Monte Cook Games and Humble Bundle are joining forces to bring you nine worlds worth of Numenera, a tabletop roleplaying game of exploration and discovery set a billion years in the future. The game is easy to learn and fun to play with this bundle of digital corebooks, adventures, bestiaries, maps, guides, and more. The multiple award-winning system (Origins Award for Best Roleplaying Game; seven ENnie Awards including Gold for Best Setting, Best Writing, and Product of the Year) puts the emphasis on story and is amazingly easy to GM, both in prep and at the table. For $1 to $15, you can pick up a massive collection of the tabletop roleplaying game, Numenera. The Ninth World awaits you! Grab your HUMBLE RPG BOOK BUNDLE: NUMENERA BY MONTE COOK GAMEShere before it ends on Wednesday, February 6, 2019 at 2:00PM EST.
For $1, you get the Numenera core rules, bestiary, and more.
For $8, you get the player’s guide, more monsters, more worlds and adventures.
For $15, you get enough Numenera to keep you going for years.
Best of all, a portion of your payment goes to charity so you’re benefiting the publisher and a worthy cause!
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!
“The Expanse Roleplaying Game brings James S.A. Corey’s award-winning series of science fiction novels to the tabletop.
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!
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 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!
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!“
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 DriveThruRPGhere or at the OpenGamingStorehere.
“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.
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 DriveThruRPGhere.
“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:
(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 Primerfor 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:
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.“
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!
“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!
“A reprint of the award-winning storytelling game for creative kids and their families.
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!)
Cards for characters, creatures, and cyphers
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!
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 Gamessent 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 DriveThruRPGhere.
“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.”
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!
“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.”
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 AndoCon. Fetch 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 DriveThruRPGhere.
“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 Filesseries 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!
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’StheTHING: 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 THISBOOKISDONE!
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.”
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.
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:
“Contribute to help create, publish and distribute the CAVALIERS OF MARS tabletop roleplaying book.
Live, fight, and love on Mars, a world of red death and strange mystery, a world of savagery and romance.
Return now to dying Mars in its last age of glory. A planet of flashing swords and choking sands, of winking courtesans and lantern-lit canal cities.
Mars, where fortune and heartbreak are two sides of the same obsidian chit, where lost cities and dry oceans stretch between the last bastions of civilization. Where the First Martians, the monument-builders, are but a haunted memory. Where the Red Martians become decadent and reckless in their last days. Where the Pale Martians rule the wastes, remembering a history whose weight would crush a lesser people.
Mars has canals… therefore, Mars must have Venice!
Cavaliers of Mars is a swashbuckling adventure setting from Rose Bailey, longtime developer of Vampire: The Requiem and other World of Darkness titles. Cavaliers draws inspiration from pulp fantasy and historical fiction, adding a modern edge and an exotic setting.
Cavaliers of Mars is powered by the DEIMOS system, in which a hero’s motivations and approach to problems strongly influence her chance of success. In combat, heroes face off with their enemies in contests of tactics and chance.”
Onyx Path is a large publisher and this game is a part of their creator-owned line. I dig that they are offering that business option and partnering with creators to produce new products.
“Cavaliers of Mars is a new entry in Onyx Path’s lineup of creator-owned games, produced in partnership with Rose Bailey and written by Rose Bailey, Benjamin Baugh, Dixie Cochran, Storn Cook, Steffie de Vaan, Meghan Fitzgerald, Jordan Goldfarb, Danielle Lauzon, Ethan Skemp, Lauren Stone, Travis Stout, Audrey Whitman.”
This RPG uses the DEIMOS system – traits of varying dice sizes rolled in dice pools against a difficulty number – that attempts to recreate the John Carter of Mars/Barsoom experience as a RPG. But do the system and setting work? You can get the Jumpstart Rules for free and, if you back the campaign, they have the complete text for CoM available as a download now.
