PRESS RELEASE – Things from the Flood is coming to Kickstarter!

Free League Publishing

Things from the Flood are coming!

Free League Publishing – Sep 04, 2018 14:00 BST

Things from the Flood are coming! The long awaited standalone expansion to the multiple award-winning Tales from the Loop RPG, based on the wondrous worlds of Simon Stålenhag, is coming to Kickstarter on September 18.

Things from the Flood is based on the art book with the same name and thrusts the Tales universe into a grim and bleak alternate 1990s. In this major expansion, fully playable as a complete game, you step into the shoes of teenagers growing up in the midst of a decade of change – and disaster.

Designed by Free League Publishing – the same team that made the Tales from the Loop RPG (winner of five Gold ENnies 2017, winner of three Golden Geek awards 2018), Things from the Flood presents a darker, more mature version of Stålenhag’s hallmark retro sci-fi. Create new Teens or let your Kids from Tales from the Loop grow older. But remember – this time they can die.

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About Free League Publishing

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-apo…

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3 RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – Atmar’s Cardography, Era: The Chosen, and HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN FANTASY RPG ADVENTURES AND SELL THEM

This week, the common theme for these three RPG Kickstarters is I’ve interviewed the creators about these projects. Matthew A. Bogdan on RPG Stock Art. Ed Jowett right here at the Tessera Guild. Brian Colin on the Open Gaming Network. Each shared their thoughts with me and I appreciated that. In turn, I wanted to round up their campaigns for everyone to see.

 

HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN FANTASY RPG ADVENTURES AND SELL THEM by Dark by Dezign (DriveThruRPG or Open Gaming Store)
Ends on Fri, September 14 2018 2:00 PM EDT.

Disclaimer: I am a creator on this book.

 

“James Ward, Lenard Lakofka, Johnn Four and many more share some of their pro tips on how to create your first fantasy RPG adventure!

I am publishing 2 books and an optional Fantasy RPG resource bundle worth several times the price I have foolishly attached to it! ; ) As of this writing, I have several interviews ready to begin or complete. I am currently focusing on the following RPG creators listed below. I will provide a table of contents very soon, but I must gauge how things go, and not bite off more than I can chew or get presumptuous.

The current team I have been incredibly pleased with being graced with includes James M. Ward, Lenard Lakofka, Johnn Four, Rick Hershey, Lucus Palosaari, Kevin Watson, Bobby Nash and Egg Embry.

I am quite pleased to have several thousand words of quality content from interviews that I have conducted with some of these very high quality creators with great track records.Recently, I have also received some great tips from Egg Embry and Kevin Watson, as well as a complete article from Lucus Palosaari and some really cool step-by-step content from Lenard Lakofka. In short, I am truly and genuinely excited about this project! Directories will be added with any participating freelancers as well.

We will be providing a source that is primarily geared for beginner self-publishers. This resource is being designed to provide a small, future adventure design or game company the tools they need to create their first fantasy roleplaying game adventure. BUT, it can most definitely be for ANYONE wishing to improved their craft of adventure building for fun or potential commercial publishing.

This product includes options that currently include digital PDF books, with the possibility of providing printed softcover and hardcover versions.

Overnight success is NOT at all guaranteed in this field, and almost always takes time and patience, networking, making the right decisions and sticking to a strict or tight starting budget. That said, I believe that this resource will provide a solid source for you to get started and get published, along with gaining all of the proven resources that you will need in order to give you a very solid chance. At the very least, I am quite sure you will get several useful tips on adventure creation!

Below is a work in progress table of contents that will grow almost daily. Currently, these topics will include, but will not be limited to:

• Step-by-Step from A-Z Adventure and Self-Pub Template

• Creating Better – CHARACTERS

• Creating Better – MONSTERS

• Creating Better – ENCOUNTERS

• Creating Better – MAGIC ITEMS

• Creating Better – RIDDLES & PUZZLES

• Creating Better – ADVENTURES

• Different Ways To Publish

• A Special Section on KICKSTARTER Crowdfunding

• A Very Special Section on Dealing With TROLLS, and much, MUCH more.

This is a 2-book project with an optional, 65-piece Fantasy RPG stock MEGABUNDLE for only an additional $25.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

 

Disclaimer: I am a creator on this book.

 

On RPG Stock Art, I spoke with Matthew A. Bogdan (my employer on that project). He gets in-depth about the creators, the package that we’re delivering, the stock art that comes with it, and why this is perfect for publishers to pick-up. Check it out 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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Era: The Chosen – A Horror RPG: Defend our dimension! by Shades of Vengeance
Ends on Sun, September 16 2018 4:30 PM EDT.

 

“Legions of creatures are invading. Only you, the Chosen, can enter the Lost Lands to fight back, and face the horror of the Anonassi…

At Shades of Vengeance, we believe that Tabletop Roleplaying Games can offer an experience that other types of games can’t. We love creating games and have been working with our team for 2 years to bring you something really special…

With the help of experts on the system and the writers you’ll recognise from our other games, plus the legendary talents of some industry greats, we’ve created a brand new game which you will love!

This is not only a detailed and immersive world, but includes mechanics which support the genre of the game, drawing the players into the chilling reality of the Lost Lands and the fight against the Anonassi.

Our world is not safe. It is besieged by creatures from another dimension...
Our world is not safe. It is besieged by creatures from another dimension…

We all know the feeling.

It’s the crawling sensation on the back of the neck, the insistent, niggling feeling that we’re being followed. It’s the feeling that there are eyes in the dark, watching. Waiting. In that moment, you know – just know – that there is a clawed hand reaching toward the back of your head.

Sometimes we stay still and try to ignore the feeling. Sometimes we whirl around, but there’s nothing there. Then we laugh, pass it off as imagination, and go on with our lives.

But… what if… what if there really was something there, but you just weren’t able to see it?

Or, worse… perhaps you’re one of the people who can see…

Our dimension of Aether, the bridge formed by the Lost Lands and the dying, dark dimension of Erebus.
Our dimension of Aether, the bridge formed by the Lost Lands and the dying, dark dimension of Erebus.

In this game, you will take the role of one of the Chosen, the small number of individuals who can see the Anonassi and the paths into the “Lost Lands” where they amass their forces.

The Anonassi are terrifying in form. Emerging from their home dimension of pure darkness, they cross the bridge of the Lost Lands to enter our world...
The Anonassi are terrifying in form. Emerging from their home dimension of pure darkness, they cross the bridge of the Lost Lands to enter our world…

The game’s timeline spans over 100 years, from the first recorded encounter with the Anonassi and the start of the war to drive them back into their dimension, through the industrial revolution and the development of new technologies and on to the modern era, where the war heats up once again…

Different weapons and tactics are used by each side over the course of the war, giving a unique experience in each era.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

For those of you that have read my interviews over the years, you know I’ve followed Ed Jowett for a long time and interviewed him about Era: Balam, Era: The Consortium, Era: The Empowered, and Battlecruiser Alamo RPG (Powered by Era d10). For Era: The Chosen, I spoke with him here. If you’re on the fence about a horror RPG that runs across centuries, try his interview.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Atmar’s Cardography: Full RPG Modules & Random Dungeon Decks by Norse Foundry
Ends on Tue, September 18 2018 9:00 PM EDT.

 

“Our dungeon building card deck modules are perfect for your favorite roleplaying games. New monsters & magic items for each deck!

Whether you’ve been role-playing for years or you’re just now learning about this amazing hobby, Cardography is certain to enhance your adventures.

We have created 3 new unique Cardography dungeon decks, along with our first two initial decks, set in the original world of Revilo. Contained in each of the themed decks are 52 dungeon cards that can be configured in countless ways.

Each deck has downloadable pdfs of full adventure modules for both 5e and Fate with new, never before seen monsters, magic items, and NPCs to help add more flavor to your game.

Best of all, each of the pdfs is converted for these major RPG systems: Fate and D&D 5th Edition.

The modules can be played in their entirety or as a choose-your-own-adventure style dungeon crawl.

We have already successfully created and produced the first two decks Enter the Fiery Pitsand Break Through the Icy Divide. We know what it takes to make them awesome and we are doing the same to the three new decks.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

On the Open Gaming Network, I have an interview with Brian Colin about this Kickstarter. Brian does an excellent job of explaining why his dungeon-building deck of cards is right for your gaming table. Read it here.

And, hey, I have a press release from them here! ;-P

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Disclosures: This article contains affiliate links.

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

PRESS RELEASE – Norse Foundry® and Creature Curation™ announces new Atmar’s Cardography

Norse Foundry® and Creature Curation™ announces new Atmar’s Cardography – a dungeon crawl in a deck

Full module adventures for Dungeons & Dragons 5e and Fate packed into a deck of playing cards

Carrollton, GA – August 28, 2018. Today, Norse Foundry and Creature Curation announced Atmar’s Cardography, a new way to play your favorite roleplaying games.

Atmar’s Cardography takes the traditional roleplaying dungeon crawl adventure and fits it into your pocket. These dungeon crawl adventure modules contain a map that is built as a deck of playing cards. These cards can then be easily laid out as a full 52 card map, or they can be randomly picked to make a new dungeon of your own build.

There are five adventure decks currently on Kickstarter with a closing date of September 18, 2018. Each one has downloadable pdfs of full adventure modules for both Fate and D&D 5e. The “Atmar” in the product name is based on the specific Cardographer, as he has chronicled the different regions of the fantasy world Revilo. The modules for each of these five decks are filled with unique creatures, magic items, and NPCs that you won’t find anywhere else.

“Each of these decks explore a different region of Revilo, a world I built to help foster my son’s creativity. The ability to use the cards randomly has opened up endless possibilities for dungeon building, and I think that is his favorite part,” said Cardography creator, Brian Colin. “I love that it both inspires veteran roleplayers to spice up their adventures, and also how the modules make it really easy for all the new people who are starting up this wonderful hobby.”

Atmar’s Cardography is a supplement for existing roleplaying games. For Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition the party levels range from 2 – 12 throughout the series of decks. Each deck contains 52 different cards, an 8 page folded booklet containing brief room descriptions, and a link to the pdf game modules.

