Interview: Ether Wars

Ether Wars promo image. Shows the game with a nebula in the background

We got the chance to talk to Burning Games and Ether Dev about their new Kickstarter for Ether Wars. This game didn’t fund last time, but have made some changes to make it more appealing to players! We talked to them about the original game, and are really excited to see them to re-launch with Burning Games!

1) Give us the ‘elevator pitch’ for Ether Wars. What sort of games is it similar too, and what’s the setting like?

It’s a sci-fi game of area control and worker placement with a twist: all your troops are represented by dice. You must place, move and roll the dice to defeat your opponents and obtain 5 pieces of Ether, the mythical power source. It has stunning art and nuanced and addictive gameplay.

2) It’s really great to see Burning Games and Ether Dev working together, how did this come about?

A couple of years ago we were demoing FAITH in a big even in our hometown. The developers of Ether Wars happened to be doing the same, and we had a chance to exchange plays and ideas. Some months later, when their game failed to meet the goal on Kickstarter, we decided to try to bring it back at the right time, which is now!

3) You’re halfway funded with 24 days left, how does that feel? What kind of feedback have you received?

A Kickstarter campaign is one of the most exhilarating things you can do, this side of bungee jumping. Backers are very enthusiastic and always eager to help, and their feedback has been very positive. We have polished the game following their advice and it really shows. Now we have to keep spreading the word and make sure as many people as possible hear about the game to complete the campaign in style.

4) What changes have you made that you think will help Ether Wars fund?

The main change is that now the English and Spanish editions are completely independent. Before, each card had info on both languages, which was a huge turnoff for many players. Apart from that, we have tweaked the graphic design and overall style of the game, and have implemented our logistical knowledge (gathered with FAITH) to lower the costs and the Kickstarter goal.

5) Do Ether Wars and Faith: the Sci-Fi RPG share the same artists/art director? We see a similar aesthetic.

Many people ask us that, but funnily enough there is no connection at all between the games. They were born apart and brought together by serendipity well after the main art was created for both. I think we may share similar sources of inspiration, though. Don’t we all?

6) Are there any plans for future expansions for the board game? Any possible tie-in with FAITH?

If Ether Wars is successfully funded we will definitely keep creating content for it. The final word is the developers’, though, and we will heed their vision for the future of the game. As for FAITH tie-ins, it’s unlikely at this point. We will create boardgames based on that Universe, but they will be tailor-made to ensure that they fit in the lore of the game.

7) If this venture is successful, do you plan on future partnerships with local or international game designers as publishers?

Yes, this is something we really want to do, find games that suit our brand and give them a fair chance in the market.

8) Where can we see or play a demo of the game?

Undead Viking did a very nice overview of the main mechanics of the game and thinks its the perfect entry point for everyone.

9) What is your personal favorite mechanic or aspect of the game?

Battles are super fun and very physical. Opponents throw their dice (oftentimes a handful of them) and count the dots. Some of the dots are blank to begin with but can be powered up, event cards can be used at any time, the faction’s special abilities may be triggered… there are several mechanics that add tension to a fight, and it’s definitely our favorite part of the game.

10) What are your reward levels?

We have kept things simple: you can select the English edition or Spanish edition of the game. And of course there’s a bulk-order option!

11) Any thing else we should know about Ether Wars?

It’s a fantastic game that will hook all your gaming group in seconds. Also, it’s a passion project by two incredibly committed gamers and we think their efforts deserve to be brought to reality.

12) Could you tell us about a stretch goal you’re particularly excited about?

We have announced the first few, and the most interesting of them are the Ether Gems, a Kickstarter exclusive goal. Ether is such an important asset that it deserves to be special on the table!

13) Where can we find you on Twitter or Facebook, or anywhere else on the web?

We welcome everyone to our social media- Twitter and Facebook.

You can find Ether Wars on Kickstarter and add it to your own collection!

December Release Schedule

a square star fort, with a planet in the background. There's golden light pouring out of it.

What are we playing this month?

December 4, 2016Chronicles of Chronicles 3: Chronicle of Collateral Damage
The team try to make the best of their second do over by going straight for the jugular…literally.

December 11, 2016Chronicles of Chronicles 4: Chronicle of Betrayal
Having risked all and killed a lot of people to reach a point where they can undo the damage done by their nemesis, the team struggles to figure out exactly how that’s actually supposed to work.

December 18, 2016We Got This 1: We Got This
The 12th Elysian Drop Troops confidently approach the Star Fort Lycurgos on a heroic mission to retake it from secessionists and heretics.

December 25, 2016Christmas Special
We haven’t recorded this yet, but I expect it to be touching and thrilling, with a touch of silliness and a dash of explosives.

