Adam Bosarge, Kyle Simons and Jason Faulk have launched their Kickstarter campaign for Worlds in Peril, a Superhero RPG based on the Apocalypse World engine. They look to be doing some interesting things with damage conditions and building characters from multiple mini-playbooks that represent their origin and drive/motivation (e.g. ‘See justice done’), plus I’ve been waiting for a *World game that cracks the superhero genre for a while. This is a strong candidate.
It’s the last few days of the Saga of the Splintered Realm Kickstarter, which is Michael T Desing’s reimagining of classic B/X D&D with simplified rules and unified mechanics. Pitching yet another version of classic D&D is a hard sell but I’ve followed Splintered Realm through various iterations and Mr Desing has some nice ideas. Take a look at the free playtest version up at DriveThruRPG and see what you think.
Crone is a tabletop roleplaying card game currently running a campaign on Kickstarter. In the game, mystical and mysterious witches, wizened old women with fearsome reputations and vast magical powers, travel the land, visiting ancient ruins and fighting powerful monsters. Crone uses an easy 3d6 + Skill + Attribure vs. Difficulty Target Number (TN) mechanic for all resolution and combines this with a fast-paced simultaneous card playing approach to initiative. Everyone places their action cards face down on the table and then flips them over together to resolve them. The concept of playing a bunch of crotchety old women with vast magical powers that can shake the very foundations of the earth is in itself worthy of a pledge and you still a few days left to get in on the action.
Nefertiti Overdrive is Fraser Ronald’s new rules-light mash-up of crazy cinematic ahistorical Wuxia action set in legendary Ancient Egypt at the fall of the 25th Dynasty. Is that a concept for a game or what! This is the latest from the guy who brought us Sword Noir: Hardboiled Sword & Sorcery and Kiss My Axe: Thirteen Warriors and an Angel of Death. So if you fancy some kung-fu fightin’ in Ancient Egypt, the campaign is up and running on Kickstarter. Go back it right now!
For this week’s Bundle of Holding the awesome Bundle of Fate has been resurrected. It includes the free Fate Core and Fate Accelerated rulebooks and the following Fate-system games: Bulldogs!, Ehdrigohr, Full Moon and Spirit of the Century. If you pay the extra to “level up” you also get Diaspora, The Kerberos Club, Legends of Anglerre and Starblazer Adventures. I own most of these games already but it was still worth my while to get the couple that I didn’t have. Don’t miss this one.
Ron Edwards is currently running a Kickstarter campaign for his new game in development Circle of Hands. It’s billed as a stark, brutal, mud-and-dung Iron Age fantasy heartbreaker RPG with extremely consequential mechanics twists.
Ron says about the game; “I wanted monsters and cosmic magic. I wanted human evil and human pain. I wanted combat that felt like fighting, with fear and desperation just ahead of effective tactics. I wanted damage to not merely tick down a fuel tank, but to hurt. I wanted a knife to be a deadly weapon, as dangerous as a great-axe in the right time and place. I wanted a reason to fight which made sense to me.”
If that piques your interest (How could it not?) there’s a playtest PDF available from the Kickstarter page, some tantalising discussion about earlier development of the game from back in 2010 here and more recent discussions on the Adept Press Forums here.
The Clay That Woke, Paul Czege’s RPG about minotaurs (yes that’s the player characters are minotaurs), is currently running on Kickstarter. Normally this pitch might give me pause, but it’s Paul Czege, and he’s promising game mechanics that inspire immersive character play in a richly imagined world. Also the core mechanic is the “Krater of Lots”, an oracle system that uses custom tokens to guide situation outcomes. How cool does that sound?
Mr Czege says this is one of the best games he’s ever designed, so don’t be a fool, go back it now.
This week’s Bundle of Holding contains The Design Mechanism’s 6th Edition of the classic Fantasy RPG RuneQuest, designed by Lawrence Whitaker and Pete Nash. I can’t attest to it myself, having thus far only played the 1st and 3rd editions of this outstanding game, but RuneQuest 6 is reputedly the best edition in years.
