6 RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – Forbidden Lands, Devil’s Swamp, Metahumans Rising, Warlords of Mordecai, Mini-Dungeon Tome, and Super Powered Legends

This week, before we look at some awesome RPGs on Kickstarter, let me point you toward the Gaming To The Rescue – RPG Hurricane Relief Roundup article on EN World. It’s a list of the RPG bundles that you can purchase with the proceeds going to charities that are assisting with the recoveries from the recent hurricanes. After counting down Forbidden Lands, Devil’s Swamp, Metahumans Rising, Warlords of Mordecai, Mini-Dungeon Tome, and Super Powered Legends, I recommend checking out those bundles and helping to improve the world while rewarding your gaming table with new content!


6) Forbidden Lands – Retro Open-World Survival Fantasy RPG by Fria Ligan
Ends on Thu, October 12 2017 3:00 PM EDT.

“Retro open-world fantasy RPG by the grand masters of Nordic roleplaying, based on the award-winning Mutant: Year Zero game system.

Forbidden Lands is a new take on classic fantasy roleplaying. It is an open-world survival tabletop RPG with art by legendary Swedish fantasy artist Nils Gulliksson and the masterful Simon Stålenhag, lore by acclaimed fantasy author and game writer Erik Granström and game design by the Free League team that brought you Mutant: Year ZeroCoriolis: The Third Horizon and Tales from the Loop RPG.

In Forbidden Lands, the player characters are not heroes sent on missions dictated by others – instead, they are raiders and rogues bent on making their own mark on a cursed world. They will discover lost tombs, fight terrible monsters, wander the wild lands and, if they live long enough, build their own stronghold to defend.

The glorious boxed set with two books and a large full-color map will give players freedom to hexcrawl the world the way they want while still taking part in an epic campaign that will, in the end, let them decide the fate of the Forbidden Lands. Also, the unique rules for exploration, survival, basebuilding and campaign play can easily be ported to your own favorite game world.

Nils Gulliksson’s art enthralled a generation of Swedish kids in the 1980s. For many, he was – and still is – the fantasy artist. His iconic gritty inked style showed a down-to-earth yet wondrous brand of classic fantasy archetypes. Now, thirty years later, these illustrations will come to life as never before. Forbidden Lands will contain both classic art pieces and new work by Gulliksson.

So, what do we mean by a retro RPG? In Forbidden Lands, you will play raiders and rogues in an unforgiving world, but what you do is up to you. RPGs from the late ’70s and early ‘80s often had this open approach to adventuring. You were free to roam a map and discover its secrets and treasures. This is something we aim to recapture – with the support of modern game mechanics. The sandbox approach to gaming gives the players the freedom to make their mark on the game world however they want – if they can survive long enough to tell the tale.

The aestethics and art style of the game is also influenced by retro gaming and the iconic work of Nils Gulliksson. The books themselves will have a handcrafted, old look like old tomes from the Forbidden Land itself!

Still, Forbidden Lands is a modern game, based on the award winning rules and mechanics from Mutant: Year Zero and Tales from the Loop – and taking them to the next level. In this game, we aim to merge the best of the old and the new to create a fresh, exciting fantasy RPG unlike anything you have seen before.”

Wanna-lancer* Rewards:


If we reach this goal, we will create an Open Game Licence document for the Year Zero game rules engine used in the Forbidden Lands as well as in Mutant: Year Zero, Coriolis – The Third Horizon and Tales from the Loop RPG. Using this, creators and fans will be able to produce their own content, fully compatible with Forbidden Lands. The OGL document will be in PDF format and available for all backers.”

*Wanna-lancer™ – A gamer that’s pursuing freelance RPG work. Some back RPG Kickstarters that offer rewards to create NPCs, spells, items, adventures, etc. in order to build up their resume, make contact with publishers, and learn what’s expected on assignments.


Egg’s Thoughts:

Forbidden Lands uses the Year Zero game engine as does Mutant: Year Zero, Coriolis – The Third Horizon, and Tales from the Loop RPG. Is it a good system? Here’s John McGuire’s praise for Tales From the Loop and below are the awards that the engine has earned since 2015. The system is versatile and well-loved and, if the Forbidden Lands Kickstarter reaches 1,800,000 SEK (just north of $220,000) then the Fria Ligan/Free League will create an Open Gaming License and everyone will have the opportunity to create content using their mechanics. That opens up a world of possibilities for fantasy, post apocalyptic, sci-fi, and the growing kids on bikes genre. For me, their pitch, these awards, and the OGL possibilities are all I need!