What’s Cool on Kickstarter

There’s many interesting items to be found on Kickstarter, but these are the coolest ones this week.

Dungeon Crawl Classics Scratch Off Holiday Module
We love playing holiday themed games at TRF, and I really love the creativeness of this new DCC module. The character’s can’t remember who they are and so you don’t know all of your information as the game begins. You have to use your scratch off character sheet to learn who and what you are. The adventure is also holiday themed, called Twilight of the Solstice. There’s not much time left for this, and it should be in your hands by the holidays, so order quickly!

“This Kickstarter funds the creation of a Dungeon Crawl Classics adventure module with a Christmas theme, which includes special scratch-off character sheets for play. Yes, just like the lottery! The adventure is thematically tied to the holiday season and is the perfect adventure to play over your holiday break! The character sheets tie into a specific mechanic described in the adventure, and will enhance the play experience significantly as the players “discover” their characters and recover lost memories by scratching off the appropriate squares.

The adventure module is 24 pages long, written by Marc Bruner with cover art and maps by Doug Kovacs, and interior illustrations by Cliff Kurowski, Doug Kovacs, and Stefan Poag. The module’s page size is 8.5″x11″. Each module includes 6 loose-leaf scratch-off character sheets, also measuring 8.5″x11″, illustrated by Stefan Poag.”
Read More …

Chronicle of Chronicles 2: Chronicle of Consequences

Wall of monitors in a dark room

Reeling from their failure to complete their task, the team heads to a remote diner to find some answers.

GM: Mike
Players: Aser, John, Matt, and Megan.
System: World of Darkness

Music by Kevin MacLeod, “Oppressive Gloom.” (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Direct Download!

Fiasco: Die Hard Comes Earlier Every Year

Vegan Turducken on a bed of lettuce

As we near the close of 2016, a year of many bad things, it is important to remember all we still have to be grateful for, that’s worth fighting for. The people behind the Redacted Files are thankful to you, our listeners, and all those people who make it possible to do what we love. Thank you from the bottom of our squamous hearts, and please accept this token of our appreciation.

Two international terrorists bring their families to a remote cabin to celebrate Thanksgiving. Things get…explosive quickly.

Players: Aser, Jonn, Megan, and Patrick
System: Fiasco

Music by Kevin Macleod, “Wish Background.” (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Direct Download!

Interview with Jonathan Tweet about Clades, the Evolutionary Card Game

We sit down with Jonathan Tweet to talk about Clades, an educational card game to teach children (and adults!) a little bit more about evolution. We’re also joined by Jeromy French.

You can find Clades on Kickstarter until December 6, 2016. You can find more information about the game and Grandmother Fish at the Grandmother Fish website. You can also follow Jonathan on Twitter!

Outro Music:
Port_City_Music_-_29_-_Night_Terrors from ‘Silber Sounds of Halloween’
Freemusicarchive.org

What’s Cool on Kickstarter

There’s many interesting items to be found on Kickstarter, but these are the coolest ones this week.

Constellation Dice
I love how clever these dice are, especially the Fate dice. The d6s all have different constellations on them, with the pips being the stars in the constellation. The Fate versions have a bright star in a series of stars, making a plus sign on two sides, that spans to another side with one of the points, creating the minus sign. There’s still the other stars that function as a normal d6 as well. Currently your other dice options are d10s with moons (the d10) or with the planets (including the sun and Pluto, and works as the d100). They’re looking at creating a full dice set though, so keep your eyes on this project.

“Glow in the dark Constellation Dice were designed last year and found encouraging success. It’s originality has been recognized by the world record holder dice collector Mr. Kevin Cook, and the project is going to be featured in the art photo book “Dice – Rendezvous with Randomness” by Måns Danneman (to be soon published by Åskfågeln). They are still in demand, but not many are left. This campaign will provide good company to your First Edition Ptolemaic Constellation Dice (Northern Sky), while offering new backers the chance to grab the very last available First Edition, along with all new designs.”
Read More …

Review: Gods and Icons

Gods and Icons cover showing several of the Icons contained within

The Icon mechanic in 13th Age is one of the more interesting additions to a system that builds on your standard d20 game. The Icons can help, or hurt you, depending on the relationship you build with them. Each have different priorities and strong suits, and of course allies and enemies. Gods and Icons, from Dread Unicorn Games, builds on the existing world to add more flavor to the Icons.

The Icons are well fleshed out in the 13th Age core book, but Gods and Icons goes even further, giving the players and the GM the option to incorporate alternative icons that have clear analogues in the core book, but provides names and a much more expanded history for each. For example, The Dwarf King analogue is King Thorbal of the Glittering Gem. There are then examples of his politics, and a list of organizations operating under his purview. It also details his relationships with each of the other icons, and gives some ideas of variants that you could use to make King Thorbal slightly more unique in your game.

