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RPG Crowdfunding News – DEATH IN SPACE, Sin, AFFINITY, and more

This week, I review RPG Kickstarters and an IndieGoGo that run from April 19th through May 1st. While this week is 5e heavy, there’s still system neutral and Spire options. While this is a solid list, it’s not exhaustive and some RPG crowdfunding campaigns may not be included.
DEATH IN SPACE.png
DEATH IN SPACE from Cosmic Gaze
  • END DATE: Mon, April 19 2021 2:00 PM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): An original d20 system
  • PROJECT TYPE: Core ruelbook
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: SEK 280 + S/H for the PDF and print versions of the book
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? This 128-page RPG promises a d20 experience inspired by RPGs such as MÖRK BORG, Knave, and Coriolis and stories like 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Fistful of Dollars, and Alien. Stylistically, this RPG has a look similar to MÖRK BORG, which no doubt owes some debt to co-creator, Carl Niblaeus, who contributed to the MÖRK BORG zine, Feretory. If you’re looking for a sci-fi RPG with the feel of some of the better loved d20 RPGs of the last few years, this one offers a great look, including an amazing cover, and amazing feel.

SIN: A Spire RPG Sourcebook from Rowan, Rook & Decard
  • END DATE: Thu, April 29 2021 1:00 PM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): Spire RPG
  • PROJECT TYPE: Sourcebook
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: £40 + £7 US S/H for the PDF and print version of the book plus a zine
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? You’re a dark elf rebelling against the high elves that stole your city. This is the second sourcebook for Spire, this one focusing on crime, order, and religion in the elven city as well as two new classes, the Gutter Cleric and the Mortician Executioner. Add in three full length adventures and, beyond the main book, there’s an RPG zine, The Revolutionary's Guide to Spire, that adds NPCs, adventure hooks, setting info, and more. If you’re a Spire fan, this campaign is a must.

AFFINITY: Three sci-fi/fantasy campaign settings for 5E from Dias Ex Machina Games
  • END DATE: Thu, April 29 2021 1:01 PM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition
  • PROJECT TYPE:
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: CA $125 + CA $19 US S/H for the PDF, POD, and 3-book boxed set plus a PDF artbook and more
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? These three books, totaling over 600 pages, which add three campaign settings to your 5e game. Affinity: Paradise adds 3 ancestries, 5 backgrounds, a class, 50 magic items, 40 monsters, and original systems to a artificially constructed world. Affinity: Conestoga delivers 3 ancestries, 7 backgrounds, 40 monsters, pages and pages of gear pulled from a kilometers long derelict spacecraft. Affinity: Torus gives 3 ancestries, 6 backgrounds, a class, another 40 monsters, and steampunk options combined with occult magic. If you need some non-traditional 5e settings, this campaign offers some interesting considerations.
Odd Jobs from MacGuffin & Co.
  • END DATE: Sat, May 1 2021 9:33 AM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): System neutral
  • PROJECT TYPE: Sourcebook
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: £34 + S/H for the PDF and print versions of the book
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? This RPG anthology contains a variety of micro-settings with names like Ghost Ship, Twisted Rails, Atlantis City, Wizard’s Staff, and more. As micro-settings, these are intended to be played through 3 or 4 sessions. If your gaming table needs quick, original settings, these may fit the bill. You can try a preview on the campaign page.
Meleeball, a 5e compatible sports module from Tyler Korso
  • END DATE: Wed, April 21 2021 1:12 PM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition
  • PROJECT TYPE: Sourcebook
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $12 for the PDF of the book and art
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? In this 5e supplement you’re playing as an athlete in the newest game sweeping the planet. This book features rules for how to play as single athletes or as teams. If you want to add a sport as an option within your 5e campaign world, this Kickstarter may be for you.

Rock & Roll: a Quarterly 5e Zine from Eric Garneau
  • END DATE: Wed, April 28 2021 11:00 AM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition
  • PROJECT TYPE: RPG zine
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $60 + $10 US S/H for the four zines in print and, I’m assuming, PDF
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? This project will fund four quarterly issues of the Rock & Roll zine. At around 60 pages an issue, each zine offers 4 to 5 adventures inspired by a musical album of the author’s choice. In the first issue, the inspirations are Carly Rae Jepsen's Emotion, Mars Volta's De-Loused in the Comatorium, Mountain Goats' Getting Into Knives, Ludo's Broken Bride, and Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow. Add in a few articles and you’re likely to have some interesting adventure options.

