RPG Crowdfunding News 039: LexOccultum, A Strange Box, Bedlam Hall, Mutant: Mechatron, Tales of the Warrior Princesses, Yarr!
  • RPG Crowdfunding News 039: LexOccultum, A Strange Box, Bedlam Hall, Mutant: Mechatron, Tales of the Warrior Princesses, Yarr!


    Welcome back to our weekly look at tabletop roleplaying game, and accessories, crowdfunding roundup! Each week we’ll be looking at a few campaigns currently running that have caught our eye as well as occasionally speaking to some of the creators about their campaigns, or looking at some of the ‘behind the scenes’ business aspects of putting together, launching, operating and then delivering a crowdfunded project. If you have anything you’d like us to cover, or questions about anything we talk about, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or contact me directly.


    LexOccultum – Role Playing Game by RiotMinds

    (Campaign Ends : Friday 24th March 2017; 12:45 UTC)


    LexOccultum is the new Kickstarter from RiotMinds, the Swedish company behind this years most eagerly anticipated Roleplaying Game Trudvang Chronicles.

    Originally LexOccultum, or Gotterdammerung as it was originally known, was going to preceed Trudvang Chronicles on Kickstarter but the company swapped the campaigns around and made me wait for the chance to finally back this fantastic game of flintlocks, occultism, mysteries and secret societies in the 18th century. Not that I complained too much as I’d been waiting for an English edition of Trudvang Chronicles for years too.

    The campaign is aiming to fund three books – Lex Libris (for Game Masters), Alter Ego (for players), and Roi-de-Rats (a major campaign set in Paris).


    So, the setting…

    Europe, 18th century. The church is losing its grip on men struggling with old beliefs and dogmas. Alchemists, occultists and secret societies dig deep into old mysteries and ancient obscurities. Enlightenment is no only about breaking free from old institutions and structures, but also about discovering what has been hidden for hundreds of years, even millennium. Illuminati, Freemasons, the old Templars and other secret societies hide in dark chambers plotting for a new world order, or to just uncover the dark arts and ancient wisdom.

    The nobles and aristocrats is a dying breed living in full decadence and excess while he common people suffer in poverty. This is the era of Enlightenment, but also ignorance. Few know anything about the growing darkness; the vampires and offspring of the devil, and while conspiracies grow under the surface, kings and priests preach about submission and obedience. But who is to save men from the twilight of the gods, from falling into the darkness and be consumed by evil? Is it true that the apocalypse is soon to come?

    LexOccultum takes place in a fictive historical 18th century, where the occult and supernatural is real but not yet in full bloom.


    This is a game about flintlock pistols, filthy grave diggers, lanterns, werewolves, wine and decadence, secret societies, conspiracies and mysteries too dangerous to uncover. It’s a game about explorers battling the raging seas, the truth about the Templars, holy bloodlines, a quiet war between men and beast. Discover the corrupt Paris, the smoke filled London, “gin craze” and alchemists search for the Philosopher’s Stone. Dig deep into th cabbala system and ancient mysteries of old Egypt.



    Using a skill-based BRP (Basic Role Playing) clone, and having won awards in Sweden, this is a game that I’m really pleased to see already funded and can’t wait to get to my gaming table.


    A Strange Box by Monte Cook Games

    (Campaign Ends : Saturday 18th March 2017; 00:00 UTC)


    The Strange is a multi-award winning RPG from Monte Cook Games by Bruce Cordell where “stories, movies, myths, novels, and even comics and games come alive in limited alternate dimensions called recursions. Player characters explore these recursions, accumulate treasures and wonders, and defend the Earth from entities they discover who are jealous of – or want to consume – the real world. Recursions float in a medium that scientists call dark energy, but that PCs call the Strange. Sometimes, fictional characters and creatures in a recursion wake to the realization that they’re not real. Then they seek to break out of their limited dimensions and reach Earth. As do far more vast and completely alien creatures called planetovores that have been swimming in the Strange for who knows how many millions or billions of years.”

    The Strange Box is not going to be available to general retail. The only way to get it is through this campaign, although there is a retailer pledge level for those stores who would like to stock it.

