Press Release: Nerdburger Games Convention Season and More!

Hello NerdBurgerlings!
Here’s a quick rundown of what’s going on in NerdBurgerLand.

CAPERS Noir

CAPERS Noir is done and in the wild. You can check it out HERE. 68 pages of cops, criminals, mystery, and monster, for just $9.99.

The Convention Season

I’ll be at GenCon with Team NerdBurger and we’ll be running a ton of my games. Most events are full up, but you’ll be able to play CAPERS and Die Laughing at Games on Demand for large chunks of the convention. I’ve kept my evenings open for dinner and schmoozing. If you’re going to be at the convention, keep an eye on my Twitter for an update on where I am and feel free to swing by and hang out.

I’ll be at Cleveland Geekster in Cleveland, TN on Saturday, September 21. If you’re local, swing on by!

I’ll be hitting up Conapalooza with a friend on October 11-13. We’ll have a booth in the dealer hall and and we’ll both be running some of my games in the RPG area. Evenings are reserved for hanging out.

[NOTE: Egg will attend Conapalooza with Craig.]

And I’ll be at MultiverseCon in Atlanta on October 18-20. I’ll be manning a booth in the dealer hall with CAPERS graphic designer Owen. And maybe doing some other stuff. Specifics TBD.

Wanna Playtest?

I’ll be looking for playtesters for CAPERS Offworld (early 20th century retro-future sci-fi cops and rubbers with super-powers) a bit later this year. The best place to get involved with that is to get on the NerdBurger Games Discord.

CAPERS on Roll20

CAPERS is available for Roll20!
Rules. Setting. GM info. Cards. Maps. Tokens. It’s all there.

That’ll do it for now. Thanks for supporting NerdBurger Games.

What Kickstarters Excite Creators? Swordsfall, CAPERS Noir, Justice Velocity, and Snowhaven

After so many nice things were said about Welcome to Tikor last week, I reached out to Brandon Dixon to find out what RPG Kickstarters he’s looking forward to. As well as his reviews, there are a number of nice things said about a personal favorite of mine, Critical Core, plus we hear about a convention. Let’s see what RPG Kickstarters these creators are looking forward to:

 

Snowhaven for Fifth Edition by High Level Games

Ends: Sun, March 31 2019 11:56 AM EDT.

Snowhaven is a Snowpunk Fantasy setting for the 5th Edition of the world’s oldest and most popular roleplaying game system.”

High Level Games recommends:

Swordsfall is amazing, it’s a project creating an afro-futurist world and the depth of the worldbuilding on display is staggering, in a good way. The project has gone through the roof and I’d love to see this go even higher. The more diverse and deep projects we have out there the better.

Which brings me to my second suggestion, which is Critical Core by Game to Grow. This project presents a game system for autistic youth. As I’m a huge fan of working with kids interested in gaming and helping use games as therapeutic devices this just checks all the boxes for me.”

 

Welcome to Tikor | The Swordsfall RPG Setting and Art Book by Brandon Dixon

Ends: Wed, April 10 2019 11:01 AM EDT.

“An Afropunk Sci-Fantasy world brimming with ancient magic and future tech.”

Brandon Dixon recommends:

Critical Core looks fantastic. I’m a big fan of products that seek to involve marginalized groups and make them apart of the experience. It has a such a cool story behind it as well. It was created by a father who wanted to help his autistic son get into gaming.

Veil of the Void is doing great work with their game. I have nothing but love for a sci-fi project by another person of color. I really want to see them get funded, they’re a bit over 50% with two weeks to go. I really want to see them win. The art is great and the book direction is amazing.”

 

Justice Velocity: An Action Movie Inspired Tabletop RPG by Polyhedra Games

Ends: Thu, April 4 2019 12:24 PM EDT.

“A D6-based tabletop roleplaying game inspired by the action movie universe”

Clipper Arnold of Polyhedra Games recommends:

Manifest RPG‘s space western setting looks really unique and interesting. The style of the cover art, especially, looks great. There are major Firefly vibes for sure–and rolling a fist of D20s sounds like a lot of fun.

