Ten Links in the Chain: Kickstarter and Some Publisher News – 14-MAR-2013

Wow. The name of the blog includes the word “Reviews” but I haven’t had an opportunity to write any this week. What do you get instead? More links!

In this post I’ll focus on some of the Kickstarter projects that have caught my attention in recent weeks as well as a few new releases.

(1) What world are you from?

andronia-kickstarterI’m a sucker for a good campaign world. And one that crosses genres can really get me going. The Andronia Kickstarter - Region of Turmoil RPG Guidebook - from Frank Hall manages to mix high fantasy and technology but still work within the Pathfinder rules system. The art looks fantastic and in a style I’ve not seen before, but the idea of mixing laser guns and machines with traditional fantasy and divine magic really seems quite cool and I’d love to see how it works in practice. There’s only a week left to try and get to some of the cool higher level stretch goals, so chip in if you can!

Then there’s the Freeport: City of Adventure Kickstarter for Pathfinder from Green Ronin’s Chris Pramas. I remember reading Freeport on the early days of the internet, before browsers really took off. But it was always fun to dive into for ideas on how to structure various things, find cool locations and NPCs, and more. Basically it’s pirates + H.P. Lovecraft, which is an awesome combination. So I’m very excited to see how this takes shape going forward. There’s a lot of ground to make up – more than $30,000 to get to their goal of $50,000 – and only a bit more than two weeks to do it in. It’s going to be an absolutely huge book – 500+ pages – with art and text. So chip in and hopefully we’ll see a book by the end of 2013!

(2) For those seeking adventure…

Sometimes you don’t want a whole world and instead are looking for challenging adventures to force your players to think… And I think David Caffee’s Slayers of the Great Serpent I  project for both Pathfinder and 4e may offer the start to something grand. As you might recall, David tried to get this effort
off the ground before and didn’t quite make the funding goal. (He talked about it in an interview we did back in January 2013.) So I’m excited to see that he’s breaking it up into smaller chunks and has already hit his first stretch goal!! There’s three days left to get in on the action and I’d love to see more maps (I’m a sucker for maps) if we get it to the $2000 mark!

(3) Pick a card… any card…

I’ve backed more than a few card-based projects over the last couple of years and still play Creatures with my girls on occasion. So I’m always on the hunt for another cool card game to play with my family.

bugbear-story-warIf you’re a fan of the Wizard of Oz books or movies, you might want to check out the Card Game of Oz project from Springboard that’s now in it’s last few hours. Though I’m not a huge Oz fan, I know this game will have a huge following if it does well. It’s already hit its first funding goal and has some spectacular reviews from all over the web, so I’m sure it will do well. The only question is whether they’ll get to the $20,000 stretch goal and add more cards to the pack! Definitely check it out.

About as far as you can get from Oz is the Machine of Death: Game of Creative Assassination project from David Malki, which has gone insane with 7,000+ backers and blowing its funding goal out of the water by a ridiculous amount. It’s not going to be for everybody, but I love the concept. Figuring out how to assassinate someone with a random few cards (the example is to kill the King of France – by dropping a boxcar full of rabid piranhas on him) and explain how it works would be a hoot with the right group of people. Probably not the same people playing the Card Game of Oz though. :)

Then we have Story War from Cantrip Games that is like Machine of Death in that you’re constructing a story around some cards, but that’s about as far as the comparison goes. This is more of a party or family game where you battle your opponents by telling stories about classic characters and mix in some creativity and humor to tell unique stories. Creativity? Check. Common ground via story aspects everyone probably knows already? Check. Count me in!

Lastly in this category we have the Dungeon Deck: Quests project from Jim & Debbie Hunton of Gamers Rule. I like the idea behind this deck, which helps you create an adventure from a few cards offering different ideas for quests and descriptions, lures, environmental conditions, setting bits, and more… Draw a few cards, brainstorm a quick adventure, and boom – you’re off and running! They’re creeping closer to making their $5,000 goal, but need your help to get there!

(4) Cthulhu With a Twist

achtung-cthulhu-kickstarterUnless you’ve been living under a rock, you may have heard something about the Achtung! Cthulhu project from Chris Birch & Modiphius Publishing for the WW2 Keeper’s Guide and Investigator’s Guide. Well, it’s gone way beyond those two books folks.

Assault on the Mountains of Madness is a new 248 page campaign book that really excites me as a Lovecraft fan. Shadows of Atlantis is another campaign guide coming out of this project. Not to mention Guide to the Eastern FrontGuide to North Africa & the Middle East, and some additional World War Two documents to be used as props. All of that is already in the pipeline and funded.

If it keeps going, there will be miniatures and a Guide to the Pacific War book as well – and who knows what else? This thing has blown all of my expectations totally out of the water and there’s nearly three weeks to go before it’s done!

But the Mountains of Madness angle really has me happy. From the press release:

“In Achtung! Cthulhu: Assault on the Mountains of Madness, following a trail of strange events, and clues to an ill-fate earlier expedition, the Allies will discover an Antarctic infested with Nazis. They must launch themselves into the frozen continent where they’ll be faced with the power of the elements, unbelievable ancient mysteries and a stunning climax that could change the face of the world forever. Designed for gamers who like in depth mystery, investigation and cataclysmic events, the campaign can easily be tailored for both dark, classic Call of Cthulhu play as well as the pulpier Savage Worlds experience, and is compatible with both systems. The campaign will come with extensive cartography by Michal E. Cross whose sterling map work has made such a success of the Achtung! Cthulhu line. Achtung! Cthulhu : Assault on the Mountains of Madness is being illustrated by special guest artist Korungn from Japan. Korungn has already created a library of stunning and evocative movie style concept art for the setting, which will be revealed week by week.”

