RPG Crowdfunding News 100: Quest, The Black Hack, Dream Askew / Dream Apart, Harvesters The Peasants Fell Bargain, First Strike, Triumvene, 5th Evolution
  • RPG Crowdfunding News 100: Quest, The Black Hack, Dream Askew / Dream Apart, Harvesters The Peasants Fell Bargain, First Strike, Triumvene, 5th Evolution


    Welcome to our one hundredth crowdfunding column! To celebrate we have a mix of old school & new school campaigns this week ranging from The Black Hack 2nd Edition to games such as Dream Askew//Dream Apart andTriumvene. Plus we have two great family/new-player friendly campaigns with Quest and Harvesters! Check them all out below!


    Quest: The Roleplaying Adventure Game for Everyone by The Adventure Guild
    (Campaign Ends : Saturday 30th June 2018; 04:00 UTC)


    On the surface many people may have written Quest off at first glance. The first project from a new company, wanting $65,000 to fund, and what could initially be mistaken as a fairly generic fantasy RPG aimed at beginners as well as existing fans of the hobby.

    It’s always worth looking deeper though. Especially in this instance as Quest fully funded in 36 hours of launching and is currently over $100,000 with more than two weeks left to run (as of writing this column). So, what is Quest and who is behind it?

    I’ll answer the second question first. T.C. Sottek, Celia Lowenthal and Chris Plante are the core team behind Quest. Not names that are necessarily known in the RPG industry but then a lot of Kickstarters are created by designers new to the actual publishing side of the industry after, sometimes, decades of playing and enjoying the hobby. What helps set these guys apart from the dozens of other ‘brand new’ companies looking at funding their RPG dream projects is that whilst they may not be all that well known ‘within’ the RPG hobby they certainly are ‘outside’ of it. T.C. Sottek, the designer and creator of Quest, is the Managing Editor of The Verge website whilst Chris Plante is the Executive Editor and Co-Founder of Polygon. Both Polygon and The Verge are popular technology, media and video game websites, both owned by Vox Media. Celia Lowenthal, the projects illustrator, is a freelance comic artists and illustrator. So the three not only come with a decent following to begin with, but also the wider media ties to get their project noticed beyond the traditional ‘core’ RPG hobby that many Kickstarter campaigns attract their backers from.


    Now on to the ‘what’. Quest, as I mentioned earlier, is a game for everyone… beginners and veterans alike. A lot of the text on their campaign page will have been seen, in one form or another, many times over by most of the readers of this column. They explain what RPGs are, why they fun, and what you might do in them. “This is a game about becoming an extraordinary person in a dangerous world. You’ll explore wondrous places, meet fascinating and mysterious people, witness magical events, and answer the call to go on an exciting adventure. What happens in this world is based on the choices you and your friends make. Quest is a way to tell an exciting story with your friends. You don't have to be an improv actor or a mathematician to be good at it – you just need to open your mind and use a little imagination. The rules of the game are intuitive and help you imagine where the story might go. ”



    Quest consists of a core book, The Friendly Guide, Everyone deserves to feel like a hero with their friends at the table, so we wrote a book that feels inviting. It’s not a textbook – it’s a conversation. Along the way, you’ll see a running dialog from a fictional group of players, to help you see how the rules of the game are used to tell the story. The way it works is simple. Read the left side of the player’s guide to learn the basics, and if you want to learn a little more, see the right side of the book. Here’s what it looks like:



    ..and The Essential Deck, a deck of cards that features “all of the game’s special moves, so that you can reference them at the table without having to flip through a book. The Essential Deck makes it easy and fun to grow as a character. When you begin the game, you'll start with a few moves that make your character special. As you grow during your adventure, you'll get to collect more cards that tell you how to do amazing things.”



    In addition to these a number of other items are also available, such as The Treasure Chest (containing over 100 cards of all sorts of items from common equipment to wondrous treasures…) and The Reach (Quest’s first adventure). Other items may also be unlocked during the course of the campaign.


    "Quest breaks from the war gaming history of more classic tabletop RPGs to bring a more narrative driven approach both in and out of combat. I love D&D, but it is structurally, by the design and history of war gaming that it comes out of, a game that encourages players into the murderhobo mindset. Quest feels like a game that is trying push back on that inclination systemically. A lot of the spells and skills tend to be a bit more narrative driven which gives a lot more room for encounters that aren't about just about killing monsters."


    The Story Engine. Quest only uses a single (but powerful) die – the twenty-sided die, or “d20.” When the stakes are high in your adventure, rolling the die will help you imagine what happens. Sometimes you’ll use it to walk a tightrope, make a sweet move, or witness the results of an unpredictable spell.

    You only need to roll once to see what happens. And if you’re really good at something, you’ll get a bonus. Then, you’ll check to see what the consequences are from an easy-to-remember set of outcomes.


    The story engine keeps the game moving fast by letting you succeed a lot. But when you fail, the consequences will be meaningful. Every choice you make matters.

    If the campaign goes well, which it certainly is showing all the signs of doing, then a lot of future support and development is planned.


    The Black Hack RPG Second Edition by Peter Regan
    (Campaign Ends : Sunday 1st July 2018; 19:00 UTC)


    From something new to something old… with The Black Hack Second Edition­“a super-streamlined, oldschool fantasy roleplaying game.”

    The engine and design behind The Black Hack (TBH) is a simple, straightforward game written in a logical conversational tone. It provides all the experiences you'd expect a traditional fantasy RPG to deliver without clunky rules getting in the way of the action and the emerging character stories.

    TBH doesn't force a trite grand fantasy setting upon the players either. Instead it comes accompanied by a full-suite of tools flavoured with old school fantasy sensibilities - culminating in a game that provides a foundation of preparation or improvisation for the imaginations of the GM and the players.


    Peter Regan of Squarehex/Gold Piece Publications has assembled a legendary team to support the writing and design of the game. Artists Karl Sternjberg, Sean Poppe and Jeff Call will be providing detailed, evocative, old school art to fuel the readers' imaginations and Pookie will be providing editing duties to ensure the writing and rules are water tight.


    The Black Hack has a number of items available for it through the campaign (in PDF and in print, including a boxed set at higher pledge levels) including the 124 page rulebook, a 20 page Black Booklet, a 3-panel GM Screen, character sheets, and a limited edition hardcover version of the core rules, plus dice, pencils, dice pouch and more…


    Dream Askew // Dream Apart by Avery Adler
    (Campaign Ends : Monday 18th June 2018; 03:00 UTC)


    Dream Askew // Dream Apart are two gm-less, diceless, collaborative games using the same system, in a single volume, by Avery Alder, the creator of a number of games including Monsterhearts, The Quiet Year, and Ribbon Drive. Both games are beginner-friendly, feature marginalized people living together in precarious communities, and put community at the centre of the story, with players filling out a community worksheet as part of the set up. “Rather than telling stories of rugged individuals on epic adventures, both dreams keep the focus closer to home. They tell stories of interpersonal relationships, community drama, and tension with the outside world.”


    The two settings provided in this split-book are the titular Dream Askew and Dream Apart.

    Dream Askew gives us ruined buildings, haunted faces, strange new psychic powers, fierce queer love, and turbulent skies...

    Dream Apart gives us demons and wedding jesters; betrothals and pogroms; mystical ascensions and accusations of murder; rabbi’s daughters running away to be actresses or bandits or boy soldiers; the sounds of the shofar ringing through cramped and muddy streets, of cannon fire, of the wolf’s footfalls in the snowy pine forest...




    Harvesters the Role Playing Game by Stephen Chenault
    (Campaign Ends : Saturday 23rd June 2018; 03:00 UTC)


    Harvesters is a family-friendly roleplaying game where badgers, rabbits, squirrels, otters and the like launch into epic adventures of wonder. [hq]“ Here, the smallest of creatures take on the roles of the greatest heroes: Knights, Druids, Clerics, Rogues, Wizards, and Fighters. Together, they tackle the greatest of exploits, from rescuing the princess to finding lost treasure. You'll find no humans here, only animals. They live their daily lives and do work just like humans do in your world. You may find a rabbit as a local constable, or a squirrel as a baker or a mouse as a black smith.”[\hq]


    Harvesters is a self-contained boxed set including the rules, dice, adventures and maps. Everything you need to start your adventures. The games uses the Siege Engine rules, which Troll Lord have used in a number of their other titles, such as Castles & Crusades, Amazing Adventures and Victorious.

    The boxed set gives you…


    • Full Color Box
    • Harvesters Rule & Monster Book (print & digital)
    • One Set of Dice
    • Wheat Hollow Adventure (print & digital)
    • Players Book and Character Sheet (print & digital)
    • Lost Fang's Gold Adventure (print & digital)
    • Black Tim's Prize Adventure (print & digital)
    • Full Color Wheat Hollow World Area Map (print & digital)
    • Full Poster of Jim Holloway's Amazing Cover Art


    Harvesters provides all the rules, equipment, and spells you'll need to get started.



    The World of Wheat Hollow

    Wheat Hollow is a small village that lies upon the west bank of Lake Lotor. It is the heart of a country that includes The Quacking Woods, Black Midge Swamp, Linden Forest and so much more. Here you can wander the wilderness in search of adventure, glory, fame or gold! It all takes place on the western banks of the lake.

    Wheat Hollow: The starter adventure begins when we learn that old Farmer Thistledown's farm has been burgled by an unknown beast that haunts the environs of Wheat Hollow. Plunge into the wilderness to face down the villains who bring terror to the good creatures of Wheat Hollow.


    Lost Fang's Gold: Over the last many seasons, the Southern Road has been plagued by the Long Fang rat gang - they have been hijacking goods and stealing every little bit of gold that has passed their way. The surrounding communities have been trying to track them down without any luck. All the clues lead to the Linden Forest, but nobody is overly eager to step foot in it – beside the Long Fang gang, there’s been tales of nasty critters and the ghost of a long lost wizard. Anyone who is stalwart enough to enter the woods will be richly rewarded - for to find the hideout and all the gold that has been taken will make that person wealthy indeed.

    Black Tim's Prize: Pandin and his crew sailed north, carrying a map that charted the treasures of Tamias the mad fox squirrel of legend. But the map was not Pandin's, it belonged to a pug-nosed pirate named Black Tim. And Black Tim is none too happy. Expands Wheat Hollow in the town of Thimbleberry and beyond, includes the water shrew village and more.



    The Peasants’ Fell Bargain: DCC Compatible RPG Adventure by Gaming Honors
    (Campaign Ends : Saturday 23rd June 2018; 12:24 UTC)


    The Peasants’ Fell Bargain is a zero-level adventure, inspired by classic horror tales, for Dungeon Crawl Classics. You get 2=twenty-eight action-packed pages that will put your peasants to the ultimate test as they search for the missing son of Lord Stenorian.

    A Bargain of Fire and Blood

    For generations your village has lived and worked in the shadow of the Stenorian estate, which sits perched like an ancient bird of prey on a promontory at the edge of the mountains. You eked out a hard living through logging, mining, or planting the rocky Stenorian lands. Each year you made the three-mile trip up the mountain to pay rent and tribute to the men-at-arms standing watch at the keep’s gate….The years went by, and nothing changed.


    Now the Lord Stenorian himself has come, begging for your help. “My men are slain, my father is missing, and I have nowhere else to turn. My son! My son Michael is still hiding somewhere in the keep. Find him! Save him! Do this for me, and I will reward you beyond your wildest imaginings.” His eyes burn with a frightening intensity. “Hear me. Return my boy to me, and ask what you will. I promise you, if it is in my power, I will grant it.” These last words seem to echo inside your minds as visions of a new future for you and your family float before you.

    The Peasants’ Fell Bargain invites you to be a hero—you are ten-year-old Michael’s only hope—or a mercenary. After all, Lord Stenorian promises you rewards beyond your imaginings: all you have to do is find the boy. No matter the motive, agreeing to serve Stenorian will bring you power you’ve never known.


    But as the stories tell us, power always comes at a price, promises can be impossible to keep, and even the purest motives can lead to unspeakable evil…



    FROM BEYOND: First Strike Sci-fi RPG Starfinder Adventure by Davide Tramma
    (Campaign Ends : Tuesday 26th June 2018; 02:14 UTC)


    This is the third part of the six-part Starfinder adventure series by Davide Tramma. I’ve backed the first two, and am also a backer of this latest chapter – First Strike. First Strike is for characters level 9 – 11 and will be available in PDF, or as a 60-page soft or hard cover book.

    In this episode the PCs have reached safely the Cerberus station and successfully saved the whole crew. They have the chance to study the artifact retrieved on the underground plant and, depending on the choices made in From Beyond – Descent Episode 2 they probably came back with some unexpected allies. A couple of creepy events occurs on board and the PCs, possibly aided by the NPCs from the previous episode, have to solve them. On of these events include "someone" (or something?) related to From Beyond – Distress Call Episode 1, and if the PCs have been careful they could solve the problem and eventually turn the situation for better. Everything is going fine (more or less) until the subroutine launches a massive strike, the first strike begins! The PCs are involved in a deadly space battle between them (the Cerberus, the NPCs and the crew) and a swarm of enemies. It will be time to make difficult choices, probably old mates and innocents will die, but they must survive to warn the Federation.


    Triumvene: A Narrative-Focused RPG by Pete Watson-Wailes
    (Campaign Ends : Saturday 30th June 2018; 17:00 UTC)


    Triumvene is a narrative-focused RPG inspired by “the impressionist art movement designed to focus on non-combat based challenges and strong narrative.” Set in a world undergoing an industrial revolution, the peoples of Midplane have all the issues the real world has. However, they have the added complexities of a broken, low-magic world to contend with too.

    Triumvene is a game in which players, through their characters, explore a world undergoing an explosion of technology and industry. Ancient cultures and modern challenges collide, creating strife and upheaval, along with new opportunities for those who'll take them.

    And that's before the real problems begin when the mythical Golden Ones of old reappear.

    And then the Gods people thought were merely myths start to return...


    Inspired by the art produced by the impressionists, the game gives broad-strokes introductions to hundreds of locations, peoples and creatures, but leaves the detail of the lore and world for you to co-create with your group as you play. The world guide functions a framework which should provide flavour and hints as to what could exist, but the actual environments and peoples you encounter will be fleshed out by you.

    We understand that great RPGs need to have a great narrative and story behind them. With that in mind, we've created a 15 scene, 3 act main story which your characters can explore, or not, as they see fit. Think of it as a timeline of world events. The players can influence it as much or as little as they wish.


    However, we also understand that you don't want to simply play through a story, so we've also created a bank of over one hundred event seeds for Midplane, the Golden Plane and Phyverse. In fact, if you wanted to explore every single potential option in just the ones we've created, playing every two weeks it'd take you around four years. We've put in a lot of time, ensuring that there's all sorts of situations with all sorts of challenges for you to play with. From diplomatic crises to romantic entanglements, emergencies in governance, trade disputes, technology gone rogue to civil unrest due to societal change, it's all here. There's challenges to be faced with the sword and gun, the diplomat and sage, the rogue and the thief.

    The lore and setting of Triumvene is something we're very proud of and excited about. However, we know from experience that many players already have their favourite game systems and worlds. As such, we've made the game world and the game engine two separate entities. If you want to run Triumvene using 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons, go for it. Equally, if you want to use The Imperial System to run D&D campaigns, that'd work too.


    The Imperial System is the game engine we built to drive Triumvene. It's designed to be as simple as possible to facilitate flowing, interesting storytelling, for both the players and the GM. It pushes players to drive the lore in the game, with outlines of the world given in the corebook. The system shines in creating non-combat focused stories, cinematic scenes and engaging non-player characters, and focuses on the idea of choice and consequence.

    Everything in-game is designed with these goals in mind.



    5th Evolution: New Genres for Your 5E Game! By Limitless Adventures
    (Campaign Ends : Saturday 30th June 2018; 04:59 UTC)


    5th Evolution takes the 5e mechanics and applies them to three new genres, each of which will be available as a separate book, The new genres are 80’s Horror, Super Hero, and World War 2, with each of the books following the same set pattern – an introductory comic that introduces the genre and setting, a one-shot adventure including pregens that picks up from where the comic left off, and then a source guide giving the GM monsters, equipment, and characters to create their own adventures within that genre.

    World War II - Set in North Africa in 1942, you'll crew an M5A1 Stuart tank on a special mission during Operation Torch. This book contains the adversaries, equipment, characters, and vehicles to run a WW2 North Africa campaign with or without supernatural elements.
    Source guide includes:

    • 4 American WW2 solider archetypes
    • Period specific tanks and trucks
    • Meticulously researched, period specific firearms
    • Customizable enemy combatants


    Super Heroes - Set in Cobalt City in the present day, you are part of a team of the super heroes trying to stop a gang of super villains wreaking havoc downtown. This book contains the super villains, equipment, and player archetypes to run a supers campaign.
    Source guide includes:

    • 13 of Cobalt City's worst super villains
    • Customizable non-super enemies
    • Future tech equipment
    • 10 character archetypes


    80s Horror Films - Set in the small town of Woodhaven in 1985, you and your friends get in over your heads and uncover a dark plot while seeking a party. This book contains the monsters, equipment, and teen hero archetypes needed to run a horror campaign set in the 1980s.
    Source guide includes:

    • 10 1980s horror movie monsters
    • Customizable non-monster threats
    • 6 teen hero archetypes & 6 variants
    • Variant rules for younger characters



    **********

    If you like what we do here at EN World (the Forums, Columns, News, ENnies, etc) and would like to help support us to bring you MORE please consider supporting our Patreon. Even a single dollar helps Thanks!

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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
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    Comments 10 Comments
    1. volanin's Avatar
      volanin -
      Thank you @AngusA for these crowdfunding posts. You've already made me spend so much money on projects I didn't even know existed, that you won the honor of being the first target to die horribly in the hands of my future clichéd undead army of hellfire!

      Also, I'd like to share an upcoming kickstarter that I find really worth it: The AngryGM Book, which starts on the 19th. While you might love or hate his "Angry Style" writing, the content there is just mindblowing. One of the greatest GMing resources I've ever read... ever!

      Thanks again!
    1. AngusA's Avatar
      AngusA -
      You're welcome. I'll make sure my army of cyborg ninjas are ready and waiting to repel your undead horde! ;p
    1. malcolm_n's Avatar
      malcolm_n -
      Very cool set of projects @AngusA Is there another way to get our ongoing Kickstarters included in these, or is it just by choice/chance?
    1. Terry Herc's Avatar
      Terry Herc -
      I find these Kickstarter posts to be some of the most valuable news on EN World. I look forward to it every week. Please continue to report on this!
    1. dwayne's Avatar
      dwayne -
      just backed this one 5th Evolution: New Genres for Your 5E Game! By Limitless Adventures, looks cool and will help with much of my current game
    1. AngusA's Avatar
      AngusA -
      Quote Originally Posted by malcolm_n View Post
      Very cool set of projects @AngusA Is there another way to get our ongoing Kickstarters included in these, or is it just by choice/chance?
      I keep a master list of all the campaigns that I see and use that to select what I'm covering each week. By all means drop me a PM or an email with your campaign link so I can add it, if it's not already on my radar! Good luck with it!
    1. AngusA's Avatar
      AngusA -
      Quote Originally Posted by Terry Herc View Post
      I find these Kickstarter posts to be some of the most valuable news on EN World. I look forward to it every week. Please continue to report on this!
      Thanks for your kind words Terry. Glad you enjoy the column!
    1. scourger's Avatar
      scourger -
      5th Evolution backed! Thanks for sharing.
    1. Rl'Halsinor -
      The Kickstarter information is some of the most valuable that EN World provides. I have lost count from the past how many times I missed out on a Kickstarter that I had wished I had known about in order to support. Thanks so much!
    1. volanin's Avatar
      volanin -
      Quote Originally Posted by volanin View Post
      Also, I'd like to share an upcoming kickstarter that I find really worth it: The AngryGM Book, which starts on the 19th. While you might love or hate his "Angry Style" writing, the content there is just mindblowing. One of the greatest GMing resources I've ever read... ever!
      Just a heads up: The AngryGM Book kickstarter is live!
      Here's the link:

      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...bsite-the-book

      @AngusA, if your cyborg ninjas are doing their job right, you should be safe and sound while hiding away in fear (for now...)! So, if you have the time, please cite this kickstarter on your next post! The world is in a dire need for greater GMs! Thanks! =)
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