Funding RPG News

Image from https://steemit.com/photography/@hamzaali/best-free-non-copyrighted-images-from-the-internet-part-1

Do you read RPG news? Like most of the games and accessories that make up tabletop roleplaying games, producing it is a labor of love, and by “labor of love,” I mean it costs money. If you click on any major media online news site, you’ll see walls of ads along with paywalls requiring you to buy a subscription to know what’s going on in the wider world. Reporting the news costs. Just like those websites, RPG news sites have costs that have to be defrayed including paying for the site, site upgrades, the journalists, the editors, any budget to cover conventions or specific stories, and more. Without bombarding you with ads (BleedingCool) or creating a paywall (ICv2), how is reporting the stories that impact your gaming table paid for? To answer that, I review three RPG news sites and how they keep the lights on. This is not an in-depth examination of their finances or records, instead this piece looks at the visible and public means by which they pay for their works.

[Disclaimer: I freelance for EN World and OGN.]

EN World: Morrus’ Unofficial Tabletop RPG News

This site is one of the largest RPG news sites in the English-reading world, with content focused on D&D and Pathfinder, as well as other TTRPGs. The site is part of EN Publishing, which produced several well-funded Kickstarters including the recent success, Judge Dredd and the World of 2000 AD RPG.

How is EN World funded? The easiest way to see how the site makes a return is via ads. Like all of the sites that I’ll mention in this article, EN World makes use of game-related banner ads that generate revenue through views/impressions/clicks. Beyond that, there are more direct methods that fund EN World including contributions via Patreon. The following Patreons represent a variety of content from journalism to podcasts to games:

Beyond Patreons, EN Publishing’s finished content is available through DriveThruRPG here.

Clearly, there are many ways to support EN Publishing, but what’s the best way to support articles on EN World? Of those, the primary option is their EN World Patreon. Contributions to that Patreon go directly to funding the articles you enjoy on EN World.

Open Gaming Network

This site is the hub for John Reyst’s family of Open Gaming sites including the Open Gaming Store and his massive collection of SRDs for different games. What sites does John support? d20PFSRD, Starjammer SRD, 3.5e SRD, 5th Edition SRD, Swords and Wizardry SRD, Black Hack SRD, 13th Age SRD, d20HeroSRD, The Modern Path SRD, Dungeon World SRDTraveller SRD, GumshoeSRD, FateCoreSRD, FudgeSRD as well as the Open Gaming Network.

With that many sites, the better question might be: how does he pay for all of them? Like the other websites on this list, the sites draw some revenue from game-centric ads. Beyond that, there’s a few other options:

  • Open Gaming Store : A TTRPG-specific online store that allows vendors to sale their products while taking a small commission per sale. Any sale made via the OGS leads to revenue that keeps the OGN and SRD sites going. Currently, their rates are listed as “20% on digital (downloadable) products or 30% on physical products that WE ship.” [Source]
  • d20PFSRD.com Patreon : This Patreon allows you to direct-fund the whole of the Open Gaming Network’s variety of sites and, at certain levels, provides you with discounts to the OGS and/or access to all of the d20PFSRD.com Publishing material.
  • d20PFSRD.com content is available on DriveThruRPG here : There’s a mantra that’s something like, “Be where your customers are.” d20PFSRD.com Publishing could only sale through the OGS, but they want to be available to their fans so they decided to cast a wider net and appear on DTRPG.

With those choices, what is the best way to support the Open Gaming Network? Direct contributions to their Patreon ensure that they can continue to create new content for the games you love while delivering some RPG news. Alternately, if you’re not able to contribute monetarily, but still want to assist, the Open Gaming Network is looking for OGL/SRD transcribers and compensating them for their efforts. To learn the details, click here.

