What’s Cool on Kickstarter

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

Spire RPG
I’m really interested in Spire, an RPG where you play as part of an ongoing revolution, fighting for freedom and against your oppressors. The worldbuilding that has been done for you looks incredible and I love their redesign of character classes. The game uses a d10 system and as the game continues your character will accrue stress, which can cause them trouble when their luck as a member of the resistance turns. I really think this game will be a meaningful one, and I can’t wait to play it.

“You are a dark elf. The touch of the sun burns your grey skin, and you hide from the light in twisting corridors, crumbling temples and the lawless undercity of the metropolis known as Spire. The high elves, rulers of the city, alien and capricious, allow you to live here as an underclass forced to beg for scraps.

Your religion, your culture, and your people are being destroyed all around you. You have seen your fathers, your mothers, your grandparents subjugated by the high elves, and you have had enough. You have joined the resistance: the ministry of Our Hidden Mistress, worshippers of a forbidden goddess. You have sworn in blood that the high elves will fall, that you will destroy them through subterfuge, and insurrection, and terror.

Spire offers players a chance to take part in a fantasy revolution, and to fight back against those who oppress you. Unlike many games, the monsters aren’t out in the wilderness; they’re living above you in obscene luxury, dominating your people in the aftermath of a brutal war. Spire tasks players with changing the city, whether for good or ill, and that’s how they gain experience and new abilities.

We’ve taken the common tropes of D&D (and other fantasy mainstays) and adjusted them to mesh with our own world, so while there’s plenty that’ll seem familiar to any seasoned roleplayer, there’ll be something in there to surprise everyone, too. ”
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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.

Hellscapes
I haven’t had a chance to play a lot of 5e yet, but I really love it as a d20 system. Scrivened has previously adapted 5e for scifi games with Hyperlanes, and now they’re bringing it to the post-apocalypse. This is a complete reskinning of 5e, with new classes, vehicle rules, and converting the magic system to the same Gambit system they used in Hyperlanes. I’m really interested in seeing what Hellscapes does with both 5e and the post-apocalyptic setting.

“HELLSCAPES is the beaten and battered manual you need to run post-apocalyptic survival games. We’ve scavenged the noble bones of Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition, reworking its lightweight materials into twisted mechanics to serve our needs. We bastardize classes into those that suit the wastes, allowing for new and dangerous heroes to arise. We’ve repurposed the raw materials of Feats and Backgrounds to reflect the storylines of hardened scavengers. We recast Races into Origins, allowing you to customize tribes, mutations, and robotic enhancements to suit the hellish campaign settings you choose.

Need a game where society collapses as the dead rise to consume the living? Want to see how you’d fare against the unblinking gaze of robotic overlords? Hope to lead the uprising of a human resistance against alien conquerors? We’ve got the system for you.

HELLSCAPES includes all the post-apocalyptic baddies your DM needs to tear you limb from limb, leaving more food for those who remain. Just kidding, we’re sure you’ll make it tough guy.”
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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.

Arcana Note 5e Leather Journal
This journal is beautiful. It almost makes me wish I ran 5e so I’d have a reason to use it. This journal has everything you need to go with your game, including a dice tray, cards with useful information, and a GM screen. As a player or a DM, you could put this journal to use for your campaign. Plus it’s in leather! You should really give the Arcana Note a look if you want to make sure your game is organized and stylish.

“Arcana Note is a portable, rugged leather notebook filled with 5E tools such as character sheets, cheat sheets, a collapsing dice tray, a ruler that measures game feet, a mini GM screen, grid paper, condition/spell/item cards, card pages and more. The inside pages contain templates for tracking sessions, NPCs, organizations and locations within your campaign.”
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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 Yellow King RPG
Aser and I backed this kickstarter without even looking at all the details of the campaign. The King in Yellow plus Robin D. Laws? You know it’s going to be good. It features four setting books you can wind your campaign through as the effect the Yellow King has on the world is realized and people band together to fight back. The settings are Belle Epoque Paris as the play is first released, an alternate reality 1947 where soldiers fight in the ongoing WWII while the Yellow King and his daughters make things much more complicated, a 2017 that exists in the same reality as the 1947, where people are trying to rebuild their lives after a vicious civil war, and a 2017 more reminiscent to now, though reality isn’t quite as solid. The game uses the Gumshoe system, but expands some of the combat and health systems based on the recently released GUmshoe One-2-One. The books are going to come in a beautiful slip case, part of which will unfold into a GM screen. There are, of course, deluxe versions and even some super limited versions that you can get, as well as a sourcebook, a novel, and a gaming roll.

