Interview: Untold: Adventure Awaits Kickstarter

All the components that come in Untold. There's a board, story cubes, cards, character sheets, and tokens.
I had the chance to talk to Michael Fox from The Creativity Hub about their new game Untold: Adventures Await, which allows you to build an RPG game out of Story Cubes. You can pull in any Story Cubes you want, and there are a lot of options out there already! The variety of cubes will make it easy for me to run the Batman hospital drama I’ve always wanted to try. But seriously, this looks like a great way to have an evening of wacky fun and you should check it out on Kickstarter!

Tell us a little bit about yourself! When did you start getting into games?
So, I’m Michael Fox, I’m a game designer, sometime publisher, podcaster and occasional writer. I’ve run my own site (called The Little Metal Dog Show) and an accompanying podcast for the past eight years or so where I get to interview all manner of folks from the tabletop industry. For now though, I’m currently working with The Creativity Hub over here in Belfast, Northern Ireland, helping them make games that are not only great to play, but also have a bit more meaning under the surface.
I started getting into games as a kid with the classic nerd titles – Hero Quest was a major influence on me. I’d play it myself with solo rules that I ‘developed’ – basically, making stuff up as I went along, stuff that felt right from a story point of view. That morphed into actual rulesets for other games, and then I grew up, discovered music and girls, and forgot about games until around 2000. I stumbled across a tiny game store in Sydney, Australia, saw the kinds of things on offer there, and was kind of hooked. From then on… well, it’s all been cardboard and meeples and dice.

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What’s Cool on Kickstarter

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

The Skirmish Box
Dog Might Games has another beautiful product for offer with the Skirmish Box. It’s available in all the beautiful colors, woods, and carving options we’ve seen before, but this box includes a metal plate to make it magnetic. This makes it a great way to transport your miniatures without worrying about them moving around in transport or being damaged. You can get also get the box with compartments to store dice, pencils, cards, and whatever else you need to take with you.

“Crafted by the insane Lumberjack Vikings at Dog Might Games, the Skirmish Box is the ultimate mini transport for your next head-to-head battle or campaign encounter. The Skirmish box uses an embedded metal plate that allows your minis with added magnets to stand apart from one another, ensuring safe transport. It also offers a variety of wells to hold cards, tokens, dice, or anything else you need for your game and holds up to 25 minis. Every Skirmish Box is available in a variety of woods and interior designs, just choose the one that works for you. We offer over 30 exterior designs which are sculpted directly into the hardwood lid. Each Box is created from hand selected hardwoods and comes with a Lifetime Guarantee.”
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How a Blind Gamer Runs Games

Assistive technology is an amazing thing. I used to tell friends that for a large part of human history, careers for the blind were restricted to beggar, musician or soothsayer. That’s a fair bit of hyperbole, but by and large a wide swath of everyday occupations and leisurely pursuits were entirely closed off to people with even a minor visual impairment. But then came one leap forward after another in the world of computing and soon software existed that could read printed text aloud, turn computer output into spoken feedback and provide access to information in a coherent and digestible form. I graduated from law school in the top 5% of my class, record and produce a podcast enjoyed by literally dozens of people and make a nuisance of myself on social media just like anyone else. We truly live in a golden age. On Global Accessibility Awareness Day, I thought it would be useful to describe some of the tools I use to (effectively) run tabletop role-playing games online and in person as part of TRF. Read More …

What’s Cool on Kickstarter

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

Cortex Prime
I’ve played a lot of Firefly, and sort have a love/hate relationship with the Cortex Plus system. Cortex Prime uses the same base mechanics, which means it should be backwards compatible with a bunch of games you already love. The great thing about this release, is that it’s setting neutral, and can bring it into any world you want to. You’ll even be able to publish your own setting material on Drive Thru RPG, using the Cortex Creator Studio. I’m really interested to see the changes that Cortex Prime makes!