RPG.net

“RPGnet is the oldest & largest independent roleplaying site on the Internet. It was founded in 1996 by Emma Antunes and is now owned and run by Skotos Tech, an online game company.” [Source]

Like the prior RPG sites, RPGnet makes use of ads to support its content. Beyond rotating ads, RPGnet focuses on curating sponsors and patrons that fit with its culture and direction. These sponsors include some well-known game companies and services:

  • Skotos Tech : “Skotos Tech offers a theater for multiplayer interactive fiction. It hosts a community of StoryPlayers, who enjoy playing in other people’s worlds, and StoryBuilders, who enjoy creating worlds for them. Skotos’ technology, in the form of the StoryBuilder Server, brings them together.” [Source]
  • DriveThruRPG : “DriveThruRPG.com is part of a family of premiere online marketplaces including RPGNow [closing soon], DriveThruRPG, DriveThruCards, DMsGuild, DriveThruComics, DriveThruFiction, and Wargame Vault. Together, we have been selling digital and print-on-demand comic books, roleplaying games, and fiction since 2001.” [Source]
  • Scabard : “A freemium website for organizing RPG campaigns.” [Source]

Beyond those sponsors, there are fan contributions gathered through their annual Indiegogo campaign. Until December 19th, RPGnet 2018 Membership Drive is live on Indiegogo allowing backers to contribute to improving RPGnet. Backing this campaign not only supports RPGnet, it can grant you a set of 10 RPG PDFs:

  • Pelgrane Press’ Book of Ages for 13th Age
  • Pelgrane Press’ Loot Harder for 13th Age
  • Rogues Games’ Embrace for 5E
  • Flying Buffalo’s T&T Adventures Japan for Tunnels & Trolls
  • Legendary Games’ Legendary Planet for Starfinder
  • Arc Dream’s The Unspeakable Oath #25
  • Rogue Games’ 3e Colonial Gothic Rulebook
  • Rogue Games’ Colonial Gothic Atlas
  • Rogue Games’ adventure Flames of Freedom: Beginnings
  • Posthuman Studio’s Transhumanity’s Fate: The Fate Conversion Guide for Eclipse Phase
  • And a membership to RPGnet

What’s the best way to support RPGnet? Their Indiegogo RPGnet 2018 Membership Drive is your only direct option, and it ends on December 19th, 2018 so check it out here while you can.

For a little more on their philosophy, here’s RPGnet’s thoughts on ads from their Indiegogo campaign:

Though ads and affiliations pay some of our costs, we are picky about which ads and ad networks we use, so that we can maintain high-quality ads that are likely to be of interest and that won’t distract our readers. We’ve opted out of high-value ads that include audio, that expand, or that are placed as interstitials between pages. We forbid dating ads, gambling ads, gold-farming ads, political ads, and certain other categories of advertising.

As a result, we occasionally ask RPGnet readers to become members, in order to help support the community. We’ve done this on a somewhat ad hoc basis in the past, but now that crowdfunding has matured, we’ve turned to IndieGoGo for our annual RPGnet Membership Drive.

We hope that you’ll join us, and help to support the RPGnet community.

PRESS RELEASE – Update Your Favorite SRD for Fun & Profit!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

UPDATE YOUR FAVORITE SRDs FOR FUN & PROFIT!

Transcribe OGL Content for the Open Gaming Network

Interested in being paid to add Open Game License (OGL) content to the Open Gaming Network’s SRD sites? The Open Gaming Network is looking for transcribers to copy OGL content onto our SRD (System Reference Documents) sites. You’ll pick your favorite OGL system, such as 5e, Pathfinder, Traveller, and many more, then select from a list of products that need to be uploaded. In exchange for updating these tabletop RPG community resources you’ll receive:

    • A PDF copy of the book that you selected from the Open Gaming Store
    • Open Gaming Store credit equal to the value of the book the content came from, upon completion of adding said content

Owen KC Stephens [Starfinder Design Lead at Paizo Inc. and Founder, Lead Developer at Rogue Genius Games] shared these thoughts about this job, “I think it’s a fine idea.” He continued, “I once had the temporary job of entering phone book names and address and numbers. It was spectacularly boring–but I could do it from my home, at my pace, on my schedule. So yeah, you can pay reliable people to do this kind of work. And it’s possible there’s a way to leverage connections to 3PP and freelancers who want exposure to get the reliable people, while also paying those folks.”