“To learn more about Cavaliers of Mars, you can check out the CAVALIERS OF MARS JUMPSTART RULES here at DRIVETHRURPG.COM:
“Battlelords of the 23rd Century, Seventh Edition is a full color, hardcover tabletop RPG book. New & Streamlined Core Rules.
What is Battlelords?
Battlelords is a game set in a dangerous future. An Alliance of Humans and aliens is fighting for survival. The Ak-Nar-Ryn (aka “Arachnids”) have destroyed worlds and decimated populations as they advance into Alliance territory. Against the backdrop of war, players can take the fight to the Ak-Nar-Ryn, become explorers seeking new aliens species for allies and technology or participate in espionage to further the goals of their corporate backers.
There are many core species and each has their specialty and their own story. You can play as a Chatilian so you can read minds and use mental powers. Be the ultimate infiltration specialist as a Mazian transforming to look like a Human, or a tree, or a desk, or pretty much anything else you can think of. If you’d like to go with brute strength, pick a Pythonian and throw someone for distance. Play a cunning and ruthless Phentari and make your enemies suffer. There are 15 different species to choose from!”
Have you played Battlelords before? “The first edition was released in 1990 by Lawrence R Sims,” and this is the Kickstarter for the 7th edition, so it has a lengthy pedigree. 23rd Century Productions believes in their game enought to have a free playtest for you to sample and see if this is the game you’ve been waiting for.
“We’re creating a new Casebook for the Baker Street RPG, and our first Adventure book for Hood: Swashbuckling Adventures in Sherwood!
Fearlight Games is bringing you two new collections of cases and adventures!
We have a new collection of cases for use with Baker Street: Roleplaying in the World of Sherlock Holmes. Our investigators find themselves dealing with unusual circumstances and locales out of the ordinary in Strange Cases & Distant Places. This is the third casebook for Baker Street. We also have a new release for Hood: Swashbuckling Adventures in Sherwood. Adventures Beyond the Forest is our first collection of adventures for Hood and it has our Merry Men setting off on a series of swashbuckling adventures!
If you aren’t familiar with either of the games, scroll on down to the appropriate About the Game section for a brief introduction to the system, or check out the original campaigns here:
A preliminary layout of the cover and interior pages.
Do you want to play Robin Hood or Sherlock Holmes? Fearlight Games has you covered. In one Kickstarter, they’re offering case files and adventure for these two settings. As a GM, I’m excited for mystery-adventures that are at a high enough level for Sherlock Holmes. That’s a win!
That other win is that Bryce Whitacre, the Spectrum System, Baker Street, and Hood creator, is a nice guy and, best of all, he hired my pal, Jonathan Thompson, to do…
“The Haunted Mill, by Jonathan M. Thompson
Tom, the Miller, is having some trouble with the little people. They are killing his cats, destroying his grain and otherwise making a mess of things. Sir William has offered to buy the mill, maybe the denizens of Sherwood can aid Tom before it’s too late.”
I want this to fund to see how the adventures and mysteries turn out!
You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.
“Post-apocalyptic campaign setting, tools, and scenario… gonzo, eldritch, science-fantasy, mutant wasteland. O5R by Venger Satanis.
For those who don’t know me, “Hi. I’m Venger Satanis, High Priest of Kort’thalis Publishing. What’s up?”
I believe this is my 13th Kickstarter. Want to see what I’ve been doing the last 4 years? Check out my old school gaming blog: http://vengersatanis.blogspot.com/
I haven’t explored the post-apocalypse genre that often, so this is a big deal to me. I want to get deep in there and do it right, coming up with weird, outlandish things in a world devastated by cataclysmic forces. PCs will be eating crock-rat and scorpion-skunk roadkill, drinking their own piss, giving hand jobs for precious gasoline, and pretending to worship the glowing faces of a malevolent and insane god that floats somewhere in the yellow smog of the forbidden zone. Not everyone will survive. In fact, some won’t even want to. That’s just the way things are now.
