arc Dream Publishing’s Origins Award-nominated RPG Puppetland, and co-created Atlas Games’ RPG Unknown Armies.

In an encrypted message left in an unlisted voicemail drop, John told us: “After completing the new edition of Puppetland for Arc Dream last year and contributing to the new edition of Unknown Armies for Atlas Games, I found myself haunted by strange dreams of an America plagued by discord, ruled by monsters, and slouching towards one of several moral or literal apocalypses. Fortunately, none of that is happening in the real world, so this seemed like the perfect time to explore these completely fictional ideas in the world of Delta Green.”

We’re very excited to have John back in the world he was so fundamental in shaping.

In late 2015, Arc Dream Publishing ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to launch Delta Green: The Role-Playing Game. For the first time, Delta Green is its own game system, fully customized for the uniquely suspenseful and fearful experience that Delta Green scenarios offer. That campaign funded a long line of sourcebooks and adventures, many of which have now been published. We have produced over a thousand pages of new material for Delta Green since that Kickstarter project ended.

The final shape of Delta Green: The Role-Playing Game inspired John Scott Tynes to write The Labyrinth, his first new game material for Delta Green in many years. At the same time, illustrator Dennis Detwiller’s most substantial work from that Kickstarter, writing the King in Yellow campaign Impossible Landscapes, will be done by the time John has finished The Labyrinth. The timing lines up perfectly. Other books—Deep State, PISCES, Falling Towers—and scenarios are in development by other writing teams.

Funding for Delta Green: The Labyrinth will pay for its writing, editing, illustration, and design, and for printing it as a full-color, hardback book with the same high quality as the Agent’s Handbook, the Handler’s Guide, and other books in the Delta Green RPG line.

We love working on Delta Green. We want every new book or scenario to be even better than the ones that came before. This campaign gives us a chance to do just that.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

Delta Green started life as a setting for Call of Cthulhu. It grew from a 3PP setting of one game to be a game onto itself while the new material remains backwards compatible with CoC. “Delta Green’s percentile-based rules are compatible with 20 years’ worth of Delta Green scenarios and sourcebooks.” As the pitch above states, if you’re looking for “allies, enemies, mysteries, and surprises for your Delta Green campaign”, this book is for you.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Neoclassical Geek Revival by Josh Rottman
Ends on Tue, July 31 2018 11:59 PM EDT.

“A trio of books for the Neoclassical Geek Revival Roleplaying Game

What is Neoclassical Geek Revival?

Neoclassical Geek Revival
Neoclassical Geek Revival

Neoclassical Geek Revival (NGR) is a fantasy roleplaying game. Many reviews of it have been completed over the years, but the core purpose that differentiates it from things like retroclones (beyond that it is not an OGL game) is that it is focused on player driven shenanigans. It has different mechanics for class, conflict, stealth, magic, and experience which create a wildly different play experience while maintaining the old school adventure vibe.

Some examples of play are found here

“This is possibly the best FRP I’ve read in decades, as much for what it simplifies as for what it enhances.” – Kyrinn S. Eis, Alternate Reality Games

“When playing the game quite a few things stand out to me as brilliant” – The Magician’s Manse

  “My opinion? Neoclassic Geek Revival is WIN! Buy a copy!” – Paolo Greco, The Lost Pages

“Overall rating: 9½ out of 10 stars.” – Anthony Hunter, Sleeping Griffon Productions  

“I would definitely recommend NGR.” – Murky Pool Roleplaying Advice and Fiction

“It was this introduction that made me fall in love with NGR and Kowolski’s distinctive writing style.” – James Maliszewski, the Black Gate

There are also special versions which features art by a number of different artists.  Scrap Princess, Dyson Logos, Alex Mayo, and Chris Huth all have or will have their own versions. Luka Rejec is the next artist to unlock via our stretch goals.

From the Scrap Princess Version
From the Scrap Princess Version
From the Dyson Logos Version
From the Dyson Logos Version

What is the Adventure Omnibus?

Zzarchov's Adventure Omnibus Vol 1
Zzarchov’s Adventure Omnibus Vol 1

Getting a hard copy of one of Zzarchov’s adventures has usually been reserved for those published by another company or getting lucky with one of his rare small print runs. Zzarchov has created a compendium of all his dual stat NGR/OSR adventures in one large volume that is nearly 300 pages in size.  This includes “The Roots of Bitterness” which is not available for sale and Down in Yon Forest which is only available seasonally.  Included in the Omnibus are the following adventures:

A Thousand Dead Babies

“It is efficient, engagingly written, mechanically solid, and there’s a sense of…anticipatory and ominous giggling?” – Playing D&D with Porn Stars

“This would also be a good module to use to introduce your non-D&D friends to D&D” – Goblin Punch  

“The highest compliment I can give to any product is that I intend to use it in my own campaign…and I intend to find a cool little spot on a map for Corroc and wait for the day they players wander to that neck of the woods.” – Gothridge Manor  

“I can’t wait to run it myself.” – Dyson Logos  

” I love this thing. Simple. Short. Sticky.”  – Bryce Lynch of TenFootPole.org

“this is probably one of the darkest modules I know.” – Endzeitgeist

The Gnomes of Levnec

“The Gnomes Of Levnec is a dank twisted little affair which I imagine will leave adventures some how feeling dirty no matter how they handle it. Well done sir, well done.” – Scrap Princess

“Good adventures about gnomes are rare, but this one by Zzarchov Kowolski checks both boxes. It’s short, peculiar, and perfect for an old school D&D game; I’d happily drop it into a campaign with an evil smile on my face.” – Gnome Stew  

“First impressions…this is a adventure is disturbing and hilarious. I got a lot of entertainment reading it.” – Gothridge Manor  

“you will begin to fathom the warped genius of the module’s writer.” – Hero Press  

“There were a few times I caught myself laughing during the read through, and immediately knew I’d slot this adventure into any upcoming low level campaign.” – Dreams of the Lich House  

“I smiled, I cringed, smiled some more and nearly did a dry heave (well, maybe not that far, but certainly more than a cringe).” – Tenkar’s Tavern  

“a fantastic “so you are lost in the woods” table. Based on the map, and the awesomeness of the table, I would make sure that I roll on that table the first time they head into the woods. And at least one more time.” – Take On Rules  

“The Gnomes of Levnec is a great little adventure that is worth getting to read, get a new table idea, or possibly screw with your players some. I think it is totally worth it, even at almost $6….which is saying a lot for me.” – Frugal GM  

“I’m a fan of this though. I will sometimes say a product is pretty close to my cutoff line, either pro or con. Not this one.” – Bryce Lynch of Tenfootpole.org

“The Gnomes of Levnec is an amazing 1st-level module (or 0-level funnel for DCC) that manages more in its couple of pages than many modules with twice that page-count” – Endzeitgeist

Scourge of the Tikbalang

“No one writes adventures like this.” – The Cuticle Chewer’s & Well-Pisser’s Fantasy Report

Under the Waterless Sea

“There is very little art in the scenario, but somehow there are two pictures of the penis tower in addition to a vertical map of it.” – Fictive Fantasies

“All in all this is interesting, well made and value for money with a good amount of sandbox and possibly replay value.” – Thomas W.

Trail of Stone and Sorrow

“Personally, I believe it warrants your support with a donation.” – Paul Baldowski

“it’s highly engaging and strangely challenging” – Ahimsa (Knight Owl Publishing)

“Zzarchov Kowolski provides an interesting, fun sidetrek here, one that has a truly intriguing fallout potential” – Endzeitgeist

The Gem Prison of Zardax

“after trying to think of different ways to make dungeons with interesting metapuzzles for year, the Gem Prison of Zardax created a set of tools that made it really easy to think up fun variants. So, yeah, recommended.” – Playing D&D with Porn Stars  

“So basically a great quick adventure that you can use for probably a single night with the recommended party level. ” – Quiet in the Dungeon

The Price of Evil

“This generator is very well done and its got tons going for it. I’m a fan of generators of this type in general and this is an especially well done style of product. ” – Swords and Stitchery

“anyone and everyone running a horror game should buy this product.” – Stefan B

The Temple of Lies

” It’s a nice little urban adventure”. – Bryce Lynch of TenFootPole.org

The Roots of Bitterness

This one had a very limited release so there aren’t many reviews about.

Down in Yon Forest

” Now, I really enjoyed this module, due to completely different reasons than most Christmas modules; because it is kind of anti, but without resorting to a full-blown inversion or spitefulness; it is a tale of the holidays in a world, where the meaning behind such a celebration may well spell the difference between life and death.” – Endzeitgeist

What is City of Tears?

City of Tears
City of Tears

The City of Tears is a desert themed dungeon adventure clocking in at 64 pages. It is set in the burned out basement of the Sultan’s palace after a plague killed the entire population of a the titular City of Tears. Now bandits and scavengers camp outside the gates and the haunted lower levels of the Sultan’s palace are the last source of valuables. This adventure also features enough details of the surrounding area that it would be a great start to a new campaign.  It features art by the talented Jez Gordon, maps by Dyson Logos, and layout by Jensen Toperzer.

Who are we?  

Zzarchov Kowolski is an award winning game designer from Ottawa, Canada. He has a number of roleplaying game adventures published by Lamentations of the Flame Princess, ZERO/Barrier, DIYRPG, and by his own private label. He also developed the Pioneers of Mars board game. Zzarchov is the author of all the works in this project. Joshua Rottman is a project manager from Ottawa, Canada. He has managed the previously successful Pioneers of Mars kickstarter and runs Neoclassical Games. Joshua will be handling the business and logistics aspect of this project.”

 

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

I don’t have much to add to this one that is not covered in the AMAZING number of reviews quoted above. If the volume of praise does not move you, how about this – I recently covered this Kickstarter’s best deals – CA $1 for an art-less PDF version of this or CA $5 for the PDF with the art.

 

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? 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).

RPG News, Sneak Peeks, and Deals – DriveThruStockArt?, Geist 1e Deals, and More

I receive, or uncover, a number of tabletop RPG news bites, sneak peaks, and deals (and rumors) through social media, message boards, IMs, and my in-box that are worth reporting on. What follows is a collection of these rumors (take them all with a grain of salt) as well as short hype pieces (sneak peek it and I’ll leak it). From time-to-time I’ll run these notes as a column.

 

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Stock Art from Fat Goblin Games

Rick Hershey of Fat Goblin Games (DriveThruRPG link / Open Gaming Store link) provides tabletop gaming companies with a boatload of the stock art that’s used in their publications. On Facebook, he discussed his desire for OneBookShelf (DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, etc) to create a stock art specific website. Based on his comments, prior to his FB post, Rick “sent the suggestion several times over the last few years. Not sure if it received anyone’s attention or not [at OBS].” As well, Rick noted “the percentages OBS takes on stock art is too high – just saying.”

During the discussion, John Reyst of the Open Gaming Store, a competitor of OBS, expressed interest in discussing this with Rick as did Chris Perrin who is developing a stock art and photography sales site. Alan Bahr of Tiny d6 offered the publisher perspective – “A different site would add extra steps for me and make me less likely to use it.”

Meredith Gerber – “DriveThruRPG Pub Relations” – posted that “I am reaching out to [Rick] right now about it, actually :)” Will Rick’s posting lead to a change for the tabletop stock art industry?

STATUS: Monitoring.

 

Disclosures: I freelance for Open Gaming Network, a subsidiary of John Reyst’s Open Gaming, LLC as is the Open Gaming Store. I use affiliate links to DriveThruRPG. I’ve bought and plan to use stock art from Fat Goblin Games.

 

Below is an abridged collection of screenshots of the discussion.

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Bryce Whitacre of Baker Street fame is actively developing a new game, Gnomes and Gnazis. He sent me an early draft of it and he announced it publicly on his Facebook (reprinted below).

STATUS: Developing.

Egg’s Note: This goes without saying, but I unabashedly condemn the original Nazi movement and it’s Neo-Nazi rebirth.

 

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This week, I had several RPG articles go live across the interwebs on:

  • Open Gaming Network: An interview with Grimtooth of Trapsylvania about his trap… er, Kickstarter, Grimtooth’s Trapsylvania. This is easily one of my favorite interviews and can be read here.
  • EN World: A review of the 7th Sea RPG Explorer’s Society PDF, Thomas G. Harrison’s Bloody Misadventures: Dramatic Battles on the High Seas, a 27-page manual detailing ship-related action sequences. Read it here.
  • Tessera Guild: A look at the OSR Kickstarters for Secrets of the Nethercity, Grimtooth’s Trapsylvania (second article this week), City of Brass, and SURVIVE THIS!! Vigilante City. Read it here.
  • Tessera Guild: Our second sneak peek for Wrath & Glory, Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay Core Rules See the art here.

 

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On Kickstarter, there are DEALS to be had!

 

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PATHFINDER RPG DARK FANTASY ADVENTURES COLLECTED – LVLS 1-14 – Back this campaign for a $1 (the $1-THE GHOUL WELL-PDF backer level) to get a PDF adventure:

THE GHOUL WELL-PDF
15 page Pathfinder adventure for beginning characters. Specially created for 1st level players. Not too easy, not too hard. It is made as a low-risk, short adventure that is designed to get new players hooked onto the Pathfinder RPG system. (this adventure is a complete, standalone adventure with no attachments to the core 7 adventure product)

Ends on . Find the campaign here.

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Neoclassical Geek Revival – Back it for a CA $1 (the NPC backer level) to get an art free PDF of the game, or back it for CA $5 (the Starting adventurer backer level) to get the PDF of the game with art.

Ends on . Find the campaign here.

A trio of books for the Neoclassical Geek Revival Roleplaying Game

* * * 

Once Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition Kickstarter reaches $87k, the $10 level (the Lemure backer’s level) will nab you 10 Geist: The Sin-Eaters 1st Edition PDFs. For $5 more, you can add the Chronicles of Darkness core rulebook PDF. $15 gets 11 PDFs!

  • Geist: The Sin-Eaters 1st Edition PDF
  • Ready-Made Characters 1E PDF
  • Quickstart – Return of Mr. Monster 1E PDF
  • Through the Ebon Gate 1E PDF
  • World of Darkness: Book of the Dead PDF
  • Nightmare on Hill Manor 1E PDF
  • Dem Bones 1E PDF
  • House Always Wins 1E PDF

At $87,000 in funding – Underworld Reflections Historic Addition – Dark Eras: God’s Own Country PDF (Geist: The Sin-Eaters 1E set in post-WWII New Zealand) and Dark Eras: Three Kingdoms of Darkness PDF (Geist: The Sin-Eaters 1E set in China following the collapse of the Han dynasty) will be added to the Underworld Reflections 1E PDF Bundle.”

Ends on . Find the campaign here.

 

UPDATED [2018-07-14] – They passed the funding stretch goal and have made it official in this update (read it here).

 

 

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Disclosure: 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 to share news? Rumors? Sneak peeks? Deals? 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 OSR Kickstarters You Should Back – Secrets of the Nethercity, Grimtooth’s Trapsylvania, City of Brass, and SURVIVE THIS!! Vigilante City

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

 

Secrets of the Nethercity by Autarch
Ends on .

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

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

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

With Secrets of the Nethercity you get:

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

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

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

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

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

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

What do you mean by kilodungeon?

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

What levels is the adventure for?

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

Where is the adventure set?

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

How much detail is offered on the city of Cyfaraun?

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

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

What are the Bonus Goals?

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

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

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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

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

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

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

Grimtooth’s Lair

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is Grimtooth’s Traps?

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

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

 

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

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

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

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

City of Brass 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Section 3: Tales of Brass 

New Adventure Locations including:

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

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

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

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

 

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

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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

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

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

 

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Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

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

* * * * * *

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

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

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
Ends on .

“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.

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 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).

4 RPG Kickstarters Ending This Week – Quest, Champions Now, 5th Evolution, and Secret Agents of CROSS

There are a number of excellent RPG Kickstarters that end this week but I want to focus on four of them. From superheroes to fantasy, original systems to Savage Worlds, these four campaigns are worth your time.

 

Champions Now by Hero Games
Ends on .

“Recovery and re-imagining of first-generation Champions role-playing.

The first wave of role-playing design was its own Renaissance, marked by greatness of all kinds. If you were playing then, you’ll remember. And if you weren’t, you’d be amazed at what that wave held. One of them was Champions, the Super Role-Playing Game.

Hero Games is proud to present Champions Now, to be created by pioneering game designer Ron Edwards, author of Sorcerer and co-founder of The Forge. Ron will revisit the original three editions of first-generation Champions (1981 to 1988), recovering the power of this foundational era of superhero roleplaying.

We know that time and tides went elsewhere. Fourth edition Champions and the Hero System have their own storied history beginning 1987-1989. Steve Long revised and expanded this body of work into the Hero System Fifth Edition in 2001, and then revised and expanded it again in 2009. There were lots of good books, lots of great games, and lots and lots of superheroing.

And that’s fine. Things change. Only… there is one little point, one observation, one wholecreative superhero subculture left back there in the past. One that just happened to rock the hobby to its foundations and train a whole generation of play and design, including a bunch of Big Ass Names who wrote the Big Ass Games you know well.

So our goal for Champions Now? To show you why the original Champions created by George MacDonald and Steve Peterson was actually just that good. To celebrate and recover that explosive quality. The final work will include best practices for the original rules and a new rules-set to bring their strengths forward, as well as practical essays about superhero comics and gaming.

It will also include you. See these people playing this game?

Right here is a very sketchy yet usable playtest document. We’re playing this thing right now and so can you. We want to know what you do with it! Pledging playtesters get serious props right there in the text, saying what they said and what it means.

Halfway there breaking news! Hero Games is providing the PDFs for Champions 3rd edition and for the supplements Champions II and Champions III to all backers at named tiers at the completion of the campaign. The playtest document was written assuming you’d have these in hand, and now you totally will, as of July 1.

That’s why you see that long delivery period – so you can play. This isn’t a pre-order for a prefabricated product that would have been pumped out anyway. The point of crowdfunding is inclusion, and this is how that happens.

Another example are Ron’s short videos, like this one, which initially appear as updates and are archived into a public resource at Adept Play. What you tell us about how you play and what happened – that’s what upcoming videos are made to address. If you want, you might even get to be in one!

Ron Edwards is a wanderin’ Californian who has wound up in Sweden. He is the co-founder of the legendary website The Forge, a creator-owned-game publisher site, and the author of some notions about role-playing. His previous works include Sorcerer, Trollbabe, Spione, and Circle of Hands. He won the second Diana Jones Award for “excellence in gaming” in 2002, and is the author and creator of this project.

Steven S. Long is a role-playing game author and one of the owners of Hero Games. He has written for numerous companies, including White Wolf Publishing, Pinnacle Entertainment Group, Steve Jackson Games, Last Unicorn Games, and Chameleon Eclectic. He has written, co-authored, edited, or developed over 200 RPG products. Steve will be assisting in the development and playtesting phase of this project.

Jason S. Walters is an author, essayist, and publisher best known for running Indie Press Revolution (IPR), a distributor of micro-published roleplaying games. He is also one of a small group of investors that purchased Hero Games in 2001, and serves as its CEO. He is the developer of numerous roleplaying games, including Champions Complete, Fantasy Hero Complete, and At The Hands of An Angry God. Jason is the publisher for this project.

Ruben Smith-Zempel was made in Oregon. He showed his creativity at an early age, charging his 3rd grade classmates 25 cents for paper and cardboard army vehicles (for the G.I. Joe’s, of course). Thus was born an artist who would never shy away from creating things important to his hobbies. Ruben has served as head graphic designer on dozens of RPG projects and will be handling layout and graphic design for this project.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

As a kid, the ads for the historic versions of these games always captured my attention creating a nostalgia for this campaign as much as the game itself. I want to see how this game plays today (and how this campaign plays out).

 

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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Quest: the roleplaying adventure game for everyone by The Adventure Guild
Ends on Sat, June 30 2018 12:00 AM EDT.

“Everything you need to begin an exciting adventure with your friends that you won’t forget

Quest is the roleplaying game for everyone.

If you’re completely new to this type of game, we’ll have a friendly conversation with you about how to play. Quest is fast, fun, and easy to learn. We hope to show you how intuitive and immersive storytelling games can and should be. And if you’re already an experienced player, you’ll find a surprisingly deep game with a refreshing set of modern rules.

This is a game about becoming an extraordinary person in a dangerous world. You’ll explore wondrous places, meet fascinating and mysterious people, witness magical events, and answer the call to go on an exciting adventure. What happens in this world is based on the choices you and your friends make.

Curious? Excited? Ready?  

Let’s begin.

Quest is a way to tell an exciting story with your friends. You don’t have to be an improv actor or a mathematician to be good at it – you just need to open your mind and use a little imagination. The rules of the game are intuitive and help you imagine where the story might go.

These are just some of the ways Quest will help you quickly begin your adventure, and potentially carry it with you for years to come.

The Friendly Guide. Everyone deserves to feel like a hero with their friends at the table, so we wrote a book that feels inviting. It’s not a textbook – it’s a conversation. Along the way, you’ll see a running dialog from a fictional group of players, to help you see how the rules of the game are used to tell the story.

The way it works is simple. Read the left side of the player’s guide to learn the basics, and if you want to learn a little more, see the right side of the book. Here’s what it looks like:

A page spread from the Quest Game Book
A page spread from the Quest Game Book

The Essential Deck. Quest features a deck of cards with all of the game’s special moves, so that you can reference them at the table without having to flip through a book. The Essential Deck makes it easy and fun to grow as a character. When you begin the game, you’ll start with a few moves that make your character special. As you grow during your adventure, you’ll get to collect more cards that tell you how to do amazing things.

Essential Deck cards showing Quest's 8 hero roles
Essential Deck cards showing Quest’s 8 hero roles

The Story Engine. Quest only uses a single (but powerful) die – the twenty-sided die, or “d20.” When the stakes are high in your adventure, rolling the die will help you imagine what happens. Sometimes you’ll use it to walk a tightrope, make a sweet move, or witness the results of an unpredictable spell.

You only need to roll once to see what happens. And if you’re really good at something, you’ll get a bonus. Then, you’ll check to see what the consequences are from an easy-to-remember set of outcomes.

The story engine keeps the game moving fast by letting you succeed a lot. But when you fail, the consequences will be meaningful. Every choice you make matters.

If you’re an experienced player and want to know more about Quest’s rules, check out our Kickstarter FAQ. Or visit our website for even more advanced details about our rules. 

“Quest breaks from the war gaming history of more classic tabletop RPGs to bring a more narrative driven approach both in and out of combat. I love D&D, but it is structurally, by the design and history of war gaming that it comes out of, a game that encourages players into the murderhobo mindset. Quest feels like a game that is trying push back on that inclination systemically. A lot of the spells and skills tend to be a bit more narrative driven which gives a lot more room for encounters that aren’t about just about killing monsters.”