Sound good? Then go to http://account.opengamingnetwork.com/manage/editrequest, register to get a username (log in using the password “xyzzy”), then message John Reyst via the Fans of d20pfsrd.com Facebook group, or email him at help@opengamingstore.com, and he’ll work with you to choose which site and book you can add content for.

The 100% FREE reference websites making up the Open Gaming Network’s SRD sites are d20PFSRD, Starjammer SRD, 3.5e SRD, 5th Edition SRD, Swords and Wizardry SRD, Black Hack SRD, 13th Age SRD, d20HeroSRD, The Modern Path SRD, Dungeon World SRDTraveller SRD, GumshoeSRD, FateCoreSRD, FudgeSRD as well as the Open Gaming Network, and Open Gaming Store

Additional requirements: Some HTML knowledge is useful but not required. The sites are all hosted on WordPress. We have some tools that may speed up these assignments.

 

What is an Open Game License (OGL)? “A royalty free copyright license [originally] developed by Wizards of the Coast.” [Taken from “Open Game License: Frequently Asked Questions Version 2.0 — January 26, 2004] Unique OGLs have been developed by other companies to cover their original game mechanics.

What is a System Reference Documents (SRD)? “A comprehensive toolbox consisting of rules, races, classes, feats, skills, various systems, spells, magic items and monsters compatible with the d20 System version of Dungeons & Dragons and various other roleplaying games from Wizards of the Coast.” [Taken from “System Reference Document: Frequently Asked Questions“] Additional unique SRDs have been developed by other companies to cover their original game mechanics.

What is the Open Gaming Network? A family of websites owned by John Reyst that cover tabletop roleplaying game information, news, publication, and distribution/sales. Learn more here.

OPEN GAMING NEWSLETTER – Free Sandstalker (Starfinder Monster), Free Starjammer PDF, End of Year Sale, and RPG KSs You Should Back!

END OF YEAR BLOW-OUT SALE ATOPENGAMINGSTORE.COM!

Almost ALL physical goods (things we SHIP TO YOU)  are…

30% OFF in October!
Whatever is left in November is 40% OFF!!
Whatever is left in December is 50% OFF!!!

ALSO FLAT-RATE SHIPPING $6.00 for ALL orders or FREE SHIPPING orders $50 OR MORE!!!

WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

Check out everything on sale now!

Open Gaming Network Updates

We’ve added a new, better, problem reporting feature! See open issues here, or report a new problem here!

Newest Pages on d20pfsrd.com!

Recent Changes on d20pfsrd.com!

Don't make me kill puppies!

Hey Everyone! John here! As you may (or may not know) I have built and manage a LOT of roleplaying game rules reference websites for various Open Game System games. Here’s a few!

All of these websites provide 100% open game content for the associated roleplaying games and it takes a lot of time, effort, and cost to keep them all updated.

The funds raised in my Patreon help keep all of them up and running and up-to-date with the latest open game content on a regular basis. Your contributions will help support the purchase of open gaming materials to use to add to the websites as well as help keep all of the necessary pieces up and running (like my electric bill, gas to cook my food with and keep me alive in the winter… lol)

Consider Backing My Patreon!

Most Popular Products in the Open Gaming Store!

Here are the most popular products in the Open Gaming Store for the last 30 days!