 

Back this Kickstarter at:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/norsefoundry/atmars-cardography-full-rpg-modules-and-random-dun

 

About Norse Foundry and Creature Curation

Cardography is the brainchild of a great relationship that forged between Norse Foundry and Creature Curation. They met over dinner at DragonCon many years ago, and quickly realized that with their combined talents they could create amazing experiences for their friends and for roleplayers everywhere. Cardography is not their first collaboration, and it will definitely not be their last! The partnership utilizes the best aspects of each company’s resources to produce a superior product. They’ve brought together Creature Curations’ ability to design and create unique content, creatures, and quests with Norse Foundry’s many years of industry and manufacturing experience, and a combined art team to develop a unique product and design.

8 Questions with Ed Jowett (Shades of Vengeance) about Era: The Chosen

I’ve interviewed Ed Jowett of Shades of Vengeance four times before, each one about one of his games – Era: Balam, Era: The Consortium, and Era: The Empowered on the Tessera Guild as well as Battlecruiser Alamo RPG (Powered by Era d10) on the Open Gaming Network, so it only makes sense to talk to Ed about his latest RPG on Kickstarter, Era: The Chosen. As you can see from the title of games, they are rooted in the same system, yet cover a lot of ground because Ed is one of the hardest working folks in RPG.

That said, Ed will challenge you (in a good way) at, and away from, the gaming table. When I sent him the questions for this interview, I had a note that said I’d write the introduction to the article later. I get the answers back and Ed’s one-upped me by telling the world I explained the game in an “excellent introduction.” Now I have to figure out what Era: The Chosen is?! The horror!!! 😛 So…

Era: The Chosen is a horror tabletop RPG that pits humanity against an inhuman enemy that has the upper hand in every situation. For the Chosen that can perceive these monsters, the stakes are all or nothing. It’s not about survival, it’s win or our dimension is doomed.

[So, how’d I do, Ed?]

 

EGG EMBRY – Ed, over the years we’ve talked a good deal and always about your Era d10 games. Before we get into the latest one, let’s catch everyone up. What are the Era games, and how are they related, and not related?

ED JOWETT – Firstly, for anyone who hasn’t seen one of these interviews before, welcome! It is always a pleasure to talk about the games I create and I hope you find this interesting!
The Era games fall into two distinct categories: ones with “Era” in the title and ones “Powered by Era d10“. The latter sort (such as Battlecruiser Alamo!) are not settings created by me, but games made in other universes which other people created and then worked with me to bring to life through the Era d10 Rule Set. As a result, they are not linked to any of the other games in terms of story – the Triplanetary Confederation Universe (Battlecruiser Alamo RPG), for example, is linked to a series of novels by Richard Tongue. I took the feel of his universe and created mechanics which supported that style of gameplay to make this game, and worked with him to write the setting material.
The settings which have “Era” in the name (there are 8 so far – Era: The Consortium, Era: Lyres, Era: The Empowered, Era: Survival, Era: Silence, Era: Hitman, Era: Balam and now Era: The Chosen) are a slightly different story. These settings were created by me and have a common thread which connects them, if you look relatively carefully. I have not publicly revealed yet what it is, but I am certain some people have picked up on it from various hints I have dropped over the years in Kickstarter updates, panels and interviews.
Era: The Chosen, actually, builds on this quite heavily, and is the biggest clue I have given to how these settings link up since Era: Survival.
Ignoring the links, each game explores a genre thoroughly:
Era: The Consortium offers the chance to play any sub-genre of Sci-Fi you can think of with its 500 years of playable history – you just jump into the time period which suits the style of your game and then, when that story is complete, you choose the next one and have the chance to play ancestors or descendents of previous characters as well as brand new ones!
Era: Lyres offers players the chance to tell literally any story they want in the low-fantasy setting it offers. The GM plays as an audience who will assess their story while they attempt to earn the gold and glory due to adventurers. But, as they don’t really have experiences, they have to be careful of inconsistencies! This game lets the players really express their creativity and provides endless opportunity for stories (as well as giving the GM a rest!)
Era: The Empowered, similar to Era: The Consortium, offers every sub-genre of superhero story within its timeline. Choose whether you want to be a newly-emerging individual, finding your powers for the first time, or work as part of a large, world-spanning team, or stand against invasions by the Old Gods or Atlantis, or joining the “Empowered Department” in their attempts to police supervillains in a co-ordinated, government-led way.
Era: Survival offers a post-apocalyptic setting – a hundred years after the cataclysm – where the last days of Humanity are approaching fast. Unsure how to survive, the people of Gaia have splintered into 14 different factions… and each has their own alliances and enemies. I am sure you can imagine that this provides a difficult world to step into. Will You Survive?
Era: Silence is based on an island which is a High Fantasy testing ground. Entering a portal to the mythical Isle of Silence, you will have to earn your name if you expect to escape… by completing challenges and working together. The catch here is that no person is able to speak on the Isle of Silence and, being barbarians, you cannot read or write very well. So, how do you work together when you cannot communicate so easily?
Era: Hitman is based in modern times, and allows you to step into the role of a team of assassins. The twist here is that many of the assassins in this world have superpowers! These are fast-burning and reduce in effectiveness as you use them, so you will have to be extremely careful about when you activate them. And, of course, your target might have powers as well! You never quite know what is around the next corner in this game, so you have to plan carefully!
Era: Balam asks you to step into the role of a fighter pilot. No pilot is truly complete without their craft and this game is based around that duality: without your fighter (which is highly customisable), you are not a complete character and could be easily killed by the alien hordes which roam HX-7371. As a small squadron, you will have to adapt your fighters and work as a team if you hope to save Humanity from this threat and protect Earth…
And Era: The Chosen you already know something about, thanks to Egg’s excellent introduction above… and I will be talking more about it below.
The link between the settings of these games is perhaps more evident than another important aspect: the rules are module and can be combined. I am going to talk more about that in a later question, so read on to know more!

Our world is not safe. It is besieged by creatures from another dimension...

EGG Era: The Chosen is a move into straight-up tabletop horror roleplaying. You did Era: Survival before, which had horrific elements. What made you decide to go full horror?

ED JOWETTEra: Survival has a different focus to Era: The Chosen. Era: Survival is about a zombie apocalypse and a divided humanity, which doesn’t know or believe in itself or each other any more – to a high degree, no-one trusts the people they meet on Gaia. Humanity is, in reality, its own worst enemy and the truth is that they could probably survive if they worked together.
Era: The Chosen is quite different. It is a game about the horrors of war when fighting against enemies you cannot understand. Humanity is united against this threat – those that perceive it, anyway!
But that doesn’t make it less terrifying. The Anonassi are biologically superior, intelligent and tactical… and know more about Humanity than you would like them to… especially when it comes to the fact that they enjoy eating us.
This game is about fighting a descent into madness and loss of control as you fight the Anonassi to protect our dimension. The horror aspect is much more psychological than in Era: Survival, making it a very different kind of fear to “when will I run out of ammo”, or “is a zombie waiting for me around the corner?”.
What made me do this was really a long love of two franchises: Dr Who – specifically the brand of horror where the primary reason you are scared is that you don’t understand – and the Turok games on the N64! I have long felt that the two would combine into an excellent setting (with numerous tweaks, obviously!).
Finally, it is something I haven’t done before! I am sure you can imagine that there are a lot more things I want to create and I am working through them. This brand of horror is something I can now tick off my list from a “setting” sense, and focus on expanding that universe!

 

EGG – How compatible are the different games?

ED JOWETT – They are very compatible – the aspects of the rules which are unique to each game (for example, Specialities, Karma, Implants and Party Confidence) are modular and can be carried across between games.
For example, if you want to play Sci-Fi Survival Horror, you can combine Era: The Consortium and Era: Survival’s rules to make a “Dead Space” type of game (we actually did this in a published book, Era: The Consortium – Revival!). If you wanted to tell stories of your exploits to con people out of cash in Era: Hitman, you could integrate the Era: Lyres rules… and if you were feeling very ambitious, you could combine all of them to make a “super game”!

The power of games running on the same rule sets is obvious – you don’t need to learn a new rule set each time. But when you can combine aspects of the rules and the system supports it? I think that makes something quite special, though I admit I may be biased!

"Creepy alien starfish... why did it have to be creepy alien starfish?" - Kevin Kutlesa

EGG – Some of the settings for your games have expansive timelines. Tell us about the timeline for the game, and what makes that span appealing in Era: The Chosen?

ED JOWETTEra: The Chosen offers 3 time periods to play in, and the attraction here is that the experience varies quite a bit depending on which you choose.
Perhaps you like the idea of fighting huge, terrifying monsters with pikes and flintlocks. If that is the case, then the “First Era” is for you! In this time, people aren’t sure what the Anonassi are, mostly assuming they are demons of some sort or, in some cases, fallen angels (a name which sticks as a descriptor!). If you like supernatural horror settings where not everything can be explained, this is allowed for here, along with the slightly more light-hearted, “swashbuckly” feel where you have to rescue the princess and save the day, but overcome your fear to do so.
Or maybe you like the sort of horror which you get from Victorian era literature – Frankenstein, for example. In the “Second Era”, you have technology advancing faster than humans learn how to control it. What if you could bring people back to life, just by integrating a technological device which you found lying around in the Lost Lands? Would you find it morally acceptable? Would everyone else? This period also brings in some of the more monstrous Anonassi for the first time; as they are driven back by superior weapons, they begin to deploy larger and more terrifying creatures.
In the Third Era, weapons are at modern levels and the war is being won. At this point, the Anonassi begin to deploy new, more sinister, tactics – swarms of insects which can devour flesh to the bones of either Anonassi or Human in seconds, and Ethereals who can possess Humans and even pass into our dimension safely for long periods of time. How do you fight when you don’t know that all who stand beside you are still the people you trained with? Who do you trust?
I think that the timeline setting was the only way for me to offer all of these types of play in the same game and playtested have very much encouraged this variety!
And, of course, when you consider that different things are horrifying to different generations, there is even more scope for differences in experience…

 

EGG – For some of your games, there’s been a standout mechanic or setup (Balam’s fighter craft and Battlecruiser Alamo’s duel characters). Will there be any new mechanics for the system?