– Andrew Simone, game tester

Spells that tell tales. We think everything you can do in a tabletop roleplaying game should be surprising and delightful. So we created skills and abilities with a focus on narrative and fun. Quest’s skills and spells – the special things your adventurer gets to do – are meant to inspire your own silly, dramatic and unexpected ideas. Here are a few examples:

There are over 300 spells and skills in Quest that you can learn and use. Follow us on Twitter to see more examples, where we’ll be posting more previews of Quest’s spells, abilities, and items every day.

Play a little, or a lot. You can play Quest just once, or a few times, with groups of any size. You don’t have to make a long-term commitment to play, and with our first adventure format, you’re not obligated to play every time your group meets; you can easily rejoin the story down the road, if you want. But for groups that want to tell an epic story over months or years, Quest is deep enough to let your character learn and grow over time.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

An easy, inclusive fantasy RPG that has, as of this writing, around 1,200 backers. I think they’ve found the secret sauce and that level of excitement alone is reason enough to check this out. Want more details? Dan Davenport hosted a Q&A with T.C. Sottek about Quest and has a copy here: https://gmshoe.wordpress.com

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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5th Evolution: New Genres for Your 5E Game! by Limitless Adventures
Ends on Sat, June 30 2018 12:59 AM EDT.

“5th Evolution (5Evo) takes the wildly popular 5E game mechanics and applies them to new genres: super heroes, WW2, and 80s horror.

What is 5th Evolution?

5th Evolution (5Evo) takes the wildly popular 5e game mechanics and applies them to new genres. 5Evo products are a marriage of comics and roleplaying.

Learn more about 5Evo with this explainer comic!

Why 5E?

5th Evolution is intended for gamers who enjoy the 5E game engine and would like to use it in other genres. 5E is wildly popular, has been extensively play-tested, and is easy for new players to learn. Many players familiar with 5E are hesitant to learn a new system, and 5Evo allows them to explore new worlds and genres of play seamlessly.

What does this Kickstarter Contain?

This project is made up of three separate graphic novel-sized softcover books in three different genres: WW2, Super Heroes, and 80’s Horror. Each book contains three parts:

  • Part 1: the comic. Each 5Evo book opens with a comic that GMs will share digitally with their players prior to the gaming session. These comics serve to introduce the genre and setting, as well as to get players invested in the coming adventure.
  • Part 2: the adventure. The second section of each 5Evo book is a one-shot adventure, complete with pregenerated characters, that picks up where the comic left off.
  • Part 3: the source guide. Finally, the third section of each 5Evo book is a source guide that gives the GM the monsters, equipment, and characters to create their own adventures in that particular genre.

The Books

World War II – Set in North Africa in 1942, you’ll crew an M5A1 Stuart tank on a special mission during Operation Torch. This book contains the adversaries, equipment, characters, and vehicles to run a WW2 North Africa campaign with or without supernatural elements.

Source guide includes:

  • 4 American WW2 solider archetypes
  • Period specific tanks and trucks
  • Meticulously researched, period specific firearms
  • Customizable enemy combatants

Super Heroes – Set in Carbide City in the present day, you are part of a team of the super heroes trying to stop a gang of super villains wreaking havoc downtown. This book contains the super villains, equipment, and player archetypes to run a supers campaign.

Source guide includes:

  • 13 of Carbide City’s worst super villains
  • Customizable non-super enemies
  • Future tech equipment
  • 10 character archetypes

80s Horror Films – Set in the small town of Woodhaven  in 1985, you and your friends get in over your heads and uncover a dark plot while seeking a party. This book contains the monsters, equipment, and teen hero archetypes needed to run a horror campaign set in the 1980s.

Source guide includes:

  • 10 1980s horror movie monsters
  • Customizable non-monster threats
  • 6 teen hero archetypes & 6 variants
  • Variant rules for younger characters

Sample(s)

Download “No Going Back”, our free sample comic and adventure PDF.
Download "No Going Back" - a sample comic and adventure PDF
Download “No Going Back” – a sample comic and adventure PDF
View Boost full size by clicking the image below:
Meet "Boost" - A 5Evo NPC!
Meet “Boost” – A 5Evo NPC!

Note: This is not a stand alone game, these books still require DnD5e core books or rules from the SRD. We recommend 5thSRD.org.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

The 5e mechanics you [likely] already know applied to superheroes, soldiers, and 80s horror. If you’re a 5e fan, this will expand your table options!

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Secret Agents of CROSS for Savage Worlds by Blessed Machine 
Ends on Sun, July 1 2018 12:59 AM EDT.

“Secret Agents of CROSS is a tabletop RPG where Catholic agents protect the flock from supernatural horrors, demons, and terrorists.

CROSS is a clandestine spy agency also known as the Catholic Response Organization to Strategize and Strike. CROSS was created by rogue Cardinal James McDonnell to take the Pope’s prayers and convert them into actions.  He and his command staff create missions to protect the flock from evil using cutting-edge technology coupled with saintly magic honed over 2000 years of history.

The CROSS organization was originally created as part of a Champions game years ago.   When I decided to create a setting around it, I wanted to capture my vision of an organization that only includes agents that are the best of the best.  They are the only people suited for the types of adversaries that they will face.  I wanted the players to feel like they were playing competent characters from the start.  When I discovered Savage Worlds, I felt that the exploding dice aspect of Savage Worlds along with the bennies system modeled that feeling. After a few sessions at Garycon, I knew this was the system for Secret Agents of CROSS.

Please note, you will need a copy of Savage Worlds to play Secret Agents of CROSS. You can find out more about Savage Worlds here.

You will receive the Secret Agents of CROSS book, a Savage Worlds setting in full color with approximately 170 pages of never-before-seen content.  This book is your guide on how the world of CROSS operates, how to make player characters, and how to run CROSS missions that are steeped in secret spy stuff, religious history, modern terrorism, and the supernatural.

For Players and GMs:

  • A brief history of Biblical events that affect the modern world of CROSS.
  • A detailed history of the creation of CROSS and the entire command staff.
  • 10 Roles for players to choose from to promote CROSS’s setting feel.  Optional rules to expand, create, or change Roles.
  • New Edges and Hindrances to help capture the setting feel of Catholic secret agents.
  • Over 40 unique weapons created by the engineers of CROSS.

For GMs:

  • Suggestions for how to handle the nature of supernatural things and how they are affected by normal and supernatural powers.
  • Suggestions for the use of CROSS in various genres including Fantasy, Horror, and Superhero settings.
  • Suggestions on how to provide the best gaming experience for each archetype.
  • Double-secret-GM’s-eyes-only section of secrets not revealed in the other chapters.
  • Over 30 powerful relics and artifacts to place into missions.
  • Over 30 adversaries to interact with your agents.  Some good, some bad, some hard to tell.
  • 3 complete missions for your agents to begin defending the flock.
  • A detailed mission generator.
  • High-quality color pdf and printing fulfilled with DriveThruRPG in standard 8.5″ x 11″ size.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

Pete Ruttman of Blessed Machine reached out over a month before this campaign began to share his enthusiasm for his game. The concept – literal warriors of Christ – is an obvious idea (D&D Paladins brought to today), yet it has only been lightly explored in the [largely secular] gaming industry. Since the engine is Savage Worlds, the question of deciding whether to back this or not becomes if you like that system and this setting for it.

 

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.

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 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).

Kickstarter Reflections – Shipping and Handling Not Included

This is part of a series of posts where I look back at the process of running a Kickstarter. The steps we took, the mistakes we made, and a bunch of other things I wish I had known.

Other Kickstarter Reflections Posts

Kickstarter Reflections – Mailing List Blues

Kickstarter Reflections – Starting at the Finish Line

***

When we last left our intrepid hero, he was busy crunching numbers for the Route 3 Kickstarter, trying to find the bare minimum it would take to actually get the trade funded. And I had my number: around $4500 would get us what we wanted.

Aside from my mistake, that is what it would cost…

I didn’t notice my mistake at first. And I really must say that I had done a ton of research. I’d listened to podcasts and read blogs until I was cross-eyed, and still didn’t see it coming. Because here’s the warning that you get on every single one of those posts:

Watch out for Shipping costs.

So I did. I was a maniac about it. I was making sure to count every person at the $7 shipping charge. What I didn’t realize is how Kickstarter actually incorporates that number. My brain said:

The shipping is determined after you make your pledge selection, so it CAN’T be a part of the overall $$. It’s a separate item and is effectively collected separately.

What reality said:

No, that $7 for shipping is actually added into the total goal number. So when you were calculating your goals, you should have included that one, but you didn’t.

It seems like it probably shouldn’t matter all that much, but I didn’t realize it until I did an update to the spreadsheet once we’d gotten past the 50 backer mark – and then realized my error.

On the positive, it meant we were much more likely to hit our goal when our $25 reward level was actually worth $32 to the campaign each time. On the negative, I was now seeing that there was as much as an $800 difference. Which basically meant if we barely funded, we’d potentially be behind by $800. Of course, that was the absolute worst case scenario (and I kept reminding myself of that very fact). That was if everyone only contributed at the $25 level. The idea of that happening was highly doubtful. It would mean no one would buy any PDF only levels or any of the higher tiers… again, not realistic.

That rationale didn’t help ease my brain spinning, and I can only imagine Robert’s state of mind when I told him the “good news”:

“So after we got off the phone tonight I got curious about the overall numbers. I quickly added the 55 backers up and found that the shipping charge (the $7 or $20) that appears to be an add-on is actually contributing to the Project Fund Goal.
This obviously causes a problem because we did not factor that into our cost breakdowns. I have written Kickstarter to make sure that I am seeing this correctly. What follows is the note I submitted through their “Support” button:
“I would like to confirm whether or not the added charges for domestic and international shipping is a contributing factor to the project’s overall Funding Goal. I had been under the impression that this was not the case when we launched on Friday afternoon. Is there any way that this can be altered for a project, as our calculated costs did not assume the shipping applied to the pledge amount? We believed it was an add-on. Any assistance you can provide on this would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.”
Assuming that this cannot be changed for the project, it appears that our True Number should have been approximately $5625 ($775 difference).
Now, this number is based on various factors:
Digital vs. physical backers – I’m assuming 25% digital based off our current level
Potential of International vs Domestic Shipping – This is probably only going to be a handful of people, but it is something to consider
The number of people who actually chose to do a higher reward level – This would reduce the number of people we actually have to ship anything to.
And potentially people who can get their reward hand delivered – Again, reducing the number of people we actually have to ship anything to.
That’s a lot to take in. I can walk you through it if you want to talk by phone at some point. I’m sorry that I didn’t catch this as I thought we’d been as thorough as possible.”

***

 

Of course, things couldn’t be changed at that point, and Kickstarter wasn’t going to change their whole setup for little old me. So I mentally prepared myself to make up for the blunder if it came to it. As the campaign went on I tracked the updated numbers and found that for every digital only person, it brought that value down (nothing to ship), for every higher award number chosen, it brought the numbers closer together.

I said it last post – the biggest part of Kickstarter is that it changes with every new person who contributes. We’d calculated in the “have an artist draw you tier” into our numbers, but if all of them weren’t taken (I think we were limited to 10) then it would reduce the number. So there were tons of ways to get through this gaffe. And by the end, just due to the rewards taken, we ended up all good and got some Stretch Goals in for good measure!

***

So I suppose the lesson is to really, really try to identify the potholes where you can. And even if you think you have a handle on the costs, maybe reach out to someone who’s already done a Kickstarter. Sometimes it is the question we don’t even know to ask which end up biting us in the ass.

***

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

 

 

4 OSR Kickstarters – NSFW – The Black Hack 2e, No One Warps for Free!, Advanced Labyrinth Lord, and The Peasants’ Fell Bargain

I just returned from Origins 2018. It was a blast meeting the folks that I write about, joining in the community, and gaming! One of the many games I played there was Eric Bloat’s OSR, Survive This!! Zombies! That inspired me to look at what OSRs are currently on Kickstarter where I found a few winners.

 

NSFW – This article is Not Safe For Work. OSRs are fun but they’re not without controversy and NSFW art so, dive in at your own risk.

 

The Peasants’ Fell Bargain: DCC™-Compatible RPG Adventure by Gaming Honors
Ends on .

“Role-Playing Game (RPG) Adventure Module Inspired by Classic Tales of Horror. Dungeon Crawl Classics(TM)-Compatible Zero-Level Funnel.

The Peasants’ Fell Bargain is a zero-level adventure compatible with the Dungeon Crawl Classics™ Role-Playing Game. Available in print or PDF and featuring twenty-eight action-packed pages, this fully-illustrated adventure inspired by classic horror tales will put your peasants to the ultimate test as they search for the Lord Stenorian’s missing son.

A Bargain of Fire and Blood

For generations your village has lived and worked in the shadow of the Stenorian estate, which sits perched like an ancient bird of prey on a promontory at the edge of the mountains. You eked out a hard living through logging, mining, or planting the rocky Stenorian lands. Each year you made the three-mile trip up the mountain to pay rent and tribute to the men-at-arms standing watch at the keep’s gate….The years went by, and nothing changed.

Now the Lord Stenorian himself has come, begging for your help. “My men are slain, my father is missing, and I have nowhere else to turn. My son! My son Michael is still hiding somewhere in the keep. Find him! Save him! Do this for me, and I will reward you beyond your wildest imaginings.” His eyes burn with a frightening intensity. “Hear me. Return my boy to me, and ask what you will. I promise you, if it is in my power, I will grant it.” These last words seem to echo inside your minds as visions of a new future for you and your family float before you.

Meaningful Choices and Motivations

The Peasants’ Fell Bargain invites you to be a hero—you are ten-year-old Michael’s only hope—or a mercenary. After all, Lord Stenorian promises you rewards beyond your imaginings: all you have to do is find the boy. No matter the motive, agreeing to serve Stenorian will bring you power you’ve never known.

But as the stories tell us, power always comes at a price, promises can be impossible to keep, and even the purest motives can lead to unspeakable evil…

An Adventure of Mayhem and Mystery

In the best tradition of Dungeon Crawl Classics™, Goodman Games’ incomparable system of classic RPG adventure, The Peasants’ Fell Bargain pits hapless gongfarmers and blacksmiths against monsters from their worst nightmares. You will test your pitchforks and slings against new and deadly adversaries.

At the same time, you will need to examine clues in the Stenorian manor to uncover the horror hiding behind the keep’s high stone walls. The mystery of the Stenorian family unfolds as your party explores the scene and pieces together the evidence. Handouts allow you to discover the story as you go—and what you learn may very well force you to reconsider your assumptions, your plans…

And perhaps even your promises.

Deals with the Devil: A New Game Mechanic

Like many classic tales, The Peasants’ Fell Bargain turns on a pact made between the PCs and a figure of awesome power. Adventurers who choose to strike a bargain with Lord Stenorian will be rewarded with powers determined by a d20 roll on the custom “Fell Bargain Table.”

This funnel also provides an alternate “Monkey’s Paw Table” for use in other adventures and campaigns. Like the story from which it gets its name, the “Monkey’s Paw Table” can extract a high price for the boons granted.

It is not for the faint of heart.

(Art in progress)

A Module Crammed with Content

The Peasants’ Fell Bargain is packed with 28 pages of adventure, illustrations, and game supplements, including “Encounter Cards” that judges can photocopy, cut out, and use to run combats.

Back our Kickstarter, and see what surprises await. With your help, The Peasants’ Fell Bargain will be a funnel you and your party will never forget.

So what do you say?

Do we have a bargain?

Say, what is this Dungeon Crawl Classics™ of which you speak?

Dungeon Crawl Classics™ is the amazing role-playing game from Goodman Games that takes you back to those all-night odysseys in your parents’ basement, when all a good adventurer needed was a map, a sword, and some guts, and all a player needed was paper and pencil, some dice, and imagination. Magic is mysterious and powerful, monsters are menacing and unpredictable, and Luck matters—A LOT more than min-maxing and statistical analysis. DCC takes the best parts of the game you remember and combines it with the wisdom gained from over fifty years of role-playing to create the one-of-a-kind experience that got you rolling dice in the first place.  If you haven’t checked out the rulebook, what are you waiting for?”

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

 

At MomoCon 2018, I picked up Dungeon Crawl Classics from the Goodman Games boothDCC is an OSR that is gonzo awesomeness! Getting to start at zero-level with this adventure is worth checking out because it lets you really stretch your creative legs and build something fun.

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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No One Warps For Free! by Kort’thalis Publishing 
Ends on .

“Yet another adventure for the Alpha Blue roleplaying game! Sleazy space opera that parodies many existing scifi franchises.

Hi.  I’m Venger As’Nas Satanis, author of classics such as The Islands of Purple-Haunted Putrescence, How to Game Master like a Fucking Boss, and Adventure Writing like a Fucking Boss.  What’s up?

I’m Kickstarting the Alpha Blue supplement Alien Ass, Hydrogen Gas, or Cosmic Grass… No One Warps For Free!  

Yes, it’s a silly title (a prominent member of the Kort’thalis Publishing g+ community, MoonSylver, came up with it), but it’s the kind of inappropriate, over-the-top, ridiculously awesome kind of thing that Alpha Blue excels at.

This book will be full-color and feature fantastic artwork.  I got the taste for color with Blood Dark Thirst and Battle Star: Trek Wars… now, there’s no going back!

Here’s a look at the interior layout for both the PDF and (CreateSpace / Amazon) softcover by Glynn Seal of MonkeyBlood Design.  He does awesome work and Kort’thalis Publishing is fortunate to have his services at our slimy pink and blue disposal.

What is Alpha Blue?  As I look around me, it seems the vast majority of RPG rules/mechanics are being swallowed up by either old standbys or the new hotness.  Well, this particular game is one of the few holdouts that hasn’t become a D&D clone, Fate thing, Apocalypse Powered, or Savage World.  And yet, Alpha Blue is vaguely similar to D&D, has a few story-game elements, and wild dice-swinging action.

Alpha Blue has been my most successful RPG line (that includes Crimson Dragon Slayerand The Outer Presence) – numerous supplements have been created over the last 3 years.  It’s rules-light (traditional and contemporary hybrid with d6 dice pools), juvenile, and a lot of fun.

Still curious?  Play a little choose your own adventure:   http://www.sleazyscifi.com/#/

For the most part, it’ll be adventures that parody established scifi franchises.  The amount of raunchy, gonzo comedy depends on individual tastes.  Not everyone is going to want to playAlpha Blue like a Star Wars porn parody – and that’s ok.  Many gamers only want a hint of 70’s era exploitation.  And not that you need it, but you’re given “permission” to mix and match less-hard scifi, such as Ice Pirates, Flash Gordon, and Heavy Metal with familiar pop-cultural icons.

Besides several scenarios (see the next few paragraphs), there will be tons of random tables – ice cream, menstruation, tattoos, and so much more!  Random tables are kind of my thang and nobody does them better (plus, I get crowd-sourcing help from dozens of contributors who love Alpha Blue and everything it stands for).  These tables can be used in multiple adventures, campaigns, and the comedic / gonzo / sleazy RPG of your choice.

  • Among others, the zenobites will be back in a Hellraiser tribute scenario called “Skinless and Horny.”
  • It’s spring break somewhere in the Federation, and college kids need transport from Margaritaville to Pina Coladaburg.  Wouldn’t it be a shame if convicts from a women’s prison broke out and tried to commandeer the PCs’ ship?  That’s a sexy mission if ever there was one.
  • Terrorists within the Interstellar Caliphate are strapping themselves with suicide vest explosives on their way to the space station of love – Alpha Blue.  Admiral Ackbar!  Let’s go kill those freedom hating, bastards!!!

There will be pre-generated characters for quick-start games like introductory demos, virtual tabletop, conventions, etc.

Optional rules, helpful suggestions, and neat mechanical bits and pieces will be interspersed throughout the text in sidebars.

Plus, new “classes.”  Really, these are just character concepts that will give you some idea of where your strengths and weaknesses lie. Here’s a quick overview…

Primitive Screw-head – you’re a savage barbarian and dumb as a box of space rocks.  But you can smash real good, intimidate those low-muscle cerebral types to the point of “pee fright,” and get in the way of delicate high-tech operations like nobody’s business.

Quantum Sorcerer – you travel the universe, casting spells for fun and profit.  Yep, you’re a magic-user among the stars.  Several new spells will be offered, though the system is so light-weight and malleable that official “spell lists” are unnecessary.

Bard – yes, that’s right.  The most useless adventuring profession in the universe – and you can play one!  Learn an instrument… or a thousand instruments (doesn’t matter, you’re still going to die horribly) and join the Guild of Performing Arts.  The GoPA will assign your bard to a special crew of hand-selected spacers who probably won’t eat you if the food runs out andmight not consider your instrument a portable latrine.

Space Ranger – you’re part of an elite team of highly unorganized cops protecting the innocent and hunting down the worst of the worst.  At one time, the space rangers were affiliated with the Federation – not any more.  The Federation has grown too corrupt to police itself, let alone the entire universe. You’re a vigilante with a badge!

This book will be 30 pages at a minimum.  See the stretch goals for possible extras…”

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

 

Looking for a sleazy sci-fi RPG? Something simple system-wise, but full of sex tropes from the 70s and 80s? Venger Satanis, as always, has you covered. Since the Trinity of Awesome Returns, I’ve covered Venger’s Kickstarters. While he’s a font of RPG business wisdom and he’s published some of my first RPG work, he’s also said things I cannot co-sign, so promoting his OSR work – which is an unashamed system-light RPG love letter to the 70s/80s era of low-budget, sleazy sexploitation fantasy and sci-fi movies – goes from let’s-do-it to am-I-going-to-lose-friends-for-this. [For whatever it’s worth, Venger writes me pretty often to see if I’m still upright and drawing breath.] With that, let me share this RPG and let you make your own decision about his subset of OSR – he’s dubbed it “O5R” – that’s “[s]leazy space opera that parodies many existing scifi franchises”.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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The Black Hack RPG Second Edition by Gold Piece Publications
Ends on .

“The award winning, super-streamlined, oldschool fanstasy roleplaying game returns with its expanded, content packed second edition.

The Kickstarter for the original edition of The Black Hack funded in just 5 days, raising over 1000% of its goal amount – more importantly however, it marked the moment a small set of house rules evolved into a fully-fledged DIY rpg movement. Today, I’m proud to launch this new Kickstarter as another evolution in the life of The Black Hack — turning it into the most comprehensive and lightweight old school system available — with all the gorgeous layout, artwork and trappings that it deserves.

The engine and design behind The Black Hack (TBH) is a simple, straightforward game written in a logical conversational tone. It provides all the experiences you’d expect a traditional fantasy RPG to deliver without clunky rules getting in the way of the action and the emerging character stories.

TBH doesn’t force a trite grand fantasy setting upon the players either. Instead it comes accompanied by a full-suite of tools flavoured with old school fantasy sensibilities – culminating in a game that provides a foundation of preparation or improvisation for the imaginations of the GM and the players.