Will Hindmarch’s Project: Dark Kickstarter pitches a stealth adventure game that is part deck building and part tabletop roleplaying game. The characters are fantastical thieves or spies sneaking unseen through the shadows to obtain loot or secrets. It sounds different. It’s all about infiltration and intrigue, not blundering around storming dungeons and being a hero. I’m in.
Edit: There’s a really atmospheric actual play report over at Platonic Solids that I think really captures the flavour of what this game is going to be all about. Go check it out.
Edit 2: Even more flavourful, listen to an awesome session of Dark, GM’d by Will Hindmarch himself and set in the Dark Planet world, over on James D’Amato’s One Shot podcast.
The TimeWatch RPG Kickstarter is a new GUMSHOE game of investigative time travel from game designer Kevin Kulp. You’ve got a time machine, high-powered weapons and a whole lot of history to save. What could possibly go wrong!
This week’s Bundle of Holding is Jonathan Tweet and Robin D Laws’s seminal Over the Edge RPG, a surreal game of secrets and conspiracies, set on the fictitious Mediterranean island of Al Amarja. Over the Edge holds a special place in RPG history having departed from the model of predefined character attributes and skills, in favour of open-ended player-chosen traits. And it was among the first to employ a dice pool based resolution mechanic.
The Protocol Game Series Kickstarter by Jim Pinto of Post World Games is a collection of thematic story/roleplaying games, which use the same simple mechanics — vignettes, interrogations, interludes, and ensembles — to tell non-derivative stories. It’s worth a look for the game pitches alone.
The Ryuutama Kickstarter by Andy Kitkowski, is an original Japanese heartwarming tabletop RPG focusing on travel and wonder, which is currently being translated for release in English.
The Collectanea Creaturae Kickstarter by Ebon Gryphon Games, is delivering a collection of creatures for the Monsters & Magic RPG , which I posted about a couple of months back. As a bonus, one of the stretch goals means there’s also going to be a Fate Core version.
The TianXia: Blood, Silk & Jade Kickstarter by Vigilance Press, offers Kung Fu fantasy and epic wuxia adventure for the Fate Core System. It’s going to allow you to recreate the kinds of high-flying action and adventure you’ve seen in movies like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hero. Sweet!
After spotting Prowlers & Paragons (see previous post) I found TNT (The Narrative Toolbox), which is another really neat narrative-driven RPG from Len Pimentel of LakeSide Games. This one is a simple universal RPG, which also works by having players roll for narrative control of action outcomes. Results range from full Player or GM control to embellishment of the other’s narration. One elegant concept in this game is, bigger villains simply require you to take narrative control multiple times in order to defeat them. Sweet! The system may be a bit too loose for some but there’s a lot to like here and I certainly think I’ll be giving it a try.
Prowlers & Paragons, by Len Pimentel of LakeSide Games, is a rules-light, narration-driven, four-colour superhero RPG. It primarily works through players rolling for narrative control of action outcomes but it has a degree of mechanical crunch behind it, particularly regarding combat damage. I haven’t given it a try just yet but it seems like it might find a complexity sweet-spot that, for me, many superhero RPGs go beyond. The artwork, by Jerry Gaylord, is also awesome. If you’re interested there’s a free Quickstart version at DriveThruRPG.
The Monsters & Magic Roleplaying Game by Sarah Newton of Mindjammer Press sounds like an appealing mash-up of old-school roleplaying and more modern narrative mechanics. It’s also billed as being “designed to be used with classic fantasy supplements and adventures with little or no conversion.” Travis Casey’s review at RPG.net really makes me want to give it a try.
The Grim World Kickstarter by Boldly Games is a dark fantasy gaming supplement for Dungeon World and Fate Core. I’m particularly interested in the Fate Core Playbooks being developed as part of this kickstarter because I find one of the problems with Fate to be that there are almost too many options. Dungeon World Playbooks are awesome and the Fate Core Playbooks look like they will focus the players by giving them a range of cool choices rather than limitless possibilities.