Mutant: Year Zero

  • RPG of the Year [2014] by the main Swedish gaming magazine Fenix [Swedish version]
  • Best RPG at UK Games Expo 2015
  • Silver ENnie Award for Best Rules at Gen Con 2015

Coriolis – The Third Horizon

  • ENnie Judges Spotlight Award at Gen Con 2017

Tales from the Loop RPG – Roleplaying in the ’80s That Never Was

  • Gold ENnie Award for Best Art, Interior at Gen Con 2017
  • Gold ENnie Award for Best Game at Gen Con 2017
  • Gold ENnie Award for Best Setting at Gen Con 2017
  • Gold ENnie Award for Best Writing at Gen Con 2017
  • Gold ENnie Award for Product of the Year at Gen Con 2017


You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

Forbidden Lands


5) Devil’s Swamp – A Call of Cthulhu RPG Adventure by New Comet Games
Ends on .

“Investigate ancient terrors in the heart of the Bridgewater Area during the 1920s. Dare you enter the Hockomock?

The Devil’s Swamp is a Call of Cthulhu adventure book for the classic 1920s era, licensed by Chaosium. The book contains a series of five or more adventures set in the Hockomock swamp in Massachusetts to be used with 7th edition Call of Cthulhu RPG.

This product is produced under license from Chaosium Inc. (www.chaosium.com). Call of Cthulhu is the Registered Trademark of Chaosium Inc., and is used with their permission.www.chaosium.com

The Devil’s Swamp includes adventures that can usually be run in one or two evenings. They can be run as independent one-off adventures or strung together as a mini-campaign using the same characters. All of the stories are set in the Hockomock which literally means ‘the place where spirits live.’

As a member of the Bridgwater Preservation Society, you and your friends investigate the stories people plague the city and area with. The stories the police won’t investigate, or quit on way too easily. Living next to the Hockomock, at the heart of what will later become known as the Bridgewater Triangle, gives you easy access to delve into any of the stories that arise.

The Hockomock Swamp, named the Devil’s Swamp by the original English settlers, is a known site for paranormal activity. Everything from Bigfoot, aliens, thunder birds, huge snakes, strange lights, Puckwudgies, Native American curses, cultists, mutilated animals and more have been reported in the area. So join me and my team as we help unravel the Mythos tied to the mysteries of the Hockomock.

The Devil’s Swamp is written by Ben Burns, features the artwork of Evgeny Maloshenkov, the cartography of Bryan McWhirter, player handouts by Elizabeth Bakowski and edited by Alex Burns. In other words the entire team that produced The Star on the Shore. We are the same company, just a change of name.”


Egg’s Thoughts:

At Gen Con 50, John McGuire, Leland Beauchamp, and I had the opportunity to play Call of Cthulhu with Danny O’Neil of Hammerdog Games. Danny brought the atmosphere and horror of that game to life (you can read John’s account of it here). After that session, I’ve been interested in playing more CoC and this Kickstarter is offering just the right product. 1920s swamp with D&D-looking monster. Sold!


You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.


4) Metahumans Rising RPG Redux by House Dok Productions
Ends on .

“Metahumans Rising is a tabletop role-playing game (RPG) embodying the drama, creativity and action of the superhero genre.

Chimera’s Gifts

The cars on the street quake under the pressure wave as the high flying heroine, Guardian flies past, moments before colliding with a colossal reptilian creature augmented by machines. The shock wave of her blow shatters windows setting off dozens of car alarms. As the dust settles, the draconic beast’s targeting laser locks onto Guardian. From his vantage point, Crossfire ran his hand over his mask, exhaling in anticipation.

“Don’t get cocky down there. Chimera brand piñatas aren’t packed with any treats you want.” A master archer, Crossfire finds his target unleashing a volley of warhead arrows. The targeting array over the beast’s eye explodes an instant before a stream of searing blue-white energy can lance Guardian’s chest. Reeling back, the ground trembles as the creature’s wings billow releasing egg like pods from its flanks. The pods open as blue skinned soldiers emerge ready for battle.