Prowlers and Paragons Ultimate Edition also looks really great. The art looks really top notch, and I’m a fan of D6 systems. I’ve never played P&P or Champions, but have had a lot of fun with stuff like Mutants & Masterminds. I have high hopes from the team working on this as they all appear to be game design veterans.”

 

CAPERS Noir RPG by NerdBurger Games

Ends: Thu, April 11 2019 9:00 PM EDT.

“An RPG of Criminals, Cops, Mystery, and Monsters…with Super-Powers!”

Craig Campbell of NerdBurger Games recommends:

“I’ve been a guest at AcadeCon the past two years and will be again this year.

AcadeCon is my favorite convention. It’s small and intimate, maybe 500-600 attendees. It’s RPG heavy. It has bunches of great guests from both the RPG design world and the podcast world. The RPG Academy has built a great community around their podcasts and that community shows up for AcadeCon. It’s inviting, friendly, inclusive, and fun. I have never regretted going.”

NOTE: I featured CAPERS Noir before (here) but I added it again after Craig and I talked about AcadeCon and their Kickstarter, and he gave it a glowing recommendation.

 

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The project selections and opinions expressed by the contributors are solely their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Egg Embry or the Tessera Guild.

What Kickstarters Excite Creators? CAPERS Noir, Dino Wrangers, Manifest, and Absconding

I backed into this column in which I ask RPG Kickstarter creators what games they’re excited about on Kickstarter/Indiegogo, but I’ve grown to really enjoy getting other creator’s feedback. It lets creators share what they are looking at and helps shine the spotlight on quality games. Some of the RPGs listed below are collecting multiple recommendations, all genuine votes for their quality. This week there are recommendations from:

CAPERS Noir RPG by NerdBurger Games

Ends: Thu, April 11 2019 9:00 PM EDT.

“An RPG of Criminals, Cops, Mystery, and Monsters…with Super-Powers!”

Craig Campbell of NerdBurger Games recommends:

“I’m digging Hair Metal Horror: Glam Metal Horror RPG Zines. Being a child of the 80s and a huge horror movie fan, this one really speaks to me. Plenty of 80s horror movies had rocking soundtracks, and the mash up of glam metal and horror is just too good to pass up. Mash ups like these just go to prove, if you can think of an RPG idea, there’s a game for it. The description makes it look incredibly fun with plenty of horrific elements, but dotted through with glam rock and humor.

Also on my radar is Dino Wranglers – Zine Quest. A family RPG, it’s about wrangling dinosaurs but with a thoughtfulness that can be missing from some games. Specifically, the characters are “tending to the safety and wellbeing of the creatures in their charge.” The game uses a token system that younger players will easily grasp. It’s designed by a parent who found they were having a hard time enjoying playing RPGs with their kids. So they made a game that would do what those other games didn’t. And that’s very much in the spirit of indie game design.”

Dino Wranglers – Zine Quest by Rachelle Dube

Ends: Thu, March 28 2019 11:08 AM EDT.

“A pick-up-and-play narrative RPG for families about overcoming obstacles as a dinosaur wrangler.”

Rachelle Dube recommends:

With Kickstarter’s Zine Quest and several game designer friends putting out bigger projects, 2019 has been absolutely brutal. My wallet only goes so far! I’ll limit myself to three I pulled out of a virtual hat.

First: Escape from Dino Island by the Sams—Sam Roberts and Sam Tung. We’re all about dinosaurs in our house! The fact that it is designed for one- or two-shots makes it perfect for those random nights friends pop by or plague hits our usual gaming groups. If Sam Tung wasn’t doing, you know, his own Kickstarter, I would have loved to have his art in Dino Wranglers! This game checks a lot of boxes for me, and I can’t wait to get it!

