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

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

Lancer by Massif Press

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

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

Miguel Lopez (Massif Press) recommends:

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

Endless Realms: Tome of Spirits by Lunar Games

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

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

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

Kirsty Garbe (Lunar Games) recommends:

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

Afterlife: Wandering Souls by Angry Hamster Publishing

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

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

Elizabeth Chaipraditkul (Angry Hamster Publishing) recommends:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dirk Stanley (Simian Circle Games) recommends:

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

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

GeneFunk 2090 by CRISPR Monkey Studios

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

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

James Armstrong (CRISPR Monkey Studios) recommends: 

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

Relics: A Game of Angels by Tin Star Games

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

“A Roleplaying Game of Mystery, Mythology and Memory”

Steve Dee (Tin Star Games) recommends:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Max Castellani (Epic Party Games) recommends:

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

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

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

Fight! 2nd Edition by Divine Madness Press

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

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

Christopher Peter (Divine Madness Press) recommends:

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

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

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


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

What Kickstarters Excite Creators? Pinnacle Entertainment, The Umerican Road Atlas and Umerica Unnatural, One Child’s Heart, Augusta Universalis, and Gordon’s Bluff

This edition of What Kickstarters Excite Creators? is a special one in several ways. First, Shane Hensley of Pinnacle Entertainment, the company behind Savage Worlds and Deadlands, shares a list of Kickstarters he’s excited about. I’m eager to share projects that Shane wants to put a spotlight on. Second, the creators behind The Umerican Road Atlas and Umerica Unnatural, One Child’s Heart, Gordon’s Bluff, and more share their thoughts on what’s good on Kickstarter. Third, I’ll be at JordanCon (the annual celebration of all things Robert Jordan in Atlanta) this weekend. If you’re there, I hope to see you.

The Umerican Road Atlas and Umerica Unnatural by Shield of Faith Studios, LLC

END DATE: Mon, May 6 2019 10:00 PM EDT.

“Two new sourcebooks for your Umerican DCC Campaign! A combo meal of wasteland wonder and sweet salvage to enhance your apocalypse.”

Reid “Reidzilla” San Filippo (Shield of Faith Studios, LLC) recommends:

I WAS A TEENAGE CREATURE by Ninjacat is a narrative-focused, urban fantasy tabletop roleplaying game that emulates a young adult paranormal TV show (or movie, or book series, etc.!) such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Teen Wolf, or even the Dresden Files. The twist is that the mechanics of the game are not based on what can these supernatural characters do but Why they are doing it and What emotion is currently driving their actions. The author has been a friend of mine for decades and I’m really happy to see this campaign live.

Lancer by Massif Press is a mud-and-lasers tabletop roleplaying game centered on modular mechs and the pilots who crew them. I grew up playing BattleTech, playing with Shogun Warriors, and watching Robotech so giant robots are a favorite of mine. This new RPG has amazing art and just crunchy enough to do mechs well without going overboard. Plus, the Beta rules have been freely available for over a year as the author tweaked them into perfection.”

One Child’s Heart by Camdon Wright

END DATE: Thu, May 16 2019 10:00 AM EDT.

One Child’s Heart is a tabletop roleplaying game about empathy, hope, and human connection in the face of childhood crisis.”

Camdon Wright recommends: 

The Koryo Hall of Adventures. This is a really cool looking campaign setting based on Korean locations, myths and legends for Dungeons and Dragons 5e. It makes me so happy to see thoughtful content that moves beyond the generic “Asian themed” material that we’ve seen for so many years. If you play D&D and are looking for something new to play please check out The Koryo Hall of Adventures! Please help them reach their funding goal!

Once Upon a Time in JianghuA wuxia-inspired Powered by the Apocalypse game that features some of my favorite writers! Sen-Foong Lim, Banana Chan, Rob Abrazado, and Elizabeth Chaipraditkul are all onboard as stretch goals! I love that it features the quick creation of unique characters in a setting that celebrates the diversity of Asia. As a bonus, Gallant Knight Games has always been great at delivering on the projects I’ve backed.”

UPDATE 2019-05-09. Unfortunately, the Kickstarter for Once Upon a Time in Jianghu has been canceled. It was done for the right reasons as the company investigates accusations made against the creator, but it’s still unfortunate news all the way around. Gallant Knight Games and WunderWerks share a statement about this situation and their next steps. http://www.rpgnews.com/once-upon-a-time-in-jianghu-canceled/

Gordon’s Bluff – A 5E DND and Pathfinder Adventure Module by Zan’s Adventures

END DATE: Sun, April 28 2019 3:12 PM EDT.