    One of the cool things about not selling this box through retail stores is that it doesn’t have to be marked like a retail product. We can leave off the bar codes and sales text and that sort of stuff. That means the entire outside of the box can just reflect the amazing esthetic of The Strange. So we’re going to make it look awesome – front, back, and sides! The box itself will be of sturdy design, with a deluxe linen finish. It’ll be a great way to carry The Strange around, and it’ll look absolutely wonderful on your game shelf.

    This boxed set is not a new edition for The Strange. The box will contain the same content you find in the existing hardcover rulebook, but in easy-to-use, smaller books. This way, the GM can be paging through the setting guide, and a player can be looking up a new ability at the same time.


    The books in the box will all be softcovers. If you don’t own The Strange yet, this box gives you all the game content you’d find in the hardcover. The difference is in the format.



    Bedlam Hall – A Macabre Victorian Role-Playing Game by Monkeyfun Studios, LLC

    (Campaign Ends : Wednesday 15th March 2017; 17:01 UTC)


    I heard about this game a few weeks before it launched and was sold as soon as I read the first line… [hq]“A dreadpunk tabletop rpg combining Downton Abbey with the Addams Family, including backstabbing politics and horrible secrets.” So I asked Dave over at Monkeyfun Studios to tell me more…

    The family is insane. The house is cursed. The weather is lousy. Welcome to Bedlam Hall.

    From Monkeyfun Studios, creators of the 1970’s action role-playing game, Spirit of 77, comes something absolutely dreadful – Bedlam Hall.

    Maybe you shouldn’t play it.


    Normal games are supposed to be a fun experience, filled with exciting, uplifting encounters that encourage camaraderie and teamwork among one another. Unfortunately, Bedlam Hall thrusts its players into the terrible role of Victorian servants for the Blackwood family, whose peculiarities run the gamut from eccentric behaviour and hobbies to terror-driven psychoses that turn bloody and violent.

    You would hope at least the setting was somewhat cheerful, but alas no. The house is dark and dismal, quite possibly due to the number of unexplained deaths that have plagued its corridors over the years. There is no good to be found here whatsoever. Not even on holidays since that horrible candle-lighting incident that caught the Christmas tree and part of the library on fire. Accidents do happen.

    In such a miserable environment working for crazy aristocrats, normal people would band together and work in unison to overcome the struggles they faces. In Bedlam Hall however, players actively spy on one another to learn their hidden secrets to be used in the futile goal of currying favour with their employer. Why would people try to backstab one another in their place of employment, just for meaningless benefits and hollow accolades? Thankfully that never happens in real life.


    Using the Apocalypse World engine and taking cures from Avery Alder’s Monsterhearts and BBC programs Downtown Abbey, Upstairs Downstairs and Jeeves and Wooster, this entire gaming experience will only cast a dark pall among your gaming group, possibly encouraging people to look elsewhere for entertainment. Then again, maybe they were always against you. Better to do it to them first. Just make certain to be tidy about it.

    It’s Downton Abbey meets the Addams Family. It’s Bedlam Hall. God help you.



    Mutant: Mechatron – Rise of the Robots Roleplaying by Fria Ligan

    (Campaign Ends : Thursday 23rd March 2017; 20:00 UTC)


    Mutant: Mechatron is both a major expansion for Mutant: Year Zero, the award-winning postapocalyptic RPG by Swedish company Free League Publishing, as well as a complete game in its own right.

    With nods to the likes of Blade Runner, Terminator, Ex Machina, Automata, Westworld and Asimov, Mutant: Mechatron tells the origin story of the robots and introduces them into the dawnworld of Mutant: Year Zero. The book will include a unique system to allow you to build your robot characetrs part by part, a detailed description of Mechatron-7 (the huge underground robot hive) including a full colour map, a complete campaign ‘Ghost in the Machine’ and information on how Robots can join human mutants in Mutant: Year Zero games.

    A number of stretch goals have already fallen too – such as Zone Sectors “Eternal War” and “A Fistful of Bytes”, as well as a gorgeous full colour poster map and a deck of Cards for the game.


