Gen Con 2018 Recap – Part One

After the success of the trip last year (which you can read about here and here) (you know, none of us killed any of the others after being together non-stop for the better part of 5 days), Lee, Egg Embry, and I took a drive back to the land of corn and at one point Peyton Manning.

This year continued the idea of checking out all the gaming systems we’d never had the opportunity to play previously. In fact, much of the last year or we’ve played a handful of games just to get that different kind of exposure.

DAY 1

Thursday started off with a trip to the Dealers’ Room. I’m not sure if I mentioned it last year, but the room is enormous. Even if you were moving quickly and barely taking any time to look around it would probably be a couple of hours. Throughout the weekend we’d squeeze an hour here or an hour there to try to slowly move through the building and even then it was easier said than done. In addition, you have all the game demos going on, but if you are only in the room on a scattered basis, there is almost no way to fit it in. The best we can figure is MAYBE you set aside Thursday and not do anything but go through the room playing demos and squeezing everything you can out of that room and then basically be done with it.

However, we couldn’t do that, and after a couple of hours, it was on to the first game.

Flash Gordon (Savage Worlds)

While I’d like to claim that I have an in-depth knowledge of the old serials or the cartoons or even the comics, my brush with Flash Gordon is limited to three things:

  • The Queen Soundtrack
  • The 80’s Movie
  • And explaining to people that the Flash and Flash Gordon are two entirely different characters.

Savage Worlds is an interesting system in that the is probably just enough complexity to give those people who really like the more Crunchy systems, but for the most part, it was fairly easy to understand. We were introduced to the “Exploding Dice” mechanic which basically means that if you roll the maximum value on a dice you get to roll again (so a 6 on a d6 would mean a reroll and add it to the first result). I enjoyed the system enough that I wouldn’t mind seeing a bit more of it at some point.

Given that we were playing in a pulpy game setting with ray guns and short skirts and evil robots, Lee and Egg told me that I had to use my newsreel voice for whatever character I get (to get an idea of what that might sound like, think about the old movies where the news was also played along with the film and how the narrator might have sounded). I chose a Mad Scientist type character and put maximum effort into the voice. I hope that the other players had fun because I had a ball (as goofy as it might have been to say “What’s that dame up to now?” or “This just in, we need to get the hell out of here!”).

Rest easy, we stopped Ming’s latest plot to destroy the Earth, so you can thank me the next time you see me!

Wicked Pacts

I didn’t have any idea what Wicked Pacts might have been, but it was pretty easy to figure out as it plays in the Modern Day (Urban Fantasy, where the supernatural are all too real, and you get to play a magic user of some type). The system combined Tarot cards along with D10s. The DM did a great job, and the players seemed like they were having a good time as well. There were minor things that I wasn’t overly thrilled with in regards to the system, but there was plenty of good as well. I think that if you wanted to play a Dresden Files type of game this would be a good one to check out!

Day 2

Geist

We had it all figured out. A five-hour session playing Geist (a Storyteller/World of Darkness Game). We visited Onyx Press’s booth on Thursday and talked to one of the guys who had worked on the 2nd edition of the game. And promptly got screwed up… on the time and place of our game. He said he was running the demo at 10 AM and that was the time we had set up for our game. But it was actually in the dealers’ room – something none of us had done before. Still, we didn’t think anything of it until the game ended about an hour and a half… it was a five-hour session. At which point Lee double checked the ticket and realized we were in the wrong place!

The game just completed a Kickstarter for the 2nd edition we played. You can check that out here.

As to the game demo itself, I’ve now played Storyteller games a few times in the last year, so the familiarity is now there. I was more concerned with the story. I know nothing of the original 1st edition Geist, but this idea of people who deal with ghosts while dealing with the fact they’d come back to life in another way. Even as a simple short story, it suddenly clicked on how you could do a full campaign with the system and really have some fun with local ghost stories in your area.

Hmmm, research, where I have to visit creepy places in and around Atlanta, may not be the best idea…

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Hope you enjoyed Part 1, Part 2 will be up next week.

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John McGuire has co-written, along with his wife, two Kindle Worlds novellas set in the world of Veronica Mars: Theft & Therapy and There’s Something About Mac.

He is also the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. The Trade paperback collecting the first 4 issues is finally back from the printers! If you would like to purchase a copy, go here!

Want to read the first issue for free? Click here! Already read it and eager for more?

Click here to join John’s mailing list.

His other prose appears in The Dark That Follows, Hollow EmpireBeyond the Gate, and Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows.

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com

6 RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – Lankhmar Savage Seas of Nehwon, Sovereign Stone, THE BOOK OF DARK SECRETS, The Overworld and Beyond, A Delve in a Cave, and New Tales of the Miskatonic Valley 2e

This week let’s look at two Savage Worlds, one Call of Cthulhu, one 5e, and one 13th Age RPG Kickstarters. In each of these, there is a moment of continuity where these campaigns build on prior work from continuing Lankhmar to giving Elmore and Miskatonic Valley new homes to continuing the learning curve of a new creator to the finished version of an adventure, or just another great product from a company I covered toward the beginning of this column’s life. These continuations are worth checking out.

 

Lankhmar Savage Seas of Nehwon, a Fantasy RPG by Pinnacle Entertainment Group
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“Fritz Leiber’s best-selling tales of Fafhrd & the Gray Mouser come alive in Pinnacle’s Savage Worlds Lankhmar: City of Thieves setting!

A Kickstarter Booster for Lankhmar: City of Thieves!

In the City of Sevenscore Thousand Smokes, danger lurks down every dark alley. Sinister sorcerers summon terrible forces in their crumbling towers. Treacherous rogues of the Thieves’ Guild prowl the Plaza of Dark Delights. Assassins from the Slayers’ Brotherhood work the Tenderloin District. And hunched figures skitter beneath the streets, waiting for their chance to rise.

Now your party of warriors and scoundrels can expand their adventures beyond Lankhmar to the high seas of Nehwon. They might venture to the Sea of Stars to confront priests of the ancient and terrible Mokrath, or book passage to Rime Isle and fall prey to “The Thing From Below.”

The Savage Seas of Nehwon contains everything a Game Master needs to create incredible tales of high sea-based adventures for Lankhmar or ANY fantasy Savage Setting, including:

  • The Seas of Nehwon: Overviews of the Inner Sea, Outer Sea, Frozen Sea, Sea of Stars, Sea of the East, and Lankhmar’s docks and harbors.
  • Characters: New Edges, Hindrances, powers, and Setting Rules dealing with ships and the sea.
  • Ships: Statistics for the various ocean-going vessels of Nehwon, Setting Rules, naval maneuvers, and rules for savage storms!
  • Adventure Generator: A complete adventure generator for creating your own fantastic Savage Tales!
  • Savage Tales: Sea-based adventures in Fritz Leiber’s incredible style, such as “Jewel of the Deep,” “Queen of the Sunken Realm,” “Bride of the Golden Isle,” and more!
  • Denizens of the Deep: New beasts to drag your heroes from the decks of their ships to the briny depths!

 

We want to support our settings after the core releases and have been trying to figure out how for a while. So we’re trying a “Booster” as an experiment. You might think it’s easy for an established company like Pinnacle to just put new product into the retail chain, but it’s not (See  “Why Kickstarter?” below).

Right now, Kickstarter is still the best place for many of our customers who don’t have a local game store, or whose game store doesn’t carry Savage Worlds, to find out about and pick up our games. We’ll still do our big, full-on Kickstarters just like we’ve done before for our new settings and other big projects. But creating all the Stretch Goals and extra products we need to support those doesn’t make sense for a follow-on book, so we’re doing something a little different…the Booster.

If it works out, you’ll see more of these. (We’ve got books for The Last Parsec and Savage Rifts® already in the works.)

So what does all that mean for you? Pledge for Savage Seas and we’ll give you the Booster Rewards listed below (including a REALLY cool adventure written by Shane Hensley that follows on with the work he did on the original 1992 TSR boxed set for Dungeons & Dragons!)”

The 1996 TSR boxed set for Dungeons & Dragons, written by Shane Hensley!
The 1996 TSR boxed set for Dungeons & Dragons, written by Shane Hensley!

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

My first introduction to Savage Worlds was the free Savage Worlds: Test Drive 2015 quickstart set in Lankhmar. The price point combined with the familiar setting let me sample, and enjoy, Savage Worlds. I’m excited about this Kickstarter boost (and the concept of “boosts”. I hope to see more of them). In this age of kickstart-and-forget products, where a project may obtain amazing levels of crowdfunding, produce the book, but never delve into a follow-up book, I salute Pinnacle Entertainment Group for expanding their Lankhmar setting/license. Demonstrating their investment in the setting keeps me interested in it (knowing there’s more material to work with) so I can’t wait to see the Savage Seas of Nehwon.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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THE BOOK OF DARK SECRETS – D&D 5e Pathfinder Adventures by Dark by Dezign
Ends on .

“2 Fill-in Adventure Anthology Books for D&D 5e and Pathfinder Compatible RPG adventures. Each book Print + Digital and each 200+ pages!

THE 2 BOOKS of THE BOOK OF DARK SECRETS Project
THE 2 BOOKS of THE BOOK OF DARK SECRETS Project

(all credits + well-deserved thank you’s are in the About Me section)

5+1 FREE PREVIEW PDF links – VERY Important. Trust me, Buddy…

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/27f8ntfofs8oklq/AADuJzcxsHP48DW2FlqxN2HQa?dl=0

THE BOOK OF DARK SECRETS project is composed of 2 books that are to be in digital pdf and high-quality printed softcover or hardcover formats. Both books will be 200+ pages long. Each of the 2 books is D&D 5e and Pathfinder-compatible and for PCs between levels 1-20. NOTE – There is more to each book than just adventures. Please read to find out more. Here are a few more characteristics for each book:

THE LOST TOMES - Volume 1 + DEMON BOX of RAYNETH
THE LOST TOMES – Volume 1 + DEMON BOX of RAYNETH

THE LOST TOMES – Volume 1 – 16 adventures based on a secret society known as THE LOST TOME SOCIETY. This society is made up of 16 of the very best NPCs the players might ever come across. Experts in their chosen fields, and all of them have some form of a tarnished history and back story. The 16 founding members of The Lost Tome Society are making amends for their misdeeds by hunting down the greatest and most powerful relics, artifacts, magic items and pieces of lost lore while destroying evil along the way. PCs are tasked to on adventures of 16
very diverse types, genres, as well as a different look, tone and feel
kind of variety.

The 16 LOST TOME SOCIETY founding members.
The 16 LOST TOME SOCIETY founding members.

Each of the 16 adventures is based around a founding member’s special skill set and the missions that correspond to said skill set. There is a FREE, 45-page PREVIEW BOOK that can be downloaded from Dropbox, but in a nutshell, these 16 adventures are based around the following:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/428501801/1639442857?ref=8r6u5b&token=bbf144db

01-BOUNTY HUNTING – Manzius Stone
02-ASSASSIN’S TOOLS – Manrick Crow
03-ARTIFACTS & RELICS – Odessa Roark
04-CARTOGRAPHY – Fernandius Kase
05-TAROT OF BELAGOS – Dharna Brim
06-DEMONOLOGY – Moggrett Null
07-MAGIC WEAPONS – Professor Langellan
08-SIEGE WARFARE – Darnius Rex
09-MONSTER HUNTING – Crazy Keturchkin Dyatlov
10-TRAPSMITHING – Cribner Larkett
11-LOST SPELLBOOKS – Abner Totleben
12-HERALDRY – Melody Lynn
13-MYSTERIES & ODDITIES – Rhodale Scribner
14-MAGIC ITEMS – Cynthia Bebansin
15-TREASURE CHAMBER – Benaltec Orr
16-ALCHEMICAL & ELIXIRS – Cyd Neade

• 16 Bios on each of the 16 founders of THE LOST TOME SOCIETY

• 16 short adventures based on the 16 founders’ skill sets

• Multiple pieces of ART, MAPS, DIAGRAMS and PLAYER HANDOUTS

• Map of The Lost Tome Society and where the members and scholars eat, sleep and play

• Compatibility charts that show how each of the 16 founders thinks of each other

THE BOOK OF DARK SECRETS - Volume 1 - The 20 Sigils of Power
THE BOOK OF DARK SECRETS – Volume 1 – The 20 Sigils of Power

 THE BOOK OF DARK SECRETS – Volume 1 – 20-26 short, fill-in adventures between 5-12+ pages each. Perfect for when the DM/GM runs out of adventure content, the session ends too early, or the campaign needs a bit of a fresh boost. 20-26 D&D 5e and Pathfinder-compatible adventures for PCs between levels 1-20.

A collection of 5 + 1 FREE PDF samples can be found below. Please note that these 5 + 1 FREE PDF samples are from previously published DBD titles and are NOT actual content that will be in either of these 2 books. ENJOY!

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/27f8ntfofs8oklq/AADuJzcxsHP48DW2FlqxN2HQa?dl=0

• The 20 SECRET powers of THE AMULET OF POWER
(pictured above)

• 20-26 short adventures that are all 100% BRAND NEW, UNIQUE and diverse

• Multiple pieces of ART, MAPS, DIAGRAMS and PLAYER HANDOUTS”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

Matthew A. Bogdan of Dark by Dezign is all-energy. I reached out to him for an interview on the Open Gaming Network (here) and he opened up and shared facts, hard numbers, and what he was looking for from this project. Each book offers interesting adventures for 5e and Pathfinder that have a unique feel. I believe that he is going to deliver on his campaign and, likely, over-deliver. I can’t swear they’ll be thicker books that roll out for Halloween, but I suspect it heavily. But, don’t take my word for it, read the interview I did with him or his interview on Dan Davenport’s site.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here or at the OpenGamingStore here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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A Delve in the Cave: 5th Edition Adventure by Signal Fire Studios
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“A curse. A cave. A crawl. 1st level scenario for the world’s most popular roleplaying game!

I’m returning to my personal and professional gaming roots with a 32-page adventure for 5th edition of the original fantasy roleplaying game—a cavern crawl built to please hack-and-slash groups and storytellers alike!