ED JOWETT – Yes, there are!
Terror is the result of your experiences in the fight. Perhaps you got eaten by an Anonassi and had to blast your way out… if you were to be threatened with being eaten again, you could understandably have a severe psychological reaction to that.
This is covered by the Terror system in Era: The Chosen. As you begin to experience the Lost Lands, you will build Triggers (such as “being eaten”!). When they occur, you will have the opportunity to roll a check… but if you fail, you gain Terror. Each Terror brings with it more Triggers, so the result is a decline in your ability to cope with the Lost Lands. If your Terror bar fills, you will collapse and have to be returned home for treatment… and will probably never set foot in the Lost Lands again.
Trophies are almost the opposite. When you overcome a particularly difficult challenge – floor a giant, brutish Anonassi in the middle of it charging you, for example – you may gain a Trophy. In this example, you might gain a Trophy in the form of the Anonassi tooth. It would remind you that you can take down an Anonassi when it is charging you, so you might no longer be able to be Triggered by that event!
There are also numerous special rules for the Clans, particularly the Chike, who can transform into half-Anonassi forms. If you want to know.more about that, I recommend checking out our actual play session on Kickstarter: https://youtu.be/2j7TRgXlg6U

Chike - “Understanding is the key to survival, and not accepting preset biological limits is the key to victory.”

EGG – The $5 reward on this Kickstarter is for the digital Player’s Guide. That’s an incredible price! What will the Player’s Guide include?

ED JOWETT – I feel it is a good price, yes! The Player’s Guide includes the complete Rules (word for word the same as the Core Rulebook so there is no confusion!), an introduction to the setting for each era, full character creation and the vast majority of equipment (some stuff is so rare that it can be excluded to keep the page count a little lower and be communicated by the GM if it is used!).
What it doesn’t include is the full story of the setting or, more importantly, the Bestiary of Anonassi you might meet…!

 

EGG – For someone that has never played an Era d10 game, what would you say is the secret sauce that makes this a standout system that they should jump into?

ED JOWETT – It is easy and quick, it is representative without being painful and, if you are a brawler, the grapple rules are 2 pages and/or a flow chart which explains the same content!
It also gives huge flexibility for the GM to counter things like min-maxing (or not, if you prefer!), as well as the opportunity to leap into any of these genres while learning only a few extra rules.
The games are well-supported as well, through our Patreon and period campaign module releases, so if you are someone who likes grenade modules, we have you covered there too!

EGG – For those that want to check out the Kickstarter, where can they find it at?

ED JOWETT – You can join us right here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/shadesofvengeance/era-the-chosen-a-horror-rpg-defend-our-dimension-0?ref=9nc0yr

Thank you very much for reading and I hope you will consider supporting Era: The Chosen!

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

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

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

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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).

6 RPGs Worth Checking Out – Nights of Payne Town, Haunting of Hastur, Afterverse, MAIN GAUCHE, Domina Magica, and Entromancy

This week I look at RPG Kickstarters for:

  • 5e cypherpunk with magic
  • Magical Girl anime brought to the gaming table
  • Dark fantasy done (award-winningly) right
  • Space opera with fistfuls of d6s
  • A reprint of five 5e adventures forming an adventure path
  • Ten detective cases that need solving in a world of superpowers

Dig in!

 

Nights of Payne Town: a new story arc for City of Mist RPG! by Son of Oak Game Studio
Ends on Fri, August 31 2018 11:59 PM EDT.

“Hit the streets of a neon-noir city as detectives and vigilantes with legendary powers! A new story arc, rulebooks, expansion, and more

City of Mist is a cinematic, neo-noir tabletop RPG set in a modern-day city where legends and stories incarnate in ordinary people, granting them mythical powers. Due to the mystical veil of the Mist, most City residents are oblivious to the legendary forces in the City, leaving modern-day legends, or RIFTS, to operate in a hidden underworld of fairy-tales and crime.

Play as detectives, vigilantes, crooks, or just ordinary Janes and Joes with legendary powers, in a setting that combines the super-powered detective mood of Jessica Jones, Daredevil, or Luke Cage with themes from myth and legend, like in Fables (The Wolf Among Us) or American Gods. You and your crew investigate strange cases and face off with other modern-day legends, and at the same time struggle to balance your everyday life with the Mythos inside you. It’s time to hit the streets…

City of Mist was successfully funded in 2016 and published in 2017. It already has a great community of backers and fans and has sold thousands of copies. The next evolutionary step for the game is a guided set of adventures in the world of City of Mist  –  a story arc  –  that MCs (or GMs/DMs) can easily run for their groups. Nights of Payne Town is the first story arc book we will publish, with ten (10) individual cases connected into a single overarching plot.

 READ MORE ABOUT THE GAME BELOW!

AWARDS & REVIEWS

City of Mist RPG won two ENnie awards: Silver for Best Free Game 2017 (Starter Set) and Gold for Best Interior Art 2018 (Core Book, which will be split into the Player Guide and the MC Toolkit books available on this campaign).

GEEK & SUNDRY: “Pitch-perfect blend of superhero and noir tabletop RPG… The mechanics are simple yet INCREDIBLY robust.”

ONE SHOT PODCAST: “[City of Mist] combines everything that’s great about Apocalypse World with everything that’s great about FATE… look at the art, and see why I want this beautiful game on my shelf.”

AMAZON 5-STAR REVIEWS:

 ★ “Detective Noir Knockout.” ★ “Great System, Great Book, Great Company” ★ “One of the best RPG books I’ve read.” ★ “New favorite TTRPG.” ★ “Fantastic cinematic experience” ★ “I’ve got a lot of rpg books, this one rules them all” ★ “One of the Best Gaming Products I’ve Encountered in nearly 30 years of gaming.” ★ “A beautiful, cinematic superhero noir tabletop RPG for veterans and new players alike” ★ “Amit Moshe and Son of Oak Game Studio have established one of the hottest RPG franchises” ★ “Come for the incredibly high production value of the book. Stay for the brilliant design of the game.”

ACTUAL PLAY & MEDIA

City of Mist RPG has a wide range of Actual Play shows and podcasts for you to check out, from creators including Encounter RoleplaySaving ThrowOne Shot PodcastMistconceptionsSix & Twenty and many more.

The game was featured on Geek & Sundry (and here), Nerdarchy!RPG AcademyDelve PodcastCreation PodcastTabletop BabbleBAMF Podcast and others.

What makes City of Mist special is its unique premise and its bleak, yet mysterious, noir atmosphere. Your character, whether jaded or naive, lives in a corrupt metropolis where hidden forces steer the lives of millions. The situation is miserable, but you are awakening, beginning to become aware of the legend deep inside you. Together with your crew, you are trying to find answers in a city forever blinded by the veil of the Mist. You want to discover what is real, whether you are human or a legend, and who is running the show from the shadows. You are trying to discover the truth, and you’re up against heavy opposition.

Think mobsters with the power of Greek gods, a corrupt politician enchanting citizens with his magical pipe music, and a biker gang called the Winged Monkeys working for an unsavory smuggler, a modern-day Wicked Witch of the West.

Check out Detective’ Enkidu’s thoughts about the state of affairs in the city, in this animated version of the Core Book’s opening comic:

If the GIF isn't playing, click the image.
If the GIF isn’t playing, click the image.

Nights of Payne Town will present the first playable story arc that you can just pick up and play with your friends. It will contain of ten (10) cases that can be played individually, or as an ongoing campaign, each with its own backstory, locations, clues, NPCs, Dangers, and maps.

The story arc covers a time of turmoil in the City. The police are helpless against a new wave of crime, powered by forces they neither see nor understand. Ancient legends that were scheming in the shadows for decades are now finally enacting their insidious plans, raining chaos and suffering on the streets. The only ones who can stop this mayhem are nameless individuals, anti-heroes like your crew, caught in this mess unwillingly or all too willingly…

Nights of Payne Town cases break down into three “veins”, or sub-plots:

  •  The Criminal Vein, cases involving the rise of an unstoppable crime baron, a violent self-proclaimed monarch, and the struggle for power over the City streets.
  •  The Mystical Vein, cases following a magical arms race, where a mystery collector will stop at nothing to gather every form of magical object and being in the City;
  • and The Personal Vein, cases trailing the personal tragedy of the victims of a scheme to slowly and painfully destroy the very fabric of society in the City.

At the culmination of the story arc, these three veins combine into a single super-plotrevealing a sordid truth and a malignant power that has been feeding on the misery of the City since its early days. But, even there, in the heart of darkness, there is hope… even if is hidden from mortal eyes.

Can your crew solve these cases, face these evils, and save the City?

Among the modern-day legends featured are Hansel & Gretel, the Wendigo, Goldilocks, the Snow Queen, a slew of characters from Arthurian legend, the Philosopher’s Stone, King David, Paul Bunyan, spirits of Haitian Voodoo, and many more.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

City of Mist is one of the most well-considered superhero RPGs out there. It feels and looks like the best of modern superhero comics and the Marvel Netflix-verse. It has the room to be gritty and hopeful while working as a detective, all in a single game. Nights of Payne Town takes the game to another level by offering a ranging adventure path. 10 cases that standalone or form a wider story, it’s your choice.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * *

 

Dark Naga – OSR Haunting of Hastur Modules by Dark Naga Adventures (Part of Fat Goblin GamesDriveThruRPG or OpenGamingStore)
Ends on Sun, September 2 2018 7:00 PM EDT.

 

Project image for Dark Naga - OSR Haunting of Hastur Modules

“All five parts of the Haunting of Hastur series in print for the OSR.

The Project

The Haunting of Hastur series has been very successful for Dark Naga Adventures. However, they were never successful enough to unlock the OSR print run stretch goal. Several OSR fans have lamented this shortfall. This is my wish fulfillment project for the OSR community, particularly those fans who have waited for their version in the classic print format.

This Kickstarter project has just one reward, all five modules in the old school print format: wrap around, detached covers, maps on the inner cover, saddle stitched (stapled) booklet. Simple. No stretch goals, just a low target small print run to give the backers who have wanted this version in this print format to have their wish granted.

There is a little bit of editing to be done. See below on changes to DNH1 – The Lost Temple of Forgotten Evil. Beyond that, as soon as the project funds, I will order the proofs, and as soon as they are verified, the print copies will be ordered. This will be a fast cycle project. So fast, that there won’t be any add-ons available via Backerkit. I expect to place the print order a few days after the funds post to my account.

