Gen Con 50 was an incredible experience! I’m looking forward to sharing the stories from it in the coming weeks. In the meantime, I’m looking at RPG Kickstarters with rewards that let you create content for them while expanding your RPG resume. Let’s countdown this week’s.
3) Manastorm: World of Shin’ar Campaign Setting by Terran Empire Publishing
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“Manastorm: World of Shin’ar – A new, full color, 500+ page Pathfinder/3.5/5e compatible campaign setting!
What is Manastorm: World of Shin’ar?
Manastorm: World of Shin’ar is a new, full color, 500+ page Pathfinder/3.5/5e Compatible campaign setting featuring 16 new playable races – each with their own unique Hybrid Class. It contains 7 new Prestige Classes, 10 expansive regions, pantheons, new spells, feats, monsters, and more!
The planet of Shin’ar boasts 10 expansive regions to explore, from dust- choked ruins to far off enclaves guarded by logic driven automatons. Manastorm: World of Shin’ar introduces players to the Manasphere, a bubble of radiation that surrounds the planet, given off by mana crystals found deep within the planet’s interior. The Manasphere allows those who can tap into it’s unlimited power to fuel fantastic feats of magic and wonder. Players will be able to create new magical items from mana crystals that allow the user to cast stored spells on themselves or others, as well as allowing spellcasters to renew spent spell slots. Players must be warned though, the overuse of mana crystals can result in Mana Poisoning, and eventual death and rising as a Mana Zombie.
The planet suffers from events known as Lunar Quickenings. The Dri-jen Moon, the smallest of the planet’s two moons, has an erratic orbit. When it moves close enough to the planet, the moon causes all mana crystal deposits within the planet to react wildly. Bursts of raw mana saturate the Manasphere and cause fluctuations in its behavior. During these times, portals to unknown planets and planes of existence spontaneously open all over the world, depositing countless people and creatures on Shin’ar.
The vast majority of the peoples encountered on Shin’ar are not native to the planet. Many races have migrated to the world during Lunar Quickenings and found themselves stranded when the event ended. Portals to other dimensions and planets can only function during Lunar Quickenings. The Manasphere does not allow the opening of gates or portals outside of Lunar Quickenings, and it has a way to punish those who try to circumvent this. These events last for an indeterminate amount of time. Some have come and gone in the span of a few years, while some can last over a millennium.
Lunar Quickenings allow GMs and Players to include all kinds of “homebrew” races and monsters. While Manastorm: World of Shin’ar will offer more than enough to begin to play wonderful and exciting adventures and campaigns, the Lunar Quickenings make it so anything and everything can be encountered on Shin’ar.
Terran Empire Publishing will be hosting competitions to include new races and monsters from fans into future products.”
I covered “Manastorm – A Pathfinder-Compatible Campaign Setting,” the precursor Kickstarter to this one, here. While that campaign did not make it, this one is going strong. With content for 5e, Pathfinder, and 3.5e, this offers a chance to create a NPC across several systems and another reward to create a NPC and have it drawn. As well, Terran Empire Publishing is planning to host “competitions to include new races and monsters from fans into future products.” It’s a Kickstarter and a company to keep an eye on.
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“A revised full-color edition of the Stars Without Number sci-fi role playing game, with expanded material, new GM tools, and more!
The year is 3200 and mankind’s empire lies in ashes.
The Jump Gates fell six hundred years ago, severing the links between the myriad worlds of the human diaspora.
Now, the long isolation of the Silence falls away as men and women return to the skies above their scattered worlds.
Will you be among them once more?
Over the past seven years, Stars Without Number has sent thousands of daring heroes into the uncharted void. It has armed innumerable brave men and women with the tools they need to explore an uncaring cosmos and given bold GMs the techniques and resources to fashion vast sci-fi sandboxes of excitement and mystery. Light, familiar OSR rules have equipped readers with what they’ve needed to get straight to playing. More than that, the modular design has allowed thousands more to effortlessly strip useful resources for their own favorite games and systems. With its free basic version and dozens of additional resources and supplements,Stars Without Number has been fashioned to not only be fun, but to be useful to players around the world.