  1. Pirate Campaign Compendium (Pathfinder) by Legendary Games
  2. Hybrid Blood by Silver Games
  3. Alien Bestiary (Starfinder) by Legendary Games
  4. Path of War by Dreamscarred Press
  5. Ultimate Psionics PLUS by Dreamscarred Press
  6. In the Company of Dragons Expanded by Rite Publishing
  7. Spheres of Power by Drop Dead Studios
  8. Path of War: Expanded by Dreamscarred Press
  9. Deluxe Pathfinder Character Sheet (Form-fillable) by Notsonoble’s Gaming
  10. Starfinder RPG: Core Rulebook (HC) by Paizo, Inc.

Remember! When you shop the Open Gaming Store you help keep the Pathfinder SRD website (as well as several other 100% FREE rules reference websites) going! Not only that, more of your dollars go directly to the publishers of the products you buy than when you shop anywhere else because the sales commission at the Open Gaming Store is THE LOWEST OF ANY ONLINE STORE.

Plus… YOU GET FREE STUFF!

For every $20 in your order you get ANY one (1) PDF listed here absolutely FREE! Just include a comment in your order indicating which books you’d like!

MORE FREE STUFF!

Rogue Genius Games donated a pile of PDFs for you to be able to choose 100% FREE with orders over $20 along with all of the d20pfsrd.com Publishing PDFs! Check out what’s available here!

Join the Fans of d20pfsrd.com Facebook Group!
Shop the Open Gaming Store
Follow on Twitter
Read the OGN Blog!
Chat on Discord!

Free OGL Content!

The following monster first appeared on the Open Gaming Network blog, and stalks your low-level Starfinder PCs in silence!

Sandstalker CR 2

What looks like a cross between a scorpion and a lizard bursts from the dunes, sun glinting off its dark carapace and the stinger already arcing over its back.

N Huge animal
Init +2; Senses low-light vision, blindsense (movement) 10 ft.; Perception +7

DEFENSE HP 25

EAC 13; KAC 14
Fort +6; Ref +6; Will +1
Resistance fire 1

OFFENSE

Speed 40 ft., burrow 15 ft.
Melee pincers +7 (1d6+7 S, grab), stinger +10 (1d6+5 P, fleshrot venom)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft.

STATISTICS

Str +5; Dex +2; Con +2; Int -5; Wis +1; Cha -1
Skills Athletics +12, Stealth +7, Survival +7
Languages none

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Fleshrot Venom (Ex)

A sandstalker’s stinger is loaded with a nasty payload of acid and venom. On a successful stinger attack, the target must make a DC 11 Fortitude check or be injected with fleshrot venom. If afflicted, this venom requires a DC 11 Fortitude save every turn. Every failed save causes it to progress one step down the Constitution poison track. Curing this affliction requires either three successful saves, which need not be consecutive, or one dose of antivenom derived from sandstalker saliva. The antivenom can be created using at least one bulk of saliva and a successful DC 10 Medicine check. A sandstalker’s body can be harvested for 1d4 bulk of saliva and 1d2 doses of fleshrot venom, each requiring a DC 13 Survival check to harvest.

ECOLOGY

Environment deserts, dry grasslands, any arid environment
Organization single, pair

Sandstalkers are the apex predators of their native environments. Their preferred hunting method is to simply burrow beneath the sand and lie in wait for prey. When they detect something passing by with their tremorsense, they burst from the sand to seize it in their pincers and sting it repeatedly. They will do their best to hold onto the victim and get in multiple stings, but one sting is all they really need. Some will even let prey go after delivering the first sting, avoiding wasting energy by struggling to hold onto the prey and simply following it until the toxin fully sets in and they die. It’s a curiosity that a sandstalkers venom actually acts more like a virus than any poison or toxin. The substance is composed of two parts, an acidic base and a specialized series of cells suspended within it. Once injected, the acid breaks down the flesh f the victim, which the cells quickly consume as raw material to replicate at an incredible rate. As a side effect and as waste products, the cells produce more acid, which damages more of the body, which lets the cells reproduce more quickly, and so on until the victim is melted from the inside out.

Kickstarters You Should Back!!

Check out the latest projects from Kobold Press, Petersen Games, as well as an update of a classic RPG from Frog God Games!