Special Note: This might not be the project for you. This one will run the month of August. I am working on colorizing all of the art for a full color, hardback compilation version for 5e and OSR (separate books). I’m announcing both so that OSR fans don’t feel like they are being toyed with. One of my concerns is having a backer who would prefer the hardback decide to back this project because they had no idea the other one was in the works and regret their decision. That’s not cool. It’s not how I would want to be treated. Thus, I working to make sure that backers know their options, so they can make better-informed decisions.

Links to each of the five adventures:

  • DNH1 – The Lost Temple of Forgotten Evil – KS – DTRPG
  • DNH2 – The Buried Zikurat – KS – DTRPG
  • DNH3 – The City of Talos – KS – DTRPG
  • DNH4 – Confronting Hastur – KS – DTRPG
  • DNH5 – Carcosa – KS – (Not yet available on DTRPG)

The editing work to be done.

The first of the adventures was an experiment in dual stats for 5e and OSR. That was one of the weakest elements. Some found it confusing. This was my failure as a writer to see beyond my own experience. I convert between 5e and OSR on the fly when running my 5e game, or a BECMI/RC game (my Old School ruleset of choice, yes, I know maybe not technically OSR by all definitions, but in the most inclusive sense, OSR). I failed to recognize that part of my audience has no experience with both systems and they could be confused by unfamiliar terms.

The only significant work to be done on this project is to sever the two versions into dedicated works. I’m estimating it as twenty hours end to end, including editing. That project will start within a few days of putting the 5e and OSR text of the last adventure in the series to rest, DNH5 – Carcosa.

While I expect to have all of the editing work done, edited and ready for release before September 1. That allows the proofs to be ordered between the end of the project and when funds are released. Ideally, I’d like to place the order within a few days of the funds being release (Mid-September), and start fulfilling in early October. The estimate is a bit conservative to allow for things to go wrong without missing a delivery estimate.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

Dark Naga Adventures is Kevin Watson who I’ve interviewed about a part of Haunting of Hastur at the Open Gaming Network (here)Haunting of Hastur is a reprint of five D&D 5e and OSR adventures that Kevin has kickstarted one by one. Now you can get the full adventure in one location.

As well as this Kickstarter, Kevin is a member of the creative team behind CREATE YOUR OWN FANTASY RPG ADVENTURE – RPG RESOURCES BOOKS, a project I’m a part of as well (more below or see the Kickstarter here). Between the interview and being in a project with him, it’s easy to say that I think highly of Kevin. At the moment, we all win as there are two Kickstarters with Kevin in them, we live in rare times! 🙂

 

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

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * *

 

Afterverse: Scifi Tabletop RPG by Ray Nothnagel
Ends on Tue, September 4 2018 9:30 PM EDT.

 

“Afterverse is a scifi tabletop RPG featuring an expansive and versatile world and the D6 Bank game system.

Welcome to the universe. Here’s what comes next.

The universe is a rough place, and now you’re in the thick of it. Whether you’re fighting the Bactaran occupation that begins almost as soon as first contact is established, exploring the new frontier of space after humanity throws off its chains, or working towards the unification of all the species of the Orion Arm of the Milky Way galaxy, Afterverse puts the universe in front of you and sets you against it.

The d6-based game system is versatile and powerful. The usage of hit banks minimizes dice rolls and keeps gameplay flowing smoothly, while letting players control their risk factors. Characters earn XP through the innovative Motivation system, bridging the gap between powergamers and roleplayers.

Set your campaign at any time across hundreds of years of future history. Every time period has its own events, conflicts, cultures, and technologies. Encounter enemies and allies of all shapes and sizes. Join the revolution, become space pirates, or command military might in space in epic wars across the galaxy.

The Afterverse book features nearly 300 pages of game rules, settings, and adventures. Over 150 pieces of artwork created over the last five years illustrate the living universe, bringing your games to life. The book will be in full color as a softcover (or hardcover if the stretch goal is unlocked). The book contains all the information players and GMs need to run an Afterverse campaign, including character creation, base rules, the setting’s history, and more.

If you’d like a sneak peek of what the sourcebook will look like, as well as an overview of the most important rules, check out the Quickstart Rules for Players!

Quickstart Guide
Quickstart Guide

Afterverse’s Action Cards help you track your character’s hit banks. Each card features beautiful character art, a place to store your hit counters, and a summary of the relevant rules. These cards help player keep track of not only their hit banks, but also the actions their character has available to them.

The Afterverse game system is based on pools of 6-sided dice. For most skill tests, you’ll add the relevant attribute, such as Agility, to the relevant skill, such as Melee; this determines the size of your dice pool. If the test involves a Specialization and you have that specialization, you’ll add two more dice. Situational modifiers may alter this pool further.

After rolling, any dice that come up as a 5 or 6 count as a hit; if you get enough hits, you’ve succeeded the test. Sometimes, instead, hits will be banked to be spent over time.

The initiative system in combat is based on this bank system. You’ll roll your character’s Reaction plus Perception, and bank your hits into your IP bank. Turn order starts with the highest IP bank and proceeds in order to the lowest; as each character acts, they will spend one or more hits from this bank. If the character has enough hits in the bank, they may perform additional actions by doubling the IP cost of the second action.

But it may be wise to conserve your IP, because this same IP bank is used for dodging. When you are being attacked, you may spend one or more points to set the threshold which the attacker will need for their attack to succeed. This greatly impacts the strategic decisions of the game. Covering fire is invaluable, as you can force the enemy to spend their IP bank dodging your shots instead of shooting back.

Finally, space combat is built on this same rule set. The Body Class system allows entities which are an order of magnitude larger than others to operate within the same combat at the same time; smaller entities receive a multiplier on their initiative rolls, while larger entities receive a multiplier on damage dealt, allowing a tiny vessel or even an individual person to act in the same combat as a battleship without skipping a beat.

Often, when in space combat, several characters will all be performing important and unique roles in the fight. The ship’s captain makes decisions and controls the deployment of the ship’s countermeasures. The pilot may position the ship in different ways in preparation to attack, defend, or evade. The engineer is in charge of repairing systems as they get damaged, managing the ship’s waste heat, and supercharging systems which will be required soon. The ship’s tactical officers will control the firing of weapons. The ship’s crew, each with their own complimentary set of skills, must work together under the leadership of their captain in order to position their ship for attack, supercharge the coilguns, and finally, deal the critical blow against the enemy, drawing upon the banks from every crew position to maximize the damage against their target.

My name is Ray Nothnagel. For my entire life, I’ve been a fan of tabletop games, science fiction, and real-world space travel. I’ve been working on the Afterverse rule set for the last five years and playtesting it for the last three. I’ve been designing the Afterverse setting since I was in junior high school – this universe has been kicking around in one form or another for twenty years, and I have the bad spaceship doodles from high school study halls to prove it. This campaign is just one more step in what has been my personal passion project for decades, and whether it succeeds or fails, will undoubtedly continue to be my unhealthy obsession for the rest of my life. The publication of this sourcebook is just one part of the grand scheme for Afterverse. The game system has come a long way since it started as little more than a homebrew variation of Shadowrun. Since that time, it has evolved into a unique game with innovative concepts and lots of refinements. The time spent on the game system has resulted in a robust and fun roleplaying experience where the rules enhance the setting, and don’t get in the way of the storytelling.

This campaign aims to finance the final push for publication – the graphic design, final editing, and the print run. Immediately upon the successful funding of the campaign, we’ll begin our final art pass and the layout work for the book. Following up on this, within a month or two, we’ll send the final sourcebook to be printed. The bookbinding printer will do their thing, and all told, we expect to have the final version of the book printed and shipped out to you no later than the end of October if all goes well, or sometime in November in case there are unforeseen delays. Some of the higher tiers will take longer to produce, but our goal is to have all rewards completed and delivered no later than December 2018.

I hope we’ve piqued your interest. There will be more posts and videos posted over the next month. If you’re going to be at DragonCon, check out our game sessions there for a taste of Afterverse. If you have any questions about the game or this campaign, please don’t hesitate to ask.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

Afterverse is a post-alien-invasion-space-opera. You use a mix of cards and handfuls of d6s to determine actions. John McGuire, myself, and our friends played Afterverse with Ray Nothnagel, the creator, at Gen Con 2018 (read John’s review here). When I talked to Ray, he shared that space combat is a highlight of the game because it gave each player a task within the system to perform (unfortunately, the session I chose did not involve space combat). Ray’ll be at Dragon*Con August 30th to September 3rd, 2018, in Atlanta demoing the game (and, hopefully, working on a space battle), so if you’re going it’s worth checking out. You can see Ray’s Afterverse events here.

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * *

 

MAIN GAUCHE chaos supplement for ZWEIHÄNDER Grim & Perilous by Grim & Perilous Studios
Ends on Wed, September 5 2018 11:32 PM EDT.

 

“MAIN GAUCHE is a chaos expansion for ZWEIHÄNDER Grim & Perilous RPG – a gritty, dark fantasy tabletop role-playing game.

Hi, my name is Daniel – some of you know me as the creator of ZWEIHÄNDER Grim & Perilous RPG, and face of Grim & Perilous Studios. I am a level 41 husband/father/raconteur, and have worked in digital advertising for 14 years. Were you to compare me to a character on the show Mad Men, basically I’m Ken Cosgrove: biz-dev guy on the streets/author in the sheets. Much like Cosgrove, I am a writer when I’m off the clock.

Writing a RPG? Easy. Run the business? See illustration.
Writing a RPG? Easy. Run the business? See illustration.

I spent five years writing the brobdingnagian (read: mammoth) 688-page book you know as ZWEIHÄNDER Grim & Perilous RPG. I set up a Kickstarter, nearly two years ago to the day, to make it a reality.

First Kickstarter (click to view)
First Kickstarter (click to view)

Following a very successful Kickstarter & CrowdOx phase, a feature article on Forbes, and a 3-month climb to DriveThruRPG’s Platinum Rated top 25 products, it drove over 62,000 copies of ZWEIHÄNDER moved worldwide to-date.

