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RPG Crowdfunding News – Epic Battlemaps, The Cursed King, Epic Goblin Campaign!!!, and more

This week, I review a variety of RPG crowdfunding projects and quickstarters that end in the first half of January. This is the hard part of the year to do this column during because I need at least six RPG campaigns to fill each article. Due to the timing of launching in December when fewer fans have the bandwidth or budget to back Kickstarter, there aren’t the usual deluge of games to review. That limit does not speak to the quality of the campaigns I review here, but it is a thinner pack than at other times of the year. To that end, this week’s article covers those crowdfunding campaigns that end by January 15th (instead of those that end by January 21st which is where I’d normally aim for. Going this route leaves some games to review next week).

Epic Battlemaps.PNG

Epic Battlemaps from Geekstable
  • END DATE: Fri, January 15 2021 4:59 PM EST.
  • PROJECT TYPE: Tabletop RPG maps
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: £35 + S/H for digital and physical Epic Battlemaps vol. 1
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? Because this book of battlemaps is beautifully constructed. The quality of the art and the location choices are exactly what I want in a book of battlemaps: the deck of a ship, a full castle’s courtyard, a port, a massive bridge, and more. These are the kinds of spaces you want to encounter the enemy at. As of thise writing, the book contains 28 maps, each given a large scale to breath. On top of that, there are more maps that can be unlocked during the campaign. But what makes this a winner is the construction of the book itself. Bound in a spiral ring, these maps lay out flat without the spine bubbling the page up. Within the book, each map is folded so you can open it to be 11” by 33” and, in some cases, if you have two books the overall images can be combined, doubling the area. Add to that, these maps can be written on with dry erase markers so you can add details as needed. This book provides easy to transport, fun maps for face-to-face RPG sessions and I am glad Geekstable is making that happen.

The Cursed King: A 5E Adventure (Part 3) from Dead Channel Studios
  • END DATE: Sat, January 9 2021 2:00 PM EST.
  • SYSTEM(S): Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition
  • PROJECT TYPE: Adventure module
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: £20 for the PDFs of parts 1, 2, and 3
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? This campaign creates the third part of the Cursed King adventure path for 5e. The series is set to start with characters ranging from levels 1 to 5. With the third part, the adventure gives more clues toward the mega-plot, the Flower of Lythillium, as well as some standalone 5e action.

Dudes on a Map: Virtual Grid Paper from Joe Shaw
  • END DATE: Thu, January 7 2021 10:00 PM EST.
  • PROJECT TYPE: Online RPG platform
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $15 for beta access and ongoing access to the platform when it’s available
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? Because a D&D fan and software developer used their time during the pandemic lockdown to develop a new online RPG platform and that’s kind of awesome. The developer, Joe Shaw, wanted something simple and cheap for his D&D campaign and that led to this. If you back this, the beta version of this project is available to all backers of this campaign. If you’re looking for a simpler and cheaper online setup, this may be the one for you.

The Dare-Luck Club Role Playing Game from Louis Hoefer
  • END DATE: Wed, January 6 2021 6:08 AM EST.
  • SYSTEM(S): An original system
  • PROJECT TYPE: Core rulebook
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $33 plus free S/H in the US for the PDF and softcover of the book
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? This 200-page rulebook offers an original RPG that taps into the kids on bikes subgenre*. Pulling inspiration from Goonies, Stand by Me, The Explorers, Monster Squad, The Gate, The Hardy Boys, and Goosebumps, this RPG offers you a chance to be a kid that’s saving the world while the adults press on with life, oblivious. If it interests you, the game is written and playtested and just looking to fund. *To be clear, when I wrote “the kids on bikes subgenre”, I was not referring to the Kids on Bikes RPG from Renegade Game Studios and Hunter Entertainment, but the types of stories involving kids saving their family or town, generally set between the 1950s and 1980s.
Epic Goblin Campaign!!! from Storytellingron
  • END DATE: Sun, January 3 2021 10:29 PM EST.
  • SYSTEM(S): Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition
  • PROJECT TYPE: Adventure module
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $10 for the PDF of the adventure, digital minis, VTT maps, MP3s, and more
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? Every so often, someone decides to take one of the more common D&D monsters and give it the spotlight. In this case, goblins as the enemy in a 5e campaign spanning levels 1 to 10. This campaign delves into conspiring factions, having each overlap as you work through them. Add to that traps, maps, adventure hooks, and minis, this can be an interesting deep dive into a well-known enemy. Since it’s goblins, one of the additional rules this campaign offers: Mob rules. It makes sense to have a way to handle masses of goblins. If you want to keep the world simple but have an epic adventure, this one may be for you.

Meteor Tales - Realistic Combat, Pen & Paper RPG from Meteor Tales
  • END DATE: Sun, January 10 2021 5:54 AM EST.
  • SYSTEM(S): An original system
  • PROJECT TYPE: Core rulebook
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: €20 for the PDF of the core rulebook
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? This campaign will enhance several existing books as well as RPG accessories for the Meteor Tales line. At its center is the 400-page rulebook, the second edition of the Meteor Tales system. This campaign page states their system will replace hit points with better logic, allow players to develop their characters without requiring the GM’s support, make novel-like characters developed across a ten-chapter process, offer a unique magic system, and provide lethal combat. Following on the heels of the planned updates for that book, there are the Pages of Dyran adventure and two lore books, Kingdom of Lothen and Trident Empire. If you’re interested in learning more, check out the pitch.

Egg Embry participates in the OneBookShelf Affiliate Program and is an Amazon Associate. These programs provide advertising fees by linking to DriveThruRPG and Amazon.
 
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Egg Embry

Egg Embry


Dragonblade

Adventurer
Regarding Meteor Tales, I don't understand why you want elaborate character creation combined with lethal combat. All it takes is a couple lovingly detailed PC's you spent hours on to get shanked by an orc an in anti-climactic manner and you would be done with that game. Frankly, this is why I disdain grim and gritty style rules in general. In reality, people like the concept of grim and gritty but in practice it never becomes anything but an exercise in frustration. I grew up playing OSR style AD&D, and it only worked then because you could throw a new PC together in under 15 minutes, and PC's were just thinly veiled stand-ins for you as the player.

When we began to embrace more narrative games in the latter days of 2e, we house ruled away the lethality because it was a fun killer and a campaign killer. Detailed characters and narrative/story focused campaigns are fundamentally incompatible with grim and gritty style lethal rules in my opinion.
 





Dragonblade

Adventurer
For you. Different people like different things.
Of course. This is merely my opinion based on my own experiences. If others derive enjoyment from such games, then great. I have no issue with people enjoying games that differ from my preferred play style.

Though, I feel it is the implied threat of death and the thrill of the risk of death rather than the actual PC deaths themselves that is what people enjoy. :)
 


dalisprime

Explorer
Epic Battlemats looks really useful. Once I'm off virtual and back to the table that is.
The funny thing is, the maps are designed using vtt tools. DungeonFog to be exact. The moment I saw them skimming through the pages in the video I knew the assets looked very familiar. If you're already a DF user this becomes a question of whether you want a printed/premapped (and thus fixed) version of a versatile tool you're already using.
I can see a few cases where yes is the answer:
A) short on prep time and those maps are exactly what you need for your session,
B) you don't have the means to print out the map you designed yourself.

If you don't already use DF then yeah, the maps you can build with that tool can be visually stunning so this book is bound to deliver some very nice scenery.
 

Longspeak

Explorer
Of course. This is merely my opinion based on my own experiences. If others derive enjoyment from such games, then great. I have no issue with people enjoying games that differ from my preferred play style.

Though, I feel it is the implied threat of death and the thrill of the risk of death rather than the actual PC deaths themselves that is what people enjoy. :)
I dunno. Thousands of people played Traveller back in the day. Character death during character generation was not just possible, it was pretty likely at least one player's character would manage it every time we played. :p

That said, I understand. I can't imagine wanting my lovingly crafted and painstakingly statted character to buy the farm in his first combat. Sure, an old TFT stat card playing in an arena? We'd kill a dozen or more of those in out after-school battles. But that Champions character? No, I wanted him to last.
 

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