I started playing fantasy roleplaying games in 1982 at seven years old. (Yes, THAT fantasy RPG.) As an adult I accidentally stumbled into a career publishing supplements and adventures for THAT game along with designing RPG systems of my own. Check out my Goodreads page or visit my website for more info.

Last year I was in Texas for a regional game convention, and while in my booth I scribbled out two pages worth of adventure notes for 5th Edition of the world’s oldest and most popular roleplaying game (yes, THAT one) and ran a few players through it before we packed up and drove back to Atlanta.

Then I sat down and typed about ten thousand words. Very quickly this became a real thing. The adventure premiered at the Origins Game Fair in 2017 with an Early Access edition.

Interest and sales of the Early Access version surprised me, and we’ve gotten great response to from groups that have run through it.

We want to offer a high-quality product and keep the price low for tabletop game retailers and the folks who shop at them. Our initial goal will let us pay everyone who’s helped with this product a fair wage, print enough to sell through distribution channels, and keep our business going. If we blow past the initial amount we will offer stretch goals that enhance and upgrade the product for everyone!

The Early Access version is complete, which means every backer at the $5 level or higher will receive a fully-playable PDF once the backer surveys are complete. These files will be automatically upgraded to the final version once the adventure has gone to press!

The “dungeon crawl” in the cave takes up most of the Early Access edition. The final version will expand the town of Shadowhaven where the story begins, providing adventure hooks to get the heroes involved in the mystery that threatens the community—as well as a potentially dangerous journey to the tomb of the town’s founder, whose bones rest in a cavern under a hill. The encounters and ending will be rewritten slightly and adjusted based on playtest feedback.

"Coblynau" by Lindsay Archer — a new fey creature!
“Coblynau” by Lindsay Archer — a new fey creature!

The black-and-white map of the main dungeon is complete, as well as a few interior illustrations. These will be supplemented by additional artwork and a full-color poster version of the map by artist Ben Mund (Serenity Atlas of the ‘Verse) that can be printed at 36″ x 48″ that will provide an attractive set-piece for gamers who enjoy a visual and tactical experience.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

I followed the early edition of this game and its IndieGoGo campaign here and here. I enjoyed the DIY version of the crawl; now, I’m looking forward to the finished product.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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New Tales of the Miskatonic Valley 2ed for Call of Cthulhu by Stygian Fox Publishing
Ends on .

“‘New Tales from Miskatonic Valley’ 2nd Edition produced under license for the Call of Cthulhu RPG by Chaosium Inc.

New Tales of the Miskatonic Valley returns!

Lauded as authentically Lovecraftian and much loved for of its mood and style, New Tales of the Miskatonic Valley returns with a full-colour second edition. With its new art, varied formats (PDF, Kindle, softcover, and hardback), and an extra scenario, this Kickstarter will make its rightful return to print, uplifted to Call of Cthulhu, 7th Edition.

Call of Cthulhu is the Registered Trademark of Chaosium Inc., and is used with their permission. www.chaosium.com

Miskatonic River Press released New Tales of the Miskatonic Valley to great acclaim and it quickly became a favourite among Call of Cthulhu Keepers. Its faithful adherence to Lovecraftian themes and its location along the dark river it takes its name from, meant a return to an authentic home for many players who cut their anti-mythos teeth on earlier adventures set in the valley.

Started by Keith ‘Doc’ Herber and Tom Lynch, it quickly marked MRP as a company to watch. Tragically, Doc passed away while working on a subsequent title (Our Ladies of Sorrow with Kevin Ross) but Tom kept his dream alive and grew upon it with further books. Sadly, MRP closed its doors a couple of years ago and the titles have been out of print as Tom Lynch focused on writing fiction and his family.

Last year, Stygian Fox purchased four titles from Tom Lynch/MRP in order to bring them back to players of the world’s greatest horror game and in turn, we aim to release new and updated versions of New Tales of the Miskatonic Valley, More Adventures in Arkham Country, Our Ladies of Sorrow, and Tales of the Sleepless City.

In New Tales of the Miskatonic Valley, there are currently six scenarios and we aim to add a seventh set in the valley or Innsmouth (although Innsmouth isn’t in the Miskatonic Valley it is such an integral part of Lovecraft Country as to be hard to ignore). The original is black and white and 130 pages. We aim to increase that to 160 pages and to make it full colour with all new art.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

This product represents a rebirth. On EN World, I touched on some of the issues that Miskatonic River Press experienced with another CoC Kickstarter – including the end of MRP. What Stygian Fox Publishing did by purchasing MRP’s contents and creating this Kickstarter represents the restoration of one of the better licensed 3PP Call of Cthulhu products. By going this route, Stygian is letting gamers enjoy books that might have faded away, and I salute them for doing this.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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The Overworld and Beyond (13th Age RPG Planar Adventures) by Dread Unicorn Games
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“The Overworld and Beyond, planar adventures for the 13th Age Roleplaying Game by the legendary Ash Law.

Journey to the Planes with Ash Law!

The Overworld and Beyond presents planar-hopping adventures for the 13th Age roleplaying game. It includes a backwater setting that includes towns, wilderness, and gates to other worlds, all ready for you to incorporate into your gameworld.

Adventure for All Tiers of Play

  • The Carrow Hills a perfect sandbox for adventure-tier play. Hooks, rumors, and NPCs are all interwoven to create a setting where the locals think being close to other planes is just the way thing are.
  • Attack of the Koblins a champion-tier adventure. What are these strange creatures warped by transdimensional energies, and why are they striking out at innocent people?
  • Further Adventures in the Carrow Hills give the GM a collection of champion-tier adventure hooks that tie into what’s happened before, and foreshadow the epic-tier challenges ahead.
  • Into the Overworld presents the party with an epic-tier problem that won’t be solved without traveling to many planes

There’s a 5th-6th level adventure that has PCs up against forces from another world.

There’s a 9th-10th level adventure that has the PCs traveling to myriad other planes: the City at the Edge of Dawn, the Elemental Realms, the Fleshscape, the Green, the Lightless Realm, and the Middenlands.

The project includes pages of adventure hooks, a bestiary, 13 Weird Worlds, 13 Peculiar People, and more!”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

A new planar option for 13th Age is a win, but why I think this’ll be a great product is because of their prior work, The Gods Have Spoken. I covered Dread Unicorn Games The Gods Have Spoken for 5e here (13th Age edition available here). That game is alive with quirky detail and fun art. If The Overworld and Beyond approaches that level of good, it’ll be well worth adding to your library.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Savage Worlds Sovereign Stone by Applied Vectors
Ends on Fri, June 1 2018 5:17 PM EDT.

“This project brings Larry Elmore’s Sovereign Stone to the Savage Worlds game system.

Loerem is a world of beauty and enchantment created by renowned fantasy artist Larry Elmore, with development from New York Times best-selling authors Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. Through Elmore’s vivid visual renditions of unique personalities, clashing nations, fantastical creatures, and enchanting landscapes alongside a saga weaved by Weis & Hickman, the culmination chronicled the mortals’ struggle to master the unfathomable power of the Sovereign Stone given them from the gods — an artifact forged for peace among races but which ignited war between brothers.

Applied Vectors LTD are pleased to be bringing this wonderful world into the Savage Worlds fold. This Kickstarter is to fund the development of the game and cover writing and layout costs. This will be built from the ground up specifically for Savage Worlds (this is no mere conversion).

This game references the Savage Worlds game system, available from Pinnacle Entertainment Group at www.peginc.com. Savage Worlds and all associated logos and trademarks are copyrights of Pinnacle Entertainment Group. Used with permission. Pinnacle makes no representation or warranty as to the quality, viability, or suitability for purpose of this product.

The game requires a copy of Savage Worlds that can be purchased from the Pinnacle Entertainment Group store.

The Sovereign Stone

The Sovereign Stone is a lustrous crystal pyramid of four triangles that form a quadrangle at the base and come together in a point at the apex. Approximately sixteen inches tall, the artifact is carved of a single piece of crystal. It was given to King Tamaros of the Vinnengalean Empire, and in order to broker peace, he separated it into four equal pieces. One quarter went to the humans, one to the elves, one to the orks, and the last to the dwarves.

Here is where the story grows murky, clouded over with rumors and tales, few of which can be believed. One thing that is known for certain is that an army led by one of the King’s sons marched on the city, and consequently the human portion of the stone was lost in a cataclysmic explosion which obliterated Old Vinnengael and left very few survivors, little accurate accounts are told of those last, terrible days. Much of what people know about King Tamaros and the Sovereign Stone is rumor and myth that has been building for the past two hundred years.

Since that day men have quested for the lost part of the Sovereign Stone to no avail. Old Vinnengael is now a cursed and abhorrent landmark. Few who venture there ever return alive, but still there are those brave or foolish enough to attempt it, drawn by the magic that pervades the city ruins and the riches said to be buried in the rubble.

There are accounts of a dark army marching across Loerem from the west, but few trust the tales. Still, some learned scholars have renewed their efforts to find the lost portion of the Sovereign Stone and reunite its parts in order to combat this or any other threat to the people of Loerem.

Do you dare trespass into Old Vinnengael or are you brave enough to face the threat from the west?

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

Larry Elmore plus Savage Worlds equals gold! On Open Gaming Network, I have an interview with Ian Liddle (Applied Vectors) about Savage Worlds Sovereign Stone that gets into why I dig this project (link here).

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here or at the OpenGamingStore here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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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).

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

Interested in being a wanna-lancer? Start with the official Wanna-lancer Checklist t-shirt orwall clock or ice tea glass!

* * * * * *

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 onFacebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

8 Questions About Art of War: Bushido/Wuxia Setting for Savage Worlds & 5e With Greg LaRose (Amora Game)

Greg LaRose (TentacleGreg on Open Gaming Network, where I write some articles) of Amora Game is running a Kickstarter for his latest creation, Art of War: Bushido/Wuxia Setting for Savage Worlds and 5e.

EGG EMBRY – Thanks for taking the time to talk about your project – What is Art of War?

GREG LAROSE – Hey, thanks for having me. Art of War is a dream project I have always had in my head brewing for years. Art of War is an epic storytelling action focused campaign setting inspired by the influences of Chia-Liang Liu martial arts films (The 36th Chamber of Shaolin & Heroes of the East), Akira Kurosawa samurai films (Seven Samurai & Yojimbo), Dynasty Warriors video game series, and a various anime (Basilisk, Naruto, etc).

It is a setting where the people of the San Empire are pulling themselves out of the chaos of a civil war, an invasion of flesh eating Oni, and a return of the restoration of the original royal bloodline. One role the players can take on as heroes is trying to restore hope back to the population. There are plenty of opportunities to play the hometown hero, indulge in a political landscape of deception, or to stand on the Wall and slay some monsters.

It is my love affair with Chinese and Japanese cultures, histories, and mythology.

 

EGG – This project is for two different systems, Savage Worlds and 5e. How are you interpreting the setting to get the most out of each of those systems?

GREG LAROSE – As a whole, the setting is a rich tapestry that easily be played with any system out there. It has access points for any type of story a group would want to play.

System mechanics wise, we adapted the setting to several systems over the past two years with Savage Worlds and 5e acting as solid frameworks to use. Moreover, what I mean is that both are flexible and “rules light” so that you can shape them. This gives us the ability to interject a power point-like system that can added to each rule set. You can scale it up or down to help determine how grounded or fantastical you want the game and characters to be. We call it the Chi System.

These power points fuel different additional rules that give the action movie feel we wanted to achieve. The system also supports Chi Techniques that give the character a specialization of power. Think of the youxia that can run up a bamboo tree and balance on a tiny branch without falling off or having it give to heavy weight. Or the samurai standing on bridge by himself against a squad of archers and he gives a deafening yell. Chi Techniques are those types of powers translated to simple and easy game mechanics.

Besides those being in common with these systems, the Savage Worlds version introduces Tropes that act as frameworks for the creation of heroes. For those familiar with Savage Worlds, think of them as beefed up archetypes or concepts. We also include new Edges and Hindrances. We adapted the classic nosebleed scenario found in anime as a Hindrance to add some comedic relief. I’m also excited to introduce two new Skills to the Savage Worlds ruleset, Acrobatics and Meditation.

Tropes in the 5th edition version, act as character paths for various classes. The Shinobi trope is a path for the rogue class. The fighter receives the Path of the Samurai as a viable option. The Youxia trope is available to both rogues, rangers and fighters, each one taking on a variation of the concept. We are also supporting numerous new Backgrounds, Inspirations, Feats, and equipment.

 

EGG – A number of Amora Game‘s products are for Pathfinder, why not offer a PF version of Art of War?

GREG LAROSE – Great question. We started to use Pathfinder as one of the systems to publish in and the project was called “Hands-Over-Fisticuffs”, but it quickly became overwhelming. There is a lot of amazing source material to pull from to get the mechanics right. But that was also the problem; we needed to pull rules for the revised action economy from this book, convert rules from that book, use OGL from this company. Develop a new class or archetype to handle this, spend more time playtesting to check the math on that. It became heavy, bulky, clunky and imbalanced.

We wanted something that wasn’t cumbersome for new players to jump in and play without multiple rules and errata. Light and flexible is what we wanted to focus on.

In addition, timing played a major factor. With the announcement of Pathfinder 2.0, we would rather see how the new system plays out then produce for an old system where support might fall to the wayside. While we have 200 pages worth material for a Pathfinder edition, it just doesn’t hold the feel we wanted for the setting.

 

EGG – You did not skimp on the previews. How have they been received, and which system is getting more interest from Art of War fans, Savage Worlds or 5e?

GREG LAROSE – Surprisingly they have almost equal numbers. Art of War teaser for Savage Worlds is racing ahead of Kemonomimi Race preview for 5th Edition. But I have been shocked that the 5th edition of South of the Wall has pulled down a few more numbers than the Savage Worlds version. In contrast, we have more backers on the Kickstarter buying in for the Savage Worlds. Ahead of that, is the backer level where you get both versions of Art of War. I’ve been happy with the turnout.