Second: Mythsea: Legends of the Borderlands by Jay Iles. She describes it as emulating, “Final Fantasy 12 crossed with Steven Universe. You’re crystal-powered heroes sent to a conquered territory to make it useful for your masters, but as you play (and grow invested in the territory) you’ll develop new loyalties and see your homeland in a whole new light.” I’m probably one of two people that haven’t ever played any Final Fantasy games, but it’s beautiful and engaging, so I’m interested anyway!

Third: Swordsfall: An Afropunk Sci Fantasy Setting by Brandon Dixon, AKA Tikal. I’ve been following him for a while on Twitter, and I’ve been following this project for a while now. I love everything about the setting and art, I can’t wait to get it on my table. Full disclosure, Tikal will write a scenario for my game, Dino Wranglers, if it hits the $2100 stretch goal.

NOTES:

Manifest the RPG by Waypoint Game Designs

Ends: Mon, April 1 2019 3:00 PM EDT.

“An exciting and immersive Sci-Fi Western tabletop roleplaying game”

Waypoint Game Designs recommends:

“Here at Waypoint Game Designs we’re really intrigued by Grey Cells. We’re big fans of the crime genre. And the exclusion of an charisma stat is an interesting way to equalize the player’s opportunity to “break the case.”

The other live Kickstarter we’re fans of is Justice Velocity by Polyhedra Games. Their fast and loose, adrenaline filled RP experience seems like it will be a lot of fun to play at any table.

We are totally in love with Swordsfall: An Afropunk Sci Fantasy Setting. We missed it on our first pass because it looks like a setting guide, not a complete game. But on closer inspection it looks like there’s so much to love, we’ve already backed it and the people who make it are kind of amazing. And we can’t wait to get our hands on it!!”

NOTES:

Absconding: Indie RPG zine for 5E by Joshua Rivera

Ends: Thu, March 28 2019 8:45 AM EDT.

Absconding is one part literary/fantasy/sci-fi journal, one part ephemeral art magazine, and one part fifth edition game material.”

Joshua Rivera recommends:

“I backed these projects, and I want to give them a highlight.

CHTHONIC CORNBELT by Lee Barber is a weird little zine that’s pulpy and resembles advertising print design from the 1980s. It’s implied world reminds me of what an 80s baby would dream up in their notebook margins between boring math lectures and a substitute teacher day. The little pieces of ephemera on display will surely be a springboard for some fantastic ideas.

Be Witching is an RPG from Anna Anthropy, whose work in indie games I’ve followed for over a decade now. This is an adorably designed, inclusive game where players are even encouraged to draw their characters, which should be a very nice twist the first time I’ll run this. Also, this ostensibly being a game simulating prom night interviews, this is likely to get very passionate.

Yugika appears to be a zine full of RPG miscellany from Joesph Reid and friends. Each copy will also be painstakingly hand-bound with string, which is just fascinating to me. Yugika seems to be having trouble making it’s goal, so I really hope people decide to check this out and help bring it to fruition.

PRESS RELEASE – NerdBurger Games Presents CAPERS Noir!

NerdBurger Games Presents CAPERS Noir!

It’s the 1940s in the United States. World War 2 has wrought such destruction that the veil between this world and the world of the dead has thinned. Monsters have crept in. You are a criminal or a cop in a noir landscape of crime, corruption, red eyes in the shadows, and bumps in the night…and you have super-powers!

Kickstarter

9 QUESTIONS WITH CRAIG CAMPBELL (NERD BURGER GAMES) ABOUT DIE LAUGHING

I met Craig Campbell of Nerdburger Games at the Atlanta Science Fiction and Fantasy Expo. He was at a table with pre-ENnie Award winner, Derek Kamal (of Heavy Metal Thunder Mouse fame). We chatted for a minute and he pitched me on two of his projects, CAPERS RPG and Die Laughing. I bought the CAPERS Quickstart and, later on, did an interview with Craig about CAPERS (here). At AndoCon, I ran into Craig again and he invited me to try out Die Laughing. That was an excellent time! Let me quote the quick pitch for Die Laughing:

“The zero-prep, horror-comedy RPG that puts the laughter in slaughter. […] Everyone’s going to die. It’s just a matter of when and how funny you can make it. Even after your character is gone, there are multiple ways for you to remain involved and influence the story right up until the bloody end.”