“No commentary Cross, just find help!”

Out numbered.

Out gunned.

The world needs heroes.

The world needs you!

Are you ready to join the fight?

What is Metahumans Rising? Remember how you felt the first time Superman lifted a car, Spider-Man battled Green Goblin above the Manhattan skyline, or the Avengers found Captain America? It’s that feeling.

It’s pushing yourself beyond your limits. It’s a game ready to put you in the driver’s seat of your own iconic superhero tales.

Metahumans Rising blends elements of classic and modern role-playing games to create a framework for collaborative storytelling. From the start, Metahumans Rising helps Game Masters and players establish the elements, tones, and themes of your personal story along with character concept and motivations.

Paul imagines the masked archer Crossfire
Paul imagines the masked archer Crossfire

Character motivations directly impact game play allowing players to influence the story and add additional challenges. The greater the personal struggle the more Willpower characters earn, becoming more capable of overcoming even the greatest threats.

If this sounds like it can shift the direction or focus of a story, it can! Don’t worry GMs, the core book includes guidelines for quickly generating threats ranging from street gangs to giant monsters to a planet killing meteor hurdling towards earth. It’s easy to integrate two fisted action with environmental threats, ramping up the danger and comic book feel.

Guardian - Granddaughter of the World War II hero American Steel, she carries on his legacy.
Guardian – Granddaughter of the World War II hero American Steel, she carries on his legacy.

Bringing it all together, Metahumans Rising not only encourages classic archetypes like the hero torn between everyday life and superhero career, it gives you the tools to help make these stories happen. Create the world you always imagined and explore tales you never thought possible.”

You can read my interview with Dave Silva here.

Wanna-lancer Rewards:

“Pledge $150 or more

Member of the Hall of Legends

One physical and PDF copy of Metahumans Rising. Exclusive Rewards: Send us your character concept, your ideas will become a full hero included in the core book and collected in out online Hall of Legends with original artwork by Jake Perez + 4 8.5 x 11 glossy images. 2 high resolution desktop background images. Plus all previous rewards.”

Egg’s Thoughts:

Why am I covering this game? Because it looks awesome, because you get to play a superhero, because Dave Silva of House Dok Productions did an interview with me [it’ll be up on Thursday], and because you can create an iconic NPC for the universe as a backer reward. The game uses an original engine, features a superhero universe, and looks great, and it was an easy decision to cover it.


You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.


3) Warlords of Mordecai by Jerod Ready
Ends on .

“Warlords of Mordecai is a simple, engaging turn-based Role Playing game that is entertaining and accessible to game lovers of all ages

Our mission here at Warlords of Mordecai is to provide a simple, yet engaging turn-based Role Playing game that is entertaining and accessible to game lovers of all ages and experience levels. As our game continues to grow and evolve, we hope to expand our reach into the hearts and homes of those who need a break from an ever consuming digital world.”

Egg’s Thoughts:

This is an all-ages RPG. Compared to “adult” RPGs, there has not been a ton of all-ages options on Kickstarter this year, yet those we’ve had – Gauntlets & Goblins, Tiny Dungeon 2e, and this – look fun and perfect for the target audience. These games are a good start toward creating an array of all-ages RPGs and that’s what I want to see, a variety of choices with something for everybody.

For its part, Warlords of Mordecai offers something unique, it’s a RPG/card game targeting the youth market. I’m interested in seeing how it plays since it’s not just one game type or the other.


You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.


2) Mini-Dungeon Tome for 5th Edition or Pathfinder RPG by AAW Games
Ends on .

“Easy grab-and-go mini-adventures! These beautiful hardcovers include 120+ short adventures for 5th Edition or Pathfinder RPG.

Over 120 adventures for 5th Edition & Pathfinder RPG!



Mini-Dungeons are two-page adventures for 5th Edition or Pathfinder RPG which are setting agnostic and are easily inserted anywhere in your campaign. These grab-and-go adventures are great when you need something in a pinch! This tome contains 120+ adventures spanning over 240 pages (more with stretch goals)!





Our goal with this project is to consolidate all our published Mini-Dungeons into a complete hardcover volume published as one book for 5th Edition and one book for Pathfinder RPG.