There are already a lot of cool post-apocalyptic RPGs out there. Gamma Turquoise: Santa Fe Starport will focus on making your after-the-bomb gaming experience more awesome. I strive to hit that sweet spot between rules-light and rules-non-existent, where flavor, story, ideas, artwork, scenario seeds, and random tables dominate. Indeed, this book will have utility far beyond the scenario presented. You’ll want to give this to your grand-kids when they go off adventuring in post-apocalyptic lands.
I provide you with the finest tools so that YOU can create your own irradiated landscape full of mutated skeezoid scum dogs (tentacled, of course). But this won’t be a lame outline that you have to flesh out. No, you’re in good hands – Venger’s warlock hands!
If you want a lot of crunchy, bloated, system nonsense that has no business being in a toolbox like this, then move along. Nothing to see here…”
Gonzo gaming. Venger Satanis of Kort’thalis Publishing is the living embodiment of gonzo gaming. NSFW work gonzo gaming, but gonzo gaming all the same. Venger is also one of the most helpful, ready-to-give-back-to-gaming individuals in the industry.
Do you need a post-apocalyptic world that’s deeply rooted in grindhouse? Gamma Turquoise is going to give you twists and turns and unexpected craziness from after the world ends!
You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.
“Discover the Ninth World, then fulfill your destiny to lift it from an age of darkness. Two new corebooks for Numenera.
They say there have been eight worlds before ours. Eight times the people of this Earth, over vast millennia, built their civilizations, reaching heights we cannot even fully imagine now. They spoke to the stars, reshaped the creatures of the world, and mastered form and essence. They built cities and machines that have since crumbled to dust, leaving only their barest remnants.
This is the Ninth World. The people of the prior worlds are gone—scattered, disappeared, or transcended. But their works remain, in the places and devices that still contain some germ of their original function. Some call these magic, but the wise know that these are our legacy. They are our future. They are the…
Set a billion years in our future, Numenera is a tabletop roleplaying game about exploration and discovery. The people of the Ninth World suffer through a dark age, an era of isolation and struggle in the shadow of the ancient wonders crafted by advanced civilizations now millennia gone. But discovery awaits for those brave enough to seek out the works of the prior worlds. Those who uncover and master the numenera can unlock the powers and abilities of the ancients, and bring new light to a struggling world.
The original Numenera RPG was launched via a 2012 Kickstarter campaign that shattered every record (at the time) for tabletop RPGs. The corebook has seen four printings, and Numenera is enjoyed by tens of thousands of gamers in an active global community. We have published over 60 supplements and accessories, and released a terrific starter set for new players. The Ninth World has spawned a critically-acclaimed hit computer game, board games, an excellent short film, a line of novels, and other licensed items, and Numenera has been translated into many languages including French, Spanish, Italian, Korean, German, and Portuguese.
Numenera is a game in which player characters explore the ruins of aeons past to gather amazing treasures and help build a new future for a world struggling in darkness. Since the launch of Numenera in 2013, we have delivered well on the first part, but we’ve always wanted to do a more thorough job exploring that second part. That desire has led us to Numenera 2 and this Kickstarter campaign.
Through this Kickstarter we’re going to replace the existing corebook with two new corebooks. The first is called Numenera Discovery and the second Numenera Destiny.”
It’s Monte Cook, it’s Numenera, it’s breathtaking art, it’s (as of this writing) over 2,400 backers and over $450,000, it’s one of the five 6- or 7-figure RPG Kickstarters running in October, 2017, and it’s going to be epic in every sense of the word. At this point, in the comparison between the five big games of the month, Numenera 2 is in the lead and, I believe, likely to stay there.
Never tried Numenera? Well, Monte Cook Games believes in their game and they have 17 free Numenera previews on DriveThruRPG. If you’re unsure, Monte Cook has enough samples to knock you off the fence one way or the other.
You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.
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:
Going to the ENnie Awards at Gen Con 50 in Indianapolis, Indiana? Need a date to the ENnies on Friday, August 18th, 2017? Then the ENnies have you covered – on eBay. There you can bid on eight dates with RPG companies and creators that are a wanna-lancer’s dream! Get gifts, meet the professionals behind them, and see them win awards all in one magical night!