With the Kickstarter is running until November 21st, I wanted to talk with Craig about CAPERS, Die Laughing, and highlight the fact that the game is just $10 so price is kept low so it’s not a barrier!

EGG EMBRY (EGG): Craig, thanks for talking RPGs with me. Let’s start with your Kickstarter for Die Laughing. I played the preview version of Die Laughing at AndoCon. I don’t know whether I did good or bad, but I survived the game, so I never got to play as a producer. How does the producer role impact player engagement compared to an RPG where your character dies and you spend the rest of the night rolling up a new one?

CC: In Die Laughing, when your character dies, and most of them do, you take on the role of producer for the rest of the game (in addition to a few other things). You have producer points that you can spend once per scene to do something to affect the scene, such as lowering the effects budget or introducing positive test scores for a character, forcing them into the scene because the test audience likes them.

While you don’t necessarily spend a point every scene, I’ve had players remark that they remain very engaged with the story, plotting for the perfect time to mess with the story. Producers play a little mind game by themselves (and sometimes with other producers), seeking out a chance to really impact what’s going on in the movie you’re all creating at the table.

EGG: This game is mostly done, correct? How quickly do you hope to deliver the finished product to backers?

CC: Everything is written and playtested. I’ve added a few things that will need an editing pass. Much of the artwork is done, with a few illustrations left to go. The basic layout template is complete and much of it is laid out.

I MIGHT release a “first cut” of the game with whatever’s done, just as a PDF, right after the Kickstarter ends. This will be a playable game but won’t have all the alternate rules and additional monsters/characters that still need illustration and layout. We’ll finish all of that up and release a “final cut” of the game, hopefully within 2-3 months. But that will depend on how fast we can get a print proof turned around. November and December are notoriously slow months for ordering physical books from DriveThruRPG.com. Darn those holidays and all that wonderful gift-giving!

EGG: Despite being largely in the can, this game has some options to be expanded. In your wildest dreams [nightmares], what are you aiming for with this project?

CC: The hope is 24 characters, 24 monsters, a bunch of alternate rules and play aids, along with the core rules. I think it’ll come in around 100 or so pages. That would be the “Director’s Cut” of the game, so to speak. The biggest and best version of the game.

EGG: The number of backer rewards is ballooning quickly! 😛 This started with one option – Die Laughing for $10. What else have you decided to offer?

CC: That’s the “Victim” level. There are three “Survivor” levels that also get you the PDF for one or both of my previous RPGs (Murders & Acquisitions and CAPERS). Essentially, each adds an additional $10 to your pledge (while the PDFs are normally a $15 value). The Survivor levels have proven to be pretty popular.

EGG: You recently fulfilled your last Kickstarter, CAPERS RPG. What is CAPERS about? How has the reaction been?

CC: CAPERS is a super-powered game of gangsters in the Roaring Twenties. Players portray criminals using their powers to create their empire OR members of law enforcement using their powers to bring those criminals to justice. The Kickstarter for CAPERS went very well and well over 500 people are enjoying their Kickstarter rewards (which included not just the game book but also all sorts of PDF support materials and play aids).

The reaction has been incredibly positive. I’ve started to see a nice little community growing on the NerdBurger Games Discord. People are talking about hacking/houseruling the game. Questions are asked and answered. People are being friendly and talking about other geeky stuff. Every time a new person starts talking on the Discord or sends me a photo of their just-received CAPERS book on social media, I get a little more joy and feel a little more proud of CAPERS.