Hope Not Lost - A Cleric Solo Origin Adventure for 5E from A Hole in the Ground Terrain & Games
  • END DATE: Thu, April 22 2021 10:00 AM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition
  • PROJECT TYPE: Adventure module
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $15 for the PDF and POD versions of the game
  • ADDITIONAL COVERAGE: On Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG Talk, Joel Logan joins the Morrus and Peter to talk about this project
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? This project is designed for one GM and one 1st level cleric to play. Coming in around 64 pages, you’ll start as an orphan raised by the church. You’ll have four pre-cleric (pre-character sheet) encounters to define your type of character. Your choices will influence the points you get for your character sheet. Then, once you have your character prepped, you’re sent to run a church in a town that has not had a cleric in three years. From there, the adventure begins. I dig the ideas presented in the campaign and feel this is perfect for a 5e duet, it gives you a chance to tell and interesting tale.

The Dancer: A martial and magical performer for 5e! from Joel Maunula
  • END DATE: Mon, April 19 2021 1:36 PM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition
  • PROJECT TYPE: Sourcebook
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $3 for the PDF
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? This is a new 5e class is meant to stand as the Paladin to the Cleric or the Ranger to the Druid, but for the Bard. Described as a half-caster Bard with more martial traits, this project offers six subclasses to go with the main class. The stretch goals add some nice extras. If you need a new class for a reasonable price, this is one to look at.
Spears & Spells from Kabouter Games
  • END DATE: Mon, May 1 2021
  • SYSTEM(S): OSR
  • PROJECT TYPE: Core rulebook
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $10 for the PDF of the book
  • NOTE: This campaign runs through IndieGoGo
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? This book is expected to come in at 60ish pages. It’s a fantasy OSR ruleset using d6s to keep the rules simple. If you’re looking for a fantasy system that’s a mix of simple and OSR, this is worth a read through of the IndieGoGo campaign.
Googly Eye Dice.jpg

Googly Eye Dice from the evergreen burrow
  • END DATE: Sat, May 1 2021 9:00 AM EDT.
  • PROJECT TYPE: RPG dice
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $28 + S/H for one set of dice
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? This one is easy, if you’ve seen the various images of D&D books (and other material) with googly eyes and thought that was awesome, then these dice are for you. They have a googly eye inside each die.

Apocalypse 5E RPG from Blue Phoenix RPG
  • END DATE: Wed, April 28 2021 6:33 PM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition
  • PROJECT TYPE: Core rulebook
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $60 + $10 US S/H for the PDF and print versions of the book
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? If you’re interested in a 5e RPG that’s set in the apocalypse, this offers a 400-page book covering all of the rules that you’ll need. Beyond the book, the campaign has a nice professional polish to it. It’s worth noting that their funding goal is on the high end. I’m not saying it’s unwarranted, in fact, I’d say if they’re asking for that number then it’s entirely warranted. Regardless of the numbers, if you’re interested in 5e and a fantasy sci-fi post-apocalypse setting, this is worth a review.

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JohnnyZemo

Explorer
I'm intrigued by Death in Space, but confused by the somewhat vague description. What is the overlap between 2001: A Space Odyssey and Alien? Or maybe, what elements of each does this game try to emulate? People dying in space? I'm being a little silly, but I am genuinely curious. Is it like Mothership?
 

ART!

Hero
Rock & Roll is probably the one here I'm most likely to back. I've had an idea or two for campaigns inspired by a song, so I love that there's a whole, ongoing project diving down that rabbit hole. It's gonna be tough to decide which backing option t pick, though...

Apocalypse 5E would probably be a good investment for our table, even if only as a source to pull bits and pieces from. A 400pp pdf for $30 sounds like a deal.

MeleeBall could be a good thing to have in the tool box for any 5E game, and the pdf is an affordable $12.

The Dancer class sounds cool and is only $3, so I'll probably back that. there's no printed version, but it's small enough that I can just print it up myself.
 

I'm intrigued by Death in Space, but confused by the somewhat vague description. What is the overlap between 2001: A Space Odyssey and Alien? Or maybe, what elements of each does this game try to emulate? People dying in space? I'm being a little silly, but I am genuinely curious. Is it like Mothership?
That was my thought, too. I can see the overlap between westerns and Alien, but adding 2001 is weird.

The best I can think of is that it's a universe with an absent (?) precursor race that has left behind deadly dangers (biological weapons like the xenomorphs, for instance), which are being stumbled over and unleashed by mankind's gold rush to the stars.
 