“Pelgrane Press is terrified to announce The Yellow King Roleplaying Game, an innovative new GUMSHOE core game written and designed by creator of the system Robin D. Laws. YKRPG takes you on a brain-bending spiral through multiple selves and timelines.

Inspired by Robert W. Chambers’ influential cycle of short stories, YKRPG pits the characters against the reality-altering horror of The King in Yellow. This suppressed play, once read, invites madness. Or a visit from its titular character, an alien ruler intent on invading and remolding our world into a colony of their planet, Carcosa. Four books, served up together in a beautiful slipcase, confront your players with an epic journey into reality horror.”
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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 Nightmare Gallery
The Nightmare Gallery is a horror movie written by Rob and Jhan of Orpheus Protocol (look for an interview with Rob later this week!). The movie follows a professor of anthropology who receives some cryptic messages that claim to be from a TA that went missing three years earlier, and the path that pushes her and her wife down. What’s really cool is that this professor is played by Amber Benson, aka Tara from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. One of the goals of this movie is to develop a horror movie with fleshed out LGBTQ characters, and I’m really excited to see a movie that is really thoughtful about this. Plus if you’ve listened to Orpheus Protocol you know the horror is going to be amazing. It’s only $15 to get a digital copy of the movie, and you also get access to a lot of amazing additional material from Seraph Films, including a short film, your name in the credits, and an exclusive episode of Horror Haiku. This is a movie that I never knew was missing from my collection, and I can’t wait to see it!

“Amber Benson stars in The Nightmare Gallery as Professor Rand, an anthropology professor whose life is turned upside-down by the sudden, suspicious disappearance of a star pupil. But when a package of paranormal artifacts arrives on her doorstep three years later, the professor embarks on a nightmarish journey into mystery that will shake her and her wife to their cores. Through a terrifying, Lynchian lens, the film follows Professor Rand’s horrifying loss of self in pursuit of an extra-dimensional truth that could doom the world.”
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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.

Cthulhu Dark
Cthulhu Dark boasts of only two pages of rules, make it a very compact game for you to bring to your table. The rest of the book gives advice for building and running the mysteries for your scenario, creatures and objects, and four very different settings: London 1851, Arkham 1692, Jaiwo 2017, and Mumbai 2037. Most of the material is already written, and will be ready to head to layout as the kickstarter ends. However, you can also pledge for a Season Pass, which gets you the material as it’s finished so that you don’t have to wait too long to begin your game. Aser especially is a fan of the bleak storytelling style of this sort of game, and the futility of fighting against incomprehensible horrors. If you enjoy the mythos, this game looks like a great place to try something a little different.

“Cthulhu Dark is a tabletop roleplaying game of cosmic horror, in the style of H.P. Lovecraft. It’s about the things we fear, amplified until they are unbearable. It’s about stories that genuinely creep you out, not well-worn tropes and creatures you’ve seen hundreds of times before. And it’s about bleak horror, in which humans are powerless when confronted by hyperintelligent alien horrors. You can’t beat them. You can’t fight them. You can only watch, run, hide and fear.

If you love Cthulhu games already, then this is Lovecraftian horror at its most intense. If you’re new to them, then Cthulhu Dark is a great place to start. You’ll enter a world of stories that are both terrifying and terribly human. The rules are incredibly short: they’re tightly focussed on horror and they drive the game.”
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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.

Untold: Adventures Await
I got to talk to one of the creators of Untold last week, and I think this looks like a great fun game to play when someone can’t show up for a session. Or with people who are nervous to try RPGs, or even to introduce your kids to them. You use any combination of Story Cubes you want to build a setting, and then develop characters and a narrative. The games are quick and can be different everytime. Michael recommends combing Clues, Mythic, and Voyages story cubes for your investigative horror game.

“Untold: Adventure Awaits is a customisable storytelling game powered by Rory’s Story Cubes where you play the heroes in your own adventure series. Think of it as throwing you and your friends into a favourite TV show, but rather than passively watching, you’re caught up in every scene and make the decisions on which way the plot will go. Each adventure-packed episode takes less than sixty minutes to play from start to finish and requires no preparation – you jump straight into the adventure! All it takes is a copy of Untold, a set of any nine StoryCubes of your choice, and the combined imagination and inquisitiveness of the players. From there on, anything can happen…”
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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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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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