    Tales of the Warrior Princesses by Brennan Taylor

    (Campaign Ends : Thursday 9th March 2017; 18:47 UTC)


    This campaign is to fund two books, Tales of the Warrior Princesses and Warrior Princesses in the Realm of Everafter (Revised).

    Tales of the Warrior Princess contains eleven tales of adventure for 5th Edition, where you can take on the role of the Warrior Princess player characters or your own PCs. Each Tale focuses on one of the Warrior Princesses and caters for four warriors. Broken up into three parts, each of which should take a session to play, the tales expand on the character story, further explaining the motivations of the villains and adding detail to the Realm and its inhabitants.


    Tales of the Warrior Princesses is the second book in the Warrior Princesses in the Realm of Everafter game world series.

    The Warrior Princesses in the Realm of Everafter (Revised) contains the campaign setting… Once upon a time, in the extraordinary and vast Realm of Everafter, the World Spear fell from the skies causing calamity and destruction. In the Spear’s wake, where once there was beauty, evil creatures appeared, taking advantage of the confusion and despair. Play as one of eleven Warrior Princesses and defend the Realm of Everafter using their bravery, strength, wit, and many powers.


    Warrior Princesses on the Realm of Everafter is compatible for play with Wizards of the Coast’s OGL SRD5 (D&D 5th ed). This book contains region information of the Realm of Everafter with aa world map and smaller maps for individual points of interest. You will also find player character explanations for the eleven Warrior Princesses with their equipment, class archetypes, feats, and backgrounds to advance the PCs to higher levels. Also included, are story hooks for each Warrior Princess, descriptions and stats for their villains and other monstrous beasties that inhabit the Realm.



    Yarr! The Pirate ArrPG Hardcover: Make 100 Edition by Bill De Franza

    (Campaign Ends : Wednesday 1st March 2017; 01:00 UTC)


    Yarr! Has been available in PDF for a while but this campaign is aiming to publish 100 hardcover copies of an ‘omnibus edition’ including the core rulebook and all the games current supplements (such as The Baron’s Gold adventure module and the Avast, Thar Be Ninjas! Expansion) along with some new additional material.

    Yarr’s game mechanics are based on Swords & Wizardry but translated into five pirate classes. There are no ability scores (of course that would be very easy to put back) and rolls to achieve actions are basically all saving throws except combat and class skills. Class skills are really old school: a chance on 1d6 (for example, hide in shadows 1-3 on 1d6). PCs are limited to a maximum level of 5, but there are other ways to advance after 5th level.

    One thing that’s a little unique is the ship to ship combat which I like to think is pretty clever; realistic enough but not so complex that it takes an hour to do one broadside. There are optional rules to add more crunch for skills and some extra optional crunch for ship combat.


    **********

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    If you have a forthcoming Kickstarter, or see one that excites you, please feel free to drop me an email on angus.abranson@gmail.com You can follow me on Twitter @ Angus_A or on Facebook where I often post about gaming.

    Until next week, have fun and happy gaming!

    Angus Abranson
    Comments 11 Comments
    1. thefrickinpope's Avatar
      thefrickinpope -
      Hey, I just registered for the site, but some friends of mine have a kickstarter going right now. I feel a little bad with this being my second post and all, is it kosher to talk about it?
    1. Connorsrpg's Avatar
      Connorsrpg -
      Go for it We are all very nice ppl that like to see new products

      BTW: That Mutant Zero one looks awesome. We were just about to buy the M:YZ stuff when I saw this, and it appears we can get previous books cheaper by backing this KS. Thanks for bringing to my attention.

      FTR: I had my head in the sand for the Mutant:Year Zero KS and SOOO wish I had backed it. I just got Corilois pack from the same company and it is awesome!
    1. thefrickinpope's Avatar
      thefrickinpope -
      Well, it looks like someone else is excited about it and just posted this thread: http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthr...Song-of-Swords

      But I'll try to give it a spiel as well.