“Cortex is an award-winning tabletop roleplaying game system that traces its origins back to the Sovereign Stone System in 1999, and the Serenity RPG in 2005, from which it takes its name. Over the next five years it appeared as the engine powering a series of other licensed RPGs, at which point it was rewritten from the ground up as Cortex Plus. Various iterations of this newer system were used in RPGs based on Leverage, Smallville, Firefly, and Marvel Heroic Roleplaying.

Cortex Prime is the newest version of this much-loved set of game rules, refined and redesigned by Cam Banks under license from Margaret Weis Productions. It embraces its roots as a means of adapting your favorite movies, television shows, and comic books, while emerging finally as a truly multi-genre modular roleplaying game in its own right.

Orc revolutionaries! Giant mecha! Swashbucklers of the far future! Hard-boiled police detectives! Whether you’re a fan of genres and genre mash-ups, any of the older Cortex-powered games, or you’re just looking for a tabletop game system you can customize to your own specifications, Cortex Prime is primed for you.”
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What’s Cool on Kickstarter

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

Eclipse Phase 2e
I’ve only gotten to play Eclipse Phase a handful of times, but I really love the world and especially the resleeving. There’s so many cool morphs that you can play as, and it’s really cool to be able to swap into a new one when you need to. This new edition promises that character creation will be faster, which is great news, I used a pre-gen when we played and I’d love to be able to customize my character more. They’ve also updated the gameplay to make it work a lot smoother, and streamlined resleeving to make it easier to swap morphs. I’m hoping with this edition I’ll finally be able to play as an octomorph. Most of the setting material from the first edition will still be compatible, so your collection won’t go to waste.

“Eclipse Phase is the game of transhuman survival. Technology puts the tools to defeat death, emancipate from need, and reshape bodies and minds in the hands of everyone, but it also provides the means for oppression and mass destruction. After losing Earth in a war with AIs, transhumanity disperses throughout the solar system and beyond, struggling to survive. In a typical Eclipse Phase game, characters belong to Firewall, a secret, cross-faction organization that protects transhumanity from extinction threats. Alternate campaigns involve traversing the mysterious Pandora gates to explore extrasolar worlds or navigating the treacherous terrain of high-tech criminal cartels.”
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What’s Cool on Kickstarter

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

AcadeCon 2017
The RPG Academy has hosted an amazing convention in Dayton, Ohio the past few years, and they’re going to continue to top themselves this year. The convention focuses on playing games with other cool people including Kenneth Hite, James D’Amato, Jim McClure, and all of the Fandible cast. I wish I could make it this year to meet up with all these great people, but you have a chance to get your tickets now! It will be held November 10-12 this year, and there’s all kinds of great swag if you sign up now.

“AcadeCon is specifically designed to be a smaller, non-traditional convention. We are not trying to (nor do we want to) compete with or replace the huge conventions that attract a national audience. At our convention, you’re going to get access to 24-hour gaming hall, a better chance to play in the games you want, the opportunity to spend time and game with special guests, and time to hang out with some of the best gamers in the world—the fans of our show!”
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What’s Cool on Kickstarter

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

Noir World
Noir World is an Apocalypse World game that allows you to play your own Noir game. Which sounds amazing. A femme fatale seems like she definitely would have a place in a game PbtA. You’re not limited in playing in the 1920’s, it’s extensible to near future settings as well with 10 decades available. There are 20 roles you can play, which is great for having lots of options. I’m interested to see how this game will work with no GM, but I definitely want to give it a try.

“Noir World is film noir as powered by the Apocalypse. Around your table you’ll choose from 20 Roles, create relationships between them, build a City, and maybe solve a Crime, all while trying to create the best Movie possible.

It’s powered by the Apocalypse, the same mechanics found in Apocalypse World, Dungeon World, Headspace, and Monsterhearts, but it’s different – there’s no set single person acting as a GM. Here, everyone will have a chance to be the Director, everyone is the GM.”
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Review: Book of Unremitting Horror

Cover of the book of unremitting horror. Shows a creepy creature with long arms grinning menacingly at the viewer

One of the toughest parts of running an investigative horror RPG can be creating interesting monsters to terrorize your players. Unlike adversaries in more combat-oriented RPGs, the baddies in a horror game are more than just stat blocks: they need to have a complete background with hooks to discover in order to complete the investigation. Creating these can often be the most entertaining part of GM-ing games like Fear Itself, but sometimes it’s nice to have something to weave a story around.