  1. Tales of the Old Margreve: 5th Edition Forest Adventures by Kobold Press (link to their Open Gaming StorefrontEnds on Fri, October 26 2018 3:30 PM EDT.
  2. Bunnies and Burrows 3e by Frog God Games (link to their Open Gaming StorefrontEnds on Thu, October 25 2018 2:01 AM EDT.
  3. Sandy Petersen’s Cthulhu Mythos for 5e by Petersen Games ends on Mon, October 22 2018 7:00 PM EDT.

Read them all here!

FREE PDF!!!

The Black Codex – Alien Catalog Entry 1!!!

Enter discount code “ILOVESTARJAMMER!” (no quotes but DO include the exclamation point!) when checking out to get this PDF 100% FREE!

NAB IT HERE!

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You’re receiving this email because you opted into the Open Gaming Newsletter either on our website or when creating an account at the Open Gaming Store.

[UPDATED] RPG News, Press Releases, and Conventions – Origins Hotels, Kobold Press Back to PDFs, Where’d My Column Go, and more

Let’s round up some news bites: Richard A. Knaak’s Rex Draconis, my latest Storytellers Vault review, Origins hotels, where’d the “RPG Kickstarters You Should Back” column go?, some press releases, and a deal! Let’s dive into this news roundup.

 

NEWS BITES

  • Going to Origins Game Fair from June 12th to 16th, 2019? While early bird badge registration starts November 15th, the downtown hotels are already available at a discounted rate. Some are sold out, but there are still options. If you’re thinking of going, here’s the links to the discounted downtown Columbus hotels for the show. Click it to see what (if any) options remain.

  • On ENWorld, I look at the [now ended] Vampire: The Masquerade Humble Bundle as well as David MacDowell Blue’s Savannah by Night COMPLETE for the “Storytellers Vault Roundup.” Why did I pick Savannah by Night COMPLETE to review? Because the city lies on the coast of my state (Georgia) and I’ve frequented it a number of times. It’s interesting to see what David created by adding vampires to this colonial metropolis.

  • Several months ago, I shared a press release about Wet Ink Games upcoming Kickstarter, War World Occult RPG. Based on Charles Ferguson-Avery’s art, this “is a gritty horror setting where an eldritch hellscape flows over the battlefields in a fantasy World War”. The game will use the Compass System. We now have a date that the campaign will launch to Kickstarter, October 30th.

  • I’ve made no secret of my childhood love of Richard A. Knaak’s Dragonlance: The Legend of Huma, Kaz the Minotaur, and more. How much have I enjoyed his work? Enough to write several articles and roundup some more reasons to back the Kickstarter to develop this setting for D&D 5e and Pathfinder.
    • On the Open Gaming Network, I interviewed Richard A. Knaak, Phil Beckwith, and Micah Watt about their D&D 5e/Pathfinder 1e conversion of Richard A. Knaak’s latest fantasy series, Rex Draconis, into an RPG setting. Read it here.
    • I reviewed the first book in Knaak’s Rex Draconis series, Rex Draconis: Under the Dragon Moon, here.
    • To add to this, John McGuire shared his thoughts on Knaak’s early Dragonlance books here.
    • I looked at the Kickstarter for Rex Draconis RPG – Rising Tides here. The product is funded, unlocked its first stretch goal, and ends Sunday, October 21 2018 10:02 PM EDT.
    • Want a preview of some of the gaming content? Check out their latest update here!
    • And there’s a Rex Draconis RPG newsletter with even more preview content and thoughts from Richard A. Knaak as well as the game creators. You can sign up for it here.

  • What are you doing this weekend? On Saturday, October 20th, I’ll be at the GAMA Retailer Award-winning Giga-Bites Cafe with Craig Campbell of NerdBurger Games and more (local RPG creators and gamers) playing some RPGs from 2PM to 6PM or 7PM. I’m excited about it and hope your weekend is equally gametastic!

