What Kickstarters Excite Creators? Lancer, Endless Realms, Afterlife, Far Away Land, GeneFunk, 2090, Relics, First Kings, and Fight!

I put out the call asking RPG Kickstarter creators for the projects that excite them and, this week, I got eight responses. Lots of quality recommendations from the creators of these RPG Kickstarters:

Lancer by Massif Press

END DATE: Sat, May 11 2019 2:59 AM EDT.

Lancer is a mud-and-lasers RPG about mechs and the pilots who crew them. Narrative play, gritty tactical combat and deep customization.”

Miguel Lopez (Massif Press) recommends:

Sundown, A Queerpunk Roleplaying Game. I’ve been keeping an eye on Sundown: A Queerpunk Roleplaying Game which is active on Kickstarter until May 10th. It’s a revolutionary little game that combines accessible rules and roleplaying depth, one I think would be as good a teaching tool as a roleplaying system and setting. Sundown puts a clear focus on an empathetic, radical roleplaying that establishes player safety and player solidarity as much as player character, while equipping players and their characters to explore narratives that interrogate (either implicitly or explicitly) dominant depictions of gender, humanity, and power. From rhetorical changes to specific rules, Sundown centers character in a unique fantasy setting, emphasizes player freedom and safety around the table, and gives primacy to stories that are often suppressed or ignored.”

Endless Realms: Tome of Spirits by Lunar Games

END DATE: Thu, May 23 2019 12:59 PM EDT.

Endless Realms: Tome of Spirits, Our first Tabletop RPG Supplement, and your gateway to the world of the spirits.”

UPDATE from Kirsty Garbe: “I put out a free creature promo set [for Endless Realms] a while ago [on DriveThruRPG here.]”

Kirsty Garbe (Lunar Games) recommends:

Infinity’s Edge by Shawn Carman excites me because I think the whole concept of being inside an MMORPG as a character and interacting with NPCs, is just so fascinating. It also strangely feels more realistic then the current RPG format of slaying a creature and all this gold and items appearing, because its an MMORPG. Utilizing respawning, for strategic Player character deaths, and timing your deaths also is such an interesting concept. It means that even if my character dies ill just respawn, and BAM my game is not ruined because of a character death.”

Afterlife: Wandering Souls by Angry Hamster Publishing

END DATE: Fri, May 31 2019 9:22 AM EDT.

Afterlife: Wandering Souls is a tabletop RPG about recovering lost memories and exploring strange worlds.”

Elizabeth Chaipraditkul (Angry Hamster Publishing) recommends:

One Child’s Heart. I am always on the lookout for unique games, something I haven’t played before, and something that will impact me emotionally – One Child’s Heart is just that. I personally know the creator Camdon and the amount of thought and work he’s put into this amazing game means it can only be good. I love the idea of an RPG that is all about understanding and empathizing, it’s just a fantastic concept.

NOTE: I am a stretch goal for One Child’s Heart (my goal was met a while back), but I really do love the game and it is produced by some of the coolest people.

A Town Called Malice. The setting is what really got me interested in A Town Called Malice. There’s something about the idea of isolation that’s always drawn me in and a roleplay game with that theme is magic. I also think it can be a challenge to create a compelling collaborative game centered around the ideas of isolation so I am excited to see this one come out and tackle that problem.”

Far Away Land Old School Role-Playing Game by Simian Circle Games

END DATE: Wed, May 29 2019 11:45 AM EDT.

“OSR version of the Far Away Land RPG compatible with older versions of the world’s most famous game and its clones.”

Dirk Stanley (Simian Circle Games) recommends:

Bloat Games’ The Blackest of Deaths. I’ve backed all of Bloat’s projects and have loved everything they have released. The Blackest of Deaths presents itself as a brutal world where the chance of survival is nil. I love the idea of no advancement, minimal gear, and an attempt to try and make it as long as possible in a hellhole that wants you dead. Cormac McCarthy said “Even the damned in hell have the community of their suffering.” The Blackest of Deaths seems to be the rpg version of that quote. I’m all about it.

Savage Worlds Rifts. I’ve always loved the setting in Rifts but had issues with the mechanics. We always house-ruled everything as we murder hoboed our way through the desolation of the future. It’s nice to see a facelift on a fantastic setting.”

GeneFunk 2090 by CRISPR Monkey Studios

END DATE: Thu, May 30 2019 10:45 AM EDT.

“A biopunk/cyberpunk tabletop RPG in the 5E system”

James Armstrong (CRISPR Monkey Studios) recommends: 

The Koryo Hall of Adventures 5e Compatible Campaign Setting, on Kickstarter, by Aurelien Laine. This one’s easy, I lived in South Korea for 3 years, and think Korean folklore is a treasure trove of unexplored animistic awesomeness that has a distinct flavor, distinguishing it from the more well known mythologies of their neighbors. We’ve seen the “Korean Wave” with pop music and movies, but there’s so much more. It’s clear the creator has passion for the content, the art is killer, fantastic promo video, and it looks like incredible world building on ancient tried and true tales. Clear effort from top to bottom. Dae han min gook!”

Relics: A Game of Angels by Tin Star Games

END DATE: Fri, May 10 2019 5:59 AM EDT.