 

EGG – When I first approached you about doing an interview, I didn’t connect you were TentacleGreg on Open Gaming Network. For those who don’t know, what types of articles do you do on Open Gaming Network?

GREG LAROSE – So far I have focused on Starfinder articles. Showing off future archetypes and playing with Faction idea write-ups. Open Gaming Articles are a fun sandbox to play in at the moment. In one of the first articles, I rant about what I feel a Third Party Publisher Organized play society would allow and not allow. After the Kickstarter, I have a few 5e articles for character paths, more factions for Starfinder, and my lost notes for Pathfinder articles.

 

EGG – What was the game that made you into a gamer?

GREG LAROSE – Techno Wizard in the Rifts setting for the Palladium system was the first character I ever created. My Tremere for Vampire: The Masquerade was the first character I ever played in a game. West End Games d6 Star Wars was the first system I ever fell in love with. Shadowrun was my introduction into the world of cyberpunk and magic. Big Eyes, Small Mouth Third Edition was the birth of Art of War. I have fond memories of L5R and Magic the Gathering card games. But the game that made me a gamer? Well there are two of them: Mage the Ascension & Eberron campaign setting for 3.5 D&D rules.

My love for these two settings and rulesets are unparalleled to anything else. Mage being the handful of d10 Storyteller System and the other using the precursor to Pathfinder. I still have my original books on the shelves and go back to read through them. You can see an early inspiration for the Pathfinder Society concept in Eberron, when it was called the Wayfinder Foundation. Interesting name isn’t it?

You can see that is the name of a compass in Pathfinder. Coincidence? Maybe. Conspiracy theory of that being a key source of influence for a certain big company? Probably, yes.

EGG – Why did you start Amora Game?

GREG LAROSE – I started Amora Game in 2012 as an actual TTRPG publishing company, but we were a playtest company well before then. My gaming group was always home-brewing rules, classes, and all sorts of things. We liked using fan created material and pushing the limits see if they were broken or if we could break them. Over time we reached out to a few publishers and game designers looking for playtesters. One thing led to another and then we were holding playtesting sessions once or twice a month for several hours a session. Word got around and people started seeking us out to playtest, and paying us.

After a year or so after of messing around and playing with other people’s toys, I decided I would do my own. At the time I was playing Pathfinder after a gaming group converted over from 3.5 and just sort of went with it. I started publishing, hiring freelancers and artist. Here we are today.

EGG – For those interested in learning more about you, your upcoming projects, and Amora Game, where can they go?

GREG LAROSE – Currently we are focusing on two product lines. One is our monthly/bimonthly science fiction e-mag called Xeno Files. This is laying the foundation for our Xeno’Verse campaign setting. It focuses on Starjammer, Starfinder, and Savage Worlds rulesets. Exotic space places and exotic space races. Our second, of course is the Art of War line, which we are going to continue to push for a release date, even if the Kickstarter is unsuccessful. It will just take a little more time.

Where can you find us? Our facebook page is the most active spot. You can get there by typing in our website: AmoreGame.com, and it will direct you to it. After the kickstarter, I’m going try and put an article up twice a month in the Open Gaming Network site. You will also be able to catch those articles and anime ramblings on my blog under the same pen name: TentacleGreg.com

 

Amora Game has products available on DriveThruRPG and Open Gaming Store.

 

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Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or onFacebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

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

Interested in being a wanna-lancer? Start with the official Wanna-lancer Checklist t-shirt orwall clock or ice tea glass!

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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 onFacebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

3 Savage Worlds RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – Freedom Squadron, Savage Tokusatsu, and The Dinosaur Protocol

Kickstarter has several Savage Worlds settings funding at the moment. Want to do your own 1980s-style GI Joe vs COBRA? Thinking you’d like to see giant robots versus monsters? What about post-apocalyptic dinosaurs? Right now on Kickstarter, Savage Worlds await you!

Freedom Squadron – A Savage Worlds Setting by SpyGlass Games
Ends on .

“Freedom Squadron is a high-octane “Love Letter to 80’s Cartoon Action Heroes,” featuring new rules and new options for Savage Worlds.

It is the year 2051. After the startling discovery of VENOM—a paramilitary organization and global conspiracy that’s been interfering in world events since the end of the 19th century—the United Nations and leaders of the free world have been shaken to their core. In the aftermath of World War III, which they started, VENOM’s clear goal is world domination, and they will stop at nothing to achieve it.

The world’s response? Choose the greatest hero of the war, General Abraham Steel, and charge him to recruit an elite fighting force to oppose VENOM and protect liberty for all. That force, comprised of the best-of-the-best from all over the globe, is Freedom Squadron!

Players take on the role of those who’ve heeded the call to action. They are new Recruits who must first earn their stripes to become Commandos. Eventually, if they live up to the expectations of trainers like Sandbar, Corporal Carnage, Preedatore, and Blindsight, they may earn their Code Names and carry the fight to VENOM anywhere in the world… and beyond!

“Savage Worlds was created to handle the kinds of games I often like to play and run, where you can be a badass fighter or wizard or whatever, but you can also be a leader. A planner. I’m proud of how the game accommodates that, and my friend Sean Patrick Fannon has added even more to it in Freedom Squadron.

I had a blast in the Plans & Operations phase riffing off the other players, figuring out how best to use our individual characters’ skills, and then watching it all come together in the adventures that followed. Sean isn’t afraid of big games and big ideas, and this may be his best yet. I can’t wait to back, buy, and run it myself!”

Shane Lacy Hensley (Code Name: BUBBLES), veteran author and game designer, creator of Savage Worlds®, CEO Pinnacle Entertainment Group

Freedom Squadron has many new features for Savage Worlds® fans. Written and designed by Sean Patrick Fannon (ShaintarSavage Rifts®), these are special rules both inspired by his previous work and brand new for this setting. These include:

    • Plans & Operations: A unique combination of core Savage Worlds® game play elements that allows players to engage in multiple missions and actions in an “action cinema montage” style. Intelligence gathering, tactical positioning, investigations, covert insertions, computer hacking—anything and everything special ops Commandos might do between their epic battles with VENOM and other enemies. Fast-paced, inclusive, and designed to feature all of a hero’s skills, the Plans & Operations rules are sure to enhance any Savage Worlds® game.

 

  • Vocation Frameworks and Specializations: Inspired and adapted from the character creation rules of Savage Rifts®, these allow the player to choose a starting package of skills and abilities that reflect their primary role in the team, while also gaining cool extra abilities rolled randomly from various interesting charts. This is all on top of the usual core Savage Worlds® character building process.
  • New Edges: like Fighting Style, Operational Planning, Qi Focus, Strange DNA, and the innovative Zone Specialist (allowing heroes to truly shine in various environments like Arctic, Mountain, or Sea Zones).
  • Skill Focuses, Gear Points, and much, much more!
Psi War Big Epic Game at Ghengis Con
Psi War Big Epic Game at Ghengis Con

Freedom Squadron for Savage Worlds®, is based on VENOM Assault®, the board game created by SpyGlass Games. Evil Beagle Games has worked with World Designer Michael Knight to not only bring the world to life, but to expand on it as well.

Supplemental gaming accessories not included. Final design subject to change.
Supplemental gaming accessories not included. Final design subject to change.

While VENOM Assault® is not required at all in order to immerse yourself in the world of Freedom Squadron, you can check out SpyGlass Games’ website to view many character bios and even purchase the game!

Pinnacle Entertainment Group has created one of the most popular game systems in the world with Savage Worlds®, specifically oriented towards pulp and cinema action experiences. Sean Patrick Fannon of Evil Beagle Games has worked with them for years, and is the mastermind behind Savage Rifts®. Creating Freedom Squadron for Savage Worlds® was never a question.

With Pinnacle’s new release of Flash Gordon™ the Roleplaying Game, featuring many new rules updates, Freedom Squadron® is completely up-to-date and represents the state-of-the-art for Savage Worlds® fans.

New To Savage Worlds?

If you’re new to the Savage Worlds® rules system, Freedom Squadron® does require the core rulebook to play. You can get it in print and PDF from Pinnacle’s website. Pinnacle Entertainment Group publishes and manufactures the Savage Worlds® rules book, and maintains this website.

“Freedom Squadron offers an RPG experience like no other. This game is bursting with nostalgic tropes and themes, added to the rock-solid gameplay of the Savage Worlds system. The Plans & Operations rules are an innovative mechanic that focuses the action right where it belongs: on your characters facing down VENOM. Freedom Squadron is the perfect way to take on the roles of an elite, highly-trained special mission force and go on exciting adventures in this fully-realized setting!” – Ross Watson (Code Name: SKIPPER), Product Line Manager Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay: Wrath & Glory; Lead Developer, Savage Rifts; Lead Writer/Designer, Accursed

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

Let’s call this what it is – 1980s GI Joe! The setup, the execution, the names, the file card feel of the bios, the art that’s reminiscent of Tim Seeley’s GI Joe comic work from a decade ago, it’s the feel of my youth and one of my favorite toy lines/cartoons. But, there’s one difference, this is going to be the best version of that era of GI Joe, it’s going to be your version and your stories. This is not to say this is an officially licensed GI Joe product, it’s not; instead, this RPG is based on the board game, VENOM Assault. Regardless of that, the concept will put you back in your childhood and wondering if you should crack open eBay and buy some figures.

But will it be a good Savage Worlds setting? Well, I think the answer to that question is Sean Patrick Fannon. I had the pleasure of roleplaying with Sean at AndoCon 2018 (read about it here). He’s excellent at his craft and he’s the lead designer and brand manager for Pinnacle Entertainment’s Savage Rifts and I’d say he’s the perfect project lead for Freedom Squadron, an individual who loves the craft and the content. His presence as lead designer gives this a big stamp of approval. [By the by, Sean’ll be on this list twice.]

 

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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The Dinosaur Protocol (for Savage Worlds) by Battlefield Press International
Ends on .

[Disclosure: One of this project’s stretch goals is “$3850 – Stretch Goal #2 – One Sheet Adventure by Egg Embry“.]

“A post-apocalyptic table top role playing game of adventure and discovery in the jungles and plains of a world grown wild and strange.

65 million years have separated the ages of man and dinosaur. Until now.

“Some time in the 21st Century, something broke the world. No one knows for sure what happened. Solar flares, war, global warming, pollution and environmental collapse, or perhaps a combination of all of them. Perhaps it was something much stranger. All we know is that mankind fled the surface, retreating into vast underground shelters where they could wait out the centuries until the earth was habitable once more. But when we emerged from the darkness and prepared to retake our world, it was not as we remembered it. Something had happened to the world that once was. In the centuries without man, nature wound back the clock, returning the planet to an earlier, cleaner, more primal age. An age of dinosaurs.

Now humanity must choose – do we fight to reclaim our past, or do we make peace with the present and embrace a simpler future? Armed with the skills and technologies of our ancestors, do we struggle to recreate former glories, or will we use the second chance we have been given to avoid the mistakes of the past? Will human nature even give us the choice? Will we exterminate the reborn dinosaurs, enslave them, or something else? What will be our Dinosaur Protocol?” – From the journals of Archivist Roebuck

Written for the award-winning Savage Worlds game engine by Chris Halliday and Jonathan M. Thompson, The Dinosaur Protocol is a game of mystery, exploration, discovery and adventure. Players take the role of explorers, scientists, scavengers, hunters and traders, trying to survive a world whose first masters have returned. Will they stay at home and build their settlement, or blaze new trails through the saurian jungles of a World Reborn? Will they extend the hand of friendship to other settlements, or war for valuable resources? Will they hunt the dinosaurs, or study them? Where did the dinosaurs come from, and what other mysteries lie hidden in the ruined cities, dense jungles and empty deserts? Just who – or what – else is out there?

The Dinosaur Protocol presents a bestiary of prehistoric life, rules for encountering, battling and wrangling dinosaurs, details on how to carve your own settlement from the primeval jungle, rules for scavenging ruined cities and ancient installations, and a guide to the World Reborn… everything you need to create your own Dinosaur Protocol campaign.

A post-apocalyptic table top role playing game of adventure and discovery in the jungles and plains of a world grown wild and strange for the Savage Worlds Game Engine.

Alternate campaign frameworks will include:

Blast to the Past: Something went wrong the day they tested the weapon, and the sky tore open. Now your hometown is millions of years in the past, and you and your neighbours must survive a world you never thought you’d encounter.

The Broken World: Time has shattered. Imperial Rome has mingled with modern Europe. Blood runs down the step pyramids of Mexico, and at the bottom of your street is a jungle that wasn’t there yesterday. A jungle from which thunderous footsteps and distant roaring can be heard…

On Safari: Time travel has allowed humanity to retrieve extinct species from the past, and correct some of our worst mistakes, but it’s expensive. Chronos Corp allows universities and research institutes access to their Deep Time stations, while paying customers and their guides hunt the most savage and successful creatures in history. But something has gone wrong at the station. They’ve lost contact with home, the power is failing, and there’s a horde of hungry raptors gathering beyond the security fence…

Inside the Triangle: It was supposed to be a holiday, time off in the sun to recover from the stresses and strains of modern life. Only something hit the plane and now you’ve come down near an island that doesn’t show up on any map, populated by creatures that should have been dead for millions of years. Can you survive, let alone find a way home?

The New World: When scientists discover a crack in time leading to the distant past of a nearby timeline, it seemed like a gift from the gods, a means to escape an overcrowded world strangling to death on pollution. Now you and your family are pilgrims exploring a frontier like no other, building a new life in a primal land. But the factions and pressures of the old world may just have followed you here, and you no longer know who you can trust.

Cover Image is “Laelaps” by Charles Knight”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

[Disclosure: One of this project’s stretch goals is “$3850 – Stretch Goal #2 – One Sheet Adventure by Egg Embry“. You have been warned twice now. 😉 ]

Per the disclaimer, this project inspires me. For this action RPG, let’s strip out the need for superpowers, mutants, supernatural monsters, aliens, gods, magic, and made-up weapons, and get back to the reason we build homes in communities – Humanity vs Nature [in this scenario, Dinosaurs]. The idea of co-existing with the Earth’s apex predators is going to be the fuel for great battles at the gaming table! With the focus on the thunder lizards, expect all of the tools you’ll need to make your table Jurassic role-play as you tell stories of living in a world where humanity is an appetizer!