The one thing I like with each Icon page is that it also provides a list of gods that the Icon is associated with. I play a cleric in 13th Age, and I wanted a solid list of gods to grab onto and explore for building up my character. I’m incredibly bad at coming up with names on my own. So, the gods aspect of Gods and Icons is particularly useful for me.

Gods and Icons introduces three pantheons of gods, the Bright Gods, the Thirsty Gods, and the Old Gods. Each pantheon is based more on geography, though certain races are more likely to follow one pantheon then another. The book describes the gods in each pantheon, including the cults that follow them and their cultural impact. I think these small details can flesh out the world, and helps you build a believable culture in the game that your character is a part of. There’s also alternative names and variant rules for the gods, which also helps you make your world your own.

In addition to the new gods, there’s new domains for Clerics and new talents for Druids, Paladins, and Rangers to go along with the new pantheons. For example, your Druid can take Blessing of the Sparrow, giving you a bit of mischief to your magic. There is also a list of new locations, holy sites and unhallowed grounds related to the gods for your players to explore.

In addition to expanding the world of 13th Age with both gods and Icons, this supplement lists new items to give to your players based on Icon rolls. What’s really cool is they include tables, that are divided up by class for you to roll on to decide what items to hand out. And even more, you can decide if you want to give a useful item, in which case only a few items in the table will be in the pool you roll for. If instead you want to truly randomly hand out the loot more options are available. The tables you end up with include loot from the core book, 13 True Ways, and the Gods and Icons book.

The last additional worldbuilding included in the book are new races and NPC appearance tables. These tables can help you randomly decide on a race, gender, icon, and quirk for each of your NPCs. The new races give your players a lot more options on what they want to play – I didn’t even know half-owlbear was a thing. A few of the other options include Dhampir, Goblin, and of course, Gelatinous Troglodyte. I want to see an adventuring part with one of those guys!

Gods and Icons also has a Player’s Guide version that you can give to your group. This includes most of the same information, excluding the loot tables and the locations. There is also an introductory adventure available, called Towers in the Mist, which includes pre-generated characters and helpful hints to GMs running 13th Age for the first time. This includes suggestions on boons from Icon Relationship rolls and how to present them, which should give the GM an idea of ways to frame such interactions in the future. Like with Sleeping Lady, another Dread Unicorn release, the adventure gives the GM ideas on how to alter it depending the number of players and experience they have with RPGs, something even somewhat experienced GMs can lack confidence in doing for the first time.

Overall, if you’re looking to make your campaign of 13th Age a little more expansive, I would highly recommend picking up Gods and Icons. Even if you’re not quite at that stage yet, I think Tower in the Mist is a great introductory adventure, for both the players and the GM.

Gods and Icons is available on DriveThruRPG for $14.95 as a PDF, or $29.95 as a softcovered book. The Players Guide is $9.95, and The Tower in the Mist is $4.95. If you want all three, you can purchase them as a bundle for only $18.45.

*The Redacted Files received a free copies of these supplements for review purposes.

Chronicle of Chronicles 1: Chronicle of Failure

A road leads to a city where the sun, or maybe an explosion, dominates the skyline

In attempt to convince Megan and Aser to hate World of Darkness Mike sat down to run a mini-campaign to let us see what the fuss was about.

A dark evil has been brewing (heeheehee) in the city of Seattle. Now a team of extraordinary people with very special talents has been gather to stop the unthinkable. Or at least mildly inconvenience it. Maybe.

GM: Mike
Players: Aser, John, Matt, and Megan.
System: World of Darkness

Music by Kevin MacLeod, “Oppressive Gloom.” (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Direct Download!

What’s Cool on Kickstarter

There’s many interesting items to be found on Kickstarter, but these are the coolest ones this week.

The Game Anywhere Table
This is one of the most affordable gaming tables I’ve seen, and even better, it can fold up to go with you anywhere, or for storage when you’re not using it. The basic table is only $259, and then there are a ton of cool add-ons, like cup holders, card holders, ways to divide up player areas and more. If you don’t have the space for a full blown gaming room, this table can make it possible for you to have a great tabletop experience whenever you have friends over.

“Tabletop board games, card games and RPGs have made a huge comeback in popularity, and all of us here at Transforming Designs love them just as much as you do.

The recurring problem is finding where to play and what to play on. So we decided to get our group of engineers together to solve this problem. After months of designing and testing we created the Game Anywhere Table. The Game Anywhere Table was designed with more than just the game in mind, we had the player in mind as well. So, we are proud to introduce our innovative patent pending design with four playing stations featuring magnetic player panels.”
Read More …