In this edition of Ten Links in the Chain, we’re focused on some of the cool Kickstarter projects I’ve noticed of late…
In a previous venture, I had a chance to review some short fiction in the dime store novel vein from author Guido Henkel, but you might know him better as the producer behind Planescape: Torment – the excellent D&D Planescape-based CRPG released back in 1999 (as well as some others). Well, Henkel is back with a new development team and a new Kickstarter for a cross-platform, party-based, single-player CRPG called Thorvalla, set in a Nordic setting with dragons! He has a long way to go to get to his $1 million goal – but there’s three weeks left to go and the art looks great.
(2) “Werewolf?” “No, there wolf… There castle!”
If you’re more interested in building some terrain or sets for a future RPG session, you might want to take a look at Castle! – a Kickstarter for a modular construction system from The Castle Foundry. Like a Transformer, the pieces go together in a variety of ways to create buildings as tall or broad as you’d like. And they look seriously sturdy.
Amanda Kooser @ CNET did a great article on the construction kit that offers another opinion and I tend to agree that though it seems a bit pricey, it might be worth it for some crazy castle battles!
(3) Do you feel lucky, punk? Head to Punktown!
Author Jeffrey Thomas knows all about Punktown. After all, he created it in a few fiction projects. And now he wants to share it with the rest of us, as a RPG setting for Call of Cthulhu. The Kickstarter is going on now from Miskatonic River Press and could use your help. It’s a crossroads of dark futuristic concepts with some aliens, mutants, and robots tossed in for good measure. Sounds like a great time to me!
Thomas wrote a great guest post @ SF Signal about the project and its background… And the idea of a cyberpunk Lovecraftian world really resonates with me. So something tells me I might be tossing a pledge in myself before too long.
(4) Art for Inspiration
Remember the Kickstarter for The Reliquary from RKDN Studios? It was a collection of 60 items for 13th Age, Savage Worlds, and Pathfinder. And it was more than 1300% funded by the end of its run.
Well, RKDN is back with a new Kickstarter and it’s almost wrapped up… The Art of Adventure! This is a little different and will be a collection of art for GMs and publishers interested in using it to create their own adventures. Included will be a map of a town, some adventure hooks, NPC sketches, and more.
Honestly I think this is a very interesting approach for a project and I wonder what kinds of adventures we’d see come out of it. Six days left to pledge!
In a different vein is the Kickstarter for Arcana Agency: The Thief of Memories, a project from Megara Entertainment. Imagine yourself as a private investigator in 1930s New York exploring occult mysteries. Though this isn’t a traditional RPG in the D&D sense, it’s sort of a combination of a Choose Your Own Adventure with characters and some die rolling – more like what I’ve heard Fighting Fantasy is like.
The depth of what they describe for the project – 500+ locations, rules, characters and so on – is impressive, especially since they’re producing a hardcover book. And the samples look gorgeous. The art alone may prompt me to chime in if I can find a spare $15. So I’d definitely encourage you to check it out.
(6) A Kickstarter Resurrected
Back in January 2012, I chimed in with a pledge for The Shroud of the Ancients Role-Playing Game Kickstarter from Roderick Edwards and Dark Tavern Press. The backstory and system really intrigued me, so I was disappointed when it didn’t reach critical mass.
But now they’re back with a new Kickstarter for the Adventurer’s Guide to Terrath for Shroud of the Ancients. This time they have a longer lead time and I hope they’ll reach their funding goal, though I’m not quite sure what the differences are beyond a more focused goal, a better video introduction and a ton of art (watch the video and you’ll see what I mean). It still has some great ideas and I’m very curious to see how it plays. Five d5’s? Interesting…
(7) Death has a Kingdom? Whoa…
Kingdom Death got my attention this week as a Kickstarter who’s almost at 1000% funding already and still has 40 days left. This is a cooperative board game with miniatures set in a nightmare world where you try to develop a settlement to survive from generation to generation. The art is gorgeous and the miniatures are stunning in their amount of detail. It’s a bit pricey to get involved now, as most of the rewards are already sold out – but I’d be curious to give it a spin!
(8) To Crowdfund or Not To Crowdfund…
Is crowdfunding always the answer as a producer? Probably not. But Ryan Macklin says it much more eloquently than I can, with plenty of details to back it up. For me, the possibility of overwhelming success is just as terrifying as the prospect of abject failure. So it’s good to see some good advice in this arena.
Tenkar @ Tenkar’s Tavern has done a great job of not only bringing attention to Kickstarters that deserve some love, but keeping track of how well Kickstarter project managers follow through on their promises. Last weekend he noted a few updates for some of the projects he’s backed. I hope he keeps up the great work relating his continued experiences with Kickstarter!
(10) More Maps Than You Can Shake a Stick At
Have you heard of Glorantha? If not, it’s been around for a long, long time and serves as the setting for many games including RuneQuest, Hero Wars, and HeroQuest, and has probably influenced more than a few world designers over the last 35 years. It’s huge, extremely well documented, and has a new Kickstarter. If you’ve ever wanted a gorgeous atlas of Glorantha, Rick Meints and Moon Design Publishing have just the thing – a 10″ x 12″ full color hardback book containing the cultures, geography, and history of this amazing place.
Even if you never play RuneQuest, this is a book you will want around for inspiration.
That ‘s it for now. Drop me a note if you find other great Kickstarter projects you want to shout about!