Peter Regan of Squarehex/Gold Piece Publications has assembled a legendary team to support the writing and design of the game. Artists Karl Sternjberg, Sean Poppe and Jeff Call will be providing detailed, evocative, old school art to fuel the readers’ imaginations and Pookie will be providing editing duties to ensure the writing and rules are water tight.

The beta document has been written, laid out and is going through final playtesting sessions – now all we need to do is have it looked over by an editor, commission the final pieces of monster artwork and print it, which we aim to have done by October. If you pledge at a level that comes with print version of the main rulebook you will gain access to the production ‘beta’ document as soon as the project funds are transferred (normally 2 weeks after the project funding period ends). Thank you for taking the time to read this, but most of all thank you for sharing and supporting this campaign and the DIY RPG movement.

– David Black

The Black Booklet – ‘Quickstart rules for players’ 300gsm matt laminated cover, 170gsm silk art pages.

The Black Hack – ‘All the rules, all the things’ Hardback matt laminated cover, 120gsm internal pages, black end papers.

The Black Hack – ‘All the rules, all the things’ Hardback with cloth/silver foiled cover, 120gsm internal pages, black end papers. Kickstarter Exclusive.

GM’s Screen – ‘Inspiration and GM tools’ 3xA5 panels 300gsm matt laminated card.

Illustrated Character Sheets – Double sided a4 OSR style playbooks, one for each class.

The Black Box – ‘Goodies’ Matt black 1.5mm board with a silver foil printed lid. Dimensions are: 230x165x50mm. Dice are opaque black with white numbering. The dice pouches are black velvet. The pencils are matt black with black wood and black erasers printed in white.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

 

I reviewed the Basic Hack, which is born from the Black Hack. My editor at EN World, Chris Helton, reviewed the first edition of the Black Hack and praised it. I’ve read endless good things about it and talked to Eric Bloat about it during Origins where he said he is backing the new edition. When a successful OSR publisher backs your product, it speaks volumes.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

Advanced Labyrinth Lord by Goblinoid Games
Ends on .

 

“Fans have been demanding a combined Labyrinth Lord/Advanced Edition Companion book for a long time…here it is!

Advanced Labyrinth Lord

Labyrinth Lord was first published in 2007, and for over 10 years has been one of the premier old-school “retro-clone” games. Its wildly popular supplement, the Advanced Edition Companion, adds all of the “advanced” first edition options for Labyrinth Lord, all while keeping compatibility with the B/X basic fantasy game.

For the first time, Labyrinth Lord and the Advanced Edition Companion will be seamlessly combined into one volume! Fans have been asking for this for several years, and it is my pleasure to make it happen! All of the basic and advanced options, magic items, and monsters will be brought together under one cover for easy reference.

Here are some facts about the combined book:

  • This is not a new game.
  • This is simply a combined book.
  • You will still be able to separate “basic” from “advanced” game options.
  • Much interior art will carry over from the original books, but new interior art will be featured in addition.
  • This combined book does not replace the current separate books. Those books will remain in print.

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

 

This book is a combination of two OSR books, not a new edition of LL or a new game. Clearly, there is a market for this as fans are pledging. Never heard of Labyrinth Lord and want to try before you buy? Find free versions of Labyrinth Lord: Revised Edition (no-art version) and Advanced Edition Companion (Labyrinth Lord, no-art version) here so you can decide for yourself.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

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

* * * * * *

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

Origins Game Fair Spotlight – Fates of Madness, an RPG Card Game

It’s another day of Origins Game Fair 2018 and another game worth checking out! This time Legendary Games and Mythica Games are showcasing Fates of Madness on Kickstarter [below] and at Origins. Are you at Origins? Because designer Jimmy Sanders is demo’ing FoM there. As well, there are sessions of the Legends of Draxia card game and the Draxia RPG from Mythica Games.

 

Fates of Madness, an RPG Card Game by Legendary Games and Mythica Games
Ends on .

“A cooperative RPG adventure card game based on the Gothic Campaign Compendium. Plays Solo or up to 5 Players!

Fates of Madness is a cooperative role-playing light adventure card game based on the popular Gothic Campaign Compendium by Legendary Games with game design by Mythica Gaming.

This diceless game is varied by the use of Fate cards and skill level to determine success or failure. This horror themed adventure is the first joint project between Legendary Games and Mythica Gaming.

The game is comprised of two sizes of cards, Tarot sized and Poker sized. You will find the following in the base game but we hope to reach all stretch goals.

Tarot Size Cards

  • 6 Character Cards
  • 4 Character Hit Point Tracker Cards
  • 13 Location Cards (7 Scenarios and 6 Monsters)
  • 5 Boss Monsters Cards
  • 1 Monster Hit Point Tracker Cards

Poker Size Cards

  • 27 Fate Cards
  • 16 Equipment Cards
  • 20 Potion Cards
  • 14 Treasure Cards

Characters in the game

  • Agrimar Vaskel, Male half-orc paladin
  • Dominnia Vorsaife, Female human wizard
  • Eilinica Ziorec, Female elf cleric
  • Ereviss Cierdel, Male elf bard
  • Jevalt Ardain, Male human inquisitor
  • Merenso Kull, Male half-elf ranger
  • STRETCH GOAL LOCKED: Xiuj Hak Leyng of the Seven-Ghost-Needles, Male middle-aged human alchemist
  • STRETCH GOAL LOCKED: Ysabot Vaskel, Female human Witch

Locations in the game

  • Abandoned Laboratory
  • Crumbling Gazebo
  • Crypt
  • Derelict House
  • Graveyard
  • Grimoire
  • Ruined Castle
  • Swamp, Foul Needler
  • Cave, Adomination
  • Misty Grasslands, Barghest
  • Abandoned Dress Shop, Possessed Manikin
  • Ancient Battlefields, Animated Armor
  • Deep Forest, Jabberwock
  • STRETCH GOAL LOCKED: Farmer’s Field, Barbed Devil

Boss Monsters

  • Black Behemoth
  • Body Thief
  • Devil Beast
  • Drider
  • She Devil
  • LOCKED: Alternative Boss Monster”

 

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

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

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

* * * * * *

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

Origins Game Fair Spotlight – Starship Infernum: a tabletop RPG of Interstellar Survival

It’s Origins Game Fair 2018 and Robert Turk of Wicked Clever is here sharing his latest RPG, Starship Infernum: a tabletop RPG of Interstellar Survival. Currently funding through Kickstarter, this pick-up and play RPG let’s you try to survive the horrors of space. Interested in trying it? Robert is running the game at the show. Interested in backing the game? Click here.

Robert Turk – “My games are being sold at the Orc’s Forge booth (339) and I am running games from 2 to 10p every day at the Hyatt.”

 

Starship Infernum: a tabletop RPG of Interstellar Survival by Wicked Clever
Ends on Wed, July 4 2018 8:00 PM EDT

“A pick-up & play tabletop RPG. Easy to play, easy to run, hard to survive! Infinitely re-playable, no dice needed, sci-fi fun!

Starship Infernum is a pick-up & play, sci-fi survival-horror, tabletop role-playing game for 3 or more people.

The idea for Starship Infernum began as a one-sheet expansion to our previous pick-up & play game, Purgatory House. But as we started working on it, we realized that it was a complete stand-alone game, and we had to give it the space to soar.

We are now proud to present our brand new, survival-horror RPG with great art, cool new mechanics, alien monsters, psychological dangers, lots of explosions, and even more unrelenting horror:

  • 108 pg. 6×9 Hardback Book! (offset printed in the USA)
  • Easy to Learn “Blackjack” Mechanics!
  • Infinitely Replayable! The Ship is different every time!
  • Pen & Ink Illustrations from Master Artists!
  • KS Exclusive Extras!
  • Actual Shipping costs charged AFTER the Kickstarter!

All Backers get immediate access to our Beta Playtest Rules in Update #1!

  • Character creation is fast and easy, or you can jump right in with one of the many included pre-generated crew mates.
  • No dice to play, just two decks of regular playing cards (with Jokers!)
  • Definite endgame! A single adventure plays in 2-4 hours.
  • Death is not the end of the action! Expired crew mates are still part of the story and will impact the outcome of the adventure.
  • There are no complicated rules to memorize! If you can play Blackjack, you can play Starship Infernum!
  • No Prep! Crises are determined at the start of play. The ship layout and the obstacles encountered are generated by a deck of cards. The Dealer simply interprets how to implement them.
  • The book is filled with examples, gameplay options, and descriptions for each room and obstacle!
  • All challenges are resolved with a hand of Blackjack. A player only takes damage if they bust!
  • Failure creates “Rising Tension” which makes the next test harder!
  • Players can exhaust relevant traits to adjust their total score or use found equipment for a one-time bonus!
  • Jokers summon Swarms – mass challenges against the entire crew!
  • Duty Abilities provide each character with a unique bonus (or rules twist) in certain situations!
  • Crisis Swarms, Spacesuits, EVA, and new Psychological Challenges!

 

To see more of Wicked Clever‘s work on DriveThruRPG, click here.

To support this Kickstarter, 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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

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

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

Kickstart the Comic – 5 From Beyond

When Terminus Media decided to get into comics, we cut our teeth on four different anthologies. The thought process was that it was a lot to ask an artist for 22 pages, but 8 pages… that would be doable. On top of that, learning to write in those 8 page blocks only helped me as a writer. Considering I was still trying to figure out how exactly to script a comic in the first place, it allowed for learning on the job.

So I have a soft spot for anthologies…

***

Five From Beyond

Published by From Beyond Comics

Writers – Kyle Roberts, Dan Kern, Clay Adams

Artists – Rafael Romeo Magat, Kyle Roberts, Rafael Dantas

Colors – Ilaria Fella, Mai, Davi Comodo, Emilio Pilliu

Kickstarter Campaign ends on Friday, June 22, 2018 at 11:00 PM EDT.

***

 

The Pitch:

Drawing inspiration from classic anthology comics and television shows like Creepy, Eerie, The Twilight Zone and Tales From the Crypt – FIVE FROM BEYOND is a full color, 48-page anthology comic featuring five short stories infusing elements of horror, suspense, and science fiction into each gorgeously illustrated tale.

 

The Stories:

Parent/Guardian

In the far flung future, beyond the far reaches of our solar system, PARENT/GUARDIAN tells the story of a father’s fight for redemption in the eyes of his daughter.

The Brokener

Born from the imagination of a three year old girl, THE BROKENER is a terrifying tale of folk tradition and the cycle of abuse.

Deathtrap!

A mind bending re-imagining of Edgar Allen Poe’s classic The Pit and the Pendulum. DEATHTRAP! turns the focus outside the pit and onto the rescue party tasked with saving Poe’s original protagonist.

The Ark

Earth’s attempt at colonizing a new world is jeopardized when the transport’s commander decides to play God aboard THE ARK!

The Bin

Based on true events! Four teens stumble upon an unsettling discovery when they go snooping within THE BIN!

John’s Thoughts:

Kyle Roberts clearly knows how to hook me in the very first sentence as he called upon The Twilight Zone. I might as well stop reading at that point as “you’ve got me!”. That aside, the biggest thing with anthologies is doing the initial scan when you are trying to see if any of the story synopsis grab you. So I do that, and knowing nothing else, I’m intrigued by “The Ark” and “Deathtrap!”. The first due to the fact that I have about 10 different ideas on where the story may go and want to see if they’re true. With the latter, Edgar Allen Poe’s story is one that’s always caught my attention (if, for no other reason, that my wife once had nightmares from watching only the beginning scene of the movie).

And I love the cover!

 

The Rewards:

You have the PDF ($5) only or the Print ($15) versions of the comic. At higher levels you can get an 8 1/2 x 11 inked drawing ($60) or an original interior page from the book ($100). At the $25 level, there is a unique reward where you get a panel from the comic that is suitable for framing.

 

The Verdict:

The book is done, so that’s always a great thing to be able to read it all the quicker. And like I said above, I’m a sucker for this type of comic. When done well, you end up with stories that will stay with you for weeks after you’ve read them!

 

***

To find out more about From Beyond Comics, check them out here.

***

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

Click here to join John’s mailing list.

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

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com

6 D&D 5e Kickstarters – Spectacular Settlements, The Curse of Roslof Keep, The Runewild, The Steel Road, The Bespoken Bestiary, and Carcosa

I’m on the road to Origins 2018. In other news, there are six 5e Kickstarters worth looking at. I don’t say much (on the road), but these games are worth a look. 😉

 

The Curse of Roslof Keep high level 1E & 5E gaming adventure by Art of the Genre
Ends on .

“Return to high adventure with this upper level (10+) module that features a living dungeon, adversarial NPC companies, and much more!

Join the adventure as Art of the Genre revisits the various curses of Roslof Keep!  This first part of a six part mega-campaign is based around experienced characters levels 10+, and I’ve specially designed the dungeon to breath life into those adventuring levels without relying on old standards like giants, dragons, and constructs.

The Curse of Roslof Keep revolves around an adventuring company moving to the city of Tiefon, capital of the great eastern power of Thalonia, where they will match wits against other great adventuring companies as well as the intelligent dungeon known as The Infernal Machine.

Folio #20 will introduce characters to the setting, the mysterious and ancient Kasbah of Tiefon, as well as the other companies hired by the great houses to clear the magical dungeon that has suddenly appeared beneath their streets.  Dungeon details include 2D standard ‘blue’ hex maps as well as fully 3D renderings of Level 1.  A gazetteer will give background on the Infernal Machine and the city, as well as the stakes that weigh on the characters, and includes a new monster designed specifically for this campaign.  It also features a fully removable stand-alone cover, and two booklets (gazetteer & adventure).

The adventures of Folio #20 await!
The adventures of Folio #20 await!

As with all previous Folio adventures, this is written in classic AD&D mechanics, while also having D&D 5E stat blocks and adaptations as well.

What is Roslof Keep? Roslof Keep is a six part mega-dungeon produced in 2015, and comprises Folios #1-#6.  It is based around an intelligent dungeon known as ‘The Infernal Machine’ that has now spread to other cities with greater threats, thus bringing about the events of The Curse of Roslof Keep adventure series.

Folios 1-6 in the original Roslof Keep Campaign
Folios 1-6 in the original Roslof Keep Campaign

What do Folio dungeons look like? Below you will see a internal Folio removable cover dungeon, rendered in full 3D for easy use by the DM, and well as defined in hex style 2D for mappers.  Rooms are well described, and stats are provided for both AD&D and 5th Edition D&D formats.

Sample of 3D maps on the removable interior module cover!
Sample of 3D maps on the removable interior module cover!
Sample 3D mapping from the original Roslof Keep Campaign!
Sample 3D mapping from the original Roslof Keep Campaign!

What is The Complete Roslof Keep Campaign Hardcover? Produced in 2016, this 128 page compilation book includes all six Folios in the Roslof Keep Campaign as well as 6 bonus mini-adventures that tie in with the set and a Nameless Realms Races gazetteer, as well as the stats for the 7 Iconic characters seen in the series.  It has an original cover by Jeff Easley, and a classic ‘orange spine’ to go along with the TSR AD&D hardcovers of the 1980s.

The Complete Roslof Keep hardcover edition
The Complete Roslof Keep hardcover edition

What are ‘Bridge’ Mini-Adventures? These three ‘throwback’ style mini-adventures bridge the timeline between the close of The Roslof Keep Campaign, and the events of The Curse of Roslof Keep, allowing players to build on the adventure before it has even truly begun.”

'Bridge' mini-adventures included in the 'Full' backer levels
‘Bridge’ mini-adventures included in the ‘Full’ backer levels

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

Love the art as always with The Folio.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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The Runewild – A Fey-Themed 5e Sandbox Campaign by Sneak Attack Press
Ends on .

“A 5e sandbox campaign. In the Runewild, witches walk, goblins cavort, and the borders between the realms of mortal and fey grow thin.

Beyond the kingdom of Aruanda, there is an untamed land. It is a place where witches walk, where goblins cavort, where the borders between the realms of mortal and fey grow thin. For some, it is a place of unspeakable wonder; for others, only madness and death lie within its trackless depths.

It is the Runewild, and it is both beautiful and cruel.

The Runewild is a dark fairy-tale sandbox setting for use with the 5th Edition of the world’s most popular roleplaying game. Designed for character levels 1 through 10, it provides locations, encounters, and NPCs to support a campaign lasting months or years, or to be adapted into other campaigns. The 160+ page book includes:

  • A history of the Runewild and its surrounding settlements.
  • 100 detailed encounter areas for player characters to explore.
  • New optional rules for exploring and resting
  • Advice for running a sandbox campaign
  • A new feat: Fey-Touched
  •  13 unique magic items (like witch embers and the staff of clarity and confusion)
  • 32 new monsters (including clockwork dwarves, fey lions, giant forest sloths, and the terrifyingly beautiful Golden Bodach).
  •  Detailed descriptions of the histories, motivations, and weaknesses of the witches of the Runewild, including the Whitebone Sisters; Missus Switch, the swine hag; Korthsuva, the Witch of Hours; and the hag-queen Griselda, Mother of Ogres.
  • Dozens of random tables designed to help GMs make the Runewild campaign their own.

To learn more about the Runewild, you can check out our free previews:

Preview 1: Missus Switch, Swine Witch – The history and statistics of the Swine Witch and a detailed description of the school house where she teaches her porcine pupils.

Preview 2: Highvale Blade and Twisted Tome – The Runewild is a place steeped in powerful fey magic, and these items show how some harness it safely, while others let it get out of control.

Preview 3: Beasts that Lurk in the Runewild – This preview features four new beasts that live in the Runwood: the helpful fey lion, the thought-stealing fiddlehead, the enigmatic Seven-Tails, and the terrifyingly beautiful Golden Bodach.

COMING SOON! Preview 4: The Goblin Market – A magical, moving marketplace that sells everything from a baby’s wail to a portable mouse hole to the secret you’ve searched for your whole life.

If you want to see even more, you can back the project and see the current draft of the complete book by going to this backer-only post. We’ve written the whole book and gone through several rounds of revision, but we plan to do at least one more revision using your feedback.

We love the ways crowdfunding can involve our backers. Everybody who backs at any level can read the current draft of the book and provide feedback. For those who want to play an even bigger roll, we offer two backer reward options:

Denizen of the Runewild

The final book will contain a table featuring one hundred random fey denizens of the Runewild. We want to give you a chance to be part of that chart. If you select either the PDF and Runewild Denizen, or Print and Runewild Denizen reward level, you can create one entry on the chart that includes your fey creature’s name, the type of fey, a brief description, and the creature’s goals. (All descriptions may be modified for length, tone, and established setting cannon.)

Part of the Art

If you want to be even more involved with the creation, you can pledge at the Part of the Art level. At this level, we will also include an illustration based on either a photo or description you provide. We will add the NPC to the book, and you can provide as much or as little guidance as you would like.”

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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The Steel Road: Exotic Weapons for 5th Edition by Sinopa Publishing LLC
Ends on .

“Role playing game source book ~ 50 exotic weapons and 50 Enchanted Weapons in one beautiful book for 5th Edition D&D RPG DnD Fantasy

50 Exotic and 50 Enchanted weapons, in one beautiful book!

That’s what this campaign is about.  Your support will fund art, production, and print costs for backer rewards.  This book is being produced and released for the fifth edition game mechanic.

Each weapon is fully illustrated in the style of sketchbook in keeping with the narrative throughout the journey. Yes, this means there are 100 pages of illustrated weapons in the book!

Image capture from first draft formatting of the book
Image capture from first draft formatting of the book

Narrative text is in 12 point font for ease of reading and to best simulate natural handwriting while maintaining legibility.

Our introduction begins the narrative found throughout the book
Our introduction begins the narrative found throughout the book

The Steel Road

  • The Steel Road, is created to resemble the sketch book of a traveling weapons merchant.  This book details exotic weapons from Africa, East Asia, Eastern Europe, India, China, Japan, and the lands of the Pacific.
  •  Each weapon is illustrated, making this book a fantastic resource for game masters and players alike.
  •  Each weapon is described from the point of view of the narrator (our fictional weapons merchant) and the descriptions include statistics for game play use.
  •  An enchanted example of each weapon is also described within as the legendary version.
  •  Each legendary weapon is of Unique rarity.  There is only one!

Game mechanic data for these enchanted weapons is provided for easy use.

The book is printed in 8.5 by 11 inch size, in dtrpg.com’s premium color option. The print copy of the book is released in soft cover but check out the stretch goals below!

Experience the world on the edge of a blade, travelling The Steel Road.

Featuring Weapons from ~

Africa

Art Layer: Each weapon has a mundane version and a legendary version
Art Layer: Each weapon has a mundane version and a legendary version

Eastern Europe

Art Layer: The Dacian Falx
Art Layer: The Dacian Falx

India

All of the weapon stats are original content
All of the weapon stats are original content

China

Exotic weapons from China and the surrounding areas of Asia
Exotic weapons from China and the surrounding areas of Asia

Japan

Great attention to detail is seen in the sketches of these exotic weapons
Great attention to detail is seen in the sketches of these exotic weapons

Lands of the Pacific

Cultural elements were honored within page space capabilities
Cultural elements were honored within page space capabilities

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

 

Sam Quinton of Sinopa Publishing LLC is working hard to make some unique 5e offerings. This is another example.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Spectacular Settlements for 5th Edition! by Nord Games
Ends on .

“The ultimate guide to creating amazing trading posts, villages, towns, cities, and capitals populated with versatile & detailed NPCs!

Spectacular Settlements, the latest addition to the Game Master’s Toolbox, is the ultimate guide to creating compelling locations for your adventures and campaigns.

Contained inside are chapters devoted to various settlement types, from the smallest trading posts, to massive capital cities. Within these chapters are all the steps needed to craft a settlement with both depth and originality.

Creation takes just a few easy steps, each of which has multiple options to detail your settlement. These options are presented as tables from which you can select the outcome yourself, or roll for a random result.

Step one covers basic information, such as its age, size, environment and recent history. Step two details aspects of the community, such as resident and visitor populations, disposition, politics and crime. Step three establishes points of interest, including shops and services that can then be populated with proprietors and patrons taken from the ‘Interesting NPCs’ chapter.

The resulting settlement is both dynamic and detailed. The book has great utility, designed to also be an engine of inspiration for storytellers and world builders, sparking creativity and prompting GMs to delve deep into what their settlement is, how it came to be, and how aspects that might be at odds with one another may just give clues about its most compelling elements.

The book is available in full-color PDF and hardcover formats for 5th Edition. We have multiple pledge levels to best suit your gaming budget, so please check out the project, share it with your friends, and help us hit our goal.

1. Creating Great Settlements. An overview on settlements, when to use them, how to use them, and how to keep things both dynamic and interesting.

2. Trading Posts. One of the most important settlement types, trading posts are often hot spots for information, quests, intrigue, and excitement!

3. Villages. Often the home of simple folk with simple lives, villages dot the landscape. They can however, be the jumping-off point of many a fun adventure!

4. Towns. The beginnings of urban development, towns can be lawless communities ripe for powerful influence, or the birthplace of the next world superpower.