Oh, and Jonathan M. Thompson, co-creator on this project, loves him some dinosaurs and Savage Worlds! This is your chance to partake in his dinosaur love and see how well it will fit with the Savage Worlds rule set!

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Savage Tokusatsu: Kaiju, Mechs, and Heroes for Savage Worlds by BPB Games
Ends on Fri, April 13 2018 11:59 AM EDT.

“Transforming heroes, kaiju running amok, giant robots versus the monster of the week, and more built for the Savage Worlds rule set.

Tokusatsu is the Japanese word for any live action movie or television show that makes heavy use of special effects. The word’s literal translation is “Special Filming.”

Even if you aren’t familiar with the word itself, you are familiar with the works that fall under its umbrella. Giant, lizard-like kaiju that breathe atomic energy, quirky teens that transform into superheroes to fight against aliens from the moon, and giant robots going blow for blow with one another are all fundamental works within the genre of tokusatsu.

Savage Tokusatsu is a game built from the ground up specifically for the Savage Worldsroleplaying game. Within the pages of this softcover book are new rules and character options to help you capture the feel of any tokusatsu story in the collaborative storytelling experience that is tabletop roleplaying.

You can be the transforming team of heroes working together to control a giant mech simultaneously. You can play the desperate humans trying to halt the advance of an unstoppable monster that towers above skyscrapers. All this and more is possible with Savage Tokusatsu.

Savage Tokusatsu is a Savage Worlds supplement with approximately 100 pages of new content to help you take your game from mundane to kaiju-sized.

It contains:

  • Frameworks to represent the diversity of the many transforming heroes genres of tokusatsu.
  • New Edges that encourage an even greater degree of cooperation and teamwork amongst teammates.
  • New Hindrances that capture the feel of youthful characters trying to find their way in the world.
  • Multiple new Optional Rules to help you capture the specific feel of whatever genre of tokusatsu you seek to emulate. Lighthearted action and grim, pessimistic horror are all just as welcome as the next.
  • An in-depth but highly intuitive system for designing iconic weaponry and suits of armorfor transforming heroes and special agents alike.
  • An in-depth but not intrusive system for designing challenging monsters for our more mechanically-inclined friends.
  • A simple Hero Tier system to help groups wishing to avoid Toughness Bloat work giant robots, kaiju, and normal-sized people into the same sessions.
  • A streamlined way to approach high Toughness creatures for groups looking to capture the durability and desperation of facing down skyscraper-sized beasts with a column of tanks.
  • Over 40 new statblocks including heroes, kaiju, monsters of the week, and big bads that give detailed examples for each type of playstyle.
  • full Plot Point Campaign for a light-hearted, transforming hero themed tokusatsu adventure with several Savage Tales.
  • High quality printing fulfilled with DriveThruRPG. The book will fit right in with your other 6.625″ x 10.25″ Savage Worlds books on the bookshelf!
  •  A collaborative system for creating and controlling a shared pilot mech.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

Giant robots vs giant monsters using Savage Worlds! This is going to be big, dumb, action fun and I can’t wait for it! Want to test it out? They have a free test drive here. Add to that Sean Patrick Fannon’s second appearance on this list, this time as a guest writer for the project… which makes sense since he’s the lead designer for Pinnacle Entertainment’s Savage Rifts and he will bring the giant personalities this game needs to compete with its mechs and leviathans!

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or onFacebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

Interested in being a wanna-lancer? Start with the official Wanna-lancer Checklist t-shirt orwall clock or ice tea glass!

* * * * * *

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 onFacebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

10 QUESTIONS ABOUT Sherwood: The Legend of Robin Hood 2e for Savage Worlds WITH Jonathan M. Thompson (Battlefield Press International)

Battlefield Press International‘s Jonathan M. Thompson and I met face-to-face at Gen Con 50 and since then we’ve talked a fair amount about RPGs. I’ve blogged and interviewed him about projects from Gaslight Victorian Fantasy 3e for Savage WorldsRobert Asprin’s The Cold Cash War, and The Awakened III Anthology to Dragon Kings Player’s Rulebook for 5E. For his latest Kickstarter campaign, Sherwood: The Legend of Robin Hood 2e (Savage Worlds), we sat down to discuss what this project is and where he’s taking it.

  

EGG EMBRY – Jonathan, we’ve talked before, and I want to thank you for returning. You’ve got a Kickstarter campaign running through the holidays, don’t you. What’s it for?

JONATHAN M. THOMPSON – We are running a KS until Jan 4, 2018 for a new Savage Worlds edition of our setting Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood. It needed to be cleaned up and revamped a little. Sherwood was our very first Savage Worlds product, and it needed to have a little work done. Now this work does not mean that those that worked on it before did a bad job, in fact it was just the opposite. We are really trying to bring it in line with the way our other Savage Worlds products look.

EGG – This is a Savage Worlds’ setting. Why is Savage Worlds ideal for Robin Hood?

JONATHAN M. THOMPSON Savage Worlds is designed with “pulp adventure” in mind. I believe that the swashbuckling aspect of the Robin Hood genre just screams Fast, Furious, Fun, which is the motto of the Savage Worlds game system.

  

EGG – Why a 2e? What improvements are you planning?

JONATHAN M. THOMPSON – Mostly like it says on the KS page. We updated some edges, added some preconstructed archetypes and edited things so that they made more sense in this version of the book. We had some people helping out during the process too, telling me what they wanted to see in the book, and when it was possible we incorporated their feedback. Those people have requested to remain anonymous.

  

EGG – This isn’t your first Robin Hood game, is it? What other Robin Hood-centric projects have you done?

JONATHAN M. THOMPSON – We have done versions of this book for Pathfinder, D&D5e, and Swords & Wizardry. I have also recently worked on a new adventure book from Fearlight Games for their Hood: Swashbuckling Adventures in Sherwood RPG.

 

EGG – In your opinion, what makes Robin Hood and his world worth exploring?

JONATHAN M. THOMPSON – The world of Robin Hood is essentially our world in the late 12th century. There was a lot going on during the period. Turmoil in England, things happening in Europe and the Third Crusade was happening in the Middle East. These things can we weaved into the story you are trying to tell.

  

EGG – What do you feel is the quintessential Robin Hood book/comic/movie/game/whatever?

JONATHAN M. THOMPSON – Of course as everyone knows that would have to be Errol Flynn’s Adventures of Robin Hood from 1938. I truly believe that this is the first thing people think about when they think about Robin Hood.

EGG – Last time we talked, it was about Robert Asprin’s The Cold Cash War RPG. What happened with that game and what are your future plans for it?

JONATHAN M. THOMPSON – We didn’t quite make the goal on that one, we are going to relaunch the KS in June. We are going to be releasing a one sheet adventure in advance of the KS with some pregenerated characters from the novel included to play. This will give you a little bit of an idea of what will be going on in the setting in the future.

  

EGG – What other projects are you currently developing?

JONATHAN M. THOMPSON – I am working on a few things for different companies, but as far as Battlefield Press is concerned we are currently developing a new project called The Dinosaur Protocol.

Generations ago, in the late 21st century, the Earth was dying, and some thought it was the fault of man. In the end it did not matter, mankind could not survive on the surface any longer, and so a way was developed to save the human race. Top engineers and scientists, built arks deep underground to save mankind from its own folly.

Generations passed, and the descendants of the survivors thought it was finally time to finally emerge and return to the surface of their world. They exited the tunnels dug by their ancestors and arrived on the surface of the Earth. It was not the Earth described by their ancestors, this was a new place, lush forests, plenty of food, and something no one expected, flora and fauna that had not existed in millions of years. Even more surprising were the prehistoric animals running around, and yes, even dinosaurs.

It was clear that this was a new Earth, and one more dangerous than the one their ancestors left. Armed with the skills and technology left by the ancestors, mankind now must survive in a new world.

 

EGG – Any parting thoughts? Where can we find out more about Battlefield Press International and this Kickstarter?

JONATHAN M. THOMPSON –  Go to Kickstarter and search for Sherwood: The Legend of Robin Hood 2e (Savage Worlds) or you can get there by following the link:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/battlefieldpress/sherwood-the-legend-of-robin-hood-2e-savage-worlds

 

You can find their work on DriveThruRPG here.

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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).

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

Interested in being a wanna-lancer? Start with the official Wanna-lancer Checklist t-shirt or wall clock or ice tea glass!

* * * * * *

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).

4 RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – Flash Gordon, Monster Hunter International, Aventuria Compendium, and Dragon Kings

Two licensed properties are coming to Savage Worlds, an Ennie-winning game is getting an expansion, and a not-quite-Dark-Sun setting by the co-creator of Dark Sun is getting a spiritual successor for the world’s most popular role-playing game. These are all worth checking out.

 

Flash Gordon™ RPG for Savage Worlds by Pinnacle Entertainment Group
Ends on Mon, December 4 2017 10:00 PM EST.

“Pulp action at its finest! Use the Fast! Furious! Fun! Savage Worlds game system in the popular cinematic world of Flash Gordon™!

 

With a deafening roar, Dr. Zarkov’s rocket ship, with Flash and Dale aboard, shrieks into the heavens and heads straight toward the onrushing planet with a madman at the controls!

We announced the Savage World of Flash Gordon™ at Gen Con in 2015, and now it’s here! Drawing inspiration from Alex Raymond’s original strips, the serials, AND the 1980 movie starring Sam J. Jones and Max von Sydow, this is far more than just a game, this is a definitive resource for all Flash Gordon’s adventures!

AND NOW…it includes a foreword by none other than Sam J “Flash Gordon” Jones himself! See the link here for more details!

Foreword by actor, US Marine, and all around great guy Sam J Jones!
Foreword by actor, US Marine, and all around great guy Sam J Jones!

Author Scott Woodard dug deep into the history of this genre-defining series, bringing every corner of the setting to vibrant life. Heroes can foment rebellion in Mingo City, marvel at the tree-cities of Prince Barin’s Arboria, bake in Volcano World’s Land of the Dead, and shiver in Frigia or the cruel Ice Kingdom of Naquk.

Along the way they’ll encounter far more than just Ming’s merciless minions! Bore worms, cave dragons, sharkons, wolvrons, and over FIFTY strange and exotic creatures roam the strange world of Mongo!

Best of all, for fans of Savage Worlds, The Savage World of Flash Gordon™ features all the new powers, Edges, Hindrances, and amazing gear you’ve come to expect…but also an incredible new Setting Rule called…

At the beginning of each session, the players are given the Cliffhanger token. When the group decides to use it, they flip it over to the CLIFFHANGER side! Everyone gets a reward of some kind–such as drawing or refilling their Bennies, or gaining Conviction (more below!). But then the situation goes from the proverbial frying pan into the fire in some way!

We’ll provide a print and play Cliffhanger token online, but those of you backing the Collector’s Edition Box get this amazing, polished brass version, designed by the always amazing, spaceship lovin’, three-time Hugo Award™ winning artist, Cheyenne Wright!

This is the design for the 4" long, polished brass Cliffhanger token that comes *only* in the Collector's Box! We'll have photos as soon as we get our production samples!
This is the design for the 4″ long, polished brass Cliffhanger token that comes *only* in the Collector’s Box! We’ll have photos as soon as we get our production samples!

Once the Cliffhanger is in play, the GM either decides what happens based on the circumstances, or better yet, lets the players choose from a number of options…and we even have cards for them! They’re print and play now, but keep watching the skies and we’ll see what happens, heroes!

Three sample Cliffhanger cards...the symbols on the upper right tell the group what they get for taking on the Cliffhanger!
Three sample Cliffhanger cards…the symbols on the upper right tell the group what they get for taking on the Cliffhanger!

Example: Flash, Dale, Hans, and Thun battle Ming’s soldiers on the streets of Mingo City. Hans is out of Bennies, so another shot from the enemy’s atom pistol will spell his doom! Hans’ player calls for a Cliffhanger. The other players agree and they choose “Out of the Frying Pan!”

The GM tells everyone to take five while she sets up the new scene. She decides one of Ming’s soldiers has thrown a grenade that cracks open the city streets. The heroes plunge into the sewers below, straight into the lair of an angry gocko and the cave men who worship it!

The GM narrates: “Flash and his companions had Ming’s minions on the run! Little did they know a new terror lurked beneath their very feet!”

The group faces a new challenge, but have refilled their Bennies and are ready for action!

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

What does this campaign have going for it?

  • It’s from Pinnacle, the publisher of Savage Worlds, so the setting will fit the game as well as it can because it’s an official Flash Gordon product using a system that feels ready-made for it.
  • They have added pulp mechanics for the game that will offer “cliffhangers”.
  • Sam Jones (movie Flash Gordon) is doing the foreword.
  • The art is pulled from every era of this franchise.
  • They’re offering a scale airscout miniature ship that brings the pulp to life at your table!

There is only good here! The kind of good that’ll save every one of us!

 

To see examples of Pinnacle Entertainment Group on DriveThruRPG, click here.

To support this Kickstarter, click here.

 

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Monster Hunter International RPG: Savage Worlds Edition by Gallant Knight Games
Ends on Thu, December 7 2017 11:08 AM EST.

“The NYT Bestselling action fantasy series Monster Hunter International comes to Savage Worlds in an all new Kickstarter!

Mockup Cover! (Illustration and layout by Jeremy Mohler)Mockup Cover! (Illustration and layout by Jeremy Mohler)

 

Monster Hunter International,  the New York Times Bestselling action series is coming to the Savage Worlds roleplaying system!

Written by Larry Correia, Monster Hunter International is an urban fantasy series about professional monster hunters who battle against the things that go bump in the night!

As the slogan goes…”Cowboy up, and get paid.”

Larry is a big fan of Savage Worlds and when we approached him about doing an updated MHI roleplaying game, he immediately wanted to use one of his favorite rulesets, so that’s what we did!

Gallant Knight Games has experience working in Savage Worlds, and we’ve enlisted the help of the lead writer on the previous MHI roleplaying game Steve S. Long!