“A Lighthouse, evil magic, murderous monstrosities, and an innocent hamlet caught in the middle of it all. A 5E and Pathfinder Module”

Paul Rodenburg (Zan’s Adventures) recommends:

Odyssey of the Dragonlords blows me away. The artwork is amazing, and the production values look outstanding. The people behind it (James Ohlen, Jesse Sky, and Drew Karpyshyn) have a great history when it comes to CRPG’s. It looks exciting and fun. I wish I could design something that looks this good.

Deniable Assets is about being a horrible corporate villain, in the 80’s, working your way up the corporate ladder. I like anything where you can be the bad guy. Bad guys are more fun, and the setting is very intriguing. It’s an awesome concept.”

Rifts® for Savage Worlds: American Armageddon by Pinnacle Entertainment Group

END DATE: Mon, May 6 2019 9:00 PM EDT.

“Three New Worldbooks Exploring the North America of Rifts® for Savage Worlds!”

Shane Hensley (Pinnacle Entertainment) recommends [WRITER’S NOTE: I added the logline descriptions].

Several I’m looking at or have backed recently. Top of the list would be:

WiseGuys – “Wiseguys, a Las Vegas Mafia setting and guide to organized crime for the Savage Worlds Roleplaying Game.”

Movie Empire – “A medium-weight movie production strategy board game for 1-4 players. ‘I love the smell of worker placement in the morning.'”

Milito – “Milito is a card-based, diceless wargame by Martin Wallace, putting you at the head of an Ancient army.”

Girl With No Name Comic – “An orphaned girl raised by her bounty hunter uncle sets out for revenge after he’s murdered by a band of outlaws.”

Augusta Universalis RPG by Acchiappa Sogni

END DATE: Tue, April 30 2019 4:22 PM EDT.

“The Uchronic Role-Playing Game of Humanity and Empires beyond the Stars”

NOTE: Daniele Fusetto, a writer and a friend of Luca De Marini, creator of Augusta Universalis RPG, wrote me to share his friend’s RPG. I thought that was cool and the fact that I do my best to promote the international RPG scene, I decided to ask him to contribute his thoughts to this article (hence the recommendation for Augusta Universalis in the Augusta Universalis’ section).

Daniele Fusetto recommends:

“There are two tabletop RPGs from Italy that I would like to suggest: one is Augusta, of course, the other is Primi Re – First King.

Augusta Universalis is a uchronic RPG set in a world where the Roman Empire doesn’t fall and conquered the stars. You will be a Pretorian, a cyborgs guardian of the Empire used to conquer distant and wild exoplanets and fights against unspeakable cosmic horrors. The game uses the Dark Destiny System, which is capable of pushing a lot a player’s feeling of identification with his Player Character, the description of one’s actions and the narration.

Primi Re – First King is a historical-fantasy RPG with strong dark-horror atmospheres that brings you at the days of the foundation of the Urbe (“City”), telling the “true” story and nature of Romulus and Remus. The gameplay emphasizes the interpretation as the protagonist of the whole game, using an elaborate and very special D12System that unites dice-pool, zodiac, numerology and lunar phases to create a rule set and a characters building, basically unique in their kind.”

What Kickstarters Excite Creators? City of Great Lunden, BASE, Castles & Cats, and Party Backstory Generator

For this column, I reach out to crowdfunding creators to ask what projects they’re not in, but are still excited about. I ask each creator separately, so I’m surprised how often a creator recommends another creator’s work in *the same* article. This week, Fire Lizard Games recommended Castles & Cats, all in the same article, and without knowing that they’d appear together. To read their recommendation (as well as these other excellent creators), scroll on!

The City of Great Lunden by MonkeyBlood Design & Publishing (Glynn Seal) 

ENDS: Sun, April 14 2019 8:00 AM EDT.

“A City Setting for Old School RPGs – The Midderlands setting compatible.”

Glynn Seal (MonkeyBlood Design & Publishing) recommends:

“I thought I’d do a bit of digging around on Kickstarter and found the following projects I like the look of:

Creeping Cold
A 5E adventure that promises chills and excitement!

“I always people running campaigns on Kickstarter for their first time. I’m into my third now, and they are a rollercoaster of emotions. Ian and Jayson of Silver Bulette are well-funded and still have 18 days left, so this is good to go.