5. Cities. More people, more problems. Cities are teeming with all manner of folk. Some good, some bad, some just trying to mind their own business. No visit to a city is ever without potential dangers, or potential rewards.

6. Capitals. Seats of concentrated power, home to mighty bastions and the focal point of both politics and war alike.

7. Keeps. Keeps are single large fortified buildings such as towers. The nature of these structures dictates that villages and towns usually spring up around them, due to the protection they offer. They are modest when compared to full castles, but are much more attainable for smaller communities in terms of costs and resources.

8. Castles. A large, imposing group of buildings, castles are fortified against attack with thick walls, battlements, and towers. They typically have a town or even city surrounding them, with homes and shops perhaps directly outside its walls.

9. Strongholds. Like a castle, but larger still, strongholds have greater fortifications. Built to be as impenetrable as possible, these bastions are the pinnacle of what one could expect from a physical structure.

10. Shops & Proprietors. What is a settlement without shops? In this chapter you’ll find all the shops you’ll ever need, as well the folk who operate them.

11. Interesting NPCs. Over 100 pages of NPCs who can be dropped right into a shop, service establishment, or encountered on the streets of your settlement.”

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Dark Naga – Carcosa for 5th Edition by Dark Naga Adventures
Ends on .

“A non-linear adventure in the classic Sandbox style where the party (Level 11-12) fights to escape the lair of an Old One–Hastur

About This Project
About This Project

Carcosa is an adventure for three to seven characters about level twelve. It is designed for use with the Fifth Edition version of Gary and Dave’s RPG. It can be adapted to any fantasy RPG.

Special Note

The Physical Catchup Naga reward description at the right is missing some critical text. The description below is accurate; however, the one at the right reads “DNH4-Carcosa” when it should read DNH4-Confronting Hastur, and DNH5-Carcosa” The “Includes” list is correct. I apologize for any confusion this typographical error might have caused. Thx to a backer for catching it early in the campaign. Sadly, I cannot edit that section for KS integrity reasons.

The Premise  

Immediately following the events of Confronting Hastur, the characters wake up in Carcosa and are greeted by a broken man who tells them they only have a day to escape the plane before becoming permanent residents. The way home appears to require them to confront a demon lady and the three demon brothers who constantly vie for her attention and their domains within Carcosa. A land teeming with minor demons, humans, and three powerful Abrar, dreadful demon lords. Pressed for time, the party members find themselves pawns in the petty games of the brothers as they claw their way to worship before the lovely Grushka, the Abrar who runs Carcosa while Hastur slumbers. Their search for a way home reveals rumors of a way to trap Hastur in a longer, deeper slumber, giving their world peace from his attempts to invade for hundreds of millennia to come. Will they work to go home, or will they chance eternal damnation to save their world?

Who We Are
Who We Are
Cover for DNH5 - Carcosa (with thanks to Randy Price's keen eye for typos)
Cover for DNH5 – Carcosa (with thanks to Randy Price’s keen eye for typos)

Who is Dark Naga Adventures? Why should you trust me?

I am Kevin Watson, and Dark Naga Adventures is my company. It exists to create and publish adventures that are a combination of the classic sandbox adventures of the early days of the hobby combined with modern features. I have probably written 30 adventures and designed about a dozen fantasy worlds in my life as a Game Master.

This project is the fifth adventure for commercial release and my fifth Kickstarter Project. This concludes the Haunting of Hastur series. As a young company, I am motivated to produce quality products and intend to leverage the experience gained from several Kickstarter campaigns to mitigate potential complications in production.

Previous Kickstarter Projects from Dark Naga:

The Lost Temple of Forgotten Evil  

The Buried Zikurat  

The City of Talos  

Confronting Hastur  

As a one-person shop, the buck stops with me. Art, cartography, and editing are all being done by top-notch freelancers. Expect regular updates and as much transparency as we all can handle.

Freelance Artists

Catia Fantini, Cover Art

Justin Andrew Mason, Cartography

Brian McCranie, Interior Art

Front Cover - Full Image
Front Cover – Full Image
Back Cover - Full Image
Back Cover – Full Image
  • Saddle-Stitched 24+ page adventure
  • Detached Color cover with color maps on the interior. These maps are far too elaborate and gorgeous to produce in monochrome.
  • 5 full-color maps
  • 3+ pages of black and white art, more when we unlock stretch goals.”

 

Read my interview with Kevin Watson on the Open Gaming Network.

 

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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The Bespoke Bestiary – A Custom 5e Monster Book by Mithrilpunk Press
Ends on .

“Following our successful Legacy’s Wake Kickstarter, we are bringing our style to a book of monsters for 5E designed by our backers!

Final Cover
Final Cover

When it comes to your table top game, there is always room for another monster, but so often you find yourself throwing the same tried and true creatures at your players. Orcs, Goblins, Dragons; the classics are classics for a reason but sometimes you really want something fresh and new. That’s just what the Bespoke Bestiary aims to provide.

Think back to your earliest experiences with the game, before you knew what resistances that ooze had or what spell to NOT EVER cast at that golem. Remember those breathless sessions, not knowing if your party would determine the right tactics and techniques to bring down the terrifying new beast your game master threw at you?

We want to bring that back! We present to you, the Bespoke Bestiary, a monster tome done up in true Mithrilpunk style. Inside you will find dozens of new creatures complete with all the background you need to run them and the mechanics needed to scare your players with fresh terrors unlike any they have seen before.

Final Art to be in Color
Final Art to be in Color

TL;DR: At least 24 new monsters (probably a TON more than that), a new take on existing classic monsters, and awesome new player options, all with the MithrilPunk look and feel!

All art will be in full color, though we’ve intentionally kept all art in greyscale at this stage in order to allow our backers to have influence even on the art direction!

Final Art to be in Color
Final Art to be in Color

At the base level, our goal for this bestiary is to start with at least 100 pages and go from there. Based on stretch goals and sponsored monsters, that count will only go up! We are going to start with 24 custom monsters with new art, 6 of our favorite Skyfall monsters updated and improved, and then we’ll go into some classic monsters and put a great new spin on them! Every single new monster, including sponsored monsters, will be at least two pages each (with “Legendary” monster spreads covering four full pages).

Each monster will have either a 2-page or 4-page spread. That means every standard monster entry will increase the length of the book by 2 pages for every backer, while legendary monster entries will increase the page length by 4 pages! Note that when we say legendary, it doesn’t mean the monster has to have legendary actions or anything, just that it’s got enough content to take up four pages (through multiple variants, multiple player options, bigger monster stat blocks, lairs, etc). Then, we’ll also have a more free form section where we will take classic monsters (orcs, kobolds, ogres, etc.) and give them a fresh coat of paint in the coolest ways we can come up with! You’ll have an opportunity to influence many of the core and classic monsters, though some will be finished prior to the kickstarter to give you all an idea of what we’ll be making, like the Sidereal Stalker below!

Sample Spread - Final Version may change
Sample Spread – Final Version may change

Every single new monster entry will include a player option as well, themed around that monster. You’ll find new spells, magic items, feats, and more. You could even see a new playable race entry or a new subclass, if it fits the theme of the monster! Again, all our backers will have a say in tons of these new player options. with the player options increasing in complexity based on what makes the most sense for the monster. You won’t see a random item or spell slapped onto the page. Instead, you’ll find spells that use parts of the monster as components, feats based around how the monster lives or fights, and items tied to the monster’s history or physiology.

At its core, your ideas, votes, and pledges will define this book as much as possible! Our goal with this bestiary is to create a tome full of your favorite monsters, pulled directly from your imagination and the imaginations of the backers who pledged with you, and we see three main ways to do that: getting your ideas, letting the community vote on those ideas, and having special add-on levels to sponsor a monster to ensure that your creation makes it to the pages of the bestiary. We will engage with our backers through regular feedback and communication, as well as surveys allowing you to help flesh out everything that goes into the book, and backers who purchase the sponsored monster options described in the Addons section will have a more direct impact on the book!

You supply the ideas, the group votes, and we put in the work!

As we commission art from our artists, we’re going to give our backers an opportunity to submit high level concepts for those monsters. Once we have a handful of ideas, we’ll create polls and allow all of our backers to vote on the concepts they like best! The more input we get, the more we will let the voting drive the process. That way, if a monster’s art really sparks an interest, our backers will have the most say in that monster. In the same way, if the art doesn’t get that spark from the backers, we can and will guide the monster’s design and flavor to make sure that every monster in the book meets our standards.

I want to make my own monster!

Great! We will give you that option, by allowing you to “sponsor” a monster. You can check out the Add-ons section for more info, but at the base level, your add-on will go toward commissioning a custom art piece for your monster in full color, and then adding that monster to every single print copy of The Bespoke Bestiary. That way, every monster that you sponsor will make the book bigger and better for every other backer, and every monster sponsored by other backers will make the book bigger and better for you! When you sponsor a monster, we will work directly with you to create every aspect of the monster, including the flavor, the monster design, the art direction, and the player option that will go with your monstrosity. You can be as involved or not as you want, we’ll always pick up the slack to make sure every sponsored monster is as awesome as possible!

I don’t know anything about making monsters for 5th Edition!

That’s okay too! We’ve got a ton of experience making interesting monsters and compelling player options. No matter how much input you want to give, we’re ready to step up and make sure the writing is great, the monster is well-designed, the player option is balanced, and anything else we need to do. Of course we’ll always work with the artists, handle the layout, and take care of any of the “business” parts of the process. If you’ve got a cool idea, we will help you bring it to life, and we’ll do all the work needed to make sure it’s something really awesome when we’re done!

“Don’t listen to these guys! They wouldn’t know the difference between a carsnuffler and a kilgorean ragebeast if the ‘snuffler sat on their heads! I don’t know how these two idiots got top billing on this kick-whatever, but forget their monster book. It’ll be full of prissy little monsters that wouldn’t scare a burp from a baby goblin. And player options? Who cares? My monster book is 1000 times better than theirs. Some TRULY terrifying wonders, with INCREDIBLE LIFELIKE depictions, and instead of player options, I’ll give you my BEST AWARD-WINNING* recipes using ingredients directly from that monster! Oh you want to vote on stuff? Uh, sure, you guys can send me recipes and I’ll think about putting those in there I guess…”

Well, when you’re making a monster book, you end up with a TON of extra art from various sources. Sometimes the monster you thought would look awesome ended up being a little too silly. Sometimes the art’s style just didn’t fit with the rest of the book. Regardless of the reason, we decided to put all that extra art to use! Sleg is a “popular” goblin wizard-chef in our Skyfall setting, known for his extravagant cooking spells (most of which end up finding better use in pitched combat than in the kitchen; Sleg is subtle like a sledgehammer). Since we have this great NPC, and a bunch of extra art, we thought “Why not make a bestiary that’s also a cook book?”

In addition to the Bespoke Bestiary, you can also pick up Sleg’s Scrumptious Safari Spectacular in PDF or print! This 6″x9″ black and white softcover will contain at least 24 monsters in two-page spreads, and every single monster will include recipes submitted by our friends, family, and backers! Of course, Sleg’s recipes will call for rare ingredients from the monsters on his pages, but we’ll make sure you know what to substitute if you can’t find ground carsnuffler. Check out the example spread below for an idea of just what we have in mind:

Sample Spread - Final version subject to change
Sample Spread – Final version subject to change

 

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.

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

 

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Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

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

* * * * * *

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

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

Origins Game Fair Spotlight – Dream Askew Dream Apart

Is Dream Askew // Dream Apart at Origins 2018? Unfortunately, no. Is it available on Kickstarter? Yes! How do you know if it’s going to be good? Well, Avery Alder’s prior game, MonsterHearts 2, is up for an Origins Award and that speaks volumes about the game (and, in my mind, indicates future games’ quality). Not enough? Well, both Dream Askew and Dream Apart have gorgeous art and the ideas they describe below offer a refreshing take on some well-loved gaming tropes! It’s worth checking out!

 

Dream Askew and Dream Apart are beginner-friendly roleplaying games of belonging outside belonging. They give you tools to tell a story about marginalized people living together in precarious community. In Dream Askew, that community is a queer enclave enduring the collapse of civilization. In Dream Apart, it’s a Jewish shtetl in a fantastical-historical Eastern Europe. They both feature a no dice, no masters system that emphasizes collaboration, shared ownership, and character-driven play. You can check out the most recent playtest versions here.”

 

Dream Askew // Dream Apart by Avery Alder (Buried Without Ceremony)
Ends on Sun, June 17 2018 11:00 PM EDT.

“Queer strife amid the collapse. Jewish fantasy of the shtetl. Two beginner-friendly roleplaying games of belonging outside belonging.

Dream Askew gives us ruined buildings, haunted faces, strange new psychic powers, fierce queer love, and turbulent skies…

Dream Apart gives us demons and wedding jesters; betrothals and pogroms; mystical ascensions and accusations of murder; rabbi’s daughters running away to be actresses or bandits or boy soldiers; the sounds of the shofar ringing through cramped and muddy streets, of cannon fire, of the wolf’s footfalls in the snowy pine forest…

[Header: Two Games in a Split Book]
[Header: Two Games in a Split Book]

Dream Askew and Dream Apart are beginner-friendly roleplaying games of belonging outside belonging. They give you tools to tell a story about marginalized people living together in precarious community. In Dream Askew, that community is a queer enclave enduring the collapse of civilization. In Dream Apart, it’s a Jewish shtetl in a fantastical-historical Eastern Europe. They both feature a no dice, no masters system that emphasizes collaboration, shared ownership, and character-driven play. You can check out the most recent playtest versions here.

They’re being released as a split book, graced by the brilliant art of Zev Chevat and Ezra Rose.

softcover, full colour, half-letter (5.5 x 8.5), approx. 100-180 pages
softcover, full colour, half-letter (5.5 x 8.5), approx. 100-180 pages

The book goes beyond simply teaching you how to play. It’s also a guide for how to pitch these games to your friends, create a welcoming environment to play them in, and support healthy boundaries at the gaming table. Finally, it ends with a guide to designing your own games of belonging outside belonging.

[Header: Belonging Outside Belonging]
[Header: Belonging Outside Belonging]

Both dreams put community at the center of the story. Players collaboratively fill out a community worksheet as part of setup. Dream Askew has players choosing apocalyptic visuals and ideological conflicts, while Dream Apart has them choosing blessings and curses. A map gets drawn, relationships get established, and play emerges.

[image: the text of the community worksheet options for Dream Askew are paired with art depicting a ragtag group of people in a ruined city.]
[image: the text of the community worksheet options for Dream Askew are paired with art depicting a ragtag group of people in a ruined city.]

Rather than telling stories of rugged individuals on epic adventures, both dreams keep the focus closer to home. They tell stories of interpersonal relationships, community drama, and tension with the outside world.

[Header: No Dice, No Masters]
[Header: No Dice, No Masters]

Each player takes on a character role, one of six archetypal figures in their community. These are pages divided into three columns: on the left, everything that gets read aloud when introducing the role; down the middle, all the choices you make during character creation; and finally, on the right, everything you need to play the character.

[image: the page layout for The Torch, a character role for Dream Askew]
[image: the page layout for The Torch, a character role for Dream Askew]

These games are diceless, leaving nothing to chance. Play is driven by the choices that get made at the table, with scenes unfolding as players make moves: picking simple narrative prompts off their sheet and working them into their description of what happens next. Weak Moves grant a token while Strong Moves require one, creating a balanced tempo for each character – moments of petty drama and tragic failure set the stage for ones of resourcefulness and skill later on.

There’s no Game Master to defer to; authority is divided equally around the table. The dreams achieve this by giving each player a setting element to customize and play.

[image: the page layouts for Outlying Gangs and The Earth Itself, two setting elements for Dream Askew]
[image: the page layouts for Outlying Gangs and The Earth Itself, two setting elements for Dream Askew]

While there’s no Game Master or MC, the game thrives when someone steps up to act as teacher and facilitator, helping others to find their initial footing. The book outlines how to take on this role without taking over the story in the process.

[Header: Working Together]
[Header: Working Together]

Dream Askew began as a paired-down remix of Apocalypse World, but it quickly developed into its own as a diceless, MCless game of queer community strife. Avery Alder first released a prototype in late 2013. Benjamin Rosenbaum approached her in 2014 with an idea about using the same game engine for a game about Jewish shtetl life. In early 2017, they made the decision to continue developing their games in close dialogue, and eventually release them together in a single volume.”

 

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.

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

 

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Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

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

* * * * * *

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

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

PRESS RELEASE – Fates of Madness Kickstarter

Legendary Games
Seattle, WA 98126
Jason Nelson, Publisher
MakeYourGameLegendary@Gmail.com
LEGENDARY GAMES KICKSTARTER

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Seattle, WA, (Jun 6th, 2018) – Legendary Games in partnership with Mythica Gaming has launched its first RPG card game, Fates of Madness Kickstarter! This project is intended to create a RPG rules lite cooperative adventure card game based on the popular Gothic Campaign Compendium. This diceless game is varied by the use of fate cards and skill level to determine success or failure. As the journey continues, madness sets in compounding the difficulty. Will anyone survive or will it end in a total party kill? This horror themed adventure project will be fulfilled in December 2018.

Rachel Ventura, Business Director of Legendary Games, said “I am so excited about this partnership and new avenue of games from Legendary Games. We were impressed with Mythica Gaming’s flagship game Legend of Draxia which is why we approached them about creating a card game based on Legendary Games products. We plan to have a long working relationship with many more games to come!” Publisher, Jason Nelson states, “It is time to make card games legendary!”

Lead Game Designer Jimmy Sanders agreed, “We immediately found kindred spirits in Rachel and Jason, and the partnership that quickly evolved is fantastic. We are very excited about this game and what future collaborations will bring!”

The Kickstarter ends July 9th 2018. You can see more here:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/legendarygames/484873175?ref=511695&token=2018be96

About Legendary Games

Legendary Games is an all-star team of authors and designers, coordinated by award-winning game designer Jason Nelson. They publish materials for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder RPG, Savage Worlds, and 5th Edition, with a wide variety of products including adventures; rules expansions for core game mechanics like spells, feats, and magic items; themed monster books; character class options for heroes and villains; and an array of innovative rules subsystems and campaign supplements for every kind of campaign including a beginner/kid’s track. Publisher: Jason Nelson, Business Director: Rachel Ventura, Founder: Clark Peterson, and Executive Partner: Neil Spicer

“We are gamers and storytellers first, and we believe that passion shows in our products.”

About Mythica Gaming

Mythica Gaming is a family-run gaming company out of Bartonville, IL. Their flagship product, Legends of Draxia, is a tabletop boardgame with four expansions in various stages of development. A custom RPG system, a novella, and a prototype worker-placement game all based in the Draxian Universe has been created by Jimmy Sanders. Mythica Gaming has several other non-Draxian projects underway as well. The vision that underlies all of their work is to create games that bring non-gamers and gamers to the same table. Elegant, accessible game play with an underlying complexity of strategy; fun, interesting, engaging, and replayability: gaming that brings people together. Lead Game Designer: Jimmy Sanders, Lead Graphics Designer: Theresa Weibler, Business Operations: Janet Sanders, and Marketing: Katie Sanders

For More information please contact

Rachel Ventura,
Business Director
Legendary Games
815-954-1981
rfvrpg@gmail.com

4 All-Ages Games Kickstarters You Should Back – No Thank You, Evil!, Scales & Tales, Ratmen Temple, and Fetch Quest

Let’s highlight the best Kickstarter campaigns for games that belong at your family’s gaming table. If you have kids in your life, these games are going to win for them!

 

No Thank You, Evil! – A Game So Nice We’re Making it Twice by Monte Cook Games
Ends on .

“A reprint of the award-winning storytelling game for creative kids and their families.

In addition to the rewards listed in the backer levels, every backer level now includes a PDF of No Thank You, Evil! delivered early!
In addition to the rewards listed in the backer levels, every backer level now includes a PDF of No Thank You, Evil! delivered early!

No Thank You, Evil! is an award-winning tabletop game of creative make-believe, adventure, and storytelling. In No Thank You, Evil!, each player creates a character based on a couple of cool, descriptive, imagination-firing traits. The Guide (a special role often played by a parent or older sibling) presents a dilemma, and the players set off on an adventure of the imagination. Along the way they use their character’s special skills, companions, and equipment to overcome obstacles—perhaps fighting a slime monster, winning over the suspicious mayor, or beating a rabbit at a race. Whereas conventional board games constrain players’ actions, No Thank You, Evil! sets kids’ imaginations free: Their options are limited only by what they can think up. Together, the players create a story as they work together to make their way through the adventure.

No Thank You, Evil! contains everything you need to play, all in a beautiful, sturdy box designed to be easy for children to use. It includes:

  • No Thank You, Evil! rulebook
  • Let’s Go On An Adventure! adventure book
  • Five dice (because sharing is hard!)
  • Character sheets
  • Cards for characters, creatures, and cyphers
  • Game tokens

No Thank You, Evil! was released in March 2016. This Kickstarter campaign is funding a reprint of the game, as well as some additional products.

For the Little Kids, the Grown-ups, and Everyone in Between

Younger kids frustrate easily when a game is too complex for them to master. Older children quickly grow bored by games that are too simple or that strike them as below their level.

No Thank You, Evil! is great fun for kids as young as five years old. But it’s also great fun for the rest of family—adults included!—because the scalable rules adapt easily to the abilities of the player. A six-year-old might play, for example, a Princess. An eight-year-old might play a Super Smart Princess. A ten-year-old might create a Super Smart Princess who Experiments With Science. Each of these stages adds a level of sophistication to how the game is played—but all of these characters play around the same table in the same game. After a game or two with the grown-ups, a twelve-year-old might even run games for the other kids!

The gameplay rules are easy for novice or young players to grasp, but nuanced and flexible enough for older kids and grown-ups to enjoy just as much. Here’s a brief look at how the rules work:

Enter Storia: The Land Next Door

No Thank You, Evil! is set in Storia: The Land Next Door. It’s a world seen through children’s eyes, home to all the elements of kids’ imaginations: Dragons and dinosaurs, faeries and elves, race cars and robots, and all sorts of fanciful creatures. Players’ characters in No Thank You, Evil! are kids who have been specially chosen to help save Storia from evil. Accompanied by their companions and their handy I Gotchyer Back packs (living creatures that carry the characters’ cool stuff in their bellies), characters venture into Storia to save the day!

For more detailed info on the setting, game rules, and characters, visit the No Thank You, Evil! website.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

No Thank You, Evil! has won a well-deserved ENnie and an Origins Award! This is an amazing family game, and this campaign is for a reprint so it’s going to be to you quickly. BACK. IT. Monte Cook Games sent me a copy of the game that I reviewed for the Open Gaming Network (here). This is an incredibly fun, family-friendly tabletop RPG with endless possibilities and it is well worth checking out!

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

 

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Ratmen Temple | Fantasy Paper Model for Tabletop RPG by RPG Blacksmith
Ends on .

“The Ratmen Temple is a fantasy paper model with miniatures created for tabletop role-playing games like Pathfinder and 5th Edition.