Using the rules in the book, you’ll be able to play a variety of teams in the MHI Universe, including the titular team: Monster Hunter International.

The book will also include:

  • Full details on MHI and it’s history, it’s organization, missions and tactics.
  • World information on PUFF, how the various governments handle monsters and more.
  • NPC stats for a variety of characters from the books, including Owen Z. Pitt, Julie Shackleford, Agent Franks, Susan Shackleford and more, written up by the creator himself!
  • Rules for playing over two dozen teams in the MHI Universe!
  • New monsters for your hunters to face down!
  • New MHI details and fictions right from Larry!
  • AND A LOT MORE!

We’re keeping this simple. What you see on the pledge levels is what you get!

Our goal is to fund a 200ish page softcover roleplaying game book for Savage Worlds. Like all Savage Worlds licensees, you’ll need Savage Worlds core rulebook to play the game.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

Flash Gordon and Monster Hunter International are both licensed settings for the Savage Worlds RPG and, while not exactly one-for-one the same (sci-fi pulp versus urban fantasy), they’re still going head-to-head and I’m curious to see the market reacts to them. As with Flash above, the setup for this novel series is ideal for translation to Savage Worlds – You’re a monster hunter… GO! HUNT! MONSTERS!

Add to that, one of the stretch goals is to get the novelist behind Monster Hunter International to create a special adventure for the book and this is a winner.

Sixth Stretch Goal at $80,000 – A special adventure, written by Larry Correia himself will be added to the corebook!”

 

To see examples of Gallant Knight Games on DriveThruRPG, click here.

To support this Kickstarter, click here.

 

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Aventuria Compendium – The Dark Eye RPG by Ulisses Spiele
Ends on Fri, December 8 2017 8:00 PM EST.

“The first rules supplement for the ENnie-Award winning RPG The Dark Eye vastly expands character options for the world of Aventuria.

Experience The Dark Eye and its ENnie-Award winning setting Aventuria in even greater depth with the Aventuria Compendium.

Whether your characters prefer weapons or words, the Compendium gives your heroes exciting new options for interacting with the world of The Dark Eye! As a player, choose the rules that you like best. Options can apply to all characters or even just to one—you decide how you want to play!

Master new fighting styles and wield new weapons on the battlefield, or put more subtle skills to use and outmaneuver your opponents in social interactions. Expand your game with new rules for Fate points, weapon breakage, hit locations, information gathering, item creation, and more!

The Aventuria Compendium and the Aventuria Armory broaden the setting of Aventuria by introducing new character professions and dozens of essential pieces of equipment. Explore new paths to heroism in Aventuria with the first major rules supplements for The Dark Eye!”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

 

The Dark Eye won a 2017 Silver Ennie Award for best setting (Dark Eye – Aventuria Almanac) and this Kickstarter expands on the game. Want to give this game a sh0t? Click here to get the free preview of the game.

 

To see examples of Ulisses Spiele on DriveThruRPG, click here.

To support this Kickstarter, click here.

 

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Dragon Kings Player’s Rulebook for 5E by Mindscape Publishing and Battlefield Press International
Ends on Sun, December 10 2017 12:26 PM EST.

“A totally new Player Rulebook from one of the co-creators of 5E for the most brutal fantasy RPG out there.

Welcome to the Dragon Kings Player’s Rulebook project.

In 2014, Tim Brown, co-creator of the Dark Sun campaing setting, released Dragon Kings through a very successful Kickstarter campaign and to much acclaim, with rulesets for Pathfinder, Savage Worlds, and 13th Age.

Dragon Kings showed us a ruthless and extremely dangerous world, with exotic races of humanoids and non-humanoids that depart from more traditional roleplaying games paradigms.

Khitus, the setting where Dragon Kings is located, is a world that is slowly dying. Its forest becoming deserts due to dreadful influences on the planet that are draining its natural resources.

With magic that takes a dreadful toll on those who use it, psionics are awakening. Races of long ago mindless insects are evolving and expanding, with a thirst for conquest that threatens the entire planet.  Lizardmen become cleverer by the day.

The world is changing as it dies, and only strong heroes have a chance to slow down or halt its demise.

That would be you.

The Pachyaur
The Pachyaur

Dragon Kings is a departure from more traditional fantasy settings, and has a darker and more exotic edge to it.

Add to this the intensity of the world and the new classes that it presented, and it’s impossible not to appreciate the vast potential and richness of this game.

The gorgeous art, the amazing cartography – Dragon Kings really stood high among the best and most innovative RPGs.

You can download the free gazetteer from here to get a great overview of the world.

And now, Dragon Kings is coming to 5E

With this project, we want to create a Player’s Rulebook to bring the 5E rules to Khitus.

To achieve that, we worked with the talented Chris Sims, one of fifth edition’s developers, and someone with more years of experience in the industry than politeness allows us to mention.

The Player’s Rulebook will contain races, class information, and more. It’s a book for Dragon Kings fans and fifth-edition gamers.

We expect the Player’s Rulebook to contain more than 20,000 words of text when it funds, with more content added as we hit stretch goals.

This Player’s Rulebook will be available both in black-and-white and color, and both soft and hard cover. That way everyone will be able to choose the edition that suits you best.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

Disclosure: I did some *minor* editing on this Kickstarter before it launched.

 

It’s not Dark Sun for 5e… But, it’s like Dim Star for 5e in the best possible sense.

Dark Sun is Dark Sun, and I’m proud of it. If someone would give me the keys and let me drive Dark Sun again I would be happy to do so. I’m creating Dragon Kings to satisfy that creative ‘jones.’ Dragon Kings will share many of the same themes, but will also be its own, unique universe. Honestly, this gives me an opportunity to move in creative directions that just weren’t open to me before, and that’s pretty exciting.

The setting already exists for Pathfinder, Savage Worlds, and 13th Age and, with Tim Brown involved, this offering will go a long way towards filling in for a much loved 5e setting.

 

Also, co-publisher Battlefield Press International has a campaign going for a fantasy prose anthology, The Awakened III Anthology, featuring the likes of Ed Greenwood, Darrin Drader, Darren W. Pearce, and more. Check it out here.

 

To see examples of Mindscape Publishing on DriveThruRPG, click here, and from Battlefield Press International, click here.

To support this Kickstarter, click here.

 

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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).

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

Interested in being a wanna-lancer? Start with the official Wanna-lancer Checklist t-shirt or wall clock or ice tea glass!

* * * * * *

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).

11 QUESTIONS ABOUT Seven Worlds WITH Luis Enrique Torres (Intellistories)

Hard science fiction in Savage Worlds by a Savage Worlds freelancer? I had a chance to talk with Luis Enrique Torres about his Kickstarter for Seven Worlds. Luis talks about why this Savage Worlds setting from an official Savage Worlds Licensee is doing so well and why you’ll want to check it out!

 


Check out John McGuire’s The Gilded Age steampunk graphic novel on Kickstarter!

 

EGG EMBRY – Luis, thanks for offering to answer my questions. You have a Kickstarter up for your game, Seven Worlds – realistic science-fiction for Savage Worlds, can you share what is the setting about?

LUIS ENRIQUE TORRES – Egg, thanks for inviting me to chat at your blog! Seven Worlds is a science-fiction campaign and setting for the Savage Worlds roleplaying game. It’s for players who want to play an epic galaxy-shattering story reminiscent of TV shows like The Expanse, Babylon 5 or Battlestar Galactica, with a healthy dose of gritty scientific realism.

And if you want to learn some fun and interesting scientific facts while you play, Seven Worlds is also for you!

 

EGG – You created this using the Savage Worlds ruleset, what makes this system right for your setting?

LUIS ENRIQUE TORRES – I always knew I wanted the game to be based on a mature and reliable RPG system. It’s so easy to fall into the “I can create my own RPG system” trap and forget how difficult it is to get the balance and probabilities right… and to keep the game fun! Savage Worlds (and other open systems, such as FATE) has already been play tested for years by a huge community of fans, and has proven to be robust and fun. So designing Seven Worlds on top of such a ruleset gives players and GMs the peace of mind that the system will work beautifully.

Also, before creating Seven Worlds I have been a Savage Worlds freelancer for several years, working on modules for Sundered Skies, Daring Tales of the Space Lanes, as well as conversions for Achtung! Cthulhu and others, so I felt using that expertise for this game would give players and GMs confidence in the quality of the final product.

 

EGG – Let’s talk about 3D maps of the stars. Your campaign offers 3D star maps, how do you use them at the gaming table to enhance the experience?

LUIS ENRIQUE TORRES – You know, space is three-dimensional and has no “up” or “down”, but a gamer surrounded by printed star maps of the kind provided by most space RPGs would be forgiven for forgetting that. As part of the goal of making Seven Worlds a unique, realistic experience for people who like their science, I thought it’d be cool to allow players and GMs to navigate space in 3D. So after modeling the universe of Seven Worlds (which, by the way, is using real official star maps, star names, star types and coordinates) I created a model that allows you to use a computer or tablet to “travel” in space.

The Seven Worlds 3-D star map uses a standard 3-D representation format called VRML, for which there are plug-ins and applications for many operating systems. The downloads page in the Seven Worlds web site contains not only the star map but also links to several popular VRML viewer applications.

One more thing about the star map: I have been careful to keep the 3-D star map a cool but optional part of the game. A perfectly-functional 2-D starmap is included in the main book and will very likely still be the most commonly used map for players and GMs.

 

EGG – Of the several Savage Worlds RPGs currently up on Kickstarter [some listed here], yours has drawn a number of backers and a healthy amount pledged so far. Do you have any thoughts on what makes Seven Worlds stand out?

LUIS ENRIQUE TORRES – First of all, I think the success of Seven Worlds is due to a group of amazing and dedicated backers, of course, and I am immensely grateful to them. Per my calculations, as of today the Seven Worlds Kickstarter is in the top-five most successful Savage Worlds Kickstarters of the last five years that have not been run by Pinnacle (who are the creators of Savage Worlds, after all)… and we’ve still got 21 days to go!

The launch of the Seven Worlds Kickstarter was preceded by several months of announcements and community-building, sharing details of the setting, tools, character sheets, and of course the Seven Worlds Test Drive. Plus, we quickly got some amazing reviews from specialized outlets and gamers, and a well-regarded recognition award for scientific accuracy. My hope is that backers felt that we were trying to do good by them and cramming as much value as possible into the final product.

 

EGG – When Russ Morrissey of EN World, the ENnie Awards, WOIN, and more asked what’s the best way to gauge how the pre-marketing for a crowdfunding was progressing, Owen KC Stephens (Design Lead for Starfinder) offered “I find downloads of free preview PDFs on DriveThru to be a pretty good predictor.” You have a single, free RPG product on RPGNow/DriveThruRPG, the Seven Worlds Test Drive. How did your test drive “track” for you before you launched your Kickstarter? How has it done since launching?

[EDITOR’S NOTE – Facebook conversations are wonderful for quotes.]

LUIS ENRIQUE TORRES – To be Frank, this is my first Kickstarter, so when I asked for feedback and advice, “get a test PDF onto DTRPG” was one of the first things I was told. And I agree with Russ, Owen and everyone else: Getting a taster of the product for free into people’s hands has been a great idea. In the first 24 hours we got more than 300 downloads, and currently we stand at just above 1,000 downloads so far. I find it humbling that so many people have shown interest in the game.

 

EGG – What’s been the reaction to the Seven Worlds Test Drive so far?

LUIS ENRIQUE TORRES – The reaction has been awesome! The Test Drive has been reviewed, just like a fully release product. I have fielded rules questions and deep explanations, some playtest comments, and even now you can find virtual tabletop games being run using Fantasy Grounds and the Test Drive.

 

EGG – In your opinion, what’s the best backer reward that you’re offering through this campaign?

LUIS ENRIQUE TORRES – Not to sound cliché, but “the best backer reward” is not the one I think is best, but the one that YOU think that’s best for you. I tried to keep things focused on my backers and reasoned that backers can either be players or GMs; and they can either like their books in digital (PDF) or printed book format. By that reasoning four very clear, backer-centric levels surface: Digital Player, Print Player, Digital GM and Print GM. So those are the backer rewards I created. Since there’s two books in the game I created a special tier for GMs who want to save costs by having the core book physical and the GM book digital. And that’s it! Judging from backer response I guess we made the right choice.

Regarding stretch goals, I hope the 1”-grid-scale battle maps are useful to as many people as possible. I can’t count the number of times I’ve needed a battle-map for a game, so I hope giving battle-maps helps players and GMs even if they don’t want to use them with Seven Worlds.

 

EGG – Tell us a little about you and what was the game that changed you into a gamer?

LUIS ENRIQUE TORRES – Sure! Like most of us I got started with one of the old D&D boxes in the 1980’s, and played until I finished high-school. After college I wanted to get back into gaming but found that the then-current D&D 3.5 required too much time investment, and as a new father I did not have the time. So I guess in that sense Savage Worlds made me a gamer again, by offering me a rules system I could quickly grasp and use, and that I could re-use no matter what type of game I’d like to play.

My day job is as a computer software architect. I guess being around technology and hearing about machine learning and artificial intelligence all day long played a part in creating the vision of future technology that is in Seven Worlds.

 

EGG – Why did you create your gaming company, Intellistories?

LUIS ENRIQUE TORRES – As the name implies, the push behind Intellistories was to create games that allowed you to live a deep, engaging, thought-provoking story. I believe that roleplaying games are the best medium for that, and thus plan to continue exploring it with other products via Intellistories.

 

EGG – What projects are you currently developing?

LUIS ENRIQUE TORRES – Right now I’m fully focused on Seven Worlds, making sure it launches successfully and then giving all backers the best product possible. After that, I have several ideas in the backburner. There have been requests for a translation of the game to other languages; I also deliberately left a couple of loose ends in the campaign, and I might try to explore them with new products for the line; finally, I am in the beginning stages of planning a set of novels based on the Seven Worlds setting. So stay tuned!

 

EGG – Any parting thoughts? Where can we find out more about Intellistories?