      Song of Swords is at it's core a very crunchy simulationist game centered around melee combat, but has a few unique narrative twists. The basic combat is a d10 based dicepool where you try to hit the appropriate Target Number of your weapon in contested roll-offs versus your opponent's defensive maneuvers. The type of attack, the area of your opponent that you are targeting, even which part of the weapon you are using, and how much of your combat reserve you are willing to commit are all valid concerns and choices; as well as a host of other maneuvers such as hooking a shield, striking an opponent's weapon to deny them use of it, stepping in closer to draw cut etc.

      This system, while seeming daunting at first is actually fairly intuitive to pick up and can be run quite quickly with minimal experience with the system. There's also a caveat to the combat: since Song of Swords does not use Hit Points, but rather each wound you suffer has immediate and often long-lasting results (ranging from being momentarily stunned or knocked prone to losing an arm, breaking a femur, or instant death), players often have to think on their feet when entering a fight. Hotheads who like to pick fights with every town guard will have trouble here, as half a dozen guys with crossbows are a legitamate threat no matter how skilled your character is. This will often lead to a lot more caution and forethought than in many traditional RPGs.

      Experience is gained not merely by defeating enemies, but rather through a series of Arcs that you choose for your character. Acting to advance these Arcs is what grants your character the ability to improve upon himself.

      Since I'm not much of a PR guy, I'll put up a quote from someone else:

      I'd argue that combat is narrative in the sense that you're always roleplaying your character. In D&D Rogues are always going to go for the sneak attack. Every time, no variation. Don't care what you want your rogue to be, the second you're in combat it might as well be an auto-battling video game. (Yes you can chose to do inefficient things, but generally every reasonable action is just a repeat of the last combat).

      The cool thing in SoS is two knights, even of similar builds, aren't going to necessarily fight the same way. Through the detail of combat, we unlock the player's ability to show more about your character.
      You want your guy's thing to be that he's super defensive? You have a host of defensive maneuvers to chose from. You want your thing to be that you always cut off their arms? That combat/narrative choice is yours to make.

      Because of how many choices you can make in combat, you're actually enabling narrative rather than restricting it, like some of the more 'simple' systems.

      Additionally, because of how wounds persist and consequences of a fight gone bad can really linger (losing an eye or gaining a limp) I would also say that combat becomes narrative in that the after-effects are with you forever. Lose an eye? That's now a part of your character's story. it will impact the campaign.

      Combat is what Song of Swords is all about--and through combat 'simulation' we create amazing narrative. You can't get that in the games that advertise themselves as 'narrative' and just gloss over combat with a one-and-done roll.
      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2006613790/song-of-swords-tabletop-roleplaying-game
    1. Bones's Avatar
      Bones -
      I'm pretty sure I didn't say this. You got the wrong guy.

      Quote Originally Posted by thefrickinpope View Post
      Well, it looks like someone else is excited about it and just posted this thread: http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthr...Song-of-Swords

      But I'll try to give it a spiel as well.

      Song of Swords is at it's core a very crunchy simulationist game centered around melee combat, but has a few unique narrative twist. The basic combat is a d10 based dicepool where you try to hit the appropriate Target Number of your weapon in contested roll-offs versus your opponent's defensive maneuvers. The type of attack, the area of your opponent that you are targeting, even which part of the weapon you are using, and how much of your combat reserve you are willing to commit are all valid concerns and choices; as well as a host of other maneuvers such as hooking a shield, striking an opponent's weapon to deny them use of it, stepping in closer to draw cut etc.

      This system, while seeming daunting at first is actually fairly intuitive to pick up and can be run quite quickly with minimal experience with the system. There's also a caveat to the combat: since Song of Swords does not use Hit Points, but rather each wound you suffer has immediate and often long-lasting results (ranging from being momentarily stunned or knocked prone to losing an arm, breaking a femur, or instant death), players often have to think on their feet when entering a fight. Hotheads who like to pick fights with every town guard will have trouble here, as half a dozen guys with crossbows are a legitamate threat no matter how skilled your character is. This will often lead to a lot more caution and forethought than in many traditional RPGs.

      Experience is gained not merely by defeating enemies, but rather through a series of Arcs that you choose for your character. Acting to advance these Arcs is what grants your character the ability to improve upon himself.