The layout will be completely redone from the ground up and new stationary backgrounds, graphic effects, and artwork incorporated. Finally, pending stretch goals–we’ll add more content and wrap this all into a single, easy to use volume with reference tables, monster glossary, and more. With additional stretch goals we hope to add special guest authors, new artwork, and a gorgeous cover to this hardback book.

We’re starting this project with 100 adventures and 200 pages; each Mini-Dungeon Stretch Goal increases the book by 2 pages, so let’s get rolling and see just how big we can make theMini-Dungeon Tome!

Update! Thanks to our backers and unlocked stretch goals this tome will span over 250 pages with 120+ adventures!”


Egg’s Thoughts:

Are you an Adventure-A-Week fan? Do you want a quick grab-and-go adventure? If so, this Kickstarter is the one stop shop for all of their published mini-dungeons and it’s worth checking out. But, if you’re not familiar with their work, they have a number of free samples on DriveThruRPG to test out here.


You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.


1) Super Powered Legends Sourcebook for M&M by Rogue Genius Games
Ends on .

“A full-color M&M sourcebook bringing the heroes, villains, and locations of Jacob Blackmon’s “Super Powered Legends” world to you!

Welcome to the world of Super Powered Legends!

In 2015, rpg artist and writer Jacob E. Blackmon began to create a super-heroic universe featuring iconic characters for use with the 3rd Edition Mutants & Masterminds rpg by Green Ronin Publishing. Over the last two years, there have been over 100 PDFs produced featuring over 180 heroes and villains to fill this world of wonder.

And now, Rogue Genius Games is collecting these PDFs into one massive tome: The Super Powered Legends Sourcebook!

At its base funding level, the Sourcebook will feature all heroes and villains from every Super Powered Legends product — including the Disaster Day! adventure — up to date. In addition, the Sourcebook will feature information about using each character as a hero or villain respectively.

As stretch goals are reached, the Sourcebook will expand to include additional information about different locations within the Super Powered Legends universe. This includes familiar countries like the United Kingdom, Romania, and China; and how these nations have changed to accommodate the existence of super-powered beings in their borders. Other locations include hidden worlds on Earth, such as the sunken nation of Atlantis and the mysterious City of Monsters: Agartha. Beyond Earth, exists interstellar beings of cosmic power and high adventure. These alien worlds will also be expanded upon with additional stretch goal funding.

Included in all of these expanded areas will be new art by Jacob Blackmon.

Sign up today to get the Super Powered Legends Sourcebook for M&M! Because sometimes you a need characters everyone knows, even if they’re meeting them for the first time.”

Cover art by Jacob Blackmon
Cover art by Jacob Blackmon


Egg’s Thoughts:

Let me try and sale this in a different way. Rogue Genius Games is Owen “Starfinder Design Lead” Stephens’ company. What’s the hottest game of 2017? Starfinder, Owen’s game. This is an individual with a keen eye for good game design. Because I believe in him, it’s easy to believe in the product he’s pushing. In this Kickstarter, he’s sharing Jacob E. Blackmon’s The Super Powered Legends Sourcebook, a collection of heroes and villains for the 3rd Edition Mutants & Masterminds RPG by Green Ronin Publishing. This is an instance where if Owen likes it, it must be good and if you play M&M, this is a safe bet.


You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.


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Signal Boost:


Tiny Dungeon 2e – Minimalist fantasy roleplaying is back! by Gallant Knight Games
Return to the minimalist fantasy tabletop RPG Tiny Dungeon in this revised rules, now with micro-settings, additional content, & more!
Ends on Fri, October 6 2017 11:13 AM EDT.

Why signal boost this? Because Alan Bahr was nice enough to do an interview with me here, and the game is all-ages, and I have the privilege of gaming with Alan.


Gamma Turquoise: Santa Fe Starport by Kort’thalis Publishing
Post-apocalyptic campaign setting, tools, and scenario… gonzo, eldritch, science-fantasy, mutant wasteland. O5R by Venger Satanis.
Ends on .

Why signal boost this? Because Venger Satanis is love!

Post-apocalyptic campaign setting, tools, and scenario... gonzo, eldritch, science-fantasy, mutant wasteland. O5R by Venger Satanis.


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!


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

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


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Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

Interested in being a wanna-lancer? Start with the official Wanna-lancer Checklist t-shirt or wall 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 on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).