LUIS ENRIQUE TORRES – You can find more about Intellistories at http://www.intellistories.com and http://www.SevenWorldsRPG.com. Again, I’d like to thank you for allowing me to share all of this with you and your readers. And I’d like to invite your readers to support the Seven Worlds Kickstarter at http://Kickstarter.SevenWorldsRPG.com. There are still many stretch goals to be unlocked on the way to our main target: A full print run of Seven Worlds, which will allow hundreds or thousands of fans to get the game at their favorite store! Thanks to you and to your readers for supporting Seven Worlds!

 

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here or try the Seven Worlds Test Drive for free.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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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).

 

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

Interested in being a wanna-lancer? Start with the official Wanna-lancer Checklist t-shirt or wall clock or ice tea glass!

 

* * * * * *

 

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).

4 Savage Worlds RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – Titan Effect, Frozen Skies, The Monster Hunters Club, Seven Worlds, and more

This week I’m focusing on four Savage Worlds Kickstarters (as well as a system agnostic offering). Why pick a specific system like Savage Worlds instead of considering every system? Well, for one week I want to see if shining a spotlight on a single RPG engine helps spark some discussion about it. Savage Worlds is one of the most versatile games out there and it covers a variety of genres and I want to see if these campaigns can reach a wider audience, to get an idea of what SW’s fanbase is like. Considering that, let’s countdown the campaigns.

 

Check out John McGuire’s The Gilded Age steampunk graphic novel on Kickstarter!

 

5) Frozen Skies RPG for Savage Worlds by Applied Vectors, ltd and Utherwald Press
Ends on Wed, November 1 2017 12:00 PM EDT.

“Diesel-punk post-war aviators fight to survive on the frozen frontier against the elements and the savage Wulvers.

Frozen Skies is a roleplaying game written by Stephen Hughes of Utherwald Press. It is being brought to Kickstarter by Applied Vectors Ltd.

The 120 page book is written, what we need is artwork that accurately brings the setting to life, and for this to happen, we need you! The funding goal gets you a combination of colour and black and white art. if we hit the first stretch goal, it will be a full colour interior!

The setting of Frozen Skies is the continent of Alyeska, the most northern landmass of the world of Darmonica and is often referred to as either the ‘rooftop of the world’ or ‘Darmonica’s Crown’. It is an icy frontier plagued by savage beasts, cut-throat sky pirates, harsh weather and eons old dark secrets. It is a barely tamed land where the most basic of utilities are hard to come by and tend to lie on the good side of unreliable at best. But despite all this there are opportunities for a man to make a name and, more ideally, coin for himself.

Alyeska itself is dominated by savage beasts known as Wulvers, wolf like creatures that’ve plagued Alyeska since its earliest Colonial days. The Commonwealth had troops stationed in Alyeska to defend its fledging colony against the beasts, though they were steadily whittled away to satisfy the Commonwealth’s war efforts. As the defenses were weakened the Wulvers gradually overran more and more territory, in the end the Alyeskans were forced to hide behind fortified walls and increasingly rely on air travel to maintain contact with far-flung outposts.

Despite the Wulvers the other great powers of Darmonica have their own interest in Alyeska, chiefly for the ruins and artefacts of the Ancient Terrans buried beneath the ice and for a mineral by-product of the Blast known as Glimmer Rock. Until it was altered by the energies released in the explosion it was a previously unremarkable mineral, now it is the fuel for a new Industrial Revolution that the world finds itself on the cusp of….but only if the new technology can be made viable.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

Lets lead this list with some diesel-punk for Savage Worlds. Frozen Skies is set on a unique continent where the great powers colonized the north pole and planes are the best way to keep the icebound colonies connected. Sky pirates, and wolves, and glaciers. The concept is interesting and I can see where it’d mesh nicely with the Savage Worlds ruleset. Do you want to try a sample of the setting? It’s a $1.50 for the Frozen Skies Setting Primer at DriveThurRPG.

 

You can see examples of the creator and publisher’s work at DriveThruRPG here (Applied Vectors, ltd) and here (Utherwald Press).

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

4) Titan Effect RPG for Savage Worlds by Knights Errant Media
Ends on Thu, November 2 2017 10:06 AM EDT.

“An espionage and science fiction setting for Savage Worlds, somewhere between Tom Clancy and the X-Men!

Cover made by Vargasni
Cover made by Vargasni

Titan Effect RPG is a licensed campaign setting for Savage Worlds. Titan Effect is set in a contemporary world where psychic spies clash with genetically enhanced soldiers in a secret war in which the future of human evolution is at stake.

Take on the role of a trained operative gifted with psychic abilities. Perform dangerous missions all over the world for the international clandestine organization known as the SPEAR, and fight against dangerous creatures and organizations. Survive long enough, and maybe you will be able to make a difference.

Titan Effect RPG requires the Savage Worlds Core Rules and the Super Powers Companion (2nd edition).

The world of Titan Effect is like ours but darker and stranger. Psychics and augmented humans are used as spies and soldiers on behalf of criminal organizations, private military companies, and secret societies in a secret war that has been raging for decades. Some are fighting for control and power, while others seek to shape the future of human evolution.

In the middle of this conflict, stands the worldwide clandestine organization known as the Special Executive Assault and Recon or SPEAR. Its mission: to track and neutralize eugenics and psychic threats, and to prevent the world from falling into chaos. To succeed in its mission, the SPEAR hires people with unique sets of skills and possessing powerful psychic abilities. Its agents come from different nationalities and backgrounds.

Players take on the role of psychic operatives trained in black operations, and working for the international clandestine organization known as the SPEAR. They have the task to perform dangerous missions all over the world and fight against dangerous creatures and organizations. Some are there to make a difference, others for the thrill or because they have no other place to go.

Titan Effect RPG combines biopunk, spy thriller, and superhero elements. Imagine Tom Clancy meets Metal Gear Solid meets the X-Men. Titan Effect RPG plunges you into a world filled with conspiracies, secret organizations, dangerous biotechnologies and psychic phenomena. A world where the boundary between “good” and “evil” is blurred…”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

Let’s move from diesel-punk to biopunk. It’s a secret war for humanity’s future in which you can play a supersoldier. Based on the write-up – “Tom Clancy meets Metal Gear Solid meets the X-Men” – this is going to be action meets action meets action. But, hey, you gotta ask yourself if there’s enough action for you? To answer that, try their free demo kit and see (I think you’ll be happy with it).

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

3) Beneath, the Spire and the Sound (Beneath book 2) by Severed Books
Ends on Sun, November 5 2017 8:05 AM EST.
NOTES:

  • This link is NSFW 
  • System agnostic

“Beneath, the Spire and the Sound – book 2 of the Beneath series, a system-agnostic RPG module.

Beneath, the Spire and the Sound (book 2) 

Salt of the stars and salt of the earth — the critically acclaimed series is back! The armies of Seven Walls and the armies of Leaf have set their weapons aside — mid-battle — and cast off their armor and clothes. They walk hand-in-hand, naked, laughing, as friends, into the UnDungeon. Hannah has been captured. Now Baron Lennox beckons for you to return from your dark decent, rewarding you with The Perseverance [a tavern]. Beneath book 2 begins.

“Beneath challenges the conventional idea of the ‘Dungeon crawl’ in so many ways and succeeds in them all. It is radical yet well crafted, it is shocking yet thought provoking, it is familiar yet intensly Alien. If roleplaying is a Tree with all the various games and genres spreading out from it, then ‘beneath’ is one sick and twisted branch that waits for all brave travellers who dare to tread their foot upon.”  Jay of Colosseum Rex (U.K.)

“Beneath as a series is doing so much to reinvent what it means to be a prewritten adventure module. But Beneath isn’t just a few module books, it’s a living document full of unexpected messed up stuff and amazing artistic expression. You’ll feel like you’re talking to real people when you’re talking to the NPC’s. So strap in, and let’s get salty.” Zach Benge of Tabletop Radio Hour

“Beneath is a return to that thing that made gaming cool in the 80s, it’s dangerous and brutal, yet modern in it’s approach to subtext. A unique, grotesque, disturbing work that is entertaining and well crafted. A horror crawl that examines the topics of self absorption and the dangers held within. Your table deserves this experience and the sequel that follows.” Emanuel James Miller, Owner, Crit Hit Conventions

“Beneath masterfully blends narrative, adventure, combat, and character involvement. A dark tale that left our group massively satisfied.” The Inner Gamer

“I’ve never seen anything like this on an RPG level and I think it’s f*cking rad.” Full Metal RPG / Podcast

Undead Viking review here. 

Players will venture back to CragLee to claim the rewards they earned from book 1, including The Perseverance (a large tavern). Your party will even manage a “character sheet” specifically made for The Perseverance:  name a bar manager, track profits, store items, and customize the property.

Players will also meet Emily, a “Game Witch” who will share Hannah’s secret and also provide valuable support throughout the second half of the campaign. She can take an apprentice and teach them to imbue animal and human organs with powerful magic.

Horrors compound as the party returns to the UnDungeon and “The Vert” to face the more inverted abominations. Player’s decisions affect the outcomes of Hannah and many of the townspeople who have been seduced by the Inverted Cupid. Players will discover what The Invert actually is–a living, breathing cultural catalyst (a “Vert”) summoned with only the best intentions.

THE BOOK (Beneath, the Spire and the Sound)

  • 200+ pages
  • Matte cover
  • Perfectly bound
  • 8.5″ x 8.5″
  • Original illustrations by Scott Buonchristano and Justin Sirois
  • 50+ maps
  • Emily (NPC) and Suit of Salt character sheets
  • The Perseverance (tavern) management sheet

You will need Beneath book 1 to play Beneath book 2. If you need book 1 now, you can get it on Amazon (free shipping with Prime).”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

Let’s take a short Savage Worlds-pause to look at Beneath, a system agnostic adventure. Reading the pitch, this is an adventure that’s going to turn your fantasy preconceptions on their ear. It has some rarely utilized ideas – your tavern has its own character sheet – and enough twists to keep everyone guessing. If you’re looking for a unique path, this may be your cup of tea.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

2) The Monster Hunters’ Club RPG for Savage Worlds by CCS Games/Fabled Environments
Ends on Thu, November 16 2017 9:02 AM EST.

“The Monster Hunters’ Club is a setting for the Savage Worlds RPG about kids coming of age and fighting monsters in the 1980’s.

Cover by Karl Keesler
Cover by Karl Keesler

 

 The Monster Hunters’ Club is a licensed setting for the Savage Worlds Roleplaying Game set in the 1980’s and inspired by kids’ adventure and horror films, television, and novels like E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, The Goonies, The Monster Squad, The Lost Boys, Fright Night, It, Super 8, Stranger Things, and many more. Players take on the roles of children, growing up in the 80’s, who become heroes.

 The Monster Hunters’ Club is an officially licensed Savage Worlds product, and requires the Savage Worlds Deluxe Core Rules to play.

A preview of The Monster Hunters’ Club is available on DriveThruRPG. Please click on the link in the text, or click on the Preview button above to download our FREE preview from DriveThruRPG.

Something strange is happening in the town of Gulf Haven. Horrible creatures are coming to life. The adults seem blind to the entire thing. It’s up to you to find out what is happening, and stop it before it’s too late!

Growing up in the 1980’s…

You’ve got Saturday morning cartoons, a tree fort, a boombox, a fast bike, and oh…

Monsters are real.

You heard me.

Don’t bother telling your parents. Grown-ups can’t see ‘em. When something gets smashed up, they blame us. When somebody goes missing, they blame someone from out of town, or maybe the Russians. The monsters are real though, and it’s up to us to do something about it.

That’s right, between babysitting your little sister, dodging bullies like Scotty Mangrum, and surviving middle school, you also have to figure out how to fix the monster problem.

You can’t phone home, and there’s nobody you can call. It’s up to you to save the town, and maybe even the world!

Image Credit: Mike Dukes
Image Credit: Mike Dukes

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

The kids on bikes subgenre (Stranger Things, Stephen King’s IT, Tales From the Loop) expands to Savage Worlds. This is a fast-growing niche filled with, at a guess, fans about my age that are looking for a window back to their childhood. Do you want to see if this has the feel of Amblin Entertainment before you buy? The Monster Hunters’ Club is available on DriveThruRPG for free, so grab it and then you can decide if this is the RPG for your childhood memories.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

Monster Club art by Veronica V. Jones

 

1) Seven Worlds – realistic science-fiction for Savage Worlds by Intellistories
Ends on Thu, November 16 2017 9:08 AM EST.

“A unique hard Science-Fiction setting for the Savage Worlds RPG. An epic campaign, 2D/3D starmaps for most platforms, and more!

Welcome to Seven Worlds, a new Epic Science-Fiction Setting and Campaign for the Savage Worlds role-playing game!

Seven Worlds is a unique, epic hard(ish) Science-Fiction role-playing campaign and setting. In the year 2217 humanity’s greatest achievement is the colonization of the nearby star systems now known as the Seven Worlds, where humanity lives, thrives, and prepares for the next great wave of space exploration. But when the unexpected threatens humanity, only an unlikely band of heroes can unravel a deadly conspiracy and try to avert the Fall!

“This isn’t the usual Firefly-meets-Star Wars space opera, it’s more like The Expanse… Overall rating: 5 out of 5.”  – Halfway Station

What makes Seven Worlds special? Do we need yet another science-fiction setting and campaign for Savage Worlds? We believe there IS a niche for a new, unique setting, and here are some reasons why:

The Campaign is Epic: The core of Seven Worlds is its awesome, world-shattering campaign! The setting was designed around the story, rather than the story around the setting, making for a rich environment where everything fits together. Inspired by classic science fiction books likeThe Expanse series and TV series like Battlestar Galactica and Babylon 5, as well as by such grand episodic RPG campaigns as the original Dragonlance saga, this is a story arc the players will never forget!

The campaign will be available as seven PDF-only modules and (after the modules have been released) as a single-volume 253-page Campaign Book. For more information on the campaign, check this Designer Diary on our blog site.”

 

Check out my interview with Luis Enrique Torres about his Kickstarter for Seven Worlds here.