The Ratmen Temple is a paper model underground dungeon section created for tabletop role-playing games. It is designed to fit with 25mm, 28mm and 30mm gaming scales.

This RPG paper model includes 2 cardboard bases (also called sections), the cardstock wall, 8 paper miniatures, 8 paper accessories and the assembly instructions.

The bases are printed on a thick cardstock and then glued to a cardboard. The paper miniatures and accessories are printed on a high quality white cardstock. The wall is printed on a thicker cardstock.

Assembly is easy, requiring only glue and exacto knife or scissors.

Thanks again to my brother JF with whom I created this paper model temple.

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

I love this artwork! For the campaign, it’s around $2.50 US for the digital version, and they’re cartoony enough to work perfectly with No Thank You, Evil! or Scales & Tales or any RPG (kid or adult). I recommend them if you want some cheap visuals at the gaming table!

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Fetch Quest – a deck-building game in the Realms of Pugmire by Onyx Path Publishing and Pugsteady
Ends on .

“A collaborative card game for all ages where the dogs of Pugmire quest for the treasures of Man.

Jack Rat-Terrier grumbled under his breath. He was a dog of stealth, much preferring to sneak past enemies instead of getting his paws dirty with the rough stuff. But Spike wasn’t able to take care of the Leechtongue, and it blocked his way into the crypt. Spike was a warrior dog, not a pioneer blessed with finesse and skill… and defeating a Leechtongue required a special touch. Jack was exhausted, even after Sister Picassa Collie had treated his wounds. Worse, Princess Yosha Pug had to retreat, leaving him without any magical backup. It was up to Jack to deal with this latest threat.

The Leechtongue was surprisingly quick, forcing Jack out of the shadows and into action. Luckily, his reflexes kicked in, and he was able to quick draw his magical bow, shooting several arrows at the threat. His natural skill and expert training were unerring, and the arrows landed in a precise strike, defeating the monstrosity. The Leechtongue gargled and fell over with a heavy thud. For now, he was out of danger. He had to avoid any more challenges so he could finish their mission. They all needed a moment to rest and recover before continuing on. Before they could finish their quest.

“I’m a good dog,” Jack muttered under his breath. “At least, I’d better be.”

Fetch Quest is a family-friendly cooperative deck-building game. Each player represents a pioneer, one of six adventurous dogs on a dangerous quest. The pioneers work together to overcome dangerous challenges and resolve missions. Once the missions are resolved, the quest is finished and the players win the game.

Fetch Quest is a collaboration between Onyx Path Publishing and Pugsteady, the home of Eddy Webb’s various projects set in the Realms of Pugmire. With your help, we hope fund the purchase of additional art and to produce and distribute a boxed edition of this card game, allowing further exploration and interaction with the world and characters of Pugmire.

Fetch Quest is a cooperative deck-building game for 3-6 players of ages 12 and up. Playing time is approximately 60-90 minutes. The components for the game include:

  • 6 dual-sided Pioneer cards
  • 72 green-backed Fortune cards
  • 28 red-backed Challenge cards
  • 4 Mission cards

All participants who would like to aid in this endeavor can pledge their support and add to the overall campaign total. If the campaign meets the funding target ($6,000), then we will have funded the project and it will become a reality. Your pledge will only be collected if we achieve our funding target.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

While this is not a RPG, it’s a family-friend game. Fetch Quest is based on the Pugmire RPG, a game for which I have a special place in my heart after playing the RPG with Eddy Webb at AndoConFetch Quest expands the Pugmire franchise with “a cooperative deck-building game for 3-6 players of ages 12 and up”. If you’re looking for a way to tie RPGs and card games together for your young ones, this is an excellent option.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Scales & Tales, an RPG for all ages by Kevin Sherry
Ends on .

“A fantasy role playing game starter-pack book for people of all ages. Includes rules, character creation, & a ten night campaign.

Hello!  My name is Kevin Sherry, author and illustrator of many popular children’s books, including The Yeti Files series and I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean.

What I have made here is a brand new 104-page book, filled with fun illustrations, that is aFantasy Role Playing Game Starter Pack

Scales & Tales is a rule book, an easy instruction manual and an activity book all in one!

Scales & Tales has easy-to-understand instructions
Scales & Tales has easy-to-understand instructions

Table of Contents include: Classic pen & paper, Tabletop gaming, Terrain, Miniatures & Figurines, Snacks, How to Fantasy Role-play, Create a Character, Leveling Up, Personality Generator, Weapons and Gear, Range, Spell Casting, Combat, and Bad Guy Glossary. 

When I was young, I wasn’t allowed to play the classic D & D role playing game.  I think a lot of kids were in the same boat.  Either their parents didn’t allow it, or it was just too complicated to get started.

So many years later, after I had already published many children’s books, my friend asked me to participate in a role-playing campaign that he wrote, and it opened a whole new world for me!

I realized Fantasy Role Playing was the game I had always wanted to play!  I loved the brainstorming, the collaborative storytelling and the simple joy of having a group of people around a table telling jokes and coming up with a story together.

HERE’S the THING:  I think difficult gameplay is a real barrier to people who would have a lot of fun in a role playing game, but find some of the rules complicated and difficult to decipher.

So with my background in children’s books, I’ve used simple, precise language and hundreds of illustrations to take what I’ve learned from classic role playing games and present it in a very fun a graphic way.

What’s Inside the Book?

-The first 50 pages are the instructions, the users guide.  Think of it as the Player’s Manual and the Game Master’s Guide in one.  Scales & Tales explains everything from basic gameplay to character creation , to setting up your DIY game board, to a monster glossary, an armory, spellcasting and more.

-The Second half of the book is a campaign I wrote made of ten one-night quests.  There’s instructions and maps for each quest, and the quests I wrote are all great examples of classic role-playing tropes, like: Exploring castles and dungeons, navigating deep forests, a town setting, a quest on a boat, a rescue scenario, a chase scene, all culminating in a grand battle atop the highest castle.

What sets Scales & Tales apart?

While there is a lot of traditional combat in the book, sometimes fighting bad-guys all day gets a little redundant.

That’s why Scales & Tales contains ways of augmenting your traditional “End-Boss Combat” with fun drawing games and party puzzles.  Games like: Telephone, exquisite corpse, blind contour drawing, and Pictionary-Like games.

Also, Players learn early in the book how to use a drawing game to summon one of 24 different familiars, Each with their own unique stats.  So each Player can have a little animal companion-who doesn’t love that?!

This book, Scales & Tales, was a self-motivated project for me.  I really needed to write this book to share the joy of role-playing with people who just don’t know who to get into it.

It took me two years to write and illustrate, but THIS BOOK IS DONE!

I put so much of heart and soul into this book, Scales & Tales, so if you’ve read this far, I hope you will please consider supporting this Kickstarter campaign, and ordering a book.  There’s also a lot of really cool Kickstarter Incentives and I’m looking forward to painting some of my supporters hero characters for sure!

Fantasy role playing has opened up a whole new world of creativity and imaginations for me and I’d love to share that with you and everyone with my new book, Scales & Tales.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

From the campaign above, Kevin Sherry talks about his youth and not being allowed to play RPGs, and that spoke to me. I had no such restrictions – my parents let me do as I pleased – but I’ve talked to a number of individuals that ran into that barrier. With Scales & Tales, Kevin is working to overcome that roadblock by creating a kid-focused product. It looks fun and I’m curious to see the final product and, more than anything, I hope it opens the door for more kids to game.

 

You can see examples of his work on Amazon here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

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

* * * * * *

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

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

Kickstarter Reflections – Starting at the Finish Line

Here we are, at the gateway of Summer (is that a thing?). You have people everywhere casting off their high school personas and trying to take their first stabs in the “real world” (whether college is the “real world” or not is a discussion for another day). I couldn’t tell you anything about the speeches given during my graduation, but I do remember the closing line from my sister’s which was a quote from the band Semisonic “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”

That stuck with me more than anything else.

This idea that an ending becomes a new beginning is a beautiful thing. It means we get a chance to close the door on something old and move onto something new. And maybe it is a chance to see that before you can begin, you must look at the end… where you are going.

I’m in the process of final fulfillment of my Kickstarter for the Gilded Age, but I’ve got all these thoughts swirling around in my head about the process over the last year or so. You see, about a year ago Robert Jeffrey II launched his Route 3 Kickstarter. He was the guinea pig for this process. And knowing that I’d be launching one of my own in the Fall, I wanted to be along for every step he took. You know, so that hopefully if we made errors, then it wouldn’t happen again the next time (a wonderful thought, if nearly impossible to anticipate everything).

***

Where to start is always an odd thing. You have blogs and posts out there that talk to you about certain things, but a lot of time there is very little consensus in the right way to do something (note- there are TONS of wrong ways to do it… don’t worry). But honestly, the place to begin a Kickstarter is by thinking about the very end: what is the goal and what does that equate to? Numbers, dollars, cost, shipping, taxes, fees, and so on. You really need to have a grasp on those numbers so that you can set the right goal to get to, otherwise, it doesn’t matter what you plan and publicize or whatever. If you set your goal too high you’re dead before you even get started.

That meant looking at what our costs were going to be and trying to set a slightly moving target.

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Route 3 by Robert Jeffrey II and Sean Hill – Available for order… just click the image.

With Route 3, we started with what we knew. We knew we’d have a 108-page trade as the final product. The layout had already been done and a small print run had been completed (about 25 copies), so we knew what it looked like (and what it was like to hold in our hands). We knew that the target retail price would be about $20 each. And we wanted to not only be able to fulfill our Kickstarter order, but also have extra copies for conventions. However, we didn’t want to fill Robert’s apartment with too many copies. It needed to be… manageable.

Then it was a matter of determining what kind of prices were even available. We ran the numbers through 5 different printing companies (Kraken, Artist Express, Ready Comics, Print Ninja, and Colorwise Commercial Printing). And by running the numbers, I mean trying it out with different copies ordered. Trying to find out where the best price break might be while always being mindful of having a number that still was attainable.

Key Takeaways: From most of the places listed above, it became apparent that the price break (and therefore the question we needed to ask ourselves) happened at 500 copies. At that number, the price of each trade is around $6 to $7 whereas if we tried for fewer copies, like 200 or 250, we were in the $10+ range per book.

***

I wrote this to the Terminus guys as I was breaking down the numbers, and it really remained true throughout the number crunching process and into the actual campaign as well:

“What I’m really finding is Kickstarter is like having a target that keeps moving every day. Sure, you have the big target that stays the same, but everything else ends up being highly dependent on about 3 or 4 additional things which need to be factored in. It’s like – ok, you need another $1000 to get to this stretch goal, but that really means you need $1000/$32 = 32 additional backers who need stuff shipped to them and… so you put in a number and then recalculate and recalculate and…”

Beyond true.

It means you are going to be doing iterations with your numbers. And you’ll want to factor everything in. T-shirts and buttons and prints and anything else you can think of, but each of those come with a cost, which drives your shipping up which drives your overall numbers up which drives the Kickstarter fees up.

Oh, and did you factor shipping into your numbers? No? Well, start again because you’ll need to have those in there as well.

I was coming up with numbers around $6000 for Route 3’s Kickstarter.

But I’m looking around at other Kickstarters that might be comparable and they are closers to $4000 or $5000.

My thoughts from an email to the team:

“I’m a little concerned about hitting these numbers. Maybe that’s unfounded, maybe I’m being pessimistic, but I’d love to have these numbers lower.

So…

I also went ahead and calculated what the costs might be if we went “Bare Bones” with the rewards. Basically, we’d be doing the trade and the pdf and that is it… no prints, no additional artist stuff, and no t-shirts or stickers. This also eliminated the 10% contingency (I don’t think we should get rid of these things necessarily, but I wanted to know what our “Floor” really was).”

Doing all of that I finally got the numbers down to something closer to what I hoped might be attainable: about $4500.

And so we had our first real target… but I’d made a mistake that might have cost us…

***

This is part of a series of posts where I look back at the process of running a Kickstarter. The steps we took, the mistakes we made, and a bunch of other things I wish I had known.

Other Kickstarter Reflections Posts

Kickstarter Reflections – Mailing List Blues

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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

 

4 RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – Part-Time Gods 2e, Awaken: The Blood of Salvora, Agents of Concordia, and Welcome to Yarnia

Let’s talk the 1960s, revised editions, part-time gods, and yarning!

 

Welcome to Yarnia – A Yarn Quest Knitting RPG by Tania C Richter
Ends on .

“Welcome to Yarnia, where a grand knitting adventure awaits!

Yarnia needs you!

Grab your knitting needles and join your fellow Yarn Questers in the quest to save Yarnia!

What is Yarn Quest?

Yarn Quest is one part knitting pattern, one part Role-Playing Game, and one part Choose Your Own Adventure. Each quest is a knitting pattern, and as the player leads their character through the quest they come across enemies to battle, choices to make, and items that all influence the patterns knitted on the project.

That’s what makes Yarn Quest so special – almost every project is unique.

Want to see what past Yarn Quests have looked like? Check out the Yarn Quest collection on Ravelry!

Welcome to Yarnia is an introduction to Yarn Questing for those who have never played an RPG, and provides new patterns and play styles for those who have partaken in previous campaigns. The book will be a full color hardcover including tutorials, lore, patterns, and lots of artwork. There will be tutorials for how to play, along with tutorials for how to use the double knitting technique.

Don’t like double knitting? Can’t knit, but like to crochet? There are plenty of methods to join in the fun! Questers have done previous projects in colorwork knitting and Tunisian crochet. There’s no limit to what you can do!

What are the patterns?

The most important part (beside the adventure) is the projects you’ll be knitting! There are 3 patterns included in the book to start off the campaign and more that will be added depending on what stretch goals we hit. Pattern One is a Hat/Cowl combo, Pattern Two is an extra-large Cowl, and Pattern Three is a Scarf. Currently they all use worsted weight yarns, but there may be some variance in later patterns.

Want to see what we’re knitting? Here’s a preview piece of the cowl from the first quest!”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

RPG might be considered the game of storytelling. Welcome to Yarnia – A Yarn Quest Knitting RPG is a game where you’re literally spinning a yarn.

What can I share about this that the creator did not already convey? It’s a a combination of RPG and knitting. It’s such an interesting combination that I’m curious to see the result. I don’t know how to knit so I would love to see if character leveling includes teaching the skills to knit… it’s an interesting idea, role-play to learn a real life skill.

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Awaken: The Blood of Salvora Roleplaying Game by Studio 2 Publishing
Ends on .

“Find adventures, intrigue, and horror in this Slavic and Mediterranean inspired dark fantasy roleplaying game.

Welcome to the Kickstarter Page for a brand new Awaken book!

The Blood Of Salvora!

After the original Awaken: Core Rulebook we are very proud to show you the next step in the world of Awaken: The Blood Of Salvora. The purpose of this Kickstarter project is to print and release the book which will expand and deepen the game setting of Awaken.

The world of Awaken is full of constant strife and discord. It’s a world where the Great Cities fight for supremacy and leadership over the Alliance; a loose political association holding the territories of Salvora united. A world where ancient powers have resurfaced, in the form of Vasalli; humans that have undergone a physical change that has blessed and cursed them with mythical gifts, powers that were not meant for humans to have.

And with the world of Awaken still trying to recuperate from the fight with the Vargans, an ancient nemesis of all humankind; it is obvious that something in the world of Awaken is determined to test the survival instinct of all humankind.

But Awaken is not just a world filled with endless battles but a world that is filled with exploration and several places that are just waiting to be discovered by the player.

You don’t need the Blood of Salvora to enjoy Awaken, but having it will give you an expanded take on the world of Awaken as it describes settings and locations in much greater detail and further enriches your play in every way possible.

The Core Rulebook version that is available through this campaign will differ slightly from the original one. We have made some revisions in the wording, structure and even some of the rules that can be found within its pages.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

This is the next book for Awaken after the original core rulebook. There are books coming and a reorganization of the core rulebook, but it will not be a new edition. There are other expansions to the setting (which is dark fantasy). The art looks good and I’m interested to see what’s redone from the original printing.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Part-Time Gods Second Edition — Tabletop RPG by Third Eye Games
Ends on .

“A new edition of Part-Time Gods that expands and enhances​ the core experience while adding tons of new material.

Part-Time Gods Second Edition (PTG2E) is the latest iteration of a tabletop roleplaying game about the balancing act between influential gods and the people, groups, and places in their lives that keep them tied to their humanity. This game gives players the tools to create their own gods and go on to tell dramatic, exciting, and engaging stories — the kind only PTG2Ecan deliver!

Here is the latest Q&A from Eloy Lasanta, creator of Part-Time Gods Second Edition.

Part-Time Gods Second Edition is a roleplaying game about modern gods who must balance the mortal and divine natures of their new life. The game has many inspirations, from American GodsThe Almighty JohnsonsThor comics, and the Percy Jackson novel series to name just a few. It can be used to tell a number of different stories:

  • Personal Struggles: Some stories explore more of the mortal side, how keeping a job is hard with monsters on your tail, and deal with exploring who the character truly is and what it means to be human.
  • Divine Conflicts: Many times, a god’s biggest enemy will be another god who wants what they have, whether it be their territory, relics, or even their mortal happiness. These stories erupt as god faces off against god in a back-and-forth that makes them thankful they have a pantheon to lean on.
  • Defending Territory: Other stories involve an onslaught of monsters, called Outsiders, as they come to the god’s territory to wage war or even just to live their own lives. Some Outsiders include hefty minotaurs, the unstoppable god-killers, or the blood-thirsty manananggal.
  • Quests: Some may want to dive headfirst into quests for mythological artifacts and hidden portals to lost worlds with untold dangers.

In Part-Time Gods Second Edition, you’ll explore what it’s like to gain awesome divine power, battle world-threatening Outsiders, and develop relationships with fellow members of your pantheon. Of course, being a god doesn’t pay the rent and it doesn’t excuse you from missing your sister’s wedding. You’ll need to make tough decisions to make it as a divine being in modern society—do you have time to help your fellow deities fend off impending doom before your sister walks down the aisle?

This game has a wealth of potential to explore stories about budding romances, the interactions of a pantheon making friends with enemies, and unlocking strange mysteries the universe would have preferred to stay secret. Every god has their good sides and their bad, each one creating a new window into who they are as people, but, when used correctly, opens the game to a host of story potential.

Long ago, an entity known as the Source visited humanity and gifted certain people with divine power. For a time, the world existed in a state of balance between order and chaos, between life and death, between divinity and mortality. That is until the gods waged war against the Source and eventu­ally against each other to the point of near extinction.

The gods of today are shadows of what the old gods possessed. Their power has been heavily diminished and many choose to live a regular, mortal life, revealing themselves as gods only when absolutely necessary. Most have a job (or career if they’re lucky), friends, family, and everything that comes with being human, and work hard to protect these from harm. On the other side of the coin, they also possess a Dominion to command and oversee, a divine Territory to defend from intruders, secret societies they owe allegiances to (called Theologies), and other gods in their pantheon to try to get along with. This becomes their life, the balancing of the mundane and the strange. The gods belong to neither world completely, and each of them knows that delving too deeply into one means losing pieces of the other.

Part-Time Gods Second Edition delivers fully on it’s premise, with players playing less “all-powerful gods” and more “regular people who just so happen to be gods as well.” The character is as balanced as the themes, as players can draw from either side of their concept to solve problems. After a while, they’ll learn that being a god isn’t all roses and fun. There are real responsibilities involved, and they still have to hold down a day job to make ends meet. Using the Chakra System (from Ninja Crusade 2nd Edition), players roll pools of ten-sided dice (d10s) to determine success, with lots of ways to gain bonuses (more dice) and lots of in-story causes for penalties (less dice). It is truly a system designed to be engaged with, and one that enhances the story when players do so.

There are also several components to help the gods oversee their divine duties and protect their territory:

  • Choosing Your Dominion: A core piece of a character’s concept is… “What are you the god of?” Part-Time Gods Second Edition doesn’t limit players to a prewritten list of power. Instead, they can be the god of just about anything they can think of, from traditional concepts like the god of war or goddess of fire to unique Dominions like the goddess of whispers or the god of mourning.
  • Free Time/Wealth: A unique mechanic for Part-Time Gods Second Edition is the addition of Free Time, used for wise gods to attend to their responsibilities, and Wealth, the thing that makes the world go round. The two resources play together in a symphony of storytelling, leading to dramatic scenes and hard choices.
  • Territory Grid: The players are assumed to be a pantheon of gods assembled for a variety of reasons (i.e. friendships, mutual survival, sharing responsibilities, etc.) and in charge of their city, represented by the new Territory Grid. This map lets your group know who is where in the city, and allows for a new way to uncover secrets in your area.

Download the Part-Time Gods Second Edition Preview for yourself and discover the depth of adventure at your fingertips!”

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

Eloy Lasanta did me the honor of quoting me from my EN World review of the Part-Time Gods 2e quickstart for his current KS. For my part, I’m a fan of his work, to quote myself as to how much of a mark I am, “I reviewed Eloy Lasanta of Third Eye Games’ Pip System Corebook on EN World, interviewed him about his AMP Year Four Kickstarter, and talked about my brief run-in with him at AndoCon.”

What do you do in Part-Time Gods Second Edition — Tabletop RPG? You’re a god, generally doing good, and you’re also a person, generally living your mundane life. The game has mechanics to make you work through every part of that character. It’s novel and well worth checking out.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Agents of Concordia the Roleplaying game by Strangewood Studios
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“Take the role of an agent traveling between worlds in this Action / Mystery / Fantasy Pen & Paper RPG set in an alternate 1960’s.

The Quickstart beta version of the game is now available here.

Hi, and welcome to the Agents of Concordia Kickstarter! It is thrilling to be online, and we look forward to creating this game together with you! This project is a long time coming, and we hope you will find the perfect place on your bookshelves, as well as in your game rooms, for Strangewood Studios’ favorite game: Agents of Concordia.

The game is a Pen & Paper RPG, set in a multiverse, where hundreds of magical fantasy worlds exist in parallel dimensions. On Earth, it’s the 1960’s, and residents there are kept in the dark regarding other worlds and races. The reason for this omission is linked to the flow of magic and the alignment of the multiverse (more on this further below). A large part of the multiverse is working together under a government called the UVA Concordia.

Each player takes the part of a special agent, working within the Concordia Central Intelligence (the C.C.I.). As a team, players will investigate different occurrences, try to thwart schemes, and stop threats against the Concord. They will be aided by magical equipment, their sharp wits, and honed skills.

The rules for the game are easy to learn (especially if you’ve played one or two RPGs in the past) and support a lot of stunts, high-octane action, and dynamic character progression.