      Since I'm not much of a PR guy, I'll put up a quote from one of the game's Devs:



      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...leplaying-game
    1. thefrickinpope's Avatar
      thefrickinpope -
      [Name Redacted]
    1. Boness's Avatar
      Boness -
      Quote Originally Posted by Bones View Post
      I'm pretty sure I didn't say this. You got the wrong guy.
      Haha, he meant me.


      In our other forums and threads I'm known as "Bones" But you're the original here (since 2005 by the looks of it)!


      On the subject of Song of Swords: It's something that really focuses on risk vs reward choices being made. All of the mechanics and rules revolve around this. So if you're normally a D&D player and have always wanted to stab that Bulette in the eye instead of just swinging wildly, or shoot for the dragon's wings specifically instead of "rollin' on a prayer"... then this is the game for you to check out.


      You get to chose where you attack your enemy, how much effort you're putting into it, and what kind of attack to make. It's sincerely a lot of fun. The biggest highlight to me is it makes combat--often something that "bogs down" long gaming sessions--a really enjoyable, edge-of-your-seat experience. I still remember whooping and hollering when a party member pulled a really risky attack that paid off. And honestly that thrill happens every combat. In a lot of games you hit "god-mode" so fast that challenges become a weird kind of escalation--Song of Swords remains challenging and fun no matter your character's power.


      The setting is rich, and not something I can do justice with words. Historically inspired, dark, low fantasy. I'll just point out that there's an entire wiki devoted to it and leave it at that. (There's also a website)


      Long story short: It uses a dice pool of d10's, and lets you play characters in ways many other systems restrict. So if you're into historical combat, added doses of realism in your gameplay, and most importantly you want your choices to matter from within combat and beyond, it's definitely something you should check out.


      ---

      ALSO to be more on topic: if you're in a cyberpunk, awesome killer robot mood:' I think Mutant: Mechatron is a fantastic product that looks extremely promising. Worth scoping out as well. I immediately fell in love with the art--and if playing it feels like how it looks, sign me up.

    1. Bones's Avatar
      Bones -
      Quote Originally Posted by Boness View Post
      Haha, he meant me.
      In our other forums and threads I'm known as "Bones" But you're the original here (since 2005 by the looks of it)!
      It's been a while since I've posted. So long that my history appears to have been wiped.

      Since I've decided to speak up after so long, I feel compelled to speak in favor of Mutant: Mechatron as well. This is a sweet looking book. I'm getting it. But since thefrinkingpope and Boness both spoke about Song of Swords I'm just going to go read up on it and come back in a day or two and give my opinion.

      Bones

      EDIT: @Boness - Congrats on successful Kickstarter.
    1. thefrickinpope's Avatar
      thefrickinpope -
      You know, I didn't look at the Join Date, only at the single post, and assumed it was our Bones, which confused me as I had seen him post that quote.

      I'm really digging the style of Lex Occultum, and RiotMinds seem to have awards for every game they put out, it's definitely on my list.
    1. Shawn Carman's Avatar
      Shawn Carman -
      I'm interested in Lex Occultum, but I've had some bad experiences with games translated from their original language into English. Can anyone allay my fears for this particular project? I'm not familiar with the company's other works so maybe they're really good at this kind of thing?
    1. Zhern's Avatar
      Zhern -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shawn Carman View Post
      I'm interested in Lex Occultum, but I've had some bad experiences with games translated from their original language into English. Can anyone allay my fears for this particular project? I'm not familiar with the company's other works so maybe they're really good at this kind of thing?
      @Shawn Carman - I backed their last Kickstarter, Trudvang Chronicles, and that was one of the prime concerns backers brought up - translation issues. The translators they hired are experienced in translating into English and are native English speakers. They have also been working with some of the backers to proof the translations to make sure everything is clear and well explained between the Swedish and English versions. Obviously I can't say how final product quality is since that is still awhile away but I gave them the benefit of the doubt and backed it. I'm backing Lex Occultum too.
    1. Shawn Carman's Avatar
      Shawn Carman -
      Cool. Thanks for the heads-up, man. I'll go give it another look, then!
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