ZWEIHÄNDER Grim & Perilous RPG also took home two golds in the ENnie Awards for Best Game and Product of the Year at GenCon 2018.

2018 ENnie Awards at GenCon
2018 ENnie Awards at GenCon

Turns out, there’s a market for world-agnostic, gritty D100 tabletop RPGs that doesn’t rhyme with “Goonquest” or “Warslammer”.

And after a stroke of inspiration, I began writing another book. Say hello to MAIN GAUCHE.

Front cover by Ken Duquet
Front cover by Ken Duquet
A 60-second overview
A 60-second overview

CHAOS IS NOT A PIT – IT IS A LADDER.

MAIN GAUCHE is a supplement for ZWEIHÄNDER Grim & Perilous RPG – a gritty, dark fantasy tabletop role-playing game. Using this book, you will be able to:

  • Add 68 brand-new Professions to your grim & perilous game
  • Build fantastic machines, like the Arkwright Cauldron & Rumblebutler
  • Easily integrate cinematic, vehicle-based combat into encounters
  • Use alchemy & Wytch-science to gain deadly abilities
  • Devote yourself as an occultist to elder Daemons
  • Learn damning Covenant Magick & wield their horrific manifestations
  • Make soul-altering pacts for Daemonic Gifts of unfettered power
  • Build your own unique creatures & NPCs on the fly

Plugging into the core D100 ZWEIHÄNDER experience, this book expands your gaming options into the realms of chaos and beyond. MAIN GAUCHE can also be used in your homebrewed campaign world, whether inspired by the works of Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher, George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones, Glen Cook’s Black Company, Myke Cole’s The Armored Saint, Robert E. Howard’s Solomon Kane, Scott Lynch’s Gentlemen Bastards or other ‘grimdark’-inspired media.

With over 186 Professions and 300+ spells across ZWEIHÄNDER & MAIN GAUCHE, you now have countless ways to create your own vision of grim characters ready to embark upon perilous adventures.

Embrace the left-handed path of MAIN GAUCHE, where chaos awaits!

This supplement requires ZWEIHÄNDER Grim & Perilous RPG to play.

Daniel after writing Main Gauche, without 'muh anachronism glasses/hair' (thx /tg/)
Daniel after writing Main Gauche, without ‘muh anachronism glasses/hair’ (thx /tg/)
Like Zweihander with 666 dollops of chaos.
Like Zweihander with 666 dollops of chaos.

We estimate that MAIN GAUCHE will come in between 300 to 400 pages after we finalize layout, in full, old school black & white glory. Like its predecessor ZWEIHÄNDER, it will be illustrated cover-to-cover by Dejan Mandic.

Rated M For Mature.
Rated M For Mature.

Here is an overview of MAIN GAUCHE‘s chapters, and a little bit about each. We will dive deeper into what each of these chapters entail in our updates over the Kickstarter campaign, including preview chapters for download:

  • Table of Contents – overview of chapters & various topics
  • Introduction Story – as told by Danziger Eckhardt in our video
  • Designer’s Note – Daniel’s POV on the book
  • Chapter I: Liber Mortalis – 18 regular Professions, 44 Expert Professions & revised progress tables for all Professions across both books
  • Chapter II: Liber Arma – new materials, weapons, armor, war machines & shields
  • Chapter III: Liber Vehiculum – vehicles, fantastic machines & vehicle-based combat
  • Chapter IV: Liber Alchemia – alchemy, Wytch-science, intoxicants, treatments & more
  • Chapter V: Liber Daemonium – 13 Daemons & their worship, Daemonic Gifts & mutations expanded
  • Chapter VI: Liber Umbra – introduces 99 Covenant Magic spells & all-new Rituals
  • Chapter VII: Liber Malus – bespoke monsters & NPC creation
  • Chapter VIII: Liber Conspiratio – rules for conspiracies & investigations
  • Chapter IX: There’s Something About Marie – an investigative adventure
  • Appendix – a useable postscript to find what you need
Written in blood
Written in blood
Layout mocks by Ken Duquet
Layout mocks by Ken Duquet
Hexer
Hexer
Howling Marauder
Howling Marauder
Occult Magician
Occult Magician
Occult Magician spread
Occult Magician spread

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

If you have not gotten a PDF of ENnie Awards winning ZWEIHÄNDER Grim & Perilous RPG, you have not been paying attention. I got a free copy for attending Dan Davenport’s Q&A with Daniel Fox, another at Gen Con 2018 as they were giving away free copies via a redeemable code, and when I emailed Daniel about covering his $1 reward on MAIN GAUCHE because of the Stat Hat it included, he offered me a PDF of the rules and you know what I said? I said yes, Daniel Fox’s mom, because your son done good with this game! The core rulebook is 688 pages of great art and dark, yet fun ideas that resulted in it taking Best Game and Product of the Year at the ENnies. This follow-up expansion, MAIN GAUCHE, looks no less ambitious and worth checking out!

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * *

 

Domina Magica – A Magical Girl RPG by Third Act Publishing
Ends on Thu, September 6 2018 10:00 PM EDT.

 

“Welcome to Domina Magica, the RPG about becoming a Magical Girl and fighting the forces of evil!

Domina Magica is a tabletop role-playing game designed to emulate an episode of a Magical Girl Anime. You will create and role-play a School Girl in either Elementary, Middle or High and run through the typical scenario of everyday school life. You will make friends, you might make enemies, and hopefully make your next class on time. When you and your friends encounter strange happenings around the school, it is revealed that you are the next generation of Magical Girls!!!! You have been selected to help fight the forces of evil, and only the power of love and friendship that you posses will send these dark beings back to wherever it is they came from…….and all before dinner time.

You are walking down the aisles of your local game shop, running your fingers over the corners of board games and the spines of RPG books. Your hand stops on a small but brightly colored pink book with a design of a heart and wings on the cover. You pull it off the shelf and notice it has chains running across the front page. Curious you open it…. and then a strange iridescent light fills the room as a feminine voice booms into your ears “I have been waiting for you! Are you ready to make a contract to become a Magical Girl?”

We designed this game as a fun, light-hearted way to engage with all the iconic tropes of the Magical Girl Genre. Magical Girls is a sub-genre of the Japanese fantasy manga and anime, featuring girls with magical abilities, or who use magic to transform. This sub-genre dates back to the 1950’s and has become increasingly popular due to the magical renaissance featuring shows such as Sailor Moon and Cardcaptor Sakura! When you open Domina Magica this book will guide you through the transformation from school girl to Magical Girl. Through this beautiful illustrated book you and your friends will play through a day in the life of a school girl turned Heroine.

Domina Magica is designed to play in one session, with each game generating a different experience. One person will play as the Narrator who will help facilitate the game and control the various forces of evil. The other players will each form a team of magical girls who will discover their true identities and overcome both mystical and mundane challenges. This game has a custom made rules system, designed by Emily and Jim, that will encourage players to express their inner Magical Girls.

If this Kickstarter successfully funds, the game book will be a Digest size, hardcover, embossed and foil stamped, premium addition to your game shelf. If we meet some of our stretch goals we will have the ability to improve the book with things like full color interior printing and additional art. With your help we would love to make this a true mythical tome to be passed down from one magical girl to the next.

Now about these Slap Bracelets…

You might have seen these things spread all over social media, and if you have, great! That’s what we are going for! In an effort to raise awareness about this project, and women designers in general, we are giving every single backer a “Fight Like a Magical Girl” slap bracelet. Nothing says Magical Girl, or the 90’s, like a good slap bracelet.

As part of this promotion we are going to be sending these out to backers RIGHT AWAY. Not during fulfillment, not once the kickstarter is over, but as soon as you back, you are getting a Fight Like a Magical Girl Slap Bracelet sent out to you. In return we are only asking one thing… you have to post a picture of yourself wearing it in your best Magical Girl Pose. We want to spread the word and the only way to do that is with your help. No Magical Girl can win the fight against evil without the other scouts!!!

Unfortunately… there are some exceptions

The realities of shipping, and the tight budgets of a kickstarter, means there are certain limitations that we unfortunately have to apply. All US backers at any level will get a slap bracelet sent to them right away as described above. For our international backers, it is just too cost prohibitive to send the slap bracelets as their own shipment. Instead, international backers who back at a physical reward level, will have the slap bracelet included with their book at fulfillment. We really wish we could send everyone the slap bracelets right away, but it just is not achievable.

Our game has many unique aspects that you wont find in a typical RPG. The magical girl experience is not a typical play style for tabletop role-playing games and we wanted to make sure the game delivered on that approach. We have spent countless hours designing, play-testing and incorporating the feedback of these mechanics into this game.

Here are just some of the many unique mechanics of Domina Magica

Dual Sided Character Sheets 

In Domina Magica your character sheet has 2 sides, one for your School Girl and one for the Magical Girl Persona. As you play the game, the actions and decisions you make as a School Girl (the first side) will directly affect your Magical Girl (the second side). Playing your school girl will actually build your Magical Girl!  When it comes time for your special transformation you will physically flip the sheet from one side to the other and play with the character you have built.

Early Character Sheets (Still in Progress)
Early Character Sheets (Still in Progress)

The Cootie Catcher

In the beginning of the game you and your friends will build a “cootie catcher” or “fortune teller,” that will help determine the events of the game as it progresses. At the start of the game players will work together to establish details about their unique episode. These aspects are used to fill in the cootie catcher’s various sections, and players will write in the theme, season, names, and more. Once the players have built the world their game will take place in, each player will add a secret trial on the hidden parts of the paper. At various points in the game, the cootie catcher will be triggered which will randomly activate one of the hidden trials the players created.

Dark Energy Circle 

The Dark Energy Circle (or DEC) is used to track the growth of negative energy in the world. Throughout the course of the game, player actions will determine where the evil energy first appears and how it spreads. The players will be able to see this growth on the DEC, and watch as the forces of evil get stronger. When it’s time to confront the Big Evil, players will use this as their battle map during the final showdown. The DEC is one of a kind  because it will organically develop the ending boss fight of each play session.”