Here are a few images they’ve released as teasers:

assault-mountains-madness1 assault-mountains-madness2 assault-mountains-madness3

(5) Kobolds Ate Your Baby? Wasn’t it a Dingo?

If you were excited by the premise of the Machine of Death card game project earlier, Kobolds Ate My Baby! from 9thLevel may also appeal to you. The premise? You’re a kobold who’s been sent to a nearby human town to find the “freshest, tastiest, plumpest human babies you can find” for the kobold king – King Torg! If you fail, you go on the menu. [gulp]

This “beer and pretzels” roleplaying game sounds awesome and apparently many other people think so too – they’ve been knocking off stretch goals as fast as they’ve been putting them up on the page!

(6) Your Skirmish Golem smashed my Hoplite!

I don’t know if the name Alyssa Faden means anything to you, but if you’re a fan of RPG maps it should ring a bell. :) She’s done some simply amazing things for the Torn World series of RPG supplements and now she’s developed a new squad-based skirmish board game set in the world of Torn - Torn Armor. Miniatures, fast combat, and quick setup? Sounds good to me! The minis alone look awesome, so it’s worth checking out for that alone.

(7) Metal Dice Are Cool!

metald20Just about a week ago I received my four colorful aluminum D6s from the Precision Machined Dice project Amber Rix did through Kickstarter. They’re gorgeous, though I’m not sure I’ll be able to do more than gaze upon them on a shelf since I’d be afraid I’d scratch the heck out of a table. :)

And now we have another cool metal dice project – the Precision Machined Metal Role Playing Game (RPG) Dice project from David Saxey and Brian Kennedy.

Now these guys are doing more than just 6-siders… They’re doing the whole shebang – D4, D6, D8, D10, D100%, D12, and D20 – in everything from Aluminum and Bronze to Titanium and Stainless Steel. They’re almost halfway to their funding goal of $13,500 already and still have more than three weeks to go.

I have to say I want a metal D20 for my dice bag just for the bragging rights! And the corners seem a bit more rounded so I’d be less worried about carving deep grooves into any table I rolled it on. :)

(8) Welcome to OSR India!

This week Bedrock Games released a new game from RPGPundit called Arrows of Indra. Imagine playing in the same world as some of the Epic Myths of India during the Age of Heroes. Everything you need in one 192 page package filled with Rakshasa, Naga, monkey-men, and more! Be sure to check it out at RPGNow!

The text on the back of the book says it better than I can…

href="http://www.rpgnow.com/product/112198?affiliate_id=184758" target="_blank">arrows-of-indra“Players take on the roles of brave Kshatriya warriors, disciplined yogis, temple priests, rogues or scouts, assassins of the dark goddess, magic-using Siddhis seeking the mysteries of the universe, playing humans civilized or barbaric, immortal Gandharvas or Yakshas, Vanara monkey-men or half-demonic Rakshasa; and adventure in Naga-filled jungles, fight Asura demons, visit the ruins of ancient Rakshasa empires, seek out the shining treasures of the truly massive Patala Underworld, fight duels for money or honor in the Kalari Arenas, or get caught up in the political and military intrigues of the human Bharata Kingdoms.”

(9) The Swans They Are Still A-Ragin’

And it wouldn’t be another week without more releases from Raging Swan Press to talk about. :)

We have Village Backdrop: Bossin from designer John Bennett that offers a flooded village ready for a few adventurers to help out. It may be safe to a point, but there’s some funny business going on with the new reeve in town. Pay up or an “accident” may happen, if you know what I mean. I think the villagers may need a hand!

Then there’s a pair of dungeon-related releases… Dungeon Dressing: Bridges from designer Ben Kent will give you some new ways to spice up any bridges in your campaign. And Dungeon Denizens: EL 1 Encounters from designer Alex Connell offers some quick and easy random encounters for your dungeons and caverns.

(10) A Few Other New Releases

  • LPJ Design released Adventure Path Iconics: Path of Jade for Pathfinder this week from designer Jeff Lee. A collection of eight pre-gen characters for a caravan-themed adventure. 
  • Rite Publishing just released #30 Manuals of Improvement for Pathfinder from designer Mike Welham. Nothing like a grimoire trying to influence you for the better (or the worse)!
  • DramaScape released a very cool looking map called Sector 15 that has a lot of potential for science fiction campaigns.
  • And I have to toot my own horn to say that I released Moebius Adventures’ first product in several years called One Spot #0: Hand’s Goods. It’s free and systemless, so please check it out and let me know what you think. The next installment should be out in April if all goes well!

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As always, if you feel I missed something (and it would be impossible NOT to), drop me a quick note via the contact page or drop me an e-mail at news(at)gameknightreviews(dot)com and I’ll add it to the list for next time!

If you’re a publisher and have an announcement to make or new products being released, let me know and I’ll include them in my next publisher round-up!

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