Grendel_Khan

Villager
I'm intrigued by Death in Space, but confused by the somewhat vague description. What is the overlap between 2001: A Space Odyssey and Alien? Or maybe, what elements of each does this game try to emulate? People dying in space? I'm being a little silly, but I am genuinely curious. Is it like Mothership?
Check out the campaign description on Kickstarter. It's pretty straightforward. You're lowlifes with a spaceship or space station scraping to survive in a setting that seems more about local spaceflight than FTL (it's set in a specific system), while the universe beyond--which your system is cut off from--appears to be dying out. They say that all the ship tech you encounter is rehabbed, with no new manufacturing taking place.
 

Grendel_Khan

Villager
That was my thought, too. I can see the overlap between westerns and Alien, but adding 2001 is weird.

The best I can think of is that it's a universe with an absent (?) precursor race that has left behind deadly dangers (biological weapons like the xenomorphs, for instance), which are being stumbled over and unleashed by mankind's gold rush to the stars.
I think they just mentioned 2001 because of the general tech level and risks, like being set adrift while spacewalking, plus some inklings of cosmic horror.
 

Dungeonosophy

Adventurer
Question: I wonder if the homages and mix-tapes in the Rock & Roll mag will be done via a license with the musicians/bands/recording artists? Or if they're more of a "fair use" parody sort of thing. Not judging - I'm just wondering how it's set up in that regard.
 

Question: I wonder if the homages and mix-tapes in the Rock & Roll mag will be done via a license with the musicians/bands/recording artists? Or if they're more of a "fair use" parody sort of thing. Not judging - I'm just wondering how it's set up in that regard.
This is the definition of a transformative work, so it's definitely fair use. If they got a band's blessing, though, that would likely be good publicity that would drive more sales.
 

Skywalker

Adventurer
I'm intrigued by Death in Space, but confused by the somewhat vague description. What is the overlap between 2001: A Space Odyssey and Alien? Or maybe, what elements of each does this game try to emulate? People dying in space? I'm being a little silly, but I am genuinely curious. Is it like Mothership?
The tag line is Blue Collared Sci-Fi. I can see 2001 and Alien both being seen as relatively realistic examples of blue collared life in space.

It seems similar to Mothership, with less emphasis on horror.
 





Doctor Futurity

Adventurer
I'm intrigued by Death in Space, but confused by the somewhat vague description. What is the overlap between 2001: A Space Odyssey and Alien? Or maybe, what elements of each does this game try to emulate? People dying in space? I'm being a little silly, but I am genuinely curious. Is it like Mothership?
Having recently rewatched 2001 for the first time in ages I can see the connection. It's existential horror tinged with a futurist's optimism. Alien is just existential horror with little to no optimism.....but both movies have a style and feel that is complimentary in distinct ways.

(EDIT with 50 year old spoilers: I mean, you can take the starchild as an optimistic view that mankind is about to be elevated into a new evolutionary epoch, or you can assume that a horrifying STARCHILD OF CTHULHU has arrived and mankind is about the be "elevated" to a "new evolutionary epoch" that only unfathomable and inimical starbeings could possibly appreciate, wiping out humanity as we know it....just saying!)
 





Blue Phoenix RPG

Publisher/Designer
Apocalypse 5e feels ambitious for a project i have never heard of until now. Maybe teasing it out and building buzz in the ramp up to launch would have made sense.

Good Luck to it, but I think without more marketing it will miss its goal.
Yes Jeff, I totally agree. We, as a company made a few missteps in the prelaunch. We have a solid product but if we relaunch we will 1) Have a small sample adventure to run with digital Roll20 compatible maps, 2) A longer prelaunch to build up a proper mailing list, 3) Offer more add ons like pill-shaped 1d4 dice in a modern medicine bottle (healing) and a DM's screen, 3) A special limited edition Book cover only available to the kickstarter backers, 4) Stretch goals that include a file to add on to the 5th Edition character generator program on Android/IOS phones, etc. In our rush to launch it, we forgot some critical steps. Also, we will more than likely lower the $100k mark by quite a bit, probably around $30k to $50k. Part of this high goal was the cost for a publisher based in the US. We have since found a faster, better quality printer overseas that cuts our cost greatly, BUT there is no way to change the goal once the kickstarter has launched. Again, a misstep on our part. We are learning. We are a new, smaller, publishing business so there are some obstacles to overcome and lessons still yet to be learned. That being said, this book will come out sometime next year, regardless of the Kickstarter. I am a bit confused, however, with all the advertising we've spent that we only currently have around $4k of funds and 66 backers, but to be fair most the advertising was on Facebook. Anyway, just wanted to say that we are on top of things and with the help of the rpg community we'll be able to get this book into the hands of those that want it.
 

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