EGG: You run Nerdburger Games and do a podcast. Creator, publisher, advertiser, and local game organizer [NOTE: Craig and I are building an Atlanta-based indy RPG group. In Atlanta and want to game? Ping one of us]. Why wear all the hats instead of letting another company publish your work or the like?

CC: It all sort of happened by accident. I created Murders & Acquisitions and decided to Kickstart it myself. That went well and while I was wrapping it up, I started on CAPERS. Once I had M&A in the bag, it only seemed natural to just forge ahead as NerdBurger Games and continue self-publishing my games.

Doing it all myself has downsides. It’s a LOT of work, but I don’t mind it. Creating RPG stuff is something I would do anyway. I’m able to create these little, niche games that I love and that I can make exactly how I want them to be. That affords me the ability to NOT have to answer to others in what the games should be. It’s incredibly liberating to share my creative vision on my own terms.

And that’s a BIG upside that far outweighs the downsides of having to do all the work myself. Though, truth be told, I don’t do it all myself. I have enlisted a wide variety of very capable and talented freelancers to do the things I can’t and have found a nice little cadre of fans who love playtesting my games. It’s a group effort, for sure.

EGG: What is your podcast? What do you cover on it?

CC: I’ve been doing the NerdBurger Podcast for well over five years now with my good friend Mike (who has also contributed his art and layout talents to my games). The podcast is a weekly, hour-long potpourri of nerdy/geeky discussion on all manner of topics, all slathered over with a healthy dose of humor and camaraderie.

We have a rotating panel of regular guests and bring in special guests as well. We keep things very conversational. Over five years of a new episode every single Wednesday.

EGG: What else are you working on right now?

CC: As CAPERS finishes out its fulfillment and Die Laughing wraps up, the next big thing is CAPERS Noir. This supplement to the CAPERS game progresses the game from the 1920s to the 1940s. Gone is Prohibition era gangster action. CAPERS Noir is a crime noir game. You need the CAPERS core game to play it, but CAPERS Noir will be filled with 50 or so pages of new character options, new rules (including investigation rules), new powers, an L.A. backdrop, and some other surprises. It just went into playtesting.

If CAPERS Noir is well-received, I have plans for two more supplements. CAPERS Covert will take things to the 1960s in Las Vegas and be a crime/law story pastiche built around old-school, James Bond style agents and villains. CAPERS Offworld will tie all three eras together and bring CAPERS to outer space with Buck Rogers/Flash Gordon style interstellar crime fun in an old-school ray-gun and alien style.

EGG: For fans interested in your Kickstarter, where can they find it and you?

CC: The Die Laughing Kickstarter ends on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. As an indie creator, I strive to be as accessible and transparent as possible. My fans mean the world to me.

If you dig my games, swing on by the NerdBurger Games website. I blog fairly regularly and love sharing what I’m working on at the moment.

And I’m on a bunch of social media where I love chatting with folks.

Links

 

This Kickstarter end on Wed, November 21 2018 9:00 PM EST. Click here to check it out.

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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).

10 Questions about the Capers RPG with Craig Campbell (NerdBurger Games)

During AndoCon 2018 in Atlanta, I had the pleasure of playing Craig Campbell’s GM-less RPG, Die Laughing. Craig supervised (and Tweeted) some of the best moments from this horror-comedy-movie romp in which the point is to die onscreen hilariously and come back as… a movie producer! It’s a fun party game on the lighter side of RPG. During the con he also discussed another RPG gem (for which he’s running a Kickstarter), CAPERS.

EGG EMBRY – Craig, thanks for talking CAPERS RPG here. What’s it about?

CRAIG CAMPBELLCAPERS is a superpowered game of gangsters in the Roaring Twenties. You play gangsters and bootleggers looking to make your fortunes. Alternatively, you can portray members of law enforcement looking to bring these criminals to justice. Either way, you have superpowers!

 

EGG – What inspired the idea of superpowered gangsters?