  • Multiple worlds: With a large number of different worlds in the Concord, there are no limits to the variation of missions and adversaries. Here you’ll find everything from magic to hi-tech and from jungle ruins to never-ending floating cities.
  • Science Fantasy: Play as a 9′ Ogre Investigator or a 3′ Marmoseti Weaponsmith; use mysticism and rituals, as well as guns and lab-equipment; and travel by gate or aether-fueled rocket car. Here, mystic fantasy meets 1960’s tech.
  • Story driven rules: Created to be streamlined and fast-paced, the game system is easy to use and we’ve kept the fancy rule mechanics to the downtime of the game. Lots of character progress and management between session (if you want) but no need for page-flipping when you’re in the middle of the action.
  • Veterancy system: Tired of prancing through the adventure only to botch EVERY SINGLE ROLL against the final boss? The veterancy system allows you to prioritize a few rolls or stunts so that you can have a greater chance of success with each adventure.
  • Modular setting: This game offers you the ultimate freedom. There is a section in the book for creating your own worlds, creatures and playable classes, and enough room in the multiverse to include them. If you want restrictions, feel free to use the parameters already in place. If you want creative freedom, start making all the worlds and creatures you want for your campaign!
  • Words matter: All rolls in the game can be subject to Support and Cripple effects. These are standardized bonuses you get from items, abilities or conditions. This means that every time you wonder “Should my wings give me a bonus on jumping?” or “Should the bullet in my shoulder give me a penalty in swimming?” The only thing the GM has to wonder about is “YES” or “NO”.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

What if the 1960s were magical? And you were part of the government conspiracy to keep magic in-check? This game could be interesting because you are playing a character of dubious nature. It’s an interesting idea for a RPG.

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

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 orwall clock or ice tea glass!

* * * * * *

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

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

5 RPG Kickstarters That Asked Me To Review… So I Did – Endless Realms RPG, World of Alessia, Is It A Plane!?, Necrotopia, and Choose Your Own: Sci-Fi Stock Art

I get emails and messages and posts [Contact me here] asking if I’d be interested in covering this RPG Kickstarter or that one. Let me express my appreciation at being asked. I’ve never had anyone “tell me” to cover their work, instead it’s always a pleasant introduction and discussion around their work. Always a nice experience, and as best I can, I try to review everyone that asks. I don’t always have the time – I missed New tabletop RPG adventures from Melting Point Publishing from Ben Baker. Not because it was not good, I liked it, I just ran out of space/time –

With this week’s column, I realized that everything I planned to cover had also asked for coverage which helped to theme this article. With that said, let’s look at some tabletop RPG Kickstarters you should back!

 

Endless Realms RPG by Lunar Games
Ends on .

“Welcome to Endless Realms, a new roleplaying experience with two corebooks and myriad realities with one constant: balance is fragile.

Welcome to Lumis

Welcome to the Endless Realms – a crossroads of infinite civilizations, animals, peoples, and abominations that gather in the world of Lumis. Those that live there readily manipulate the cosmic energies that the gods themselves used to forge the world, creating tools and resources that mighty spirits seek to claim for themselves. Riddled with tears in the fabric of time and space, Lumis has become a vibrant and turbulent melting pot.

Lumis is the crossroads where an endless number of realms overlap. The species that have made it their home – by fate, chance, or nefarious purpose – each have their own lore, history, and culture, providing rich soil from which to weave intricate and interesting narratives. Their complex views of morality present a scheme far greater than the simple axis of good and evil.

The Balance System

Lumis is a world of balance, from fragile diplomatic relations between races and cities, all the way down to the mechanics that make life and adventure possible. Every roll of chance, strategy, and choice is made with two ten-sided dice – one rolled by the player and the other by the Storyteller.

Bonuses are applied by skill and fiat, and even a critical failure can succeed in the hands of the right character and circumstances.

This carries over into combat. Attackers have a chance to show their mettle – and so do defenders. An attack may deal a high value of damage, a low value, or none at all; how much pain the defender feels depends on who has the stronger stats and the better roll.

The Balance System is easy to visualize, but versatile enough to allow for a variety of games and creative solutions. It encourages Storytellers to create interactive social encounters that test and reward players who put time into their backstories, fundamental vices and virtues, and skill choices in an immediate and tangible way.

It’s our mission to breathe fresh life into fantasy roleplaying, to connect with a new generation and veteran adventurers alike, and bring Endless Realms from our table to yours.

Both of the books are nearly complete – a 300+ page Core Rulebook and 280+ page Creature Compendium. Written, edited, play-tested and refined, with gorgeous illustrations liberally strewn throughout. All that’s left is last-minute adjustments, formatting, and printing; after that, it’s simply a matter of getting them to you!

It’s a start. We’re not done yet, not by a long shot – the next step is building a community of players and storytellers. We want to know what you like best so that we can tailor future content to your gaming style and keep giving you the best possible tools to run campaigns. We want to empower our players with everything from dice to expansive modules that allow storytellers to customize and build while allowing players to explore and grow.

Like the Balance System that drives Endless Realms, the more you put in, the more you get out. Once we’re into stretch goals we can start with the supplements, miniatures, dice, novels, and more. We can make that dream a reality. Come with us and let’s see how far we can go.

Please note that our delivery estimates, as outlined in the TIME FRAME section further down the page, include a generous window for any add-ons unlocked through stretch goals.  Digital versions of the Core Rulebook, Creature Compendium, adventures, and short stories will be delivered as Amazon Kindle eBooks; all other digital content is in PDF format.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

What is one of the measures of how strong your creative team is? When one of the members proactively reaches out to spread the word about your game. Andrew J. Lucas, writer and consultant on the Endless Realms RPG, did just that, and I’m grateful that he did. Endless Realms RPG looks like an exceptional piece of RPG with amazing art! The system – The Balance System – uses 2d10 with the player rolling one die and the GM rolling the other. They’ve promised a quickstart and I’m eager to sample it because I’d like to know how this system will work out at the table.

One side note, Lunar (Endless Realms RPG) Games’ CEO is Kirsty Garbe, an individual who is helping to make positive change in the fabric of the RPG industry. Great looking game from a creative team that is passionate about the project! I support her efforts as well as her team’s!

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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IS IT A PLANE!?: comic book RPG that replaces dice with pens by Psychic Cactus Games
Ends on .

“Use drawings on Panels in limited time to create your character actions. Features fast-paced, simultaneous play!

IIaP logo, by Debbie Jackson.
IIaP logo, by Debbie Jackson.

Is It a Plane!? is not just about playing comic book characters; you create the comic book as you play!

Protagonists must create actions to deal with Situations, from Bank Robberies to Alien Invasions!

Players must DRAW their intended actions, rather than describe them; you may have three minutes… or you may only have thirty seconds!

No artistic skill is required; rudimentary and simplistic stick-people doodles are just fine.

Play is fast and frantic, and player action is entirely simultaneous.

When complete, Panels are placed in a sequence of events across two Pages.

You might have been attempting to fireball a villain and launch them through a building… but what happens next is what the Editor (GM) thinks you were doing, based on your doodles!

Front cover for IIaP, painting by James Hayball, logos by Debbie Jackson.
Front cover for IIaP, painting by James Hayball, logos by Debbie Jackson.

If you mean that you are bad at drawing, worry not true believer! In the limited time to draw that all players will have, even artists will create hastily drawn images that may occasionally be misinterpreted. If you can draw crude stick-people and wonky squares that are supposed to be houses, then that’ll do just fine.

GM playtester and backer Mike Hammond sums this up pretty well: “The funny thing about drawing skill is that it’s actually tangential to the game! The real skill this game calls for is more like art direction – choosing a distinctive colour scheme and framing your scenes with enough simplicity to convey the action. If you can pick a consistent colour and maybe one good distinguishing feature of your character, then as long as you can draw a stick figure and write the word “POW!” then you can play as well as anyone.”

Photograph courtesy of GM playtester and backer, Mike Hammond.
Photograph courtesy of GM playtester and backer, Mike Hammond.

The more you play, the more you will find easy ways to communicate what you are doing to the Editor (Games Master). You may also get better at drawing at speed when playing a campaign. This game could also be used to learn or relearn how to draw, and there is a potential draw for young players, and for people that may benefit from physical therapy.

If you cannot physically draw, then you could be the Editor. The Editor does not have to draw at all (though they have options to do so), and this is quick and easy to pick up, and far less complicated than most RPGs.

I am also working on adding in some additional optional rules to further aid players who are not confident at drawing or physically unable to do so in the way the game requires.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

Before Christopher Dean sent me a message about his game, I’d already seen it and knew I wanted to cover it. The core concept, role-play and then, for action sequences, draw your super hero character’s actions in a comic book format. It’s such a good idea! Add to it, the GM is the Editor, you’re playing the game in the medium of sequential storytelling, there’s a nice bit of meta-storytelling in this game. Are you role-playing superheroes, or playing freelance comic creators creating superhero comics?

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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World of Alessia Campaign Primer for 5e D&D & Starfinder by Storm Bunny Studios
Ends on .

“The World of Alessia Campaign Primer: Discover new species, classes, spells, and items with this brand new world!

Imagined by Finish visionary and tabletop RPG enthusiast Jere Manninen, the World of Alessia is a step into a truly fantastic future. Alessia casts off the traditional fantasy assumptions and introduces players to a wider world with a host of new species, technology, powers, and places to explore – for both Starfinder and 5e.

A terran monk and his allies battle a summoned servant of the Cult of Galgaræ. ~Illustration by Septimius Ferdian
A terran monk and his allies battle a summoned servant of the Cult of Galgaræ. ~Illustration by Septimius Ferdian

The World of Alessia is a high-fantasy campaign setting that combines Wuxia, science fiction, and magic-driven technology. It is a massive world where magic and technology coexist peacefully, impacting every aspect of life, from the Healing Houses of Sillias to the Great Towers of Xin. It is a land where Fyrean Genies meet with Asrian Wardens and The Gangs of Khatu push their Drifters across the desert sands, seeking resources and victims of every kind.

Mockup image of the Campaign Primer
Mockup image of the Campaign Primer

The World of Alessia Campaign Primer is a comprehensive introduction to Alessia. The primer includes details on the world of Alessia, its threats, the factions that drive its politics, and the many people who walk Alessia’s streets.

A host of new familiars grace the pages of the primer.
A host of new familiars grace the pages of the primer.

Beautifully illustrated with full-color art, the World of Alessia Campaign Primer will inspire GMs while providing players with a host of new options to take their 5e or Starfinder game to the next level.

The World of Alessia Campaign Primer brings you:

  • 11 new races (and more with each stretch goal we achieve).
  • 4 new classes – the Marauder, the Psion, the Seer, and the Tecker.
  • A system of Stunts and Resolve (for 5e play).
  • A garage full of new gear, vehicles, armor, and weapons for your 5e and Starfinder games.
  • New rules for attaining unique familiars.
  • And lots more awesome options for your game!”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

I attended Design Camp 2 – The Conversion! with Ben McFarland, Jason Sonia, and Brian Suskind. [FYI – I was a terrible camper.] Despite my lack of active participation in the camp, all of the instructors were awesome and everything that was shared was very instructional. As Jason Storm Bunny Studios Sonia was one of said instructors, when I saw the World of Alessia Campaign Primer for 5e D&D & Starfinder Kickstarter, I knew I’d cover it. When Jason pinged me with “Basically, I’m writing Chinese Wuxia/SciFi meets High Magic. So Eberron meets Firefly meets Star Wars meets Spelljammer“, I knew I was in (and had a quote). What is this? A great Starfinder (and 5e, but more Starfinder) setting. Add to that, the art is WOW-FUN! Very stylized, vibrant, and eager to be seen. It’s 5e and Starfinder, it looks great, and Jason Sonia is an excellent creator, I recommend this book!

 

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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Necrotopia: Handbook to the Apocalypse by Keenan Dunham
Ends on .

“Necrotopia is a pen and paper role-playing game. We are making books one and two in paperback and digital. This will fund further books

Necrotopia Handbook to the Apocalypse

Necrotopia is a role playing game written and developed by Keenan Dunham.  This is an independent project of a combination of ideas and stories Keenan has created.  Our goal is to release five role playing books in the Necrotopia Universe and then develop a complete hardback omnibus of the first five books.  With the limited time-frame of the first kickstarter we will only be releasing books one and two along with some special bonuses.  Artists are being paid up front for original art used, not from promises of future money.  Some art used is public domain.

The game itself is meant to be a beginners pen and paper role-playing game that can appeal to anyone.  It is simple and highly customizable.  Here is a sample of the story from book one:

“Necrotopia’s story begins with sparks of an invasion of demonic and interdimensional forces attacking Earth, initiating a battle for survival and conquest. There is a battle between Heaven and Hell brewing and you and your friends are caught in the middle. What happens depends on you with one person taking the role of Game Maestro and the rest taking the roles of role playing characters.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

 

Keenan Duncan sent me an alpha, or beta, advanced copy of the first book in his RPG. I enjoyed it and was excited to read the campaign. However, after reading the campaign description page for Necrotopia: Handbook to the Apocalypse, I thought about suggesting some fixes because there were holes in the description (lack of details). I was going to, but then I read the campaign’s FAQ which answered most of my concerns. So, if you check out the campaign, I suggest you read the description page and the FAQ to get a better idea of what Necrotopia offers.

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Choose Your Own: Sci-Fi Stock Art by James Shields
Ends on .

“Mix and match sci-fi stock art to create instant masterpieces for your tabletop roleplaying game.

Stock art & RPG tokens have their challenges.
This is an attempt to hurdle at least one of them.

Mix, match, and make your own masterpiece.
Mix, match, and make your own masterpiece.

This project will provide over 250 inked and colored components. Mix and match to create your own sci-fi masterpieces for RPG publishing or tabletop tokens. For this series, subjects will include: weapons, ships, portraits, characters, and scenes.

All components will be available in color as well as black and white PNG files at 300 DPI. Photoshop (.psd) files will also be made available for the Stock Art Master pledge level. These files will include vector lines and allow easy color changes and other editing options.

Files will be neatly organized by subject, color format, layer, and more.

The Just Tokens pledge level will include individual image components plus a Photoshop (.psd) file formatted for easy custom portraits and ships. Token images will be no larger than 300×300 pixels. Just toggle various layers for the image you want, then export for your personal tabletop use!

Backers will have the option of fulfillment through DriveThruRPG or a direct Dropbox link. Digital files on DriveThruRPG.com are stored virtually indefinitely.

All backers will have the ability to submit ideas to a suggestion pool for inspiration. Submitting an idea does not guarantee it will be selected or used. The Art Collector pledge level does have that guarantee though.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

I covered one of James’ prior art campaigns (that one a bit of fantasy art) here. The idea for this one, sci-fi stock art that is inspired by the contributors, is a win. Add to that, you can get the art as Photoshop files so you can customize it to better fit your setting. As an example, below is a GIF of how that customization might look.

 

Choose Your Own: Sci-Fi Stock Art by James Shields – Sample Customization

You can see examples of their work at RPGNow here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

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 orwall clock or ice tea glass!

* * * * * *

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

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

 

Kickstarter Reflections – Mailing List Blues

Copies now available for order! Click the image to see how!

I’m in the process of final fulfillment of my Kickstarter for the Gilded Age, but I’ve got all these thoughts swirling around in my head about the process over the last year or so.

So I’ve taken rants from my emails to friends and put them on here so that you can see how dumb I am sometimes and how innocent mistakes can lead to bigger things…

Anyway, this is Part 1 of who knows how many posts about Getting Ready for a Kickstarter/How to have a Successful Kickstarter/ or maybe just:

How to Fund a Kickstarter and lose your mind at the same time!

***

Mailing List Blues

 

One of the things that I continually come up against is:

How to inform people of “Your Stuff”?

This Blog was kind of part 1 of this thing.

I have 2 books, 2 novellas, a couple of comics… not Jeremy Neil yet, but working on it. So how do you get people from going – “That’s a nice blog post, now what are these cats going to do in this video?” to “Oh that’s a nice blog post, now what books has John written?”

I still don’t know. I’m sure I’ve gotten a handful of sales from the blog (or at least I hope I have), but I certainly haven’t gotten any kind of numbers to talk about. It feels like Jeremy does ok with the blog, though he has (at least) 3 things going for him:

  • A new release like monthly.
  • A million books that could each sell 1-2 copies a week and get him some nice folding money.
  • A couple of posts which have gone viral – one which literally gets like 150/day and 75/day. Even if only a very small fraction of people ever buy one of his books, he’s getting in there just based on sheer volume.

So what’s the answer?

An Email List.

The original mailing list software!

That’s what all these podcasts and blogs and grandma’s who don’t actually know what an Email List actually is, but they are also sure you need to be doing this.

Again, if you wait for them to stumble upon you, then you are going to be clearly disappointed. So I turned to giving away Gilded Age #1 in order to get emails on Instafreebie.com. I did the trial for a month and probably averaged 1-2 a day for the month. I went ahead and signed up for $20/month in order to get more. I’ve got 70ish people in roughly 2 months. So that’s a success for me.

All of this is looking toward the Gilded Age Kickstarter. I get the 1st issue into people’s hands and maybe I can actually fund this thing.

Since it had been a couple of months for the very first person who got the issue, I decided this would be the perfect time to send out the “Welcome to my email list” message. On part of a Thursday night and too much time on a Friday night, I got C working like I wanted it to, and crafted my initial message. I even got it set up where if you join the list from here on out, you’ll get an automated “Thanks for joining!” message (though I’m currently unsure this actually is working the way it should – something else to add to the list of things to do).

About 11:00 PM on Friday I kicked off the campaign.

MailChimp has all sorts of analytics going on. They know where the people are (what country) how many people have opened your email, who clicked on links within it (I actually had a link to both Tessera and the free copy of Gilded Age just in case). They tell you how many have unsubscribed…

And they tell you how many people have reported “Abuse”.

Hmmm. I didn’t see anything about that before. Why do I have 1 of those already and the campaign is like 10 minutes old.

A little research and I find that “Abuse” is whenever you click that little button in your Gmail/yahoo/whatever that says “Report as Spam”. That triggers an “Abuse report”.

No biggie. I’m sure that happens all the time.

***

Let me back up slightly. When I prepared to send out to my subscribers, I had to upload the Instafreebie’s contact list because I hadn’t automated the process yet (should have done that immediately, but I didn’t know if it was going to work all that well and…). I was surprised to see that I had about 900+ people on my MailChimp list already (by clicking on the submission form on my website). The name column was odd for a ton of them – like numbers and letters, but I thought, perhaps that either these were fake OR possibly C did that as a way to identify people. Either way, if they were fake, they’d bounce back or whatever, and if not, then yea! Shouldn’t be a problem, right?

***

So back to the reports… slowly over the next hour, I got about 2 more “Abuse”. I started worrying. Hmm, I wonder what that will end up meaning. Oh, and I really am wondering what the threshold might be?

Well, according to MailChimp, you should have only 1 in 1000…

I’d sent out 1047 and had 4 at this point… I passed the threshold. I went to bed and it was at 5.

When I woke up on Saturday, it was at 8 and MailChimp had issued me an email telling me that I had to use a “Double Opt-in” which they enacted on the website – Oh Good!

The funny thing was I had spent over an hour trying to do that very thing on Thursday night. I went through the various tutorials and videos and whatever and could NOT get it to work. Oh, and now I could not import any further contacts. On the plus side, they would allow me to send a “Reconfirmation Email” to everyone on the list (who hadn’t already unsubscribed or bounced emails) to ensure they really did want to be on the list.

So I take the time to set that up on Saturday night and sent it off, BUT I also sent support an email saying – What my initial email was about and gave a link to the Instafreebie site and that the reports were probably from a “Stale list”.

 

Here’s where my further frustrations come from. They replied:

“Downloading a free digital publication does not grant the expressed and verifiable permission for bulk emails as set by the standards of ISPs, SpamCops, and corporate filtering services.

In order for book downloads to be accepted an opt-in box would need to be added to the form allowing for contacts to make the clear choice to opt-in in.”

 

To which I responded:

If you follow the link to where the comic is exchanged for their email: https://www.instafreebie.com/free/2V0z3 you will see that it is about as explicit as it can be to let them know what it is they are signing up for. The title is “Sign up for John McGuire’s mailing list”. There is a “Claim” button and there is a notice at the bottom that says “By submitting your email address, you understand that you will receive email communications from John McGuire.”

It would seem to me that anyone signing up to claim my comic book would do so with full knowledge of what they were exchanging.

I’m just a little confused by the statement above.

 

And this was their response:

While the top of the free book download does mention that this is for your mailing list the overall expectation that is given from the form is of a book download. It can be very easy to miss those top three words.

Because permission is based on something being optional–and therefore, the contact makes the choice to sign up or not–it will need for the form to be changed so that the contact can get the book download without choosing to sign up for newsletters.

***

Whaa? So I can tell them that this is for my mailing list. I can provide them with a product in exchange for their email… which they have to enter in order to CLAIM the item. And that isn’t enough? I have to say – “Hey, sign up for my list or not. And oh, here’s something just because!”

Maybe I’m misreading. Maybe I’m misguided. Maybe I’m wrong. But come on! That doesn’t make any sense.

***

Either way, those 70 people are possibly gone! Any legitimate people who signed up through the website are gone! I’m basically back to my starting point. Sigh.

The one silver lining to this is that 15 people reconfirmed. Hopefully, some more will do so in the next couple of days. And it seems the automated bit from Instafreebie directly into MailChimp actually still works (I guess because they are doing it and not me, I don’t know and I’m not going to bring any attention to it). So, in theory, any further people who get Gilded Age #1 will automatically join the list.

Just another chapter in the saga of “Things I wish I had done correctly the first time”

***

This actually marked the proper start of my Mailing List. It now has around 200 people on it, many of which actually came from the Kickstarter itself (so kind of backward from what you might think). I knew that I should have started clean… I knew it and still, I clicked that button because the number was so big, and I wanted to get started. There is no time to wait to do it the “right way”. And that’s on me.

Still learning… every day.

***

John McGuire is 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 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

6 RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – Lankhmar Savage Seas of Nehwon, Sovereign Stone, THE BOOK OF DARK SECRETS, The Overworld and Beyond, A Delve in a Cave, and New Tales of the Miskatonic Valley 2e

This week let’s look at two Savage Worlds, one Call of Cthulhu, one 5e, and one 13th Age RPG Kickstarters. In each of these, there is a moment of continuity where these campaigns build on prior work from continuing Lankhmar to giving Elmore and Miskatonic Valley new homes to continuing the learning curve of a new creator to the finished version of an adventure, or just another great product from a company I covered toward the beginning of this column’s life. These continuations are worth checking out.

 

Lankhmar Savage Seas of Nehwon, a Fantasy RPG by Pinnacle Entertainment Group
Ends on .

“Fritz Leiber’s best-selling tales of Fafhrd & the Gray Mouser come alive in Pinnacle’s Savage Worlds Lankhmar: City of Thieves setting!

A Kickstarter Booster for Lankhmar: City of Thieves!

In the City of Sevenscore Thousand Smokes, danger lurks down every dark alley. Sinister sorcerers summon terrible forces in their crumbling towers. Treacherous rogues of the Thieves’ Guild prowl the Plaza of Dark Delights. Assassins from the Slayers’ Brotherhood work the Tenderloin District. And hunched figures skitter beneath the streets, waiting for their chance to rise.