Battle Map (Still in progress)
Battle Map (Still in progress)

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

Want to play a Magical Girl ala Sailor Moon or Cardcaptor Sakura? This game will take you there! It has the look, style, and feel of what you want in that genre. The creator has made the game with veteran players in mind, but set it up so new players with a love of Magical Girl animes will find it appealing! Need to know more? I interviewed Emily Reinhart of Third Act Publishing and the creator of Domina Magica over at the Open Gaming Network (here) about the game and she shares a lot of thoughts about why it’s a good one to own.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

* * *

 

Entromancy: A Cyberpunk Fantasy Roleplaying Game by Nightpath Publishing
Ends on Fri, September 7 2018 12:00 AM EDT.

 

“Dive into a cyberpunk urban fantasy world filled with magic, espionage, hacking, and gunslinging action!

Entromancy is a tabletop roleplaying game set in San Francisco in the late 21st century. In our world, a quarter of the earth’s power now runs on ceridium, a newly discovered element that has had the unintended consequence of spawning a new race of people, and several forms of magic that were once thought to have been forgotten.

In Entromancy, you’ll take the role of a character in a futuristic, technology-driven, magic-rich world complete with espionage, spellcasting, hacking, and engaging action sequences.

The core system of Entromancy is based on the world’s most popular roleplaying game, and will allow you to choose from five diverse races and five unique classes to create your character and begin your story. You’ll progress your character by taking on challenging missions and eventually embracing one of the game’s five brutally powerful destinies, which are like prestige classes.

Want to stealth hack your way into enemy territory as a Vanguard, enhancing your faction standing with the underrace nation of Aurichome? You can do that. Interested in putting together a crew of NIGHT Agents to clean out San Francisco’s Presidio of zombie-like ragers?  We’ve got you covered.  Striving to climb the ranks of the Unaligned so that you can unlock the ferociously powerful, chaos-based magic of the Entromancer? No one’s stopping you…other than the other two power hungry factions standing in your way.

  • Cyberpunk Fantasy Roleplaying. Enter a futuristic, magic-rich world where technology is ever-present and several forms of forgotten magics have resurfaced — for better and worse.
  • Unique Characters. Choose from five diverse races and five unique classes — from the dual-pistol wielding Revolutionary to the magic-savvy Technomancer — to create your character and begin your story. Progress your character by taking on challenging missions and eventually embracing one of five brutally powerful destinies.
  • d20 Mechanics. Experience a streamlined gameplay system based on the Fifth Edition of the world’s most popular roleplaying game, simultaneously allowing for exciting action and storytelling while providing for a great deal of depth.
  • Action Gameplay. Get into the game quickly with easy onboarding for new players and engage in action-packed gameplay with spellcasting, hacking, cybernetics, and much more.
  • Faction-Based Espionage. Increase your standing with Entromancy’s three competing factions of NIGHT, Aurichome, and the Unaligned, while attempting to make your mark on a world that has become fractured after years of population explosion, socio-economic tension, and magic-based warfare.

In Entromancy, you’ll create a character by selecting from five diverse races and five unique classes, customizing them by selecting feats and talents and/or spells. The five starter classes include:

  • NIGHT Agent. NIGHT Agents are special agents of the highest order, members of a paramilitary force that is called upon to enforce peace among aurics and humans — sometimes using extreme measures. As a Night Agent, you’re skilled in espionage and magical combat, and will have to decide between the paths of dark and light for your archetype.
  • Revolutionary. Revolutionaries are allied to the underrace nation of Aurichome, sacrificing the comforts of the status quo for the promise of equality for all underraces. As a Revolutionary, you’re trained in all manner of ranged combat, and are unparalleled in your understanding of modern vehicles.
  • Technomancer. Technomancers are gifted to the extreme in hacking, robotics, and manipulating any type of machinery. As a Technomancer, your training allows you to get closer to the metal with feats and spells than any other class.
  • Terramancer. Terramancers have dedicated their lives towards communing with nature, drawing their inspiration from the flora and fauna around them. As a Terramancer, your proficiency with healing magic is unmatched, as is your ability to throw projectiles with deadly effect.
  • Vanguard. Vanguards thrive in the shadows, specializing in the arts of stealth, assassination, and subterfuge. As a Vanguard, your skills in remaining unseen and getting the drop on your opponents is unparalleled.

Once you’ve completed five or more missions, you’ll unlock one of five powerful destinies, provided that you have the appropriate faction standing to do so. These include:

  • Aurikar Elite. Guns and spells have their places, but you prefer to get your hands dirty. You’ve mastered the art of hand-to-hand combat through training with King Thog’run’s special forces, and have sworn fealty to the crown as one of Aurichome’s elite defenders.
  • Entromancer. You’ve spent time, energy, and no small amount of personal sacrifice chipping away at the mysteries of the universe. Ever so slowly, entropy begins to respond to your will.
  • Infiltrator. When a job requires subtlety, they call for an assassin. When it requires a ghost, they call you.
  • Inquisitor. You’ve entered the elite ranks of NIGHT leadership, empowered with some of the most devastating –- and manipulative — spells known to humankind.
  • Weapon Master. Some heroes are born; others are forged through discipline and forbearance. You have become a master of arms, dedicating your life to the study of weaponry.

For a design sample of what the interior layout of the Entromancy RPG will look like, please click here.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

This is bright, shiny cypherpunk! Set in San Francisco, you’re in a time of good power sources and magic, and yet, there are still bad folk aplenty to contend with. Also, it’s based around D&D 5e so the ruleset in a modification, not a brand-new design. If you want near-future, magic-meets-science yet the world did not fall to darkness using a system you know the root of, Entromancy has a place at the table for you. Add to that, Craig Campbell of Nerdburger Games acted as a mentor to the creator on this project and I think highly of Craig so it’s just extra winning.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruFiction here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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

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

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

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Disclosures: This article contains affiliate links.

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

SNEAK PEEK – Free Svilland Saga Demo Booklet (try the setting before the Kickstarter)

Dream Realm Storytellers are offering a free preview of their upcoming D&D 5e setting, Svilland Saga. For more details about Dream Realm Storytellers and the Svilland Saga, try their press release here. For details about the free booklet, read on.

* * *

ABOUT SVILLAND

Svilland is a campaign setting for Dungeons and Dragons 5E that is based on Scandinavian mythology and culture. It is a world where three kingdoms are in struggle with each other in a savage landscape, full of many dangers and hardships even after Odin’s conquest over Vanir in the archaic times. With an atmosphere that is darker than many other settings of the genre, Svilland reflects the endurance and necessary brutality of the Norse, and Vikings thereof.

In its present time, the realm is in a period when two of the omens of Ragnarok have appeared and the realm is waiting for the third one that will mark the emergence of the end days. Odd, the Father of Frost Giants and the Bringer of the Black Winter has been awakened and left his prison throne, the spear that is made for keeping him there has fallen to the floor. In the meanwhile, races and people of the realm are still indulged in their daily matters and quests.

Under the content of Norse and Vikings, we are preparing a campaign setting that has two new classes, 24 new archetypes, 14 new domains for nine deities, 20 new monsters, 100 new magical items and many new spells, feats and equipment. When published, it will have over 100 pages of content.

ABOUT THIS BOOKLET

In this booklet, we are providing you a sneak peek so that you can use for a play test and see for yourself. A small geography of one of the three regions is also provided, where you can run a mini-campaign. You can test four of the domains with your cleric (or gothi, in Norse terms), archetypes for the barbarian, the fighter, the ranger and the sorcerer, as well as our brand new class the runewalker with rune magic. We also included some of the monsters that you can challenge your players with, some of the magical items that you can reward them with, and some of the new spells and feats.

We wish you a marvelous adventure, skol!

– Dream Realm Storytellers

You can download it from here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1yQ2TfE_QyPvJN4Aut8rPG2Y6hvjH_9k9/view

Kickstart the Comic – Knight in the Snake Pit Issue 2

Who are we?

Reality is what exactly? Who determines it? Is it as simple as one man’s insanity is another’s reality? Is it something you would even know was happening to you?

Do we ever truly know what is real?

***

Knight in the Snake Pit #2

Writer/Creator – Kevin Chilcoat

Artist/Letterer – Marc Olivent

 

Kickstarter Campaign ends on Friday, September 7, 2018 at 9:45 PM EDT.

***

The Pitch:

Allister must determine if he’s really suffering from delusions or if everything in both worlds is real.  If that’s the case, he needs to worry about how to not get killed by his “delusions.”

The Story:

In Knight in the Snake Pit, we follow a character Allister Ward who is stuck in two worlds, jumping back and forth at random.  One world is 19040’s Los Angeles, where he’s a patient at a mental hospital and the other world is a medieval fantasy world, where he’s being begged by a king to save his daughter and his kingdom from an impending invasion that could happen at any moment.

Issue 1 has Allister fearing for his life in the mental hospital, as he’s one false move away from a lobotomy.  Issue 2 has Allister fighting for his life and freedom in a Gladiator pit.  Both issues have a combined 48 pages (without inserts and variant art).

John’s Thoughts:

I’m utterly fascinated by the idea of who we are deep down and whether the reality I’m experiencing is the same as the reality others are experiencing. Stories like Knight in the Snake Pit take that conceit and enter it into a more fantastical realm that any of us might see on a daily basis, but that doesn’t mean what Allister Ward is experiencing (in either reality) is any less real for him than it would be for any of us.

Plus, I’m really digging the name of the comic…

As this is a Kickstarter for the second issue, it allows you to really sink your teeth into the overall story… and there are plenty of rewards to get you all caught up, so no worries there.

The Rewards:

So many Kickstarters tend to overload the Rewards, trying to anticipate every possible combination, however, Knight sticks to pretty much the basics. At the lower end, you can get the first two issues in PDF at the $5 level. Going up a little, if the physical copy is more your speed, you can get a hard copy of both issues ($20). And if what you really want is something to call all your own, you can get an original quick sketch from Artist Marx Olivent ($40).

The Verdict:

Bouncing between a more contemporary time period and one that looks to be a mixture of the Roman Coliseums… with dragons.

I mean, you had me at Dragons… or stuck in two worlds… or a lobotomy? Maybe not the last one. But if you’re in the mood to question your own reality for a little while, it looks like Knight in the Snake Pit might be your next favorite comic.

***

To find out more about Knight in the Snake Pit, check out the Facebook Page here. And check out the Kickstarter here.