  • [UPDATE on October 19th, 2018 at 10:10AM] On Paizo’s blog, Niobe: She is Life creator, Sebastian A. Jones, talks about Niobe, Stranger Comics, their latest Niobe Kickstarter, and Niobe: She is Pathfinder [not the actual title] that will let you play in the Niobe-verse using Pathfinder rules! Read it here

To see the Kickstarter, click the image.

 

DEALS

 

 

PRESS RELEASES

 

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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, 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).

3 RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – The Hidden Halls of Hazakor, Redshirt, Vol. 2, and On the Shoulders of Heroes

This week is a callback to RPG Kickstarters that I’ve done articles for elsewhere, for sequels to products I’ve already covered, and for relaunches.

 

On the Shoulders of Heroes – Reborn by Windmill Slam Games
Ends on .

“A ‘Vikingesque’ campaign setting designed for use with the 5th edition and version 3.5 of the world’s most popular RPG.

Greetings explorer, welcome to our domain! The On the Shoulder of Heroes campaign setting is designed for use with world’s most popular roleplaying game. It is inspired by old school roleplaying games, traditional fantasy, Germanic and Japanese mythology. It is based on the idea that the world was built by the deeds of great people – both good and evil.

Most of the artwork (including the cover) is done by the talented Eoghan Kerrigan
Most of the artwork (including the cover) is done by the talented Eoghan Kerrigan

Content

The book is close to 230 pages divided in 9 chapters. It is beautifully illustrated in grey-scale by 4 talented artists and is bound in a sturdy hard cover.  We’ve uploaded some previews for you here.”

 

Introduction, Races and Classes
Introduction, Races and Classes

 

Egg’s Thoughts: 

 

I covered the first version of it here and those thoughts still apply. This one’s major addition is that it will also be for 5e as well as 3.5e which answers my question in the first article.

 

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

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The Hidden Halls of Hazakor by Insane Angel Studios
Ends on .

“An RPG adventure for beginning Dungeon Masters and 1st-level characters — Written for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons

Every Young Hero Needs Somewhere to Start

The Hidden Halls of Hazakor is a fully illustrated, 64+ page starter adventure for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons — and written with a special focus on young, beginning Dungeon Masters.

Hidden Halls of Hazakor

Created by designer and editor Scott Fitzgerald Gray, The Hidden Halls of Hazakor is a perfect introduction to classic dungeon-crawl adventuring for young DMs of ages 12 and up. In a friendly and straightforward fashion, it demonstrates some of the ways a good fantasy RPG adventure can be put together, and talks about some of the tricks and knowledge that all good DMs learn through the experience of running games — but which aren’t always instinctive for a young player sitting in the DM’s chair for the first time.

(Character concept art)

This adventure builds on the rules and information presented in the D&D core rulebooks and the D&D Starter Set, and on the first-time DM’s experience of having previously been a player in the game. A beginning DM running the adventure will learn to think about the ways in which the story can go in different directions based on what the characters do — and how to not be scared when it does. They’ll practice bringing NPCs to life by way of interesting quirks, to help the players engage with and remember them. They’ll get tips on running fun combat sessions, building from an initial slate of simple, single-foe encounters to more complex fights. And they’ll learn to use humor as a tool to make the game interesting and memorable, especially for other younger players.

The adventure’s approach to humor fits perfectly with the work of artist and comic creator Jackie Musto, whose full-color illustrations will bring The Hidden Halls of Hazakor to life. (And if you’d like the young gamer in your life immortalized as their very own RPG hero, Jackie will be doing a limited number of original illustrations as part of the Kickstarter campaign’s “Eternal Hero!” reward tier.)

 

In the vein of many classic starter scenarios, the adventure features a fully detailed local keep, where the characters meet and learn of the legendary lost ruins in the nearby wilderness. Those ruins then present a classic dungeon crawl in nine parts, featuring fifty different areas to explore, fun physical puzzles and daunting traps, a host of classic monstrous foes — including not one but two dragons — and other challenges that will bring the characters to 5th level… assuming they survive the threats of Hazakor’s lost halls.