Now your party of warriors and scoundrels can expand their adventures beyond Lankhmar to the high seas of Nehwon. They might venture to the Sea of Stars to confront priests of the ancient and terrible Mokrath, or book passage to Rime Isle and fall prey to “The Thing From Below.”

The Savage Seas of Nehwon contains everything a Game Master needs to create incredible tales of high sea-based adventures for Lankhmar or ANY fantasy Savage Setting, including:

  • The Seas of Nehwon: Overviews of the Inner Sea, Outer Sea, Frozen Sea, Sea of Stars, Sea of the East, and Lankhmar’s docks and harbors.
  • Characters: New Edges, Hindrances, powers, and Setting Rules dealing with ships and the sea.
  • Ships: Statistics for the various ocean-going vessels of Nehwon, Setting Rules, naval maneuvers, and rules for savage storms!
  • Adventure Generator: A complete adventure generator for creating your own fantastic Savage Tales!
  • Savage Tales: Sea-based adventures in Fritz Leiber’s incredible style, such as “Jewel of the Deep,” “Queen of the Sunken Realm,” “Bride of the Golden Isle,” and more!
  • Denizens of the Deep: New beasts to drag your heroes from the decks of their ships to the briny depths!

 

We want to support our settings after the core releases and have been trying to figure out how for a while. So we’re trying a “Booster” as an experiment. You might think it’s easy for an established company like Pinnacle to just put new product into the retail chain, but it’s not (See  “Why Kickstarter?” below).

Right now, Kickstarter is still the best place for many of our customers who don’t have a local game store, or whose game store doesn’t carry Savage Worlds, to find out about and pick up our games. We’ll still do our big, full-on Kickstarters just like we’ve done before for our new settings and other big projects. But creating all the Stretch Goals and extra products we need to support those doesn’t make sense for a follow-on book, so we’re doing something a little different…the Booster.

If it works out, you’ll see more of these. (We’ve got books for The Last Parsec and Savage Rifts® already in the works.)

So what does all that mean for you? Pledge for Savage Seas and we’ll give you the Booster Rewards listed below (including a REALLY cool adventure written by Shane Hensley that follows on with the work he did on the original 1992 TSR boxed set for Dungeons & Dragons!)”

The 1996 TSR boxed set for Dungeons & Dragons, written by Shane Hensley!
The 1996 TSR boxed set for Dungeons & Dragons, written by Shane Hensley!

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

My first introduction to Savage Worlds was the free Savage Worlds: Test Drive 2015 quickstart set in Lankhmar. The price point combined with the familiar setting let me sample, and enjoy, Savage Worlds. I’m excited about this Kickstarter boost (and the concept of “boosts”. I hope to see more of them). In this age of kickstart-and-forget products, where a project may obtain amazing levels of crowdfunding, produce the book, but never delve into a follow-up book, I salute Pinnacle Entertainment Group for expanding their Lankhmar setting/license. Demonstrating their investment in the setting keeps me interested in it (knowing there’s more material to work with) so I can’t wait to see the Savage Seas of Nehwon.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

THE BOOK OF DARK SECRETS – D&D 5e Pathfinder Adventures by Dark by Dezign
Ends on .

“2 Fill-in Adventure Anthology Books for D&D 5e and Pathfinder Compatible RPG adventures. Each book Print + Digital and each 200+ pages!

THE 2 BOOKS of THE BOOK OF DARK SECRETS Project
THE 2 BOOKS of THE BOOK OF DARK SECRETS Project

(all credits + well-deserved thank you’s are in the About Me section)

5+1 FREE PREVIEW PDF links – VERY Important. Trust me, Buddy…

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/27f8ntfofs8oklq/AADuJzcxsHP48DW2FlqxN2HQa?dl=0

THE BOOK OF DARK SECRETS project is composed of 2 books that are to be in digital pdf and high-quality printed softcover or hardcover formats. Both books will be 200+ pages long. Each of the 2 books is D&D 5e and Pathfinder-compatible and for PCs between levels 1-20. NOTE – There is more to each book than just adventures. Please read to find out more. Here are a few more characteristics for each book:

THE LOST TOMES - Volume 1 + DEMON BOX of RAYNETH
THE LOST TOMES – Volume 1 + DEMON BOX of RAYNETH

THE LOST TOMES – Volume 1 – 16 adventures based on a secret society known as THE LOST TOME SOCIETY. This society is made up of 16 of the very best NPCs the players might ever come across. Experts in their chosen fields, and all of them have some form of a tarnished history and back story. The 16 founding members of The Lost Tome Society are making amends for their misdeeds by hunting down the greatest and most powerful relics, artifacts, magic items and pieces of lost lore while destroying evil along the way. PCs are tasked to on adventures of 16
very diverse types, genres, as well as a different look, tone and feel
kind of variety.

The 16 LOST TOME SOCIETY founding members.
The 16 LOST TOME SOCIETY founding members.

Each of the 16 adventures is based around a founding member’s special skill set and the missions that correspond to said skill set. There is a FREE, 45-page PREVIEW BOOK that can be downloaded from Dropbox, but in a nutshell, these 16 adventures are based around the following:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/428501801/1639442857?ref=8r6u5b&token=bbf144db

01-BOUNTY HUNTING – Manzius Stone
02-ASSASSIN’S TOOLS – Manrick Crow
03-ARTIFACTS & RELICS – Odessa Roark
04-CARTOGRAPHY – Fernandius Kase
05-TAROT OF BELAGOS – Dharna Brim
06-DEMONOLOGY – Moggrett Null
07-MAGIC WEAPONS – Professor Langellan
08-SIEGE WARFARE – Darnius Rex
09-MONSTER HUNTING – Crazy Keturchkin Dyatlov
10-TRAPSMITHING – Cribner Larkett
11-LOST SPELLBOOKS – Abner Totleben
12-HERALDRY – Melody Lynn
13-MYSTERIES & ODDITIES – Rhodale Scribner
14-MAGIC ITEMS – Cynthia Bebansin
15-TREASURE CHAMBER – Benaltec Orr
16-ALCHEMICAL & ELIXIRS – Cyd Neade

• 16 Bios on each of the 16 founders of THE LOST TOME SOCIETY

• 16 short adventures based on the 16 founders’ skill sets

• Multiple pieces of ART, MAPS, DIAGRAMS and PLAYER HANDOUTS

• Map of The Lost Tome Society and where the members and scholars eat, sleep and play

• Compatibility charts that show how each of the 16 founders thinks of each other

THE BOOK OF DARK SECRETS - Volume 1 - The 20 Sigils of Power
THE BOOK OF DARK SECRETS – Volume 1 – The 20 Sigils of Power

 THE BOOK OF DARK SECRETS – Volume 1 – 20-26 short, fill-in adventures between 5-12+ pages each. Perfect for when the DM/GM runs out of adventure content, the session ends too early, or the campaign needs a bit of a fresh boost. 20-26 D&D 5e and Pathfinder-compatible adventures for PCs between levels 1-20.

A collection of 5 + 1 FREE PDF samples can be found below. Please note that these 5 + 1 FREE PDF samples are from previously published DBD titles and are NOT actual content that will be in either of these 2 books. ENJOY!

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/27f8ntfofs8oklq/AADuJzcxsHP48DW2FlqxN2HQa?dl=0

• The 20 SECRET powers of THE AMULET OF POWER
(pictured above)

• 20-26 short adventures that are all 100% BRAND NEW, UNIQUE and diverse

• Multiple pieces of ART, MAPS, DIAGRAMS and PLAYER HANDOUTS”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

Matthew A. Bogdan of Dark by Dezign is all-energy. I reached out to him for an interview on the Open Gaming Network (here) and he opened up and shared facts, hard numbers, and what he was looking for from this project. Each book offers interesting adventures for 5e and Pathfinder that have a unique feel. I believe that he is going to deliver on his campaign and, likely, over-deliver. I can’t swear they’ll be thicker books that roll out for Halloween, but I suspect it heavily. But, don’t take my word for it, read the interview I did with him or his interview on Dan Davenport’s site.

 

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

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

A Delve in the Cave: 5th Edition Adventure by Signal Fire Studios
Ends on .

“A curse. A cave. A crawl. 1st level scenario for the world’s most popular roleplaying game!

I’m returning to my personal and professional gaming roots with a 32-page adventure for 5th edition of the original fantasy roleplaying game—a cavern crawl built to please hack-and-slash groups and storytellers alike!

I started playing fantasy roleplaying games in 1982 at seven years old. (Yes, THAT fantasy RPG.) As an adult I accidentally stumbled into a career publishing supplements and adventures for THAT game along with designing RPG systems of my own. Check out my Goodreads page or visit my website for more info.

Last year I was in Texas for a regional game convention, and while in my booth I scribbled out two pages worth of adventure notes for 5th Edition of the world’s oldest and most popular roleplaying game (yes, THAT one) and ran a few players through it before we packed up and drove back to Atlanta.

Then I sat down and typed about ten thousand words. Very quickly this became a real thing. The adventure premiered at the Origins Game Fair in 2017 with an Early Access edition.

Interest and sales of the Early Access version surprised me, and we’ve gotten great response to from groups that have run through it.

We want to offer a high-quality product and keep the price low for tabletop game retailers and the folks who shop at them. Our initial goal will let us pay everyone who’s helped with this product a fair wage, print enough to sell through distribution channels, and keep our business going. If we blow past the initial amount we will offer stretch goals that enhance and upgrade the product for everyone!

The Early Access version is complete, which means every backer at the $5 level or higher will receive a fully-playable PDF once the backer surveys are complete. These files will be automatically upgraded to the final version once the adventure has gone to press!

The “dungeon crawl” in the cave takes up most of the Early Access edition. The final version will expand the town of Shadowhaven where the story begins, providing adventure hooks to get the heroes involved in the mystery that threatens the community—as well as a potentially dangerous journey to the tomb of the town’s founder, whose bones rest in a cavern under a hill. The encounters and ending will be rewritten slightly and adjusted based on playtest feedback.

"Coblynau" by Lindsay Archer — a new fey creature!
“Coblynau” by Lindsay Archer — a new fey creature!

The black-and-white map of the main dungeon is complete, as well as a few interior illustrations. These will be supplemented by additional artwork and a full-color poster version of the map by artist Ben Mund (Serenity Atlas of the ‘Verse) that can be printed at 36″ x 48″ that will provide an attractive set-piece for gamers who enjoy a visual and tactical experience.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

I followed the early edition of this game and its IndieGoGo campaign here and here. I enjoyed the DIY version of the crawl; now, I’m looking forward to the finished product.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

New Tales of the Miskatonic Valley 2ed for Call of Cthulhu by Stygian Fox Publishing
Ends on .

“‘New Tales from Miskatonic Valley’ 2nd Edition produced under license for the Call of Cthulhu RPG by Chaosium Inc.

New Tales of the Miskatonic Valley returns!

Lauded as authentically Lovecraftian and much loved for of its mood and style, New Tales of the Miskatonic Valley returns with a full-colour second edition. With its new art, varied formats (PDF, Kindle, softcover, and hardback), and an extra scenario, this Kickstarter will make its rightful return to print, uplifted to Call of Cthulhu, 7th Edition.

Call of Cthulhu is the Registered Trademark of Chaosium Inc., and is used with their permission. www.chaosium.com

Miskatonic River Press released New Tales of the Miskatonic Valley to great acclaim and it quickly became a favourite among Call of Cthulhu Keepers. Its faithful adherence to Lovecraftian themes and its location along the dark river it takes its name from, meant a return to an authentic home for many players who cut their anti-mythos teeth on earlier adventures set in the valley.

Started by Keith ‘Doc’ Herber and Tom Lynch, it quickly marked MRP as a company to watch. Tragically, Doc passed away while working on a subsequent title (Our Ladies of Sorrow with Kevin Ross) but Tom kept his dream alive and grew upon it with further books. Sadly, MRP closed its doors a couple of years ago and the titles have been out of print as Tom Lynch focused on writing fiction and his family.

Last year, Stygian Fox purchased four titles from Tom Lynch/MRP in order to bring them back to players of the world’s greatest horror game and in turn, we aim to release new and updated versions of New Tales of the Miskatonic Valley, More Adventures in Arkham Country, Our Ladies of Sorrow, and Tales of the Sleepless City.

In New Tales of the Miskatonic Valley, there are currently six scenarios and we aim to add a seventh set in the valley or Innsmouth (although Innsmouth isn’t in the Miskatonic Valley it is such an integral part of Lovecraft Country as to be hard to ignore). The original is black and white and 130 pages. We aim to increase that to 160 pages and to make it full colour with all new art.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

This product represents a rebirth. On EN World, I touched on some of the issues that Miskatonic River Press experienced with another CoC Kickstarter – including the end of MRP. What Stygian Fox Publishing did by purchasing MRP’s contents and creating this Kickstarter represents the restoration of one of the better licensed 3PP Call of Cthulhu products. By going this route, Stygian is letting gamers enjoy books that might have faded away, and I salute them for doing this.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

The Overworld and Beyond (13th Age RPG Planar Adventures) by Dread Unicorn Games
Ends on .

“The Overworld and Beyond, planar adventures for the 13th Age Roleplaying Game by the legendary Ash Law.

Journey to the Planes with Ash Law!

The Overworld and Beyond presents planar-hopping adventures for the 13th Age roleplaying game. It includes a backwater setting that includes towns, wilderness, and gates to other worlds, all ready for you to incorporate into your gameworld.

Adventure for All Tiers of Play

  • The Carrow Hills a perfect sandbox for adventure-tier play. Hooks, rumors, and NPCs are all interwoven to create a setting where the locals think being close to other planes is just the way thing are.
  • Attack of the Koblins a champion-tier adventure. What are these strange creatures warped by transdimensional energies, and why are they striking out at innocent people?
  • Further Adventures in the Carrow Hills give the GM a collection of champion-tier adventure hooks that tie into what’s happened before, and foreshadow the epic-tier challenges ahead.
  • Into the Overworld presents the party with an epic-tier problem that won’t be solved without traveling to many planes

There’s a 5th-6th level adventure that has PCs up against forces from another world.

There’s a 9th-10th level adventure that has the PCs traveling to myriad other planes: the City at the Edge of Dawn, the Elemental Realms, the Fleshscape, the Green, the Lightless Realm, and the Middenlands.

The project includes pages of adventure hooks, a bestiary, 13 Weird Worlds, 13 Peculiar People, and more!”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

A new planar option for 13th Age is a win, but why I think this’ll be a great product is because of their prior work, The Gods Have Spoken. I covered Dread Unicorn Games The Gods Have Spoken for 5e here (13th Age edition available here). That game is alive with quirky detail and fun art. If The Overworld and Beyond approaches that level of good, it’ll be well worth adding to your library.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

Savage Worlds Sovereign Stone by Applied Vectors
Ends on Fri, June 1 2018 5:17 PM EDT.

“This project brings Larry Elmore’s Sovereign Stone to the Savage Worlds game system.

Loerem is a world of beauty and enchantment created by renowned fantasy artist Larry Elmore, with development from New York Times best-selling authors Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. Through Elmore’s vivid visual renditions of unique personalities, clashing nations, fantastical creatures, and enchanting landscapes alongside a saga weaved by Weis & Hickman, the culmination chronicled the mortals’ struggle to master the unfathomable power of the Sovereign Stone given them from the gods — an artifact forged for peace among races but which ignited war between brothers.

Applied Vectors LTD are pleased to be bringing this wonderful world into the Savage Worlds fold. This Kickstarter is to fund the development of the game and cover writing and layout costs. This will be built from the ground up specifically for Savage Worlds (this is no mere conversion).

This game references the Savage Worlds game system, available from Pinnacle Entertainment Group at www.peginc.com. Savage Worlds and all associated logos and trademarks are copyrights of Pinnacle Entertainment Group. Used with permission. Pinnacle makes no representation or warranty as to the quality, viability, or suitability for purpose of this product.

The game requires a copy of Savage Worlds that can be purchased from the Pinnacle Entertainment Group store.

The Sovereign Stone

The Sovereign Stone is a lustrous crystal pyramid of four triangles that form a quadrangle at the base and come together in a point at the apex. Approximately sixteen inches tall, the artifact is carved of a single piece of crystal. It was given to King Tamaros of the Vinnengalean Empire, and in order to broker peace, he separated it into four equal pieces. One quarter went to the humans, one to the elves, one to the orks, and the last to the dwarves.

Here is where the story grows murky, clouded over with rumors and tales, few of which can be believed. One thing that is known for certain is that an army led by one of the King’s sons marched on the city, and consequently the human portion of the stone was lost in a cataclysmic explosion which obliterated Old Vinnengael and left very few survivors, little accurate accounts are told of those last, terrible days. Much of what people know about King Tamaros and the Sovereign Stone is rumor and myth that has been building for the past two hundred years.

Since that day men have quested for the lost part of the Sovereign Stone to no avail. Old Vinnengael is now a cursed and abhorrent landmark. Few who venture there ever return alive, but still there are those brave or foolish enough to attempt it, drawn by the magic that pervades the city ruins and the riches said to be buried in the rubble.

There are accounts of a dark army marching across Loerem from the west, but few trust the tales. Still, some learned scholars have renewed their efforts to find the lost portion of the Sovereign Stone and reunite its parts in order to combat this or any other threat to the people of Loerem.

Do you dare trespass into Old Vinnengael or are you brave enough to face the threat from the west?

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

Larry Elmore plus Savage Worlds equals gold! On Open Gaming Network, I have an interview with Ian Liddle (Applied Vectors) about Savage Worlds Sovereign Stone that gets into why I dig this project (link here).

 

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

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

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

* * * * * *

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

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

Kickstart the Comic: Cat & Mouse #1

Stories don’t want to be confined to our desk drawers or to our computer hard drives… they want to be out in the world where they can be consumed and absorbed into the minds of readers and creators.

 

***

Cat & Mouse #1

Writer – Roland Mann

Penciller – Dean Zachary

Inker – Barb Kaalberg

Colors – Kevin Gallegly

 

Kickstarter Campaign ends on Thursday, May 31, 2018 at 12:00 PM EST.

***

The Pitch:

Cat & Mouse is a crime action-crime-drama, set in the city of New Orleans, presented to you in saddle-stiched comic book format! Cat & Mouse #1 contains 22 pages of story and art.

 

The Story:

When Brett’s ex-girlfriend asks him to go to New Orleans to find her runaway sister, Bobbi, he stumbles on to a human trafficking operation run by Ms. Johnson, known on the streets as The Widowmaker. Brett has to figure a way to rescue Bobbi, and maybe take down the entire organization. Fresh out of the police academy, is he up to the task? Brett will seek the help of his friend, Jesse, an officer on the New Orleans police department, and will also receive help from … some unusual sorts.

 

John’s Thoughts:

I never read the original Cat & Mouse series, but I love the idea that a creator is able to take something from thirty years ago and bring it back to life through Kickstarter. As much as anything else, we all have these ideas and projects that have a bit more story left to tell. These creators have decided to do something about it, which is all sorts of awesome!

As to the story itself… well let’s see: it looks like we get a mixture of crime story, mixed with super-heroics in the form of martial art fighters/heroes. I’m only going to assume that is going to lead to some pretty nice all-out fight scenes… with ninjas!

Page 15, Cat & Mouse #1

 

The Rewards:

The good thing is that this project has already hit its goal (currently $3,610 at the time of writing). The bad thing is that a few of the rewards are no longer available. Luckily, there are still plenty of ways to get the comic in pdf ($4) in print ($10) and signed by the entire team ($20). I’m also a big fan of projects, especially when you read the credits on each of the creators, that offer up and coming artists/writers/inkers/colorist an opportunity for a critique ($50). Sometimes all we need is just a little direction from an outside viewpoint to truly make that last leap from good to great. On the higher end of things, you can own some original artwork ($100+) from selected interior pages to the cover.

Mock-up of the RETAILER cover.

 

The Verdict:

This is one of those no-brainers. The artwork reminds me of some of those 90s style artists that I loved to pick up their books because I knew they knew how to tell a story. Each of the sample pages shown only reinforces that feeling for me. In addition, given that each of the team has worked professionally for decades, this seems like one that will certainly get done.

I’d say give it a shot. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

 

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To find out more about Roland Mann, check him out here.

***

John McGuire is 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 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

3 RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – Overlight, Black Void, and Shattered Tower

In this week’s list, the three RPG Kickstarters I spotlight are a tour de force of art! These three have inspiring images that key in on the feel of the worlds and their mechanics. Each Kickstarter is an original system, each one a fantasy setting, and each one as beautifully rendered as one could desire, read on to see.

 

Black Void RPG by Christoffer Sevaldsen
Ends on .

“A dark fantasy tabletop roleplaying game about the fall and resurgence of humanity.

In the days when Babylon was the greatest city on Earth, mankind lived in placid ignorance of the grandeur, vastness and horror of the cosmos. Following cataclysmic events on Earth the fragile veil between reality and the Void was shattered and the truth of existence revealed. As mankind cried for salvation they were torn from their homeworld by Void-torrents and the surviving peoples of Earth were scattered among the stars. Countless were lost and mankind seemed all but perished. Over the decades the survivors, stragglers and ragged remnants of mankind’s tribes struggled for their lives across countless uncaring worlds. However, a few managed to go beyond mere subsistence and travel the Void-currents to congregate in fabled Llyhn, epicentre of the cosmos.

BLACK VOID is a dark fantasy tabletop roleplaying game revolving around the fall and subsequent resurgence of humanity after cataclysmic events have torn them from Earth. Pursuing power, prestige and enlightenment – humanity is struggling to find a new place and purpose in a vast and unfamiliar cosmos. Players can focus on the personal struggles and stories of their characters or expand their scope putting emphasis on the fate of humanity as a species and the part they play in this.

BLACK VOID core book: A high-quality, 400+ page, full colour and hardcover book with everything you need for players and game-masters. The book is filled with original art, novel species and monsters, extensive descriptions and rich lore, detailed maps and much more bringing the BLACK VOID to life.

Game themes: The game takes place in a distant past which is both familiar and outlandish in its dark and exotic ambience. As descendants of the survivors of Earth, characters can adopt many roles such as:

  • Serving as emissaries, defending the enclaves and last remnants of human civilization.
  • Travelling the Void-currents as explorers seeking riches and glory across the cosmos.
  • Venturing to find Earth, the long lost cradle of humanity.
  • Seeking influence and claiming a new home for mankind, taking their rightful places as leaders of mankind.
  • Diving into the intrigues of Llyhn or perhaps building an empire in the dark depths of the city’s underworld.
  • Discovering the true essence of existence finding enlightenment beyond the veil of reality; in a Void filled with mindless abominations.