Yet now it is time to do more. Stars Without Number was my first serious effort at RPG publishing, the product of six months of fumbling with Adobe InDesign and a hundred dollars in stock art. It was an exercise of intuition more than artifice, and the years of practice and dozens of newer works I’ve written since that time have left me with the gnawing, constant awareness that I could do it better now. I know more, I’ve practiced more, I’ve thought more in the years since I first wrote it. It’s time to demonstrate that.
Stars Without Number: Revised Edition is an expanded, refined, full-color revision of the original edition. It adds more character options, more hardware, more ships, and more psionic options- but expanding the mechanical breadth of the game is only part of the goal. Just as importantly, Stars Without Number: Revised Edition is crammed with new GM resources, with new world tags, new adventure creation tools, and new support for sci-fi sandbox adventuring. And all the while, I’ve kept to my original goals of portability and modularity, so that GMs who want to use different systems or different settings can lift out useful pieces and use them directly in their own home games.
Don’t just take my word for it. Have a look at these takes on the original edition:
- The Free Edition and Core Edition reviews up at DriveThruRPG
- The harrowing and hilarious exploits of the crew of the Swan Song, performed under the peerless Space Mastery of Adam Koebel
- Handy reviews from RPG Knights, Grognardia, The Other Side, Tenkar’s Tavern, Halfway Station, and John Harper.”
2017 feels like the Year of the Sci-Fi RPG.
- Starfinder sold out at Gen Con 50.
- Star Trek Adventures debuted.
- Alternity returned.
- Traveller’s expansion did well on Kickstarter.
Stars Without Number continues the trend with over 2,000 backers so far. Want to try sci-fi but you’re not sure if you want it to be SWN? Try the Free Edition of the rules at DriveThruRPG. They look awesome!
Try out all of Sine Nomine Publishing titles at DriveThruRPG here.
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1) After the Crash: A 5E Post-Apocalyptic Science-Fantasy RPG by David Dolph
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“A world with mutations and long-forgotten artifacts. A world with sentient animals and plants. A world in need of saving.
This table-top role-playing game hearkens back to an earlier time when post-apocalyptic was meant to be fun. While some would describe it as “gonzo” we tried to create a setting that, while it may be full of bizarre characters, is a place where the characters need to fight to survive. This is a place where every decision can mean life or death, not only for yourself but your community.
WHAT YOU GET
In this 250+ page book you get the setting and a bunch of new rules and options for a post-apocalyptic world. This includes… [4 Races. 9 Classes. 27 Archetypes. 20 Backgrounds. 160+ Mutations. 60+ Artifacts. 40+ New Monsters. Starter Adventure.]”
This campaign includes a reward to create a NPC for the setting. That will let you experiment with expanded races, classes, etc that this campaign is offering. I’m curious about the mutations added to the 5e system and how they’ll balance out.
“160+ Mutations. In a world full of genetic mutations, there are many that alter what a being can find as they move through the world, not to mention the fact that almost every race starts out with a random mutation. They include such mutations as Natural Weapon: Antler, Carapace, ESP: Perceive Thoughts, Life Energy Transference and Create Sap: Acid.”
You can find the After the Crash: A 5E Post-Apocalyptic Science-Fantasy RPG campaign here.
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Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links to DriveThruRPG.com.
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Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™
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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:
- Sasquatch Game Studio’s Primeval Thule for 5e available at DriveThruRPG.com – Writer
- Ember Design Studios’ Yrisa’s Nightmare for 5e and Pathfinder available at DriveThurRPG.com – Writer
- Ember Design Studios’ Rats in the Street for 5e and Pathfinder available at DriveThurRPG.com – Writer & Artist
- Kobold Press’ Tome of Beasts for 5e available at KoboldPress.com – Playtester
- Kobold Press’ Deep Magic 9: Ring Magic (5e) available at KoboldPress.com – Playtester
- EN World’ Gaming at the Kids’ Table Column – Journalist
- Total Party Kill Games’ Slaughter at Splinterfang Gorge – Writer
- Total Party Kill Games’ Fifth Edition Fighter Folio – Writer
- MidCity Comics’ Soon-to-be-Announced Comic Book Mini-Series – Writer