I love adventures where the environment is an enemy. Also, it has 3D printable terrain files as stretch goals, and Fat Dragon Games are doing awesome models. Now I just need to get a 3D printer. Ha!”

Symbar – Mother of Darkness
Enter the vast forest of Davokar in the next episode of the epic Throne of Thorns campaign for the acclaimed Symbaroum RPG.

“I was blown away by the evocative artwork of Symbaroum. This is the fourth part of an epic adventure chronicle – CHRONICLE OF THE THRONE OF THORNS. I find the forest of Davokar hugely intriguing, and the setting as a whole is an example of how to sell a setting based on its artwork alone – well it’s what did it for me. If you dot have the setting or the other three parts you can pick them all up in the campaign at the ‘master bundle’ level. It’s a steal at the price for all the loot you get, and it’ll keep you gaming for years.”

Party Backstory Generator for 5e and Other Systems by Severed Books (Justin Sirois)

ENDS: Tue, April 30 2019 1:09 PM EDT.

“For GMs and players – 5e, Pathfinder, and more. Create limitless backstory, one-shots, side quests, and more that add to your campaign.”

Justin Sirois (Severed Books) recommends:

“The Ultraviolent Grasslands by Luka Rejec is at the very top. I remember sneaking Heavy Metal Fantasy Magazine into my house when I was 13 — knowing the danger of it — feeling like this weird and sick treasure would change my life both creatively and socially. It did. That’s the feeling I get from this game. I can’t wait to crawl through it, bleeding.

I’m a sucker for a well-designed board game. Life Siphon by Lay Waste Games has the right mix of minimal illustrations and weirdness — dark creatures and a dismal vibe. Also, the stretch goals seem unique enough to justify the expense.”

BASE: a CaRdPG by Fire Lizard Games, LLC

ENDS: Tue, April 16 2019 5:02 PM EDT.

BASE is a collaborative, setting-agnostic RPG. Roll your own adventures!”

Fire Lizard Games, LLC recommends:

“Two active RPGs we love on Kickstarter:

1. From the Ashes by FG Fantasy: From the Ashes intrigued us because of the interesting concept of starting out as an undead being. There are a lot of very cool stories to be told with that starting point. The artwork looks phenomenal, and the Kickstarter has a modest, attainable goal with affordable tiers!

2. Castles & Cats by Christine Pruett: In a big change of pace from our first recommendation, Castles & Cats is a tabletop RPG designed for Preschool and Elementary-aged children. We thought this was such a cool idea, because not only will it help introduce a whole new generation into the wonderful world of TTRPGs, but the social and emotional skills you can learn while playing tabletop games are most important for children of that age.”

Castles & Cats by Christine Pruett

ENDS: Thu, April 25 2019 8:00 AM EDT.

Castle & Cats is a Tabletop, Role-Playing Game, for Preschool and Elementary aged children.”

Christine Pruett (Castles & Cats) recommends:

Brassman’s Adventure Club is the monthly subscription service I have been waiting for! With the busyness of adult life looming around every corner it is hard to take the time to carefully plan out my D&D groups next campaign, I feel my campaigns are half baked the majority of the time. Brassman’s Adventure Club is a full campaign mapped out by seasoned DM’s and comes straight to your door every month. This includes all the core tools needed to run your monthly D&D session with little planning, the illustrations look amazing and they have a price options that fits every budget.

As a mom to a child with Autism, I feel Critical Core can not be praised enough. Role playing games have been shown to build social confidence, cognitive communication and critical processing in young adults on the autism spectrum but the team behind Critical Core has taken it to a whole new level. I am very excited to get my hands on this game and share it with my son.”

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

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


Snowhaven for Fifth Edition by High Level Games

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

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

High Level Games recommends:

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

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


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

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

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

Brandon Dixon recommends:

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

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


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

Ends: Thu, April 4 2019 12:24 PM EDT.

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

Clipper Arnold of Polyhedra Games recommends:

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

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


CAPERS Noir RPG by NerdBurger Games

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

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

Craig Campbell of NerdBurger Games recommends:

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

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

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



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

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

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

CAPERS Noir RPG by NerdBurger Games

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

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

Craig Campbell of NerdBurger Games recommends:

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

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

Dino Wranglers – Zine Quest by Rachelle Dube

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

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

Rachelle Dube recommends:

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

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

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

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


Manifest the RPG by Waypoint Game Designs

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

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

Waypoint Game Designs recommends:

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

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

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


Absconding: Indie RPG zine for 5E by Joshua Rivera

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

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

Joshua Rivera recommends:

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

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

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

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