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

You know what I like best about Savage Worlds? There are four Kickstarters and four unique settings/genres. Diesel-punk, biopunk, kids on bikes, and, now, hard science fiction. As I’ve mentioned before, 2017 feels like the Year of the Sci-Fi RPG.

With that in mind, this is going to be a good Savage Worlds setting. As with the other Savage Worlds RPGs on this list, you can try before you buy – Seven Worlds Test Drive for free.

 

You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

 

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Signal Boost:

 

Design Camp 2 – The Conversion! with Ben McFarland, Jason Sonia, and Brian Suskind
We’re planning a short winter project to showcase the process of converting a D&D3.0 adventure to 5E & PFRPG while updating the design.
Ends on Wed, November 1 2017 4:53 AM EDT.

Why signal boost this? This is wanna-lancer college! Take out a student loan and join in because Egg Embry will be there!

Check out the campaign here.

 

Gilded Age: Vol 1 – A Steampunk Graphic Novel by John McGuire
Made up of magicians and actors, freaks and gunslingers, The Gilded Age reveals everyone’s desires and secrets.
Ends on Fri, November 17 2017 11:59 PM EST.

Why signal boost this? This is from the Tessera Guild’s own John McGuire and he’s hitting on all cylinders with this story! Steampunk circus touring across Victorian Europe! Carny robots! Stage wizards! Tricksh00ting cyborgs! Check out the link to the campaign for a free copy of issue one!

The Gilded Age - Volume 1 Cover - La'Vata O'Neal - Artist
The Gilded Age – Volume 1 Cover – La’Vata O’Neal – Artist

Check out the campaign here.

 

* * * * * *

 

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).

 

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

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

 

* * * * * *

 

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

Interested in being a wanna-lancer? Start with the official Wanna-lancer Checklist t-shirt or wall clock or ice tea glass!

 

* * * * * *

 

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).

10 QUESTIONS ABOUT Robert Asprin’s The Cold Cash War RPG WITH Jonathan M. Thompson (Battlefield Press International)

At Gen Con 50, Jonathan M. Thompson said we should meet and I agreed with him in that airy way that is closer to if-it-happens-it-happens than it is to a firm commitment. I wasn’t trying to avoid him, just Gen Con is so much that it’s not about what you want to do, it’s about what you’re willing to miss because there were easily twenty things I wanted to do that I did not make it to. But, Jonathan asked and we finally connected as I was heading out the door for the trip back to Atlanta. Last minute yet it was one of the most important connections I made at the con. He bent my ear about something I’d never heard of before, Robert Asprin’s The Cold Cash War. Despite my ignorance, Jonathan’s passion for this property sold me and led to conversations and support and this interview.

 

EGG EMBRY – Thanks for speaking to us. You’re running a Kickstarter, Robert Asprin’s The Cold Cash War, can you tell us what the setting and game are about?

JONATHAN M. THOMPSONCold Cash War is based on Robert Asprin’s first novel, The Cold Cash War. It is about corporations fighting each other the way that countries would do. They hire mercenary armies and pick a spot, usually in a third world country, and hash it out with weapons and troops. They use a thing called a killsuit that register kills and turns off the injured part of the body. This is the default setting for the game. A character doesn’t have to worry about being killed normally, but can be taken out of action. The other method of play has to deal with the time when corporations started taking out their rivals for real, via assassination. This level of play means characters can be killed and will get a little more than a slap on the wrist or jail time if caught by the rival corporation. Basically, you can treat the corporations like countries and you get the same kind of feel. The corporations are all megacorp conglomerates, and they all want the upper hand. The eventual goal is for only one corporation to exist, creating a worldwide monopoly.

Asprin is better known for his M.Y.T.H. series, and also his series of military comedy starting with Phule’s Company.

 

 

EGG – You are producing this for both the Savage Worlds system and the Cepheus Engine, what makes these the ideal systems for setting?

JONATHAN M. THOMPSONCepheus Engine is derived from open content released from Mongoose Publishing for their first edition of Traveller. It is an old school game, with an old school feel, which makes it perfect for Cold Cash War. I also believe that Savage Worlds, with its innate flexibility makes it an ideal choice for the setting.

 

 

EGG – As a fan, what would be the Cold Cash War adventure that you’d be the most excited to play?

JONATHAN M. THOMPSON – I would love to play in a series of adventures dealing with espionage, corporate espionage in CCW is similar to what you would think about countries going to war with each other.

 


EGG
– This book came out 40 years ago and looked at the near future; what did it accurately predict about today? Will the setting reflect the 1970s vision of today and the future?

JONATHAN M. THOMPSON – It accurately predicted the rise of the corporation as a power, we are getting pretty close to that today…some would say we have reached that. The corporations in the book turn out to be more powerful than the governments, for the most part. The setting will be the “near now” as seen through the lens of 1977. Mostly the novel reflects the world as Asprin saw it in that time, and we are planning on keeping that as the way the reader sees it through the RPG. We have done this with other games, using a term I like to call “alternate future.” This way you get the idea of what they were thinking, the best we can without asking Robert Asprin himself.

 

 

EGG – You’ve worked with the Asprin estate to bring about this project, are there plans to expand this setting and story beyond what Mr. Asprin originally wrote?

JONATHAN M. THOMPSON – There are. With a successful KS we will start working on source material, the big things we are looking at now is a series of books detailing each of the corporations and the governments…. including the illusive C-Bloc.

 

 

EGG – Tell us a little about you and what was the game that changed you into a gamer?

JONATHAN M. THOMPSON – Like most people in my age group, that would have to be Dungeons and Dragons. I told this story recently, but when I was in elementary school, I lived in Singapore because my dad was assigned there and he worked for an oil company. So, I have always been a voracious reader, and I had pretty much read everything in the schools library. Every day after lunch I went to the library, in those days I read about a book a day (sometimes more) and I had just finished the Mystery section, having finished the Sci-fi/Fantasy section first. I had turned the corner (as the library was built in an L shape) and sitting at the conference table in the library were these guys playing this game. I sat down to watch, fascinated by what they were doing. The next day they invited me to play, giving me a character to play. A druid. None of us really knew what we were doing, but we had a blast doing it.

 

Battlefield Press’ Victorian Gaslight Fantasy 3e for Savage Worlds

EGG – Why did you create your gaming company, Battlefield Press International?

JONATHAN M. THOMPSON – I wanted to get those good designers, that may not get a chance with the big guys, a chance to be heard. My friend wanted to get his game published, and no one would take him. So I formed Battlefield Press and his was the first we did, but instead of using his original system we converted the entire thing to d20 (at the beginning of the d20 era). It did well, so BPI went on to other things, some doing great, some not, but all of that gave me confidence, strength and improved my ability as a designer.

 

EGG – As a Kickstarter veteran, what advice would you give others thinking about launching a gaming Kickstarter?

JONATHAN M. THOMPSON – Just do it. There is nothing wrong with taking a chance. If you make it then the public agrees with your vision, if you don’t then you are still okay because you know that was not a project to invest your own time and energy into.

 

 

EGG – What projects are you currently developing?

JONATHAN M. THOMPSON – There are many things, expanding our Gaslight Victorian Fantasy line, developing a Starfinder version of our Eldritch Skies setting. We also have the license for Atlas Games’ Northern Crown which is developed for Pathfinder, with some additional material coming. We have Sherwood the Legend of Robin Hood for Pathfinder, 5e, and the Swords & Wizardry system. Warren C. Norwood’s Double Spiral War for Savage Worlds is getting a new book next year. In additional to all our RPG material, we also publish Fiction. Our next fiction release is called Sisterhood of the Blade, which is about a trio of women in France during the time of the French Revolution (think 3 Musketeers, but women protecting the Queen), and we have also partnered up with Samurai Sheepdog (and Hall Greenberg) to publish their upcoming fiction in their Awakened line. That KS will launch in November.

 

 

EGG – Any parting thoughts? Where can we find out more about Battlefield Press International?

JONATHAN M. THOMPSON – We can be found on DTRPG and RPGNow, as well as the Paizo store. In addition we can be ordered through your FLGS. We have a website (www.battlefieldpress.com), but its out of date and needs a face lift.

 

 

To see other games from Battlefield Press International, check out their products on DriveThruRPG here.

For the Robert Asprin’s The Cold Cash War Kickstarter, click here.

 

* * * * * *

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

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

* * * * * *

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

Interested in being a wanna-lancer? Start with the official Wanna-lancer Checklist t-shirt or wall clock or ice tea glass!

* * * * * *

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).

4 Dark RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – Traveller, Chronicles of Darkness, Gaslight Victorian Fantasy, and Battle for the Purple Islands

This week’s RPG Kickstarters focus on games ripped from the darkness of space, the worst of human history, and the color purple. Let’s count down the darkest RPG Kickstarters going this week.

Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras 2 by Onyx Path

4) Traveller RPG: The Great Rift & Deep Space Exploration by Mongoose Publishing
Ends on Saturday, August 5 2017 10:57 AM EDT.

“A Deep Space Exploration box set for the new Traveller RPG, covering the Great Rift.

Welcome to the Great Rift, a mostly unexplored region of the Third Imperium universe close to the Spinward Marches and Trojan Reach!

This Kickstarter project is to create a brand new box set for the Traveller roleplaying game, detailing not only the sectors of the Great Rift but also providing a comprehensive guide to deep space exploration and the mysteries that can be found far from the shipping lanes.

You can download preview PDFs showing some of the content right here:

Preview of the Deep Space Exploration Handbook
Preview of the Armstrong-class Exploration Vessel
Preview of the Vestus Subsector
New Sector Map of Reft

The Great Rift box set will contain:

  • Two full colour, 96 page books covering Corridor, Reft, Riftspan Reaches and Touchstone sectors.
  • Two gigantic (28″ x 48″) two-sided, full colour sector maps.
  • The Deep Space Exploration Handbook, a 32 page book featuring all the rules needed to conduct deep space exploration, plus the specially designed ships needed to traverse the void.”

Egg’s Thoughts:

When thinking of darkness, Traveller has gone the extra parsec by producing black covered books about space. The mock-ups below are exquisite.

Are you a fan of Traveller? This Kickstarter covers the latest expansion for one of the original RPGs. The current edition looks slick and Mongoose Publishing believes in their product – they’re offering a variety of previews. Gamers that want a legacy sci-fi RPG can discern if this is for them or not from those samples.

 

You can find this Kickstarter here.

 

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3) Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras 2 by Onyx Path
Ends on Saturday, August 5 2017 12:00 PM EDT.

“Contribute to help create a prestige edition of Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras 2 and help pick which Eras we include!

We have shared the world with monsters for millennia…

Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras 2 starts out presenting a chapter for each of six historical eras; each of which features two Chronicles of Darkness game lines which include Vampire: The Requiem, Mage: The Awakening, Hunter: The Vigil, Changeling: The Lost, and more! The rules in this book are compatible with second edition Chronicles of Darkness. Each terrifying time period and location is examined through the supernatural creatures that dwell there:

DARK ERA: The French Revolution (1789 to 1799).
Vampire: The Requiem
and Demon: The Descent:

To the immortal Kindred hidden within the House of Bourbon, the old ways of monarchical rule and royal privilege seem as eternal as the endless stretch of their nights. As the first stirrings of the Carthian Movement take shape alongside disenfranchised mortals yearning for liberty, fallen angels seize this opportunity to tear down the Machine’s Infrastructure creating the penultimate struggle for survival. As the Revolution reaches its height and the Terror begins, the God-Machine’s wayward children wonder whether Hell on Earth might be within reach after all.

DARK ERA: The Great War – Western Front (1914 to 1918).
Geist: The Sin-Eaters
and Werewolf: The Forsaken:

The Great War displayed humanity’s potential to commit to wholesale, ceaseless slaughter of their own species. In such an era, the Scar tears asunder, and the Beshilu rejoice in the mire of the Western Front. Meanwhile, soldiers who, by every right known to mortals should be dead, stand back up to rejoin the battle — or fight back against the Reapers stalking battlefields throughout Europe. Now, both werewolves and Sin-Eaters will struggle to coexist, do their duty, and avoid getting caught up in one of history’s deadliest wars.

DARK ERA: Light of the Sun – Europe (1600s).
Deviant: The Renegades
and Mage: The Awakening:

Galileo. Kepler. Newton. On the heels of the Italian Renaissance, reason and belief clash at every turn. Scientific discoveries disproving heliocentrism are subverted and deemed heretical. Scientists, mages, and astronomers are arrested by the Inquisition, and their books are banned. In response, intellectuals on the brink of discovery turn to alchemy and the magical arts, and create deviants to defend their laboratories and universities. Not all in this age agree violence is the option, however, and worry the Church’s power is too strong to fight. What’s more, no one expected the deviants to have a mind and will of their own.

DARK ERA: Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (100 to 50 B.C.E).
Changeling: The Lost
and Promethean: The Created:

As the locations of the most significant manmade structures in the world are revealed, adventurers from Greece to beyond seek them out to bask in their glory. It is tragic, however, that some wonders must be kept secret. The Gentry do not respond well to their Hedge being disturbed, and the seven wonders are coated in thorns for the unwary. There is no telling what they will do when they encounter the Created, who have heard of these wondrous places immune to war, the ravages of time, and Disquiet. Though the Created seek to protect the wonders like a mother would a child, the Gentry have their own reasons for safeguarding them.

DARK ERA: Rise of the Last Imperials – China (1644 to 1911).
Mummy: The Curse
and Hunter: The Vigil:

The last Imperial Dynasty, the Qing, was established following the takeover of Beijing. Masters of northern China, the powerful Great Qing successfully usurped weakened Ming rulers, but their rule was marked by their suspicious treatment of the Han Chinese. Despite this, the Qing emperors preserved centuries of Chinese arts and literature while searching for mummies rumored to be active in the area. Caught between the present and the distant past, mummies clash with Rival Arisen, sweeping Han Chinese hunters into their wake who must face many threats to uphold the Vigil.

