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RPG Crowdfunding News – Demigods, TaleSpire, BESM 4e, An Occurrence at Howling Crater, and more

This week, I review crowdfunding projects ending between August 2nd and 8th. Everthing from 5e to OSR to Savage Worlds and more. While I focus on six larger projects, I include a number of quick hits (short descriptions and links).

BESM update below [2019-07-24]. Thanks to eyeheartawk and Jer for pointing this out.

BESM Fourth Edition.png

BESM Fourth Edition (Big Eyes, Small Mouth RPG) by Japanime Games

“Your ultimate companion for multi-genre anime and manga role-playing adventures! Big Eyes, Small Mouth — the multi-genre role-playing game for all your anime and manga adventures! Award-winning game designer and creator of BESM, Mark MacKinnon, and the Dyskami Publishing Company licensed the rights to release this new edition of the game from White Wolf Entertainment. Dyskami then teamed up with Japanime Games to publish a new fourth edition core role-playing game book plus an entire line of BESM support products to expand the game system and storytelling world. BESM Fourth Edition core role-playing game book contains everything you need to create your anime and manga characters and start playing. This gorgeous volume is a hefty 336 full-color pages with well over 100 beautiful illustrations from talented artist across the world.”



An Occurrence at Howling Crater by Planet X Games

  • END DATE: Tue, August 6 2019 2:00 AM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): Dungeons & Dragons 5e
  • PROJECT TYPE: Adventure module
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $28 with free US shipping for the PDF and print versions of the book plus all unlocked stretch goals
“An old school, grindhouse style genre-bending heroic fantasy/sci-fi mash-up adventure for 5E by Planet X Games. Brutal tales of the desolate, unforgiving wasteland known as Howling Crater have long caused travelers and caravan masters to give it a wide berth, but now fresh accounts of depravity and madness have begun to circulate out of that forbidden wasteland. Deep within the barren recesses of the crater, a murderous family of inbred, mutated crater folk have begun to preach the gospel of the "the glory of the glow" and with it has come incurable sickness and murderous incursions across the land. Even stranger rumors have made the rounds as of late, whispering of a long-forgotten civilization of steel and fire, born in a swirling inferno of radioactive dust and powered by ancient alien astronaut-gods, lost deep within the crater's recesses. Can your characters fight their way past this mutated, maniacal cult of alien-worshipping hillbillies to explore the truth of Howling Crater? An Occurrence at Howling Crater is designed for a group of player characters who are levels 7-9.”



DD3 The Misty Halls of Kalávorka by R. Nelson Bailey

  • END DATE: Tue, August 6 2019 9:18 PM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): Dungeons & Dragons BECMI, 1e, and 2e, Pathfinder 1e, and OSRs
  • PROJECT TYPE: Adventure module
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $25 + $5 S/H for PDF and print copies of two modules
The Misty Halls of Kalávorka is a forty-page module of high adventure, exploration, and mystery with a minimal plot that allows it to fit easily into any campaign world. Fantasy role-playing module for 1st or 2nd Ed AD&D, BECMI D&D, OSRIC, DCC, Pathfinder, Labyrinth Lord, Swords & Wizardry, or other OSR. In this adventure for mid-level characters levels 5 to 7, the player characters will explore a mountain wilderness searching for the halls of the cloud giant, Thorogang. Legend has it that the giant and his clan possesses the ability of second sight and prophecy. Beings of all types seeking knowledge of hidden mysteries flocked to their mountain fastness for guidance. Rumor has it that the halls themselves hold the secret of the giants’ powers. However, no one has seen or heard from any of these giants in years. All that is needed is a group of highly motivated and brave adventurers can uncover the truth of what happened to the rulers of the fabled misty halls.”



Pulp Fantastic (a setting book for Savage Worlds) by Battlefield Press

  • END DATE: Thu, August 8 2019 12:59 AM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): Savage Worlds
  • PROJECT TYPE: Campaign setting
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $20 for the PDF and POD copies of the book
  • NOTE: I have freelanced for Battlefield Press, but not on this project.
“Welcome to the world of the 1930s, a world where secret societies battle for control of history. Pulp Fantastic, for use with the Savage Worlds Adventurer Edition. This book will be available as a softcover book or a hardcover book, at a size of 7x10. Welcome to the age of the Pulps, where two-fisted action heroes and secret societies battle for control of the destiny of mankind! From the gleaming spires of the big city, to the steaming jungles of Skull Island, brave men and women fight the forces of evil, carving their legends into the history of the 20th Century. It is an age of exploration and daring. An age of discovery, peril and mad science. It is the age of Pulp Fantastic!”



TaleSpire by Bouncyrock

  • END DATE: Thu, August 8 2019 3:01 AM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): System neutral
  • PROJECT TYPE: RPG online portal
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: NOK 174 for the portal and the beta version
TaleSpire is a beautiful way to play pen and paper RPGs online. It's a place where you and your friends build and tell stories together. We are marrying the beauty and physicality you find in miniatures with the expanse of digital worlds. Our aim is to get rid of everything that gets between you and your stories. And all of this whilst letting people be together regardless of where they are in the world. TaleSpire is not tied to a specific game or ruleset; if it's role-playing on a square grid we have your back. TaleSpire: Pen & Paper RPGs Resculpted Online.”



Demigods by Jason Mills

  • END DATE: Thu, August 8 2019 11:44 AM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): Powered by the Apocalypse
  • PROJECT TYPE: Core rulebook
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $36 with free US shipping for the PDF and hardcover versions of the book
“A table-top adventure RPG where you play the children of gods in a modern-day setting, from any belief system you can imagine. Demigods: a game about the half-mortal descendants of the gods. Demigods is an action/adventure RPG Powered by the Apocalypse that brings mythology to life in a modern setting. Built from the PBTA framework, Demigods is a fast-action take on mythology, in the style of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods and Good Omens, or Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series. You can play a character from any Pantheon or belief system you can imagine, plotting the arc of your ascension to godhood while you battle mythological creatures and villains in the modern world. The goal of this Kickstarter is to publish a 6x9 rulebook of about 200+ pages.”

QUICK HITS!

The Book of All'Terra: A Campaign Setting for 5E by ORC DAD

  • END DATE: Sun, August 4 2019 1:00 PM EDT.
“A setting book for the world of All'Terra from the actual play podcast The Titans of All'Terra.”
Vulcan Forged Carbon RPG Dice - Handmadke by Future Forge by Duane Design Works

  • END DATE: Tue, August 6 2019 1:00 AM EDT.
“Exclusive Solid Forged Carbon Polyhedral Dice for board games & RPG campaigns. 10pc, 7pc sets, D20, D12, D6. Add a Medallion Dice Box.”

Randice DnD Random Character Generator Dice Set – EXPANSION by Eternalverse

  • END DATE: Wed, August 7 2019 10:00 AM EDT.
“A random character generator dice set to end boring and predictable characters and NPCs in your tabletop RPG campaigns with 4 more dice!”

4 RPG Fantasy maps and 4 Art Packs by Nathaly Aupin

  • END DATE: Wed, August 7 2019 12:10 AM EDT.
“Fantasy RPG Maps and 1 art pack that goes with each of the maps. 4 mega maps and more to unlock. Fill them or take them as they are!”

Magimundi Bestiary: New Monsters for 5e or Pathfinder by Inexorable Media LLC

  • END DATE: Wed, August 7 2019 9:00 PM EDT.
“A full-color illustrated 5e and Pathfinder 1.0 compatible bestiary of brand-new beasts, monsters, & magical creatures.”

The Kaldori Project (For Tabletop Roleplaying) by Veris Design

  • END DATE: Thu, August 8 2019 11:44 PM EDT.
“An elaborate Sandbox Setting for the world's most popular roleplay game, with new systems, side quests, and more!”

What We Were - Tabletop Roleplaying System by Freddie Taylor-Bell

  • END DATE: Thu, August 8 2019 12:50 PM EDT.
“A roleplaying system designed to be as accessible and flexible as possible with a heavy focus on each character’s unique story.”

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Comments

stargazera5

Villager
I'm passing on BESM 4 despite supporting each of the prior versions. Charging $30 for PDFs of the core book and a cut down "simplified" version of the core rules is a bit steep for s Kickstarter and they aren't really offsetting with stretch goals as most of the stretch goals won't kick in unless you buy the $60 physical books. Granted, most of the stretch goals seem to be copies of PDFs of the old versions (another odd choice as this is more typically an add-on or separate level). This whole KS feels odd in it's reward structure and given how little trust MacKinnon has in the industry, this is one super backer and BESM fan that is staying far away.
 

barasawa

Explorer
A guy tanks a company just once leaving people unpaid and the internet won't let them forget it, or let them trade on their credit.
Basically yes. Their credit is bad until they've done a LOT to prove otherwise.
I don't think Mark is anywhere reaching the level where he can be given the benefit of the doubt again.
Is it fair? Maybe, but at least not backing promises means hundreds or even thousands of gamers won't be bilked, intentionally or otherwise.

I actually liked BESM, but very little luck finding others to play.
 

R_Chance

Explorer
A guy tanks a company just once leaving people unpaid and the internet won't let them forget it, or let them trade on their credit.
Basically yes. Their credit is bad until they've done a LOT to prove otherwise.
I don't think Mark is anywhere reaching the level where he can be given the benefit of the doubt again.
Is it fair? Maybe, but at least not backing promises means hundreds or even thousands of gamers won't be bilked, intentionally or otherwise.

I actually liked BESM, but very little luck finding others to play.
Forgiveness, especially without remorse (apparently) or recompense for those effected is hard to come by.

I liked BESM, but I'm not backing it. Qualms about the creator and a distinct lack of extra playing time for another game. Over 800 people have backed it though with about 375% of it's goal, so it's a bit late to save others from what may, or may not, be a problem kickstarter. The use of old PDFs as stretch goals makes sense if your dev team is small even if its a bit underwhelming. If it is successful (as a game, the KS has succeeded) it would be nice if some effort was made to recompense those impacted by GoO messy death.
 

barasawa

Explorer
Forgiveness, especially without remorse (apparently) or recompense for those effected is hard to come by.

I liked BESM, but I'm not backing it. Qualms about the creator and a distinct lack of extra playing time for another game. Over 800 people have backed it though with about 375% of it's goal, so it's a bit late to save others from what may, or may not, be a problem kickstarter. The use of old PDFs as stretch goals makes sense if your dev team is small even if its a bit underwhelming. If it is successful (as a game, the KS has succeeded) it would be nice if some effort was made to recompense those impacted by GoO messy death.
Good points.
As to the use of old PDFs as stretch goals or rewards isn't uncommon.
Pinnacle Entertainment Group (peginc.com) did a kickstarter earlier this year for a new version of Savage Worlds. I don't consider them a small games publisher, though they aren't the size of what I suspect Wizards of the Coast is. (I don't know employee numbers, or total gross income, or any of that other stuff used to properly evaluate companies.) They gave away old version PDFs for their rewards in that kickstarter.
Ulisses Spiele ( www.ulisses-us.com ) recently did a kickstarter for a new version of Torg. They also gave all of the old versions books as rewards. I have no idea how large their company is, but as they are a German company started in 1991 and is now doing games in North America as well, I'm sure they have some clout and more than a couple of people. :)

I have no problem with companies, big or small, giving old editions with the new one ones. In some ways it really helps to increase the usability since those old things can be used now, with a bit of adaptation. It's not like you're going from one system to an entirely alien one. (Sure you can convert things that are wildly different, but it's usually a lot more work than adapting an older edition.)

Two further notes on this stuff. The new Savage Worlds Adventure Edition is pretty easy to adapt to, though I'm keeping away from the super hero stuff until they show us what they did to super powers. (That's the one Arcane Background they left out of the new book.)

As to BESM. I'm avoiding it for now, as I think I mentioned. But their licensed books they printed in the past are fantastic resources for the fluff of the settings even if you aren't playing the game itself. I had a couple of them, and more than once some friends that liked those animes borrowed them to read the details and even use in their own stuff based on the setting. (RPG using another ruleset, fanfic, winning an anime trivia contest, etc) I don't recall seeing the licensed stuff on new BESM kickstarter though, just their own in house stuff. Probably because of licensing of course.
Still, if the writing on those is as good as the ones I have seen, they are decent. Hit up the local gamestores that have used books, or even some used bookstores. If you're lucky you'll find a real gem for sale.

I guess if they succeed in the new BESM, and get them into stores, I might just pick it up then. But I just don't have the money to risk on stuff when I'm not sure about them.

Also, I apparently babble too much. :blush:
 

R_Chance

Explorer
Good points.
As to the use of old PDFs as stretch goals or rewards isn't uncommon.
Pinnacle Entertainment Group (peginc.com) did a kickstarter earlier this year for a new version of Savage Worlds. I don't consider them a small games publisher, though they aren't the size of what I suspect Wizards of the Coast is. (I don't know employee numbers, or total gross income, or any of that other stuff used to properly evaluate companies.) They gave away old version PDFs for their rewards in that kickstarter.
Ulisses Spiele ( www.ulisses-us.com ) recently did a kickstarter for a new version of Torg. They also gave all of the old versions books as rewards. I have no idea how large their company is, but as they are a German company started in 1991 and is now doing games in North America as well, I'm sure they have some clout and more than a couple of people. :)

I have no problem with companies, big or small, giving old editions with the new one ones. In some ways it really helps to increase the usability since those old things can be used now, with a bit of adaptation. It's not like you're going from one system to an entirely alien one. (Sure you can convert things that are wildly different, but it's usually a lot more work than adapting an older edition.)

Two further notes on this stuff. The new Savage Worlds Adventure Edition is pretty easy to adapt to, though I'm keeping away from the super hero stuff until they show us what they did to super powers. (That's the one Arcane Background they left out of the new book.)

As to BESM. I'm avoiding it for now, as I think I mentioned. But their licensed books they printed in the past are fantastic resources for the fluff of the settings even if you aren't playing the game itself. I had a couple of them, and more than once some friends that liked those animes borrowed them to read the details and even use in their own stuff based on the setting. (RPG using another ruleset, fanfic, winning an anime trivia contest, etc) I don't recall seeing the licensed stuff on new BESM kickstarter though, just their own in house stuff. Probably because of licensing of course.
Still, if the writing on those is as good as the ones I have seen, they are decent. Hit up the local gamestores that have used books, or even some used bookstores. If you're lucky you'll find a real gem for sale.

I guess if they succeed in the new BESM, and get them into stores, I might just pick it up then. But I just don't have the money to risk on stuff when I'm not sure about them.

Also, I apparently babble too much. :blush:
Agreed. the old PDFs don't have the "pizzaz" of other stretch goals, but they can be useful. I loved their old sourcebooks too. My oldest daughter was a huge Sailor Moon fan and she loved the RPG / sourcebook they put out. I have a number of the other ones myself as well as BESM d20 and Tekumel: Empire of the Petal Throne (released pretty close to the end). Their books were well done and interesting. And it's not babbling when it's about RPGs :)
 

stargazera5

Villager
I never meant to imply I didn't like the idea of providing old editions in new KSes, just the way the new BESM KS had structured it. In both the TORG and Savage Worlds Adventure edition KSes, you could get the old versions books as part of digital-only rewards, and I did just that for both! What I object to in the BESM KS is the fact that they are only available if you get physical books. Requiring the purchase of physical books to get digital rewards is something I don't want to see as there are many people who for varying reasons do not want physical product For me, I don't have the room to spare in buying physical books any more, so I focus on getting digital products. For others, it's a matter of the lower cost of digital products. Still more will have other reasons for this. If the KS creator can't afford to link old versions to teh existing digital-only levels, it's perfectly acceptable, IMHO, to add a reasonably more expensive digital level that includes them. This is exactly what the TORG KS and Trinity KS did.

The other issue I have with the BESM KS old product stretch goals is that they have very little else being offered in the stretch goals. It's fine to include some old product in your stretch goals, but you should have a healthy amount of new content and/or game support tools. The only stretch goals that are not existing product are some prefilled character sheets. some print book upgrades, and some reference cards. The dearth of new material leads me to wonder if they will bother to support the game in the future.
 

aramis erak

Explorer
Old PDFs as a stretch goal are sometimes what it takes to get people to buy in.

I, for example, was only in the 7th Sea 2E KS because it had the 1E PDFs; I didn't want anything else, based upon the preview. $40 for the whole shebang? Yes.

Not like I can read the damned 7th Sea 2E PDFs anyway. Bad font, bad size, too much pan-n-scan needed.
 

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