***

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

5 RPG Kickstarters Worth Checking Out – Iron Edda Accelerated, L’gat’s Tome of Amazing Creatures, Necrotopia, Confluence, and BLOODY-HANDED NAME of BRONZE

There are three ways I pick out the RPG Kickstarters that I intend to cover:

  • They fall under a theme – Amazing numbers, all-5e, OSR, whatever
  • They are ending soon and it’s cover’em now or never
  • I’ve been pinged by someone (lots of fans, sometimes the creators) and asked to check out the work.

This week, it’s fan review and there are some excellent games to check out!

 

Iron Edda Accelerated by Encoded Designs
Ends on Thu, August 23 2018 9:00 AM EDT.

“A new version of the Iron Edda RPG, powered by Fate Accelerated™.

Ragnarok is here! The Dwarven Destroyers bear down on your holdfast. A cult dedicated to Loki foments deadly mischief within your walls. The local seer envisions young warriors throwing off clan ties, merging with the spirits of giants to save their holdfast. Fight, bleed, sacrifice, and save your people for as long as you can. Welcome to Iron Edda Accelerated!

Backers get access to the Early Release version of the rules (edited but not laid out) as soon as they back this campaign.

Iron Edda Accelerated is a roleplaying game about the heroes of a Viking holdfast during Ragnarok. They battle threats from outside and within for honor, glory, and clan. The game draws strongly from Norse mythology — although its focus on holdfasts allows for telling a variety of stories:

  • Epic Norse Action. Pick up your axe and shield to fight the metallic hordes of the Dwarves as they come to raze the world. Look through the roots of the World Tree to the Lands of the Gods and find the most opportune place to strike. Bring together your people and lead them against threats both outside and within your holdfast. Be the blazing heart of a dead giant fighting the metal monstrosities. Stand against the Dwarves who come from below to reclaim what was once theirs…or so Loki tells them.
  • Heroes of the Holdfast. You’re the heroes of this age, dealing with the chaos and glory of Ragnarok: a time for legends to be born. Fight hordes of Dwarven spiders, convince fractured factions to fight together, travel the planes to bring aid in the form of magical artifacts to save clan and loved ones. Ragnarok seeks to end everything, but you have the power to keep it from destroying your holdfast for a little while longer.
  • Internal Holdfast Politics. While external threats are daunting, insidious ones from within are equally deadly. People look for opportunities to gain power, even as Armageddon approaches. Convince your Jarl to make peace with the other holdfasts instead of war. Rally your warriors and keep their spirits high in the face of terror. Root out dissidents seeking to unbalance the power structure of your holdfast. Stabilize your own homes if your Jarl loses control. Keep your community strong or the Dwarves easily overrun your holdfast.

The Dwarves of Svartalfheim invade the surface with metal machines, monstrous and terrible. The gods fight against the end of existence. Holdfasts burn. The seers foretell the coming of the Bonebonded: young folk who’ve thrown clan aside to merge with the spirits of deceased giants, providing the power to retaliate against the Dwarves in the form of skeletal giants. The Runescribed use their terrible powers to keep everyone alive a little longer. Other holdfasts seek any advantage in these desperate times. The world hurtles toward a chaotic ending, while a smiling Loki sits in the shadows watching Yggdrasil burn. What will your story be during the end times?

Iron Edda Accelerated invites a wide variety of stories against the backdrop of Ragnarok. The Holdfast Creation system lets you take the elements presented, ask questions about the holdfast, and uncover the rest through play. While answering those questions you also draw a map of your holdfast, providing a visual representation of your experiences. The map functions as a play aid and reminder of your holdfast’s environs, the problems arrayed against you, and the places you’ve decided are important.

Iron Edda Accelerated explores the problems of an oncoming apocalypse against a backdrop of mythic storytelling and Norse culture where clan is thicker than blood. The heroes of the holdfast feel pressure from everywhere as they solve the problems assaulting the holdfast.

To make that happen, Iron Edda Accelerated uses a variation of the Fate Accelerated™ system, by Evil Hat Productions. Fate Accelerated makes the characters instantly competent and dramatic through approaches and aspects. In addition, story stress tracks help the GM weigh and present various problems assaulting the holdfast.

Other mechanisms help promote the kind of play Iron Edda promises:

  • Scale – Giant metal monstrosities, heroes larger than life, magical runes usable against enemies, and weapons of legend. Rules are provided to determine the weight of these elements in play.
  • Destinies – A number of mythic Norse-inspired destinies, including the Bonebonded, Runescribed, Seer, and even the Farmer, help players make characters fit into the setting.
  • Holdfast Creation – This system creates your holdfast through a series of questions and a hand-drawn map. When completed, the players have a series of problems that assail the holdfast and the characters’ paths are clear — and legendary stories unfold quickly.

The Iron Edda Accelerated book is planned to be 6″ x 9”, 140 – 160 pages, with greyscale interior art. The text is already done, and we have art assets. The Kickstarter pays the team for their hard work, purchases additional new art assets for the book, and puts money into creating additional content for Iron Edda Accelerated.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

Ragnarok: Fate Accelerated™ by Tracy, Barnett, Chris Sniezak, Shawn Merwin, Robert M. Everson, Tim Jones, John Arcadian, Phil Vecchione, and Matt Morrow. If that system and setting and those creators don’t move you, the gods will.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Necrotopia: Handbook to the Apocalypse by Keenan Dunham
Ends on Sun, August 26 2018 11:02 AM EDT.

“Necrotopia is a pen and paper role-playing game. We are releasing a complete 30 page color rule-set book with original artwork. #RPG

Necrotopia is an Apocalyptic RPG where you and your friends battle through multiple Apocalypses. Faced with invasion of evil forces through portals, travel across worlds after you master use of portals. Original story and art with unique characters and settings.

Uses a D6 game system with move creation that is simple and highly customizable. Create a character in 5 minutes and play a session within an hour. Fun for veteran RPG players and new players.

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 the first 30 page stand alone rule-set book, and expand the Necrotopia Universe after that with more campaign books.

With the limited time-frame of the first kickstarter we will only be releasing the 30 page rule-set book 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 inter-dimensional 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.” We hope you and your friends have a ton of fun with this game!

Keenan Dunham is the writer and creator of Necrotopia: Handbook to the Apocalypse. The idea actually came from a book he was planning to write and the game will include many characters from those ideas. The book may get written if Necrotopia is successful. Other writing projects Keenan was working on got merged all into a greater world of Necrotopia, and it makes for a lot of fun. Expect a growing universe of characters and places to come. Thank you!”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

I covered the first run of this Kickstarter here. In the new iteration, it has a higher goal and has raised more dollars towards it.

Check out the Kickstarter page. I didn’t copy it, but the pages shares a lot about the game’s mechanics so you can find out exactly what you’re getting with your pledge.

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Joshua A.C. Newman’s BLOODY-HANDED NAME of BRONZE by Glyph Press
Ends on Thu, August 30 2018 11:59 PM EDT.

“Bronze-Age Sword and Sorcery roleplaying, inspired by TORAH and ILLIAD, GILGAMESH and ACHILLES, CONAN and THE DYING EARTH.

Udebed, who has promised her donkey Ahf to help her find a suitable mate; and has promised her ktesh, Kalil, perpetual fresh meat. By Simon Roy
Udebed, who has promised her donkey Ahf to help her find a suitable mate; and has promised her ktesh, Kalil, perpetual fresh meat. By Simon Roy

Joshua A.C. Newman’s The Bloody-Handed Name of Bronze is a tabletop roleplaying game of those who speak the secret Language of Names that spoke the world into existence. When you portray one such Namedealer, you will make treaties with anything bearing a name — and you will thrive and suffer from the consequences of those promises.

…And it is a game of fated heroes, driven by their long-dead ancestors — and their own great passions — to pursue their destiny for the benefit of the dead, and to die bathed in glory.

Ashahu Nine Finger is saved once again by the bronze sword, Adakim, given to her by the tortoise Dubud in thanks for removing it from his flesh. by Jabari Weathers
Ashahu Nine Finger is saved once again by the bronze sword, Adakim, given to her by the tortoise Dubud in thanks for removing it from his flesh. by Jabari Weathers

It is a game of passions and cunning, of tricksters and hard-found justice.

Zikru, a man of renowned beauty who challenged a Great Name to a contest of poetry. And won. By Joshua A.C. Newman
Zikru, a man of renowned beauty who challenged a Great Name to a contest of poetry. And won. By Joshua A.C. Newman

It is a game of pursuing what you desire. It is a game of getting what you want from your companion characters when you have no reason to trust them, and about using those you don’t trust to aid you in your pursuits.

It is a game about flight from the consequences of your promises, and the power that comes from both lies and the truth.

It is a game about charging toward that against which you have been commanded, and the power one has to turn against an abuser.

From PROPHET. by Simon Roy
From PROPHET. by Simon Roy

The World of Names

Above the World is the Vault of Heaven, holding back the Waters of Heaven.

Beneath the World flow the Waters of the Underworld.

Between them is the World, and all in it is made of clay, given being with names, spoken into existence with the first breath.

All that has a name, has a will. Every child, every river, every constellation, every fang of bronze discovered in the rib cage of a storm-revealed skeleton, scoured by the desert. Seek and explore, for in the quest lies your destiny and your doom; your redemption and your failures.

Baruk fled far into foreign lands, shearing his hair and beard as do the foreigners. Now as he returns through the swamp Yogash that offers him safe passage, it grows in as he approaches the City of Hu where he would complete past business. by Shel Kahn
Baruk fled far into foreign lands, shearing his hair and beard as do the foreigners. Now as he returns through the swamp Yogash that offers him safe passage, it grows in as he approaches the City of Hu where he would complete past business. by Shel Kahn

Jabari Weathers – Not art from the game but a great example of Jabari’s work.

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

The game sounds interesting as an experiment. The Kickstarter is intimidating, meant to show its artistry and poetry to give a solid feel for the setting (I feel I get the setting based on the imagery that is shared in the art and writing). Yet, the campaign keeps its mechanics shrouded in mystery. As best I can tell, you’ll draw from two pools and roll them together to accomplish your goal. If the fantasy of these previews can be infused through the book, this will be a winner.

Add to that, there’s Jabari Weathers art! I met Jabari online, loved their art, and, ran into them at Gen Con 2018 twice (we happened to be in the same hotel). Jabari is an exceeding friendly individual and I wished I’d had time to sit in on one of their games at the convention. With this project, I’m eager to see all of Jabari’s work cause it will build this setting.

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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L’gat’s Tome of Amazing Creatures – Volume 2 by Power Up Games (PUG)
Ends on Thu, August 30 2018 11:59 PM EDT.

 

“L’gat’s Tome of Amazing Creatures Volume 2 is Power-Up Gamer’s next supplement containing homebrew and reskinned monsters for DND 5e.

Crystal Golem
Crystal Golem

What are we doing here?

L’gat’s Tome of Amazing Creatures Volume 2 is the next release in a trilogy set of 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons supplements. Produced by Power Up Gamers Roleplayers for Accessibility, artwork will be done by the talented Jon Pintar.

Cacticorn
Cacticorn

What’s in the book?

Much like the first volume, we plan on releasing 26 homebrewed and re-skinned monsters with rich lore, culture, and history sections, several tables including a d100 magic item roll table, and a section containing 12 locations with sights, sounds, and sensations specifically designed  to cater disabilities. Each Location will also have a trap, a puzzle and a riddle along with monsters from the series that might be found there.The Supplement will have a full color cover with black ink sketches of the monsters inside.”

NOTE – Cacticorn and the Crystal Golem are “pre-edits,pre-rewrites, and pre-playtests”.

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

This is “26 new, flavourful creatures for the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons, this time focusing on the fantastical non-hostile denizens of L’Gat’s Prime Material Plane.” So, you’re getting the nice creatures and you’ll need to see volume one for the bad folk. These are monsters by Disabled DM Jarin DND, who reached out, sent a press release, and has been very accommodating of my questions. One of the main ones I had was about the Writer’s Room Visit, a part of the $35 and up rewards that include PDFs of both volumes of L’gat’s Tome of Amazing Creatures and more. If you’re curious what the Writer’s Room Visit involves, Jarin from Power Up Games shared this:

“The Writer’s Room Visit is where our backers can sit down with our production team with an idea of their own and we will help them with the process of taking a basic idea and writing it out into a usable pdf format…of course with time being limited, we obviously can’t teach them all the ins and outs in one session but we will teach the basics of the process as well as give some guidance for resources etc. We currently plan on these sessions being between 2 and 8 hours per session depending on what the supporter needs.”

For $35 (or more), you’re getting 5e games, updates, and a chance to talk gaming ideas with individuals that have already taken the plunge and published their creations!

Over and above the gaming, PUG is on a worthwhile mission to create “ways of making their games more accessible to a wider variety of people, especially those with sensory impairments and learning disabilities. This is done by suggesting language and methods that evoke the senses as well as outright descriptions of the beasts and their habitats.” Their mission is inclusive and it’s done in a way that benefits all gamers – by offering more detailed monsters. This is product is going to be a win!

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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UPDATE – The Kickstarter for Confluence – Cosmic Mirror Games Core Rulebook by Cosmic Mirror Games has been cancelled. 

Confluence – Cosmic Mirror Games Core Rulebook by Cosmic Mirror Games
Ends on Wed, August 29 2018 12:53 PM EDT.

“10 Worlds. 1 Game. Endless Possibilities. Confluence is the core rulebook for the Cosmic Mirror Games settings and systems.

Confluence is the 9th of 14 eras on the Cosmic Mirror, a flat world with 4 suns. Cosmic meddling has caused the world to collapse in on itself, prompting beings from the other 13 eras to pour into it. Now, their cultures, their races, their creatures are all colliding. This is Confluence.  

The Core 10 Races of Confluence
The Core 10 Races of Confluence

LINK TO PLAYTEST COPY

10 Worlds, 1 Game. In Confluence, players will take up the roles of denizens who have come from these disparate worlds, thrown together into one world of ancient history and extreme technology. Each of the 10 playable races brings a unique experience from their own game worlds, and each comes with their own levels of difficulties, allowing experienced players to play alongside new players while facing different difficulty levels in character creation and management.

With 10 core races and 40 NPC races, as well as unique items, technology, equipment, and magic from each of the worlds, Confluence is a world made to be explored. You can play a horror game with the undead hordes of the 7th Era, engage in political intrigue with the beings of the 12th, and hunt down ancient relics of incredible power from the 13th. Will you fall into worship of the Fallen Gods, or will you find power from the being that resides within the world itself? Your journey awaits.

NOTE: The Worm The Early Birds Want is the tier you want to get– get a PDF at the 25$ price and get a FREE hard copy! Only 50 slots, get them while they last!

Promotion days: Day 1 (July 30th)- Free cover and world map posters to all who pledge at the $25 level or higher!

Day 15 (Aug 13th)- Bump your pledge by $5, and you’ll get a free PDF of Generations! Bump by $15 and you can nab a hardcopy! That’s half the price of a PDF on Drivethru right now.

Day 22 (Aug 20th)- Bump your pledge by $5, and you’ll get a free PDF of NuAEther! Bump by $15 and you can nab a hardcopy! That’s half the price of a PDF on Drivethru right now.

I keep good records, so don’t drop your pledge later to try and trick me into giving you the pdf at the end. I’ll tally it up when it wraps up! : )

Past Kickstarter: We want to be forward. Confluence had an attempted Kickstarter back in June last year, where it was paired up with two of our small book games. The Kickstarter failed, but we didn’t stop for a second. Work continued, art kept coming in, and we’re coming back stronger than ever.  

The Game
The Game

Confluence is the core rulebook for a series of game books set to come out each year. It also acts as the core setting. Future books will rely on these core mechanics as expounded upon in the Confluence book, but will offer new worlds and settings, along with new races, items, magic systems, and much more. Because this core setting is made up of elements from the other worlds, each of these new setting books will be backwards compatible, all their contents usable in the core world. The book is slated to reach 650 pages.

The core of Confluence is built on a simple d6 dice pool system. To perform an action, you will add your relevant Attribute to any relevant Specialty your character has for the particular action. You then roll that many d6, and succeed on 5’s and 6’s. Unique race powers, character traits such as Talents and Abilities, and a wide array of item options from across the worlds enhance and enjoyably complicate the game for players, and help make each game new and exciting.

What’s in here? 

LINK TO PLAYTEST COPY

This game book is actually at your fingertips to give a look over right now. The playtest copy contains all the elements needed to pick up and play right now, including all the information needed to create any of the 10 unique character races, unique character traits to help set your character further apart, as well as 20 pages of item options to ensure you are properly equipped for your journey. Information on combat and survival are here in their entirety as well, letting your group pick up and play from this playtest document alone. In addition, the book looks ahead at the variety of offerings still in store for World information, continent and city descriptions, additional NPCs, monsters, and more. There is a lot of info missing from this copy, over half the book, but that’s to make sure that there’s plenty of worthwhile stuff for you to still find ahead in the final version!

To ensure the world feels real, alive, and expansive, it has been beautifully mapped with the use of the Inkarnate program. Additional area maps are still forthcoming, ensuring that even a game that remains in one area or around one city will be able to find plenty to engage players for many games. Additionally, information on each city and area of the world, as well as towns and cities are described in the book that can be set anywhere in a particular region, ensuring your players always have a place to rest their head, or find a new story hook.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

By Dane Asmund, this game’s system involves adding “your relevant Attribute to any relevant Specialty your character has for the particular action. You then roll that many d6, and succeed on 5’s and 6’s.” It’s a simple system and they’re offering a playtest copy to try it out. Give it a go and if you like it, come back to the campaign.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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

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

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

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

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Disclosures: This article contains affiliate links.

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

PRESS RELEASE – L’gat’s Tome of Amazing Creatures – Volume 2 on Kickstarter

Power Up Gamer (PUG) is proud to announce the launching of its second Kickstarter for the next volume of its series of monster manuals, L’Gat’s Tome of Amazing Creatures series.  Continuing from volume one, new product will include 26 new, flavourful creatures for the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons, this time focusing on the fantastical non-hostile denizens of L’Gat’s Prime Material Plane. The book will also carry the company ethos of supplying gamers with ways of making their games more accessible to a wider variety of people, especially those with sensory impairments and learning disabilities. This is done by suggesting language and methods that evoke the senses as well as outright descriptions of the beasts and their habitats.

Power Up Gamer started in 2015 as a single YouTube channel for the company chairman, Jarin DND the Disabled DM, as a place for him to talk about is experience as a disabled roleplayer. This quickly grew to become a Facebook group where others shared their experiences as well. All facets of Power Up Gamer hold two clear goals:

  • To provide a place for disabled players to feel safe in discussing how their disabilities affect their gaming in Tabletop Roleplaying Games

  • To strive to bring awareness of disability issues to the larger RPG community.

In November 2017, the Kickstarter for volume one of L’Gat’s Tome of Amazing Creatures launched and was successfully funded. At present, the Kickstarter for volume two is 52% funded with 13 days remaining.

To support this Kickstarter, click here. To see other works by Power Up Gamer, check out their page on DriveThruRPG here.

[UPDATE – Samples of L’gat’s Tome of Amazing Creatures – Volume 1 are below, not volume 2.]

Breezeborn

L’gat’s Tome of Amazing Creatures – Volume 1 Monster – Breezeborn

Tomb of The Faceless One

L’gat’s Tome of Amazing Creatures – Volume 1 Location – The Tomb of the Faceless One

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!

Resource links

FORBIDDEN LANDS – PLEDGE MANAGER

Related material

Press Releases

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.

 

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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.
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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).

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

* * * * * *

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.

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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).

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.

 

* * *

 

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.

 

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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.

 

 

* * *

 

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

 

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

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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
Ends on .

“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
Ends on .

“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
Ends on .

“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
Ends on .

“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
Ends on .

“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

 

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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 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

Kickstarter Reflections – Shipping And Handling Not Included

***

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.

 

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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.

 

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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 – 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

 

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Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

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

 

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

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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.

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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!

 

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

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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

 

* * * * * *

 

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.

 

* * * * * *

 

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.

***

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

***

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?

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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