CRAIG CAMPBELL – It started as wanting to make a supers game but not one set in the modern day. There are plenty of RPGs that do that. So I want looking into history. After trying a few ideas on, I settled into the 1920s, a period I find fascinating. As I worked on the game, it became apparent to me that I wasn’t designing a supers game, not really. And it certainly wasn’t a superHEROES game. I was designing a gangster game where the gangsters happen to have powers. That realization informed every design decision I made moving forward.

EGG – I talked about your GM-less, comedy RPG, Die Laughing, in the opening of this article. How different will CAPERS RPG be from that experience?

CRAIG CAMPBELL – Well, they’re both RPGs. Beyond that, they’re pretty different. CAPERS is a more traditional RPG. A bunch of players portraying characters with a GM guiding everything. You can play one shots or a campaign. There’s character advancement and rewards. Recurring antagonists and exploration of themes and tropes over a period of time. Die Laughing is a GM-less, short-play story game that’s designed to be run as a one-shot. It’s also much funnier and laced through with exaggeration, hyperbole, and a self-awareness of horror movie tropes.

 

EGG – Do you think The Mystery of Al Capone’s Vaults would have been better with booby-traps?

CRAIG CAMPBELL – For sure. That said, it would have been better if there had been ANYTHING in the vault. Anything at all.

EGG – Ha! True, true, true!

Moving on, as the publisher, can you highlight one pledge level/backer reward from that campaign that you think is the standout for CAPERS RPG?

CRAIG CAMPBELL – I love all my babies equally. That said, the Jacks and Jills level is the “super-fan” level. All the PDFs. A book and CAPERS themed deck of playing cards shipped to you. You get to create an NPC who fills an important role in the game. And the illustration for this NPC is your likeness, appearing both in the book and on one of the jacks in the playing card deck.

 

EGG – I love getting to participate in the game with a NPC. Very cool reward!

Tell us a little about you, what was the game that changed you into a gamer?

CRAIG CAMPBELL – D&D was my first RPG experience, specifically a Ravenloft game (which is poetic since I’m a horror movie fan). I played a bunch of RPGs throughout college, not just D&D. I think it was that experience as a whole that transformed me into a gamer, knowing that there were so many different games and getting a chance to play a bunch of them.

EGG – What prompted you to create NerdBurger Games?

CRAIG CAMPBELL – I had been freelancing for D&D (along with a little Pathfinder, Gamma World, and Iron Kingdoms) for several years. As Wizards of the Coast ramped down D&D 4E and started playtesting 5E, my freelancing started to dry up. So like a sucker, I decided to try to make my own RPG. That became Murders & Acquisitions and the beginning of NerdBurger Games.

 

EGG – As a Kickstarter veteran, what have you learned from your prior gaming Kickstarters?

CRAIG CAMPBELL – Kickstarters are a lot of work. People told me that before the first one. I said, “yeah, yeah, mine is a little game and I probably won’t even get that many backers.” Eight months later, after the Kickstarter and the publishing/fulfillment stages took up a significant amount of my free time, I understand. Now I understand.

EGG – What other projects are you currently developing?

CRAIG CAMPBELL – Die Laughing is the big one. It’s likely to be the next RPG from NerdBurger Games. I’m also tinkering with a very simple RPG that parents and kids can play together. And I have an idea for a sort of, kind of science fiction-ish game that takes place during an apocalypse that features an interesting twist.

EGG – Any parting thoughts? Where can we find out more about CAPERS RPG and NerdBurger Games?

CRAIG CAMPBELL – Thanks so much for having me do this interview. And thanks to all the people who have backed CAPERS so far. I hope to be able to say that to many more people in the coming days. You can learn more about my game stuff at NerdBurgerGames.com. On Twitter, I’m @NerdBurgerCraig. You can buy stuff at DriveThruRPG.com, but check the CAPERS Kickstarter first. M&A is an add-on there. So if you like both games, you can get a sweet deal.

 

You can find out more about the campaign here – CAPERS.

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

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

 

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Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

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

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).