That’s where The Book of Unremitting Horror comes in. This book provides a collection of fearsome creatures from your worst nightmares. Each entry provides a background for the creature including a story about a haunting and advice on how to run them in a game. And of course, the book also has stats. These entries are more than just single page write-ups, and can easily form the core of a scenario by themselves. In fact, Megan did this to create the one on one session we released for Halloween in 2015.

The thing is, the monsters and demons on offer in Unremitting Horror aren’t just your run of the mill catalog of things that go bump in the night. There are very unique manifestations of common tropes and urban legends that make for genuinely creepy reading. They include things like the Kooks, creatures that retain their immortality by feeding on the essence of young children, the Blossomer, a demon summoned by angsty teenagers in a fit of sex and cannibalism, and Sisterides, basically an MRA’s fears given form.

This book is a treasure trove of the sorts of horrifying moments that make Fear Itself, Esoterrorists and games like them so memorable. Some of the creatures featured in the book are used in the scenario Invasive Procedures, which The Redacted Files played in two parts. Another is featured in the one on one session entitled Soliloquy.

The book comes in both Gumshoe and d20 variants. We plan on using several of the entries in this book to terrorize our cast in the near future. We highly recommend you check it out and pick up a copy to inflict on your unsuspecting friends. You can purchase it on DriveThruRPG for Gumshoe or d20. It’s also available for purchase from the Pelgrane Press website.

What’s Cool on Kickstarter

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

FAITH: The SciFi RPG
I wrote recently about FAITH’s starter set, A Garden in Hell. This core book expands the rules for FAITH, deepens the background for the world, and adds miniatures to your game. As always with Burning Games projects, the book is visually stunning. I’ve had the opportunity to look at some of the mock-ups for the core book and it will be a great addition to your gaming collection. I love that they will be expanding character options, and it’s really great to finally have the gear collected in a book, instead of just on cards. You can of course get the beautiful cards they’ve produced to go with the game in the kickstarter. I think FAITH is one of the more interesting SciFi settings to come out in recent years, and you should look at adding it to your collection.

“The FAITH campaign is one of valiant space travelers, remote uncharted stars and bizarre alien technology. But it’s also a realm of mysterious, invisible forces – the Gods and the outlandish, supernatural powers they grant to those mortals who believe in them. In FAITH, you can be a star explorer, a soldier, a scoundrel or a mystic believer, using a mix of technology, training and god-given powers to survive the untamed regions of wild space against rival factions, alien perils and ruthless bandits.

The book covers the rules and mechanics of the game, the setting and story of the universe, and everything in between. Beautifully illustrated, it will allow you to dive into a sci-fi setting with political intrigue, high octane action and strategical gameplay.”
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What’s Cool on Kickstarter

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

Call of Cthulhu Metal Dice
Q-Workshop makes gorgeous dice. This Cthulhu set is another addition to their wonderful line, with all kinds of great mythos details. I really love how crisp the numbers look, especially since I think some of the other details make them a little busy. However, the leech like mouths on every corner of the dice is a cool and creepy detail. If you pledge at $69 you get the full set of metal dice as well as any stretch goals, which include plastic Nyarlathotep dice and dice bags. If you need a really detailed mythos themed dice set, this is your chance to get a really nice set.

“The horror… The horror. And tentacles, and many mouths full of teeth. I’m still shaking when I think about that. But it made me design this – murmured the artist. We just laughed. But then we abruptly stopped laughing when he showed us what was on the screen.

Since then, this image has been tormenting us, and we finally decided that we needed to release it to the world. We do hope that this will keep our Sanity in check, although you can never know…Ladies and gentlemen, behold the CALL OF CTHULHU RPG METAL DICE!”
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