The ENnie Awards Date Auction
Avoid going stag and get bonus swag!
[EDITOR’S NOTE – The slogans made up by Egg Embry are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the creative abilities of the editorial staff of the ENnies Awards.]
What swag? Owen KC Stephens comes with an autographed Starfinder Core Rulebook (system premiering at Gen Con 50).
What is Gen Con? “The largest gaming convention in the world held annually in Indianapolis, Indiana.”
What are the ENnies? “The Gen Con EN World RPG Awards (the “ENnies“) are an annual fan-based celebration of excellence in tabletop roleplaying gaming. The ENnies give game designers, writers and artists the recognition they deserve. It is a peoples’ choice award, and the final winners are voted upon online by the gaming public.”
This year, the Mistress of Ceremonies for the ENnies is Stacy Dellorfano, one of the most prominent individuals in gaming and the founder of ConTessa.
What is a “wanna-lancer”? A tabletop RPG fan that wants to become a tabletop RPG freelancer (i.e., Egg Embry).
What are you getting yourself into by bidding on one of these dates? A cocktail reception, an awards ceremony, four-and-a-half-hours to pester your “date” for Gary Gygax stories, swag (some of which is highly sought after), and the chance to network with some of the largest tabletop RPG publishers and professionals in the gaming world. If you want to talk with Chaosium, Cubicle 7, Monte Cook Games, andPelgrane Press, or gain industry insights from Sean Patrick Fannon, Stacy Muth, and Owen KC Stephens, these are the wanna-lancer dream dates for you!
“This year, the highest bidder will meet the staff of Cubicle 7. If you win, you will meet up at the cocktail reception starting at 6:30pm and sit with them during the 2017 ENnie Awards ceremony taking place at Gen Con on Friday, August 18th, at 8:00pm in the Grand Ballroom of Union Station. You will also receive their first three Adventures in Middle-earth books!”
How much value is this? The cover price of “their first three Adventures in Middle-earth books” in US dollars is nearly $120. Until the eBay bids reach above that level, meeting the staff of Cubicle 7 is gravy. The books are almost – almost – the win. But keep in mind, meeting Cubicle 7 is going to be good gravy. Do you love Tolkien-based RPGs? Do you love games featuring The Doctor? Is this a no-brainer? Trust them. They’re The Doctors [of RPG].
You’ll be at the table with Cubicle 7 when they learn if they won ENnie Awards for:
“This year, the highest bidder will meet Sean Patrick Fannon! If you win, you will meet up at the cocktail reception starting at 6:30pm and sit with him during the 2017 ENnie Awards ceremony taking place at Gen Con on Friday, August 18th, at 8:00pm in the Grand Ballroom of Union Station. You will also receive swag!”
Sean Patrick Fannon has been making a living gaming for going on 20 years. He’s worked for, helped run, and created with a who’s who of the major players in the games industry. Based on the games he’s created, he knows how to make an engaging product for the whole table to play. Your bid lets you sit down with him and hear about his journey or pick his brain for more good game design tips than you could learn in a year of production.
You’ll be with Sean when he learns if Pinnacle Entertainment Group won ENnie Awards for:
UPDATED on 13:25 2017-07-11 – From Sean Patrick Fannon Facebook post: “Plus I promise good swag, even if it’s from my private stock.” To help make the ENnies a success, Sean is going above and beyond for this.
“This year, the highest bidder will meet the design team of Monte Cook Games! If you win, you will meet up at the cocktail reception starting at 6:30pm and sit with him during the 2017 ENnie Awards ceremony taking place at Gen Con on Friday, August 18th, at 8:00pm in the Grand Ballroom of Union Station. You will also receive swag!