“A Roleplaying Game of Mystery, Mythology and Memory”

Steve Dee (Tin Star Games) recommends:

I’m always interested in humour games, and in different takes on things, so I’ve been looking at For the Dungeon! You play dungeon minions trying to protect your dungeon from homicidal murderhobos. Seeing things from “behind the scenes” is a great set up for comedy and for roleplaying, and comedy RPGs that are done well are actually really well – and this looks like it could be just such a beast. The art is excellent, the rules are simple, and it comes with a godsend for all RPGs – a deck of cards that aren’t encounters but inspiration prompts. It’s light but I like light, and the price is very reasonable.

Fellow Aussie designers, Smunchy Games, have come up with Paths: World of Adia. I’m really interested in this one because it is the “hybrid” design space. Just as so many board games are edging into being RPGs – the D&D board games, Gloomhaven, Batman, Conan, Descent, Mansions of Madness – here we have a game going the other direction. It is ostensibly an RPG but is card driven in character design, giving lots of depth like in a board game, and uses MMO ideas like threat and aggro to track encounters. It can even apparently be run without a GM, which is of course the real appeal of things like Gloomhaven. If the writing is good, then this could be the holy grail. Also, it has elephant people and dog people and the art is INSANELY gorgeous. Deserves a lot more attention!

Finally, I just stumbled onto Latchkey. It’s at the other end of the spectrum from Paths in that it is small and humble in its conception, and asking for just a small goal as a result. And it’s a small idea, in that the whole game takes place in a single town in Tennessee, and tells the story of a group of Latchkey kids in the near future fighting to take their town back. RPGs can be big and sprawling and epic but they can also be small and intimate and there’s a lot of power in a tight focus, it helps key into a great story that can really resonate. You can do a lot with a little in this hobby, and Latchkey leaps out as someone taking their first steps to really do some great work.”

FIRST KINGS (RPG in a Dark Fantasy Rome) by Epic Party Games

END DATE: Tue, May 21 2019 5:00 AM EDT.

“Dark-Fantasy RPG, where the descendants of the First King of Rome, Werewolves with divine powers, fight against the Old Dark World!”

Max Castellani (Epic Party Games) recommends:

“So, there are at least two RPGs – currently on Kickstarter – I’d like to talk to you about (as a sort of what-to-buy advice): the first one probably wouldn’t even need to be suggested at this point, I’m talking about the big hit “Lancer”; the second one, another good shot, is “For the Dungeon!” A fresh and funny RPG.

Now, we may sound superficial, but what we personally like the most about LANCER, is the artwork, in fact, we would have supported it even without reading a single page off the over three hundred available for free, on the project page (LOL). The fact is that we’re really hooked by its style, it brings up memories and feelings of the anime we used to love as teenagers (such as Dragonball, for example, which was like.. HUGE where we lived). So, at the end of the day, the gorgeous graphics and the game system, they also look like they’ve been tailor made for the setting. There you go, full package, right? We can’t wait to play a bunch of cool Lancers as soon as the game is delivered!

For the Dungeon! is a comedy role-playing game where you get to play as minions instead of as heroes. and this is something we deeeeeeply love to do!
It remembers us games like “Aye, Dark Overlord!”, and – once again – the artworks look on pitch and absolutely fun. We really think a game like this, could probably represent a nice runaway to get energies back, after a long-serious-dark-and-grim campaign (maybe a First Kings campaign!? LOL) with your party of friends!”

Fight! 2nd Edition by Divine Madness Press

END DATE: Thu, May 16 2019 10:41 AM EDT.

“The revised, expanded, and clarified edition of the TTRPG designed specifically to tell the stories of fighting game characters.”

Christopher Peter (Divine Madness Press) recommends:

Necrotic Gnome’s Old School Essentials has simply beautiful production values. When I play the world’s most popular role-playing game, I prefer the older editions, especially B/X. I’m looking forward to seeing this new presentation of the classic rules set. Based on how well the project is going, I am clearly not alone in that.

I’m also interested in Deep Dungeon Games’ Seven of Seven. I can’t design a fantasy world without extensive attention paid to metaphysics, so complete and consistent pantheons are always appreciated. I especially like the breakdown of the gods into seven distinct spheres, which demonstrates thoughtful consistency. I look forward to seeing the artistic presentation of the final book.

Finally, I’m keeping an eye on Kobold Press’ Empire of the Ghouls. When I run 5th Edition, I prefer to run a full campaign arc, and my favorite enemies are demons and undead. Furthermore, Kobold Press has a great reputation for capturing the best parts of a classic fantasy feel, which appeals to an old guy like me.”


The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the individual contributors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of the Tessera Guild.

Tyrants of the Dead – An Epic Fantasy Trilogy

In a far and ancient land, Emperor Chakran dreams of conquest. His desire to resurrect the evil, world-ending Ur casts a dark shadow across an unsuspecting world. But as his army butchers its way across the realm, leaving only a vast, storm-riddled graveyard in its wake, a small band of warriors rises up to oppose him. They know what will become of the world should Chakran succeed. They know the Emperor is but a puppet to the true evil – the Tyrants of the Dead.
Follow Rellen Gryphon, Garrett Croft, and Andelusia Anderae on their voyage to stop the darkness.
If they should fail, the sun will die.
…and the night will forever reign.

Tyrants of the Dead – The Complete Collection includes all three epic volumes in the series:
Down the Dark Path
Dark Moon Daughter
Nether Kingdom