One Thousand and One Nights – Islamic Golden Age (750 to 1258).
Beast: The Primordial
and Vampire: The Requiem:

Aladdin. Scheherazade. Ali Baba. Sinbad. During the Islamic Golden Age, great strides in economic development and scientific knowledge occurred throughout the Islamic world and, at the same time, the tales of Scheherazade expose the wonders of magic to all. In this gilded era of human achievement, Kindred and the Begotten join forces to stay at the top of the food chain. Through their eyes, experience a thousand and one dreams…and nightmares. Who doesn’t like a good bedtime story?

Writing will begin on these chapters, as well as on any added Dark Era chapters once this Kickstarter is over. Having been through this process with the original Dark Eras Kickstarter, we believe this is the best way to create a strong set of Dark Eras for all of you.

Shepherding the writing will be developers Monica Valentinelli, Matthew Dawkins, and Meghan Fitzgerald.

If you are unfamilar with our Dark Eras books, here’s a chapter text sample from the first Dark Eras book, featuring Requiem for Regina, Vampire and Changeling in Elizabethan London: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7FqViticwNuUkhPaFpQY2I5eFE

And a chapter text sample from the Dark Eras Companion featuring Princes of the Conquered Land, Mage and Mummy in the Mutapa Empire of Southern Africa: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7FqViticwNuVDRSVFIzWGNMWkE ”

Egg’s Thoughts:

Think of the darkest periods of human history then add vampires, werewolves, mages, hunters, demons, and more as chronicled by Onyx Path. That’s the level of darkness for Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras 2.

For the wanna-lancers* of the world, Onyx Path is offering an interesting opportunity with the “Dark Collaborator” reward:

“You will be brought into the inner circle to participate in the creation of either one of the Dark Eras 2 chapters or our next Chronicles of Darkness project as a Consulting Developer. You’ll be included on every communication between the developer and the writers from the beginning to the end of the project’s creation.”

Instead of the usual chances to develop a NPC or item offered during other Kickstarter campaigns, this reward allows you to work with Onyx Path on an entire chapter of this project or their next product. It’ll let you dive in and see all of the parts and learn from one of the most important companies in the gaming industry.

 

You can find this Kickstarter here.

 

* Wanna-lancer = a fan that wants to become a freelancer for RPGs.

 

* * * * * *

 

2) Gaslight Victorian Fantasy 3e for Savage Worlds by Battlefield Press, Inc.
Ends on Saturday, August 5 2017 4:18 PM EDT.

“A new edition of Gaslight Victorian Fantasy for the Savage Worlds game engine.

“Gaslight is certainly more of a sandbox game. You are given the world, the rules and then let go. There is no over arching plot or theme like Rippers or Ghosts of Albion. It is, in feel, much closer to the old Ravenloft: Masque of the Red Death game. Which is pretty cool.” – Timothy Brannan (author of the Ghosts of Albion Role Playing Game)

ENnie Award winning publisher, Battlefield Press presents its premiere Victorian setting in a new edition for the Savage Worlds game engine. Complete with a new cover by the talented Robert Hack.

Imagine a Victorian world, but not as history tells us it was, but as the literature implies that it was. Believe that the literature from the period were more than just stories, but instead first hand accounts of the events that happened in the world. Imagine a world populated by the lost boys of JM Barrie, the Beast Men of Dr. Moreau even tales of an immortal vampire named Dracula. Included in these are organizations bent of determining what is best for humanity, and they have launched a secret war against others so that only one will prevail.”

Egg’s Thoughts:

Their cover is glorious! It feels like every ounce of the darkness of the Victorian genre distilled into a single image. I could see this on the cover of Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Are you ready for the pre-cursors to modern fantasy storytelling laid out for you to play? This amalgamation of powers and opportunities… this could be a glorious expansion to Savage Worlds!

 

You can find this Kickstarter here.

 

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1) Battle For The Purple Islands by Kort’thalis Publishing
Ends on Thursday, August 10 2017 11:23 PM EDT.

“The Islands of Purple-Haunted Putrescence returns; OSR scenario of warring factions competing for dominance in a purple world gone mad.

The Islands of Purple-Haunted Putrescence has done well as an O5R campaign setting. I’ve been asked countless times if I’m ever going to go back to the purple islands.  Well, this Kickstarter is a resounding “YES!” to that query.

The purple islands (there’s three of them very close together, and are usually considered a single place) is an eldritch science-fantasy setting with gonzo sword & sorcery.  Both books will be usable with any sort of Lost World, Mars, Dream Lands, Hyborian Age, alternate Earth ruled by civilized apes or menaced by dinosaurs and sleestak, or a world of savagery, super-science, and sorcery.”

Egg’s Thoughts:

Love. Me. Some. Venger. Through RPG, I’ve met a legion of incredibly nice folks. Jeff Duncan, Dan Davenport, Dan Dillon, Ed Jowett, Nathan Tucker, Chris Helton, Justin Halliday, BJ Hensley, and so many more that I’m forgetting. They’ve all been welcoming and I could not be happier to know them. High on my list of RPG friends is Venger. He’s helped me with direction, published some of my work via his recent NSFW Trinity of Awesome Returns series – Stairwell of V’dreenHis Flesh is Key, and High-Stakes Q’uay-Q’uar – and always been open to helping me along the path to RPG freelancer. When he launched his sequel to The Islands of Purple-Haunted Putrescence, I was happy to support it.

Why should you check out Battle for the Purple Islands? Because it’s unlimited budget grindhouse glory in the form of a RPG! It may be purple, but Venger creates some dark games!

Why should you support Venger? Because, if you’re like Egg and you want to create fantastic games, reach out to Venger on Google+ or at his blog. He has worthwhile advice (and books of advice) to share. He’s open and direct with what works and what doesn’t. He’s worth talking to.

 

You can find this Kickstarter here.

 

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Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links to DriveThruRPG.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

Interested in being a wanna-lancer? Start with the official Wanna-lancer Checklist t-shirt or wall clock or ice tea glass!

* * *

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:

4 RPG & 1 Comic Kickstarter You Need To Back – Monarchies of Mau, Buccaneer: Through Hell & High Water, Route 3, A Delve in the Cave, and The S’rulyan Vault II

Want to immortalize your cat (in art)? Design a pirate or a townie NPC? Ever want to read a comic about the road trip from Hell? Need a map through the mega dungeon? Want to meet fun tabletop gamers? If you answered, yes, then you might be building a RPG resume to go from wanna-lancer to freelancer and these are some of the best vanity press crowdfunding rewards that help you learn the RPG ropes. Let’s count these campaigns down!

 

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5) Monarchies of Mau Fantasy Tabletop RPG by Onyx Path Publishing
Ends on Thursday, June 15 2017 12:00 PM EDT. 

“Contribute to help us create a beautiful traditionally printed fantasy game book featuring cat monarchies – and get it into stores.

We want to talk to you about Monarchies of Mau. It’s a complete tabletop roleplaying game that acts as a companion game to, and is totally compatible with, my first RPG, Pugmire. The Monarchies of Mau is a nation of cats tenuously comprised of six city-states.”

Monarchies of Mau

Egg’s Thoughts:

Cats with Swords!

You either raised an eyebrow and want to click the link to the Kickstarter for this anthropomorphic cat-people in a feline fantasy setting OR you rolled your eyes and thought, “Puss in Boots… bah, Antonio Banderas! My arch-nemesis strikes again…” Clearly, you’re either pro-Planet of the Cats or you’ll be canned as Fancy Feast! There is no third option!

[EDITOR’S NOTE – Don’t listen to Egg. He wrote “cats with swords” and felt it was defining. Make your own decision on this one because he’s going to be Fancy Feast no matter what.
As always, may Gary Gygax keep and protect your dice.
]

As an added bonus, Monarchies of Mau has a pledge level in this campaign to name a feline (or canine) NPC and have it illustrated to resemble your pet. It’s an opportunity to immortalize a member of the family.

Check out Cats with Swords… er, Monarchies of Mau Fantasy Tabletop RPG by Onyx Path Publishing here.

 

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4) 5E Adventure: A Delve in the Cave by Jamie Chambers
Ends on Friday, June 16 2017.

“A curse. A cave. A crawl. 5E fantasy adventure by Jamie Chambers!

Returning to my personal and professional gaming roots with a short adventure for 5E of the original fantasy roleplaying game—a cavern crawl built to please hack-and-slash groups and storytellers alike!

It All Started When …

I accidentally wrote a 5E fantasy RPG adventure! Wanna help me print it? This is a short campaign … it ends on June 16, 2017.”

Jamie Chamber’s Gaming Table

Egg’s Thoughts:

Due to the limited number of details about this cave crawl – it’s for 5e, there’s a curse, and a cave – you’ll need to decide on this project based on the strength of who Jamie Chambers is. So, who is he? Jamie Chambers runs Signal Fire Studios, home of the revised Metamorphosis Alpha RPG, he was a designer and line editor for TSR’s Dragonlance, and a former Vice President on the board of directors for GAMA (Game Manufacturers Association). So, who is he? He’s a gamer with a resume that speaks volumes about his skill. Top that with the fact that I discussed his IndieGoGo campaign last week and suggested that, in a perfect world and since he’s local to me, it’d be cool to meet him. He read the article and said we should make plans. Like so many folks I’ve met through wanna-lancing and gaming and comicing, Jamie’s a nice guy and for that alone this campaign is worth backing.

But, because I’m a wanna-lancer, let me add this reason to back the campaign over and above his resume and affable personality, you can create a NPC and/or playtest this adventure online with Jamie. It’s a nice extra.

You can find the IndieGoGo campaign here.

 

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3) Route 3 by Robert Jeffrey II and Sean Damien Hill
Ends on .

“Centuries old prophecies. Shadowy government conspiracies. Super heroic action. Just a typical day for teenager Sean Anderson. Route 3.

Route 3 is a super-powered road trip from hell. A Stone Mountain, GA teen finds out he’s been granted with a set of spectacular abilities, that he knows nothing about. He’s now on the run from a wide array of folks in a sort of super powered arms race across the Southeastern United States. Explosions, gunfights, telekinetic feats of awesomeness, and a little personal growth are all thrown into the mix.

We’ve collected all three issues of the first story arc into a superb collected edition that also includes a cover page gallery, “DVD” extras, and a forward by the talented artist/ writer Takeia Marie (Contributor to Rosarium Publishing’s APB: Artists Against Police Brutality).”

Route 3

Egg’s Thoughts:

Because Robert Jeffrey is our guildmate, and we love him and Route 3, we’ve shouted out this Kickstarter as much as possible on the Tessera Guild. It’s exceeded its goal (so the collected first story arc is coming) and the campaign is moving through stretch goals. I’m a fan of the series and ready to read more of Sean Anderson’s adventures!

Check out the Kickstarter here – Route 3

 

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2) Buccaneer: Through Hell & High Water for Savage Worlds by Fabled Environments and Yellow Piece Games
Ends on Tuesday, June 20 2017 9:00 PM EDT.

“Pirates, Vodouisants, and Witch Hunters battle each other and beasts of legend in the mystic waters of the Caribbean. Climb aboard!”

Egg’s Thoughts:

Are you a fan of Savage Worlds (2003 Origin Gamers’ Choice Award for best role-playing game)? Oh, you don’t own the rules? Well, Pinnacle Entertainment has you covered because the core rule book is $9.99 in softcover.

To compliment the game and price point, Yellow Piece Games is kickstarting their pirate setting for Savage Rules. For $15, you get a PDF of the setting and customized rules and also a PDF of pirate NPCs that you get to contribute to. For my wanna-lancer resume, this adds experience with Savage Worlds and another NPC, all for a low price point.

Check out the Kickstarter here – Buccaneer: Through Hell & High Water for Savage Worlds.

 

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1) The S’rulyan Vault II by Kort’thalis Publishing
Ends on Thursday, June 22 2017 10:46 AM EDT.

“This project is a file/PDF for a high-resolution, printable map in both old school module blue and white, as well as, parchment color.

Basically, this is a continuation of the first S’rulyan Vault which funded on Kickstarter just over a year ago.

The S’rulyan Vault II is more of the same… but different.  Obviously, there will be a totally new dungeon layout with lots of interesting things going on.  The files can be printed off so you’ve got one massive map or four quadrants in order to easily mix and match them with each other and the previous S’rulyan Vault.

This is the DriveThruRPG product listing for the original S’rulyan Vault.

Glynn Seal of MonkeyBlood Design will be doing the cartography, layout, and file preparation.

As for the accompanying PDF full of useful random tables and such for creating and running your own damn megadungeon!  On the fly, if you wish.  Here’s an example from Draconic Magazine.”

Example Map from the S’rulyan Vault II

Egg’s Thoughts:

Kort’thalis Publishing’s CEO (Cthulhu Excreted Officer) Venger Satanis is another nice soul. When I mentioned that I wouldn’t mind a RPG mentor in an article, Venger reached out and offered helpful advice, wanna-lancing opportunities, and, if everything works out, freelance RPG work.His help has been awesome and I cannot ask for more from a RPG professional.

Through Kort’thalis Publishing, Venger is making RPG magic. His current Kickstarter is an old-school megadungeon map. Do you need one or two system agnostic megadungeon maps? Yes. Yes, you do, and Venger has you covered.

Venger is also offering another opportunity – paid GM’ing. If you go to a con and run 8 hours of games using one of his systems/settings – Alpha Blue, Crimson Dragon Slayer, CDS 1.11, or The Outer Presence – he’ll pay you for in swag or money. You’ll need to read the description first and talk with Venger about it before you go, but being paid to GM is a cool job.

Check out the Kickstarter here – The S’rulyan Vault II. Check out his offer of paid GM’ing here.

 

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There are a lot of great Kickstarters out there so let me add one more to the pile:

Grond 3

Grond #3 by Michael Phillips
Ends on .

“Grond is now Kallok. Obberoth is dead. Valara’s fate is decided by Ugreth. Oublar is close to getting what he desires, being Mok’Dar.”

Catch up on the back issues and support the creation of the current issue on Kickstarter here – Grond #3

 

 

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Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

Interested in being a wanna-lancer? Start with the official Wanna-lancer Checklist t-shirt or wall clock or ice tea glass!

* * *

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: