Never Going Home Campaign Dossiers Kickstarter: Brandon K. Aten and Matthew Orr

Never Going Home, the weird World War One RPG, was one of the more talked about indie RPGs at Gen Con 2019. Because of that spotlight, I did an interview/review of the core rulebook with Brandon K. Aten, Matthew Orr, and artist, Charles Ferguson-Avery, at d20 Radio. Since I enjoyed talking to them, and I’m attending MomoCon 2020 with Brandon, another interview with him and Matthew Orr about their expansion on Kickstarter, and how good this game is, would help spread the word about their work.

Never Going Home 01.jpg

EGG EMBRY (EGG): Thanks for talking with me about your Kickstarter. Before we get into the Campaign Dossiers, what is Never Going Home?
: Never Going Home is a rules-light, narrative RPG about eldritch horror in the trenches of World War One. It is based off the art of the awesome Charles Ferguson-Avery who is continuing his trend of blowing us away with the depth and gravity of his work. So, if you’re looking for something you can get to the table quickly while still scratching the itch only a horror game can, this might just be for you.

EGG: Since I’ve done a review, clearly Weird World War One for tabletop is an engaging concept for me. What is Never Going Home Campaign Dossiers going to add to your world?
: In short, more of what people like about the game already. We have our writing team crafting more creepy places and offering magic and mayhem in the same tone we set with the first four books. On the other hand, these Dossiers are more focused. Each book offers a connected story arc over six missions so you get to explore one area of the war in more depth and see your unit’s actions matter over time.
BKA: Yeah. We regularly receive questions or comments about if a full campaign can be run rather than running missions individually. While I’ve found gamers never need an excuse to do something cool and fun, this was just our way of responding. A connected story, and a new part of the world to explore will give people a lot to chew on.

Never Going Home Campaign Dossier 01.png

EGG: Why Gallipoli, Russia, and the North Sea?
: Gallipoli is the one battle outside of Western Europe that always grabbed my attention. It was just such a giant failure that I’m always surprised Britain was able to save face as much as it did. It was the catalyst for a lot of what happened in that part of the world for the rest of the war.
MO: So many of the famous battles of the First World War happened in France or elsewhere in Western Europe. We wanted to push the field of view a little wider to include the eastern front and the naval aspects of the war. Personally, working on Russia was an easy decision for me. I have studied Russian history formally and written about it in games a few times before.

EGG: Any thoughts about creating a dossier for a lesser known theater like Africa or China or the spies in the neutrals?
: YES! You aren’t the first to ask, and we have a bunch of ideas, as long as the demand is still there.
MO: Those are all great ideas! Nothing is out of the question if the line keeps doing well. Exploring what might be behind the Never Going Home version of the Zimmermann Telegram is something I look forward to exploring if we get the opportunity.

EGG: What is the +One System?
: We want it to be a system with a relatively low barrier to entry for new players. That’s why it uses playing cards and only D6 dice – things many people have already. We also want to have multiple games with the same system so once you know one, the rest are easier to learn. We already have one new game using +One complete and about to hit release – Tenebria: Remnant of Rome, written and painted by Steven Wu. Other games using the same basic system are in the works.
BKA: Mechanically, the system is pretty simple. You’re using a skill roll to get a certain number of successes, with a success being a 5 or 6 on a standard d6. Each skill is tied to one of your three attributes, which dictates the number of times you can modify that roll. You want to add more dice to a skill roll? How about increasing your 4 on one of your dice to a 5, making it a success? How about re-rolling all your failures? These are just some of the things you can do, and as you take damage, your options become more limited. The card mechanics in the game are also some of my favorites. The cards represent your memories and personality. You can spend them to gain power, heal, or do crazy magic given to you through whispers from otherworldly forces, but each time you spend a card, you have to narrate something you give up or forget. It’s brutal , but it makes for some really cool moments every time I play the game.

EGG: This game and world are inspired by the artwork of Charles Ferguson-Avery. Free League, with their Tales from the Loop based on art by Simon Stålenhag and François Baranger’s The Call of Cthulhu, has put the artbook-RPG firmly on the map. Do you see Wet Ink Games and projects such as Never Going Home in the same light (artbook-RPG)?
: Our focus is on making games, so for us, the art is in service of the game. We want all of our game books to have great art. We find good art communicates what a game is “about” quickly and effectively. Plus, a good-looking book helps people stay excited about getting the game to the table. We are always looking to pair up writers and artists whose work complements each other to maximize that dialog between words and images.
BKA: I agree. The game should always come first, but great art can take a good product and just take it to the next level.

Never Going Home All Books.jpg

EGG: I feel that 50% of the replies I get on social media are “Could use more Never Going Home.” Do you have that statement tattooed anywhere on you? :p
: Even though I have a ton of tattoos, I do not (yet) have a Never Going Home tattoo. Though I do have the Wet Ink Games logo tattooed on my right forearm. That said, it’s good to see so many people recognizing the need for more Never Going Home coverage in gaming media.

EGG: Well, it could use more. :p What upcoming projects do you have?
: Our next game is a little bit of a palette-cleanser. Heckin’ Good Doggos is a light RPG using the guts of the +One system where people play as dogs doin’ dog stuff. There are going to be tons of ways to modify the setting so if people want to play it like Beasts of Burden with magic and the supernatural, they can, or if you all want to play as Dogmeat running around an apocalyptic wasteland, you can do that too. After that, we have a couple games that we’re developing in collaboration with some other companies. You’ll be seeing some larger announcements soon, but one that has us really excited is a version of Bloat Games Dark Places & Demogorgons which is 5e compatible. That’s going to be such an awesome product.
EGG: Thanks for talking with me about your project. For those interested in learning more, where can they find out additional details about Never Going Home, your campaign, and your other projects?
BKA: First, they can learn all about our current project here, but you can follow us on Facebook and Instagram to get the latest on all of our stuff.

Never Going Home Campaign Dossiers by Wet Ink Games

END DATE: Sun, February 9 2020 10:00 PM EST.

“A series of mission books for the smash hit RPG, Never Going Home!”

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Egg Embry

Egg Embry


Awesome. The campaigns in East and Southern Africa are interesting, low intensity conflicts. Add in the brutality of colonialism and that could make for an intense campaign to play through.

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