Game Concept: At its core the game is about the exploration, struggle for survival and will-to-power of humanity as it encounters an outlandish, bizarre cosmos. This is not a typical game of “good versus evil”. Rather, it takes a less rigid approach and probes the grey areas where morals are point-of-view. The game revolves around three main concepts:

Into the unknown – How does humanity fit into a cosmos it knows little about and where the possibilities are endless? In a cosmos where humanity’s ideals and tenets are insignificant mankind needs to adapt or succumb!

Beyond the horizon – Exploring the cosmos and faced with adversity, political intrigue and cultural tension on a scale unknown to humanity, players must cope or risk becoming collateral damage in the struggles of uncaring factions. In the end humanity must claim its place in the cosmos or perish trying!

What is humanity – Humanity is exposed to strange and oftentimes bizarre philosophies and ideals. As a result the characters must define, establish and decide what humanity is and what its place will be in the cosmos!”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

Dark and dangerous! A beautiful artistic contrast to Overlight (below). For the game concept, it’s a fantasy past where you’re an explorer in a deadly world. There are, perhaps, cosmetic similarities to Shattered Tower RPG (also on this list), but the theme feels darker and the world feels less safe. Should you dig in? You can get the quickstart BETA – “But don’t just take our and others’ word for it – go HERE to download the sample BETA-quickstart for free and judge for yourself. – Chris, Black Void Games”

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Shattered Tower RPG by Andrea Macchi
Ends on .

“Mythpunk RPG set in an hostile world, built on the ashes of an older and forgotten one, focused on survival and exploration.

Welcome Fearless Adventurer,

We’re extremely proud to get in the ring with Shattered Tower, our brand new project: we’re talking about a Myth Punk RPG, straightly focused on discoverysurvival and exploration.

That could sound same ole same ole, but – trust me – with this concept, this idea, this game… we wanna bring REAL ADVENTURE to the table.
Of course there is adventure in every big RPG we know, love and been playing to, but we decided to take the thrill to the next level.

HOW? well, let’s just say that, if dying while looking for artifacts can be common, here you can fall through the cold claws of death even just while taking a walk outside the city limits! 

Of course, at the very same time, your characters will be fully and colorfully equipped with every item and/or ability and/or extraordinary talent necessary to survive… if only you can figure out how to do it! ; )

[Note: All the material will be produced in 2 languages: English & Italian]

Shattered Tower will be a brand new rulebook containing a completely original background setting, the rules you need to go plug’n’play with our peculiar D6system, 3 Adventure modules and much more (following).

If funded, we will produce the Hardcover book consisting of  200+ pages (depending on the stretch goals reached) including:

  • Complete World Setting
  • Original Game System
  • 6 Playable Races
  • 60 Dangers: Inimical Environment, Special Creatures, Monsters, Flora and Fauna
  • Unique Exploration System
  • Unique Crafting System
  • 3 Complete Adventures
  • 3+ Short Stories

The spark that led us to create Shattered Tower, came straight out our personal passion for exploration and adventure (a passion we found out being pretty common between RPG players) and from the strong desire to produce not only something new and original, but something that could be a lil’ bit different from what’s out on the market today.
We really wanted to create a something where discoveryhard survival and world exploration are at the core of the whole game.

But there’s of course more than that..

The Setting:
Tyntyr is a vast and extremely hostile world that has risen from the ashes of a war between the world itself and an ancient and advanced civilization, fallen into ruin, shattered and partially forgotten.

Players will travel through an environment heavily dominated by nature, ruled by the Dra-Idjias, mystical and powerful creatures that imprisoned, and now control and govern the offspring of that ancient colonizers that survived the war centuries ago and still lives on the planet.

Players will be part of the Vanguard, a guild composed by the few people of their respective races able to bypass the tight control of the world’s sentinels and visiting the world outside, with the purpose of discovering what once was..  and what still can be… 

The player’s job is to incarnate explorers and adventurers, to get in the shoes of pioneersfinding a home in the Vanguard, willing to risk their lives, far from civilization, fighting to death just to earn the respect of the companions and to bring knowledge to mankind.

The System: 
Shattered Tower works on the peculiar D6System we created.

How does it work – we’ve got a classic but versatile list of skills (which also includes COMBAT as an ability, for example) and we put it together with the kind of mechanics that you can nowadays find in modern narrative RPGs, creating  a unique system which feels very functional to the setting.

Long story short, every character’s got his skills set with ability scores (from 1 to 6) determined by the construction of the player character (PC) build.
Those points define the number of dices the player’s gotta roll when trying an ability check. success is gained when dices give only 5 or 6.
The few basics of this system also include that the difficulty coefficient of the test that is faced – when higher than the score of the PC – determines the deprivation of X dice to pull, where X stands for each point by which the difficulty exceeds the score of the PC.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

Artistically (and end-date-wise) this project falls perfectly between Black Void and Overlight. The Shattered Tower RPG has beautifully, grounded artwork that lends itself to a mixture of beauty and struggle. What’s the feel? You’re an explorer in an once great now fallen, violent world. There are things to learn (what came before) and things to decide (how will the world progress) and things to survive. As with each of these projects, if the art is any indication of the product, this is a winner.

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Overlight RPG: A roleplaying game of kaleidoscopic fantasy by Renegade Game Studios
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“Seven continents hang in the sky, stacked vertically far above an unending sparkling sea. Shining down upon it all is the Overlight.

Since the beginning of time, a race of serpentine, celestial beings have been the caretakers and observers of the cosmos. At some point in Earth’s past, probably around 1,000 B.C.E., a small contingent of these celestials argued that humanity was ready to learn the secrets behind the making of the world. That the Homo sapiens species had achieved such a level of cultural growth and spiritual awareness that they deserved to be shown all the wonders of the universe, to be given the literal Keys of Creation.

This small group of celestials was overruled by the will of the majority. Humankind was not yet ready. Defying this judgment, one individual fled to Earth with the Keys, and gifted them to humanity with one warning, “Do not use the Black Key”. Humanity did not listen.

All of reality was turned inside out. The burning heart of the world was now the bright white, unending sky, and the unknowable depths of space now a vast star-filled sea beneath. Entire continents float in the space between, without a moon or sun to guide them.”

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

Light and brilliant! A shining visual contrast to the Black Void (above). The idea of floating lands that getting to and from is used throughout fantasy and sci-fi for good reason – it’s visually imaginative. Is this the one for you? I could offer thoughts but they have a sample you can get via email here that will answer a lot of your asks.

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

Overlight – Hamanu Teacher

 

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

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

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

* * * * * *

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

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

8 Questions About Art of War: Bushido/Wuxia Setting for Savage Worlds & 5e With Greg LaRose (Amora Game)

Greg LaRose (TentacleGreg on Open Gaming Network, where I write some articles) of Amora Game is running a Kickstarter for his latest creation, Art of War: Bushido/Wuxia Setting for Savage Worlds and 5e.

EGG EMBRY – Thanks for taking the time to talk about your project – What is Art of War?

GREG LAROSE – Hey, thanks for having me. Art of War is a dream project I have always had in my head brewing for years. Art of War is an epic storytelling action focused campaign setting inspired by the influences of Chia-Liang Liu martial arts films (The 36th Chamber of Shaolin & Heroes of the East), Akira Kurosawa samurai films (Seven Samurai & Yojimbo), Dynasty Warriors video game series, and a various anime (Basilisk, Naruto, etc).

It is a setting where the people of the San Empire are pulling themselves out of the chaos of a civil war, an invasion of flesh eating Oni, and a return of the restoration of the original royal bloodline. One role the players can take on as heroes is trying to restore hope back to the population. There are plenty of opportunities to play the hometown hero, indulge in a political landscape of deception, or to stand on the Wall and slay some monsters.

It is my love affair with Chinese and Japanese cultures, histories, and mythology.

 

EGG – This project is for two different systems, Savage Worlds and 5e. How are you interpreting the setting to get the most out of each of those systems?

GREG LAROSE – As a whole, the setting is a rich tapestry that easily be played with any system out there. It has access points for any type of story a group would want to play.

System mechanics wise, we adapted the setting to several systems over the past two years with Savage Worlds and 5e acting as solid frameworks to use. Moreover, what I mean is that both are flexible and “rules light” so that you can shape them. This gives us the ability to interject a power point-like system that can added to each rule set. You can scale it up or down to help determine how grounded or fantastical you want the game and characters to be. We call it the Chi System.

These power points fuel different additional rules that give the action movie feel we wanted to achieve. The system also supports Chi Techniques that give the character a specialization of power. Think of the youxia that can run up a bamboo tree and balance on a tiny branch without falling off or having it give to heavy weight. Or the samurai standing on bridge by himself against a squad of archers and he gives a deafening yell. Chi Techniques are those types of powers translated to simple and easy game mechanics.

Besides those being in common with these systems, the Savage Worlds version introduces Tropes that act as frameworks for the creation of heroes. For those familiar with Savage Worlds, think of them as beefed up archetypes or concepts. We also include new Edges and Hindrances. We adapted the classic nosebleed scenario found in anime as a Hindrance to add some comedic relief. I’m also excited to introduce two new Skills to the Savage Worlds ruleset, Acrobatics and Meditation.

Tropes in the 5th edition version, act as character paths for various classes. The Shinobi trope is a path for the rogue class. The fighter receives the Path of the Samurai as a viable option. The Youxia trope is available to both rogues, rangers and fighters, each one taking on a variation of the concept. We are also supporting numerous new Backgrounds, Inspirations, Feats, and equipment.

 

EGG – A number of Amora Game‘s products are for Pathfinder, why not offer a PF version of Art of War?

GREG LAROSE – Great question. We started to use Pathfinder as one of the systems to publish in and the project was called “Hands-Over-Fisticuffs”, but it quickly became overwhelming. There is a lot of amazing source material to pull from to get the mechanics right. But that was also the problem; we needed to pull rules for the revised action economy from this book, convert rules from that book, use OGL from this company. Develop a new class or archetype to handle this, spend more time playtesting to check the math on that. It became heavy, bulky, clunky and imbalanced.

We wanted something that wasn’t cumbersome for new players to jump in and play without multiple rules and errata. Light and flexible is what we wanted to focus on.

In addition, timing played a major factor. With the announcement of Pathfinder 2.0, we would rather see how the new system plays out then produce for an old system where support might fall to the wayside. While we have 200 pages worth material for a Pathfinder edition, it just doesn’t hold the feel we wanted for the setting.

 

EGG – You did not skimp on the previews. How have they been received, and which system is getting more interest from Art of War fans, Savage Worlds or 5e?

GREG LAROSE – Surprisingly they have almost equal numbers. Art of War teaser for Savage Worlds is racing ahead of Kemonomimi Race preview for 5th Edition. But I have been shocked that the 5th edition of South of the Wall has pulled down a few more numbers than the Savage Worlds version. In contrast, we have more backers on the Kickstarter buying in for the Savage Worlds. Ahead of that, is the backer level where you get both versions of Art of War. I’ve been happy with the turnout.

 

EGG – When I first approached you about doing an interview, I didn’t connect you were TentacleGreg on Open Gaming Network. For those who don’t know, what types of articles do you do on Open Gaming Network?

GREG LAROSE – So far I have focused on Starfinder articles. Showing off future archetypes and playing with Faction idea write-ups. Open Gaming Articles are a fun sandbox to play in at the moment. In one of the first articles, I rant about what I feel a Third Party Publisher Organized play society would allow and not allow. After the Kickstarter, I have a few 5e articles for character paths, more factions for Starfinder, and my lost notes for Pathfinder articles.

 

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

GREG LAROSE – Techno Wizard in the Rifts setting for the Palladium system was the first character I ever created. My Tremere for Vampire: The Masquerade was the first character I ever played in a game. West End Games d6 Star Wars was the first system I ever fell in love with. Shadowrun was my introduction into the world of cyberpunk and magic. Big Eyes, Small Mouth Third Edition was the birth of Art of War. I have fond memories of L5R and Magic the Gathering card games. But the game that made me a gamer? Well there are two of them: Mage the Ascension & Eberron campaign setting for 3.5 D&D rules.

My love for these two settings and rulesets are unparalleled to anything else. Mage being the handful of d10 Storyteller System and the other using the precursor to Pathfinder. I still have my original books on the shelves and go back to read through them. You can see an early inspiration for the Pathfinder Society concept in Eberron, when it was called the Wayfinder Foundation. Interesting name isn’t it?

You can see that is the name of a compass in Pathfinder. Coincidence? Maybe. Conspiracy theory of that being a key source of influence for a certain big company? Probably, yes.

EGG – Why did you start Amora Game?

GREG LAROSE – I started Amora Game in 2012 as an actual TTRPG publishing company, but we were a playtest company well before then. My gaming group was always home-brewing rules, classes, and all sorts of things. We liked using fan created material and pushing the limits see if they were broken or if we could break them. Over time we reached out to a few publishers and game designers looking for playtesters. One thing led to another and then we were holding playtesting sessions once or twice a month for several hours a session. Word got around and people started seeking us out to playtest, and paying us.

After a year or so after of messing around and playing with other people’s toys, I decided I would do my own. At the time I was playing Pathfinder after a gaming group converted over from 3.5 and just sort of went with it. I started publishing, hiring freelancers and artist. Here we are today.

EGG – For those interested in learning more about you, your upcoming projects, and Amora Game, where can they go?

GREG LAROSE – Currently we are focusing on two product lines. One is our monthly/bimonthly science fiction e-mag called Xeno Files. This is laying the foundation for our Xeno’Verse campaign setting. It focuses on Starjammer, Starfinder, and Savage Worlds rulesets. Exotic space places and exotic space races. Our second, of course is the Art of War line, which we are going to continue to push for a release date, even if the Kickstarter is unsuccessful. It will just take a little more time.

Where can you find us? Our facebook page is the most active spot. You can get there by typing in our website: AmoreGame.com, and it will direct you to it. After the kickstarter, I’m going try and put an article up twice a month in the Open Gaming Network site. You will also be able to catch those articles and anime ramblings on my blog under the same pen name: TentacleGreg.com

 

Amora Game has products available on DriveThruRPG and Open Gaming Store.

 

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

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

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

* * * * * *

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

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

4 Gaming Kickstarters and MomoCon – TORG Eternity, Battlecruiser Alamo, Citadel Dice Tower, and LFG Stickers

This week is a news roundup as I look at some of the Kickstarters and events that are going on right now. RPGs, a dice tower, and Momocon!

 

Torg Eternity – The Living Land by Ulisses Spiele
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Why Am I Covering This?

Ulisses Spiele sent a press release about this Kickstarter to us (always makes me feel special when I get one in the inbox – read it here) and they provided some PDFs for a game review (coming soon). This Kickstarter is for the first book focusing on the COSM, The Living Lands. This will be a great addition to the TORG Eternity universe.

 

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Battlecruiser Alamo RPG (Powered by Era d10) by Shades of Vengeance
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Why Am I Covering This?

I covered this Kickstarter last week. I’m revisiting it to mention that I did an interview with Ed Jowett about the game on Open Gaming Network that offers more details for this licensed property. Read it here.

 

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The Citadel Dice Tower by Card Caddy
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Why Am I Covering This?

$12 shipped in the US dice tower and dice box. This one is the right price point to try out a dice tower.

 

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LFG Stickers (and Pins!) for Tabletop Gamers by Alyssa Raabe
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Why Am I Covering This?

This is the relaunch of this project by Alyssa with a more obtainable financial goal. On Open Gaming Network, I interviewed her about the first iteration of this project, why it is important to her, and why it’s important to the gaming community. Read it here.

 

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MomoCon in Atlanta, GA – May 24th to 27th, 2018

Why Am I Covering This?

I’m planning to attend the convention and cover some of the gaming that happens there. What RPGs are you thinking about playing at the show?

 

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

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

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

* * * * * *

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

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

3 Sci-fi RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – Psionics Guide for Starfinder, FROM BEYOND:DESCENT, and Battlecruiser Alamo

Sci-fi space opera RPGs on Kickstarter is what I look at this week. Two for the Starfinder system and one for the Era d10 rule set. All are amazing looking additions to any gaming table.

 

Psionics Guide for Starfinder RPG from Dreamscarred Press
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“A psionics ruleset for the Starfinder RPG from Paizo by Dreamscarred Press, giving you new races, classes, feats and items!

Unlock your mental abilities in the Starfinder RPG from Paizo with the Psionics Guide! This new book from Dreamscarred Press will provide everything you need to use psionic powers in your Starfinder RPG campaign.

What’s In It

The Psionics Guide will include the following material to expand your options in a Science Fantasy campaign:

  • New Races – 11 psionic races to choose from the curious astreidi, the insectoid dromites, the immortal elans, the serpentine ophiduan, to the powerful half-giants
  • Four New Classes – the iconic Psion, the Aegis who shapes energy into armor and weapons, the Specialist who uses her psionic power to overcome obstacles, and the Integrator who joins minds together into vast neural networks
  • New Feats – new feats for the different psionic classes
  • New Archetypes – including a Wilder archetype and the Soulknife archetype, which use the Starfinder RPG archetype design
  • Psionic Powers – with powers from 1st level to 6th level
  • Psionic Equipment to outfit your character or augment their abilities
  • New Psionic Themes”
Sample mock-up cover, not intended to be final cover
Sample mock-up cover, not intended to be final cover

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

 

When Starfinder launched, space ships (obviously), magical cybernetics, and psionics were the aspects I felt would distinguish this franchise from its progenitor. To me, psionics feel so sci-fi that it’s almost a prerequisite… In this case, it’ll be a great addition to Starfinder. That said, the lack of psionics in SF is an oversight that Dreamscarred Press is correcting here. Really delving into psionics is the right call and I expect it to be a good 3PP product.

In case you recognize their sample cover mock up, it’s because it uses the same image as Legacy: Life Among the Ruins 2nd Edition. That is not to say anything is wrong with that (the reasons for the same cover are myriad and they announce “Sample mock-up cover, not intended to be final cover” so I don’t believe both products will have the same final cover), it’s just a beautiful image and, I hope, it speaks to the excellence of the finalized cover.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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FROM BEYOND:DESCENT Sci-fi RPG Starfinder Roleplay Adventure by Davide Tramma
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“The second of six Starfinder RPG compatible adventures, a mystery to add to your game or create a new one.”

If the goal is reached the funds will go towards paying for artwork and editing as well. The module is made of 76 pages, around 25,000 words and five chapters.

The subroutine has made its second move. The second episode of this adventure path will see the PCs fighting to save the station from destruction, taking them to the surface of one of the planet that form the star system. They have to travel unnoticed and manually land. Will their ship, the Sawshark, endure the harsh planet atmosphere ? Will the PCs survive to what they’ll find out there ? They won’t be alone in this mission. If successful or not, will be up to you.

The PDF is ready to go and will be delivered when the project concludes. This adventure is the second episode of the FROM BEYOND adventure path. The adventure itself can be a scene in any existing game or be ran as a one shot without the setting detail making it versatile for improv GMs as well! A campaign setting will follow, with this adventure path being an introduction.

The adventure includes:

– 6 new creatures

– the Expert NPC class, which introduce the concept of NPC as permanent crewmember together with the possibility of level advancement and XP award.

– 2 Pathfinder Legacy races converted fro Starfinder. The hobgoblin and the duergar. Both races have been revised adding some specific racial traits.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

I looked at Davide Tramma’s prior Starfinder Kickstarter, From Beyond: Distress Call, here. This Kickstarter is for part two in the series, proving he’s moving right along with the larger narrative. It’s well worth checking this out as he grows this sci-fi journey.

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Battlecruiser Alamo RPG (Powered by Era d10) by Shades of Vengeance
Ends on .

“For the first time, play in Richard Tongue’s expansive and exciting Sci-Fi universe – explore space for the Triplanetary Confederation!

“For a century, man has had the keys to unlock the universe. Our generation is privileged to be the one that opens the door. To finally realise the greatest dream of all, to touch the face of eternity itself. To reach the frontiers of our knowledge and to see what lies beyond.” 
– Commencement Address, Triplanetary Fleet Academy, 2169

Battlecruiser Alamo is a brand new roleplaying game based on the expansive and exciting universe described in the Triplanetary Confederation novels, particularly those of the Battlecruiser Alamo.

We are running this Kickstarter to help fund more of the amazing artwork that the readers of the book are used to. The Core Rulebook is a high quality, 220-page, full colour guide to the universe.

Written by Richard Tongue himself, and Ed Jowett (the creator of the Era d10 Rule Set) with artwork by Keith Draws (the cover artist for the series of books), this authentic and evocative book features not only everything you need to learn about the universe for the first time, but also some amazing new revelations which haven’t yet been included in the novels…

Powered by the critically-acclaimed Era d10 Rule Set, also seen in Era: The Consortium, Era: Lyres and Era: The Empowered, this game runs smoothly on a system originally designed to cater to science fiction!

Board your ship and secure for hendecaspace… you have some exploring to do!

Escaping a shattered Earth, millions of desperate refugees fled to the depths of the Solar System: to Mars, to Callisto, to distant Titan.

They built new homes, new worlds, but were unable to break the shackles of their increasingly tyrannical homeworld.

Finally, after decades of fighting, the colonies seceded, and the Triplanetary Confederation was born. It was an alliance forged in fire and tempered in the cold astropolitical reality of the post-war universe. The three worlds now work together, though sometimes uncomfortably, tied by their common goals for survival and self-determination.

There are many both within and without the alliance that would see it torn asunder, but more who will fight to the last to see it work, to keep the last flames of freedom alive…

Want to know more? Check out the Battlecruiser Alamo website!

Richard’s first three books are available on Amazon now:
Book 1: The Price of Admiralty
Book 2: Fermi’s War
Book 3: Victory or Death

The Core Rulebook for Battlecruiser Alamo RPG is a 220-page full-colour book containing everything you’ll need to adventure in the universe of Richard Tongue’s characters and vessels, including the Battlecruiser Alamo herself.

It is based entirely on the events within the novel series, and features details on factions, locations and individuals who you might encounter. It is intended to provide a framework to allow you to go off in your own direction, exploring your own part of space, while still very much existing in the same universe as the events in the novels.

The book also includes a complete guide to character creation, the game’s rules, a selection of equipment to choose from and a large number of suggested adventures and campaigns!

This book has been developed by the author of the novels himself, along with the creator of the Era d10 rule set, to provide a uniquely authentic experience within this universe.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

I’ve done three interviews with Ed Jowett of Shades of Vengeance and one Era: The Consortium gameplay review, so let’s categorize me as a fan. This Kickstarter is Shades of Vengeance‘s first licensed product for their Era d10 rule set. It stays in the sci-fi RPG realm that Era: The Consortium and Era: Balam pioneered, but this game adds a new dimension using Richard Tongue’s novel trilogy as its backdrop. With that, Ed, Richard, and company are really trying to pull every potential fan into their respective universes and, I believe, Battlecruiser Alamo RPG (Powered by Era d10) is going to be the proper gateway.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

Battlecruiser Alamo RPG (Powered by Era d10)

 

 

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

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

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

 

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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 orwall clock or ice tea glass!

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

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).