 

This isn’t a stripped down or simplified adventure scenario, and there’s no reason why experienced players and veteran DMs won’t also have a good time running it. But The Hidden Halls of Hazakor has been designed and written with young DMs firmly in mind — helping them break down the processes of running an effective RPG session, creating a fun and dynamic world in the dungeon, and sharing that world and its stories as only roleplaying games can.”

Egg’s Thoughts: 

 

It’s an all-ages 5e DM’s toolkit and adventure. For more details on it, I interviewed the creator, Scott Fitzgerald Gray, on Open Gaming Network here.

 

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

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Redshirts, Vol. 2: A Starfinder Comedy A.P. for levels 4-6 by Happy Gnome Publishing
Ends on .

“Redshirts: Adventures in Absurdity Vol. 2 is a Starfinder adventure path guaranteed to make you laugh so hard you’ll pee your spacesuit

REDSHIRTS: ADVENTURES IN ABSURDITY, VOLUME 2!

What is Redshirts: Adventures in Absurdity?

 Glad you asked! It is a Sci-fi/Comedy Adventure Path that is 100% Starfinder compatible. We launched the first volume on Kickstarter in August, and opened the PDF to the public in December. Within 6 days it was the number 1  hottest Starfinder product on DrivethruRPG, and earned their “Best-Seller” status. The entire Adventure Path, which revolves around surviving a deep space exploration mission with a dysfunctional command crew, will be 4 books and take Players from Level 1-12.

How do critics describe it?

It’s been called “The Office Meets Survivor…in space.”

What is the tone of the game?

Absurdist humor mixed with low-brow puns. It’s great for fans of Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Futurama, or The Orville.

What Can we expect in Volume 2?

  • Chapter 4: When a ship of undead creatures kidnaps a Confederation Ambassador, the Redshirts must find a way to rescue her and destroy the vessal, before joining them in undeath, forever.
  • Chapter 5: When a routine visit to Plushy Prime, the happiest place in the Universe, goes wrong the Redshirts must unravel a mystery hidden away for thousands of years.
  • Chapter 6: When the Captain accidentally gets married again (to the Slurmolian Emperor) only the Redshirts can be trusted to find the one creature in the Universe that can perform the annulment before anyone finds out.
  • 20+ new monsters
  • New Equipment to kill your enemies with
  • 5+ new playable races:
Slurmolians: A race of underground dwelling slimy creatures. While normally friendly, their appearance and backwards cultural beliefs can be a turn off.
Slurmolians: A race of underground dwelling slimy creatures. While normally friendly, their appearance and backwards cultural beliefs can be a turn off.

 

Soulcage: Robots who go against there programming to do something so selfless and heroic, that they gain a soul from the universe itself.
Soulcage: Robots who go against there programming to do something so selfless and heroic, that they gain a soul from the universe itself.
  •  
Za’Rootyn: These tentacle-clad people worship their Sun, and follow the rule of the individual that the Sun chooses. They are powerful warriors, loyal friends, and vengeful enemies.
Za’Rootyn: These tentacle-clad people worship their Sun, and follow the rule of the individual that the Sun chooses. They are powerful warriors, loyal friends, and vengeful enemies.
  • Fungoids: The Fungus based people see the world in a unique way with a paranoia unbeknownst anywhere else in the universe. 
  • Val’hooligans: Ancient undead Viking warriors who were worshippers of Loki. Their incessant, never ending pranks and parties got them sent back to the world of the living, stuck between life and death, but still ready to party!

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

I covered the first volume here. This Starfinder project is expanding on the ideas and jokes of the first volume and, if that’s perfect for your gaming table, it’s worth checking out.

 

You can see examples of Happy Gnome Publishing work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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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:

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