UPDATE: On Jul-11-17 at 11:57:25 PDT, seller added the following information:
We promise the Dream Date swag bag will contain really cool, high-end, one-of-a kind items.“
I really want to play No Thank You, Evil! for my EN Worldcolumn about games for all ages. Also because I hear it is everything that is good in this world. If that makes it into the swag bag, so much the better! [Just putting that into the atmosphere… <wink, wink>]
If you win this auction, you’ll have a chance to politely inquire about Numenera or The Strange or Cypher System or game design or marketing or STUNNING art or what’s coming next? Do not miss this table!
You’ll be with Monte Cook Games when they learn if they won ENnie Awards for:
“This year, the highest bidder will meet Owen KC Stephens! If you win, you will meet up at the cocktail reception starting at 6:30pm and sit with him during the 2017 ENnie Awards ceremony taking place at Gen Con on Friday, August 18th, at 8:00pm in the Grand Ballroom of Union Station. You will also receive:
a signed hardback copy of the Starfinder Roleplaying Game
What comes with this “date” is just shy of $115 worth of Starfinder products. It’ll save you standing in line to get them, and I think that’s going to be a LONG line at Paizo’s booth. Why will it be a long line? Because Gen Con 50 is the launch of Paizo’s Starfinder. Those books are likely to be on many must-have lists. The debut is going to be the defining memory for many attendees of this convention. For one winning bidder, they’ll get to sit with the design lead for the system. That’s going to be its own story. “Yeah, at Gen Con 50 I got to attend the ENnies with Owen as Starfinder was dropping. Oh, let me tell you what happened…” and stories shall follow.
You’ll be with Owen when he learns if Paizo won an ENnie Award for:
“This year, the highest bidder will meet the staff of Pelgrane Press and sit with them at [one of their two tables]! If you win, you will meet up at the cocktail reception starting at 6:30pm and sit with him during the 2017 ENnie Awards ceremony taking place at Gen Con on Friday, August 18th, at 8:00pm in the Grand Ballroom of Union Station. You will also receive autographed copy of Cthulhu Confidential and a t-shirt!”
Not to take away from Pelgrane’s other products, but The Yellow King is making itself known on Kickstarter. It’s doing impressive numbers! For the winning bidder for the Pelgrane dates (there’s two), they’ll get to sit down with the Pelgrane staff and find out more about that game as well as the rest of their catalog. I’m looking at you, 13th Age.
As an added bonus, Pelgrane Press is up for ENnie Awards for:
“This year, the highest bidder will meet Stacy Muth, our new business manager and one of our judges for 2016! If you win, you will meet up at the cocktail reception starting at 6:30pm and sit with her during the 2017 ENnie Awards ceremony taking place at Gen Con on Friday, August 18th, at 8:00pm in the Grand Ballroom of Union Station. You will also receive swag!”
Do you want to be an ENnie’s judge? How is it done? How many games do you get handed to judge? What goes into the legwork of picking the award nominees? What’s the business side of awards like? Stacy will know.
“This year, the highest bidder will meet the team of Chaosium! If you win, you will meet up at the cocktail reception starting at 6:30pm and sit with her during the 2017 ENnie Awards ceremony taking place at Gen Con on Friday, August 18th, at 8:00pm in the Grand Ballroom of Union Station. You will also receive swag! Swag Will Be: In honor of Gen Cons’s 50th and to celebrate the 40-odd years Chaosium has had a booth at Gen Con, we offer up a nostalgic mix of old and new goodies from the vaults and also hot off the presses.
Included in your swag box will be:
1. Call of Cthulhu 7th edition slipcase set.
2. An additional CoC slipcase you can fill with any of our 7th edition releases of your choosing.
Sanity check. The items they’re giving away are worth a pretty penny (several hundred dollars worth). I can’t predict the final bids but this auction may give you enough swag that meeting the Chaosium team is just a wonderful bonus. You’ll have enough Cthulhu product to make you something like a minor young one… right? Right? No? Ok…
Chaosium is up for 10 ENnie Awards. Between them walking up to get their awards, you can ask about Call of Cthulhu and RuneQuest and more. With this many awards, this is going to be an adrenaline rush of a night!
You’ll be at the table with Chaosium when they learn if they won ENnie Awards for:
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: