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RPG Crowdfunding News – HYPERBOREA, GURPS, The Drowned War, and more

This week, I look at crowdfunding projects that end between July 19th and August 5th. While these projects include D&D, Savage Worlds, GURPS, and original systems, I’m also sharing an upcoming gaming convention.

HYPERBOREA 3E - All Products.png

HYPERBOREA 3E from North Wind Adventures
  • END DATE: Sat, July 31 2021 11:59 PM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea 3e
  • PROJECT TYPE: Core rulebook and sourcebooks
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $110 + S/H for the PDF and print of both books, the atlas, and an adventure
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? After selling out of the first two editions of this game in 2016 and 2020 respectively, North Wind Adventure is back with a new edition. This d20 RPG is a swords, sorcery, and weird science-fantasy affair played across a decaying flat earth. Think Howard, Lovecraft, Burroughs, Moorcock, Gygax, and Arneson with 26 classes and a lot of violence. If you own the first or second editions, this is about 95% the same (new art and layout, but, mechanically, 95% the same). The big adds are a new monk and fell paladin options, some rules to make mages less of a chore to play, and more of everything you’d want from spells to monsters to adventures.
Alkander's Almanac of All Things from The Dungeon Coach
  • END DATE: Sun, August 1 2021 12:59 AM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition
  • PROJECT TYPE: Sourcebook
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $25 for the PDF of the book
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? Looking for new rules to expand your 5e gaming options? This book from Youtuber, The Dungeon Coach, offers new rules that, if embraced, will change your 5e game to something a little different. Think of things like stacking Advantage, the “I Know A Person…” rule, more detailed opportunity attacks, and much more. This product expands 5e in several ways and may have a new rule or two that would replace some RAW (Rules As Written) or house rules that you have.

Steve Jackson Games' GURPS 2021 PDF Challenge from Steve Jackson Games
  • END DATE: Mon, July 19 2021 6:00 PM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): GURPS Fourth Edition
  • PROJECT TYPE: Source booklets
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $3 gets you 8 GURPS PDF source booklets, $8 will get you 9
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? Are you a fan of GURPS and looking for new, value priced content? Similar to their 2020 Kickstarter (about which I spoke to Philip Reed and Sean Punch here), this campaign gives you a stack of 10-page PDF source booklets for the cost of a single PDF ($3). Every time they unlock a stretch goal, you get another book. It’s a great opportunity to grab 80 to 90 pages worth of material tailored to specific aspects of the game from locations to adventures to GM advice, if you’re a GURPS fan, this is a good deal. If you’re new to GURPS, there are many add-on options to help get you into the game.

Incantations from Metal Weave Games
  • END DATE: Sat, July 31 2021 12:00 AM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition
  • PROJECT TYPE: Sourcebook
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $35 + S/H for the PDF and print versions
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? Interested in a new 5e spellcasting system that adds non-combat spells? This project offers a ritual-like system that both mages and non-mages can take advantage of. In addition, the book is over 75 pages of spells, subclasses, magic items, and amazing artwork that puts the focus on imagination as opposed to combat damage? I’m going to put words into the creator’s mouths as I summarize this: This book is for roleplaying instead of combat roll-playing. If you want your 5e game to use magic for something beyond slaughtering goblins, this may offer you some options.
Fat Magic RPG - 5e Campaign Setting from S.C. Ormond and Hannah Tsiopanos
  • END DATE: Sat, July 31 2021 12:48 PM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition
  • PROJECT TYPE: Sourcebook
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $50 + S/H for the PDF and print copies of the book plus stickers
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? Remember when Wendy’s made an RPG? Well, this is what that world could have been without all of the corporate shilling. In this setting there are spaghetti wizards and other culinary casters, foodie subclasses, savory spells, and mouthwatering monstrosities all used in tales with titles like, “The Porkening”. With a 5e system of magical food and a setting based around modern food culture, this puntastic campaign offers opportunities to eat aplenty. If you’re interested in food and fantasy, check out the campaign page for a free preview of the setting.

Cloudsea: (5e) 5th Edition Primer to Living Atop the Clouds from Beyond the Horizon
  • END DATE: Wed, August 4 2021 6:23 AM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition
  • PROJECT TYPE: Sourcebook
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $10 for the PDF
  • DISCLAIMER: This project’s publisher/editor, Kim Frandsen, is a columnist at d20 Radio, where I also have a column
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? The world was enveloped in a deadly fog 2,000 years ago leaving the survivors in massive tower cities high above the clouds. Culturally, it’s the 1920s with all of its glamour and oppression but with gnomes, ratfolk, air raiding pirates, and a world running out of options. If you’re looking for a 60-page primer that combines a world of high adventure, glamorous nightlife, and warring sky-towers all for 5e, check out the campaign page.

The Drowned War from Star City Savages
  • END DATE: Thu, August 5 2021 1:34 AM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): Savage Worlds Adventure Edition
  • PROJECT TYPE: Sourcebook
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $40 for the PDF and POD of the book
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? Ready for a dystopian flooded world apocalypse with biopunk, cyberpunk, and horror themes? Among the new Edges and Hindrances that The Drowned War offers are options for cybernetics and more. The campaign page references options as far ranging as super heroes, walking coral colonies, and fox people. If you’re looking for an underwater Savage Worlds Adventure Edition property, check out their campaign page for more details.

Highcaster from Gallant Knight Games
  • END DATE: Mon, August 2 2021 12:15 AM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): Caster System, a modified version of the system used for The Great American Novel and The Great American Witch
  • PROJECT TYPE: Core rulebook
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $15 for the PDF, ePUB, MOBI, and POD versions of the book
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? From Christopher Grey, author of Temples & Tombs, The Great American Witch, The Great American Novel, A Roleplaying Game, and The Happiest Apocalypse on Earth, this project offers up his latest take on fantasy RPGs. Using a crunchier version of his award nominated system, you’ll become legends among a culture, provided you do great things. If you’re looking for a different take on the d20 and how it can be used, read this page for more details on the math and how this game will be played.
Cursed Captains of Cthulhu from Black Cats Gaming
  • END DATE: Fri, July 30 2021 6:00 PM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): An original system
  • PROJECT TYPE: Core rulebook
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: £35 + S/H for the PDF and print versions
  • TRY BEFORE YOU BUY: Cursed Captains of Cthulhu Quick Start (Part 1) is free at DriveThruRPG
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? From the designers and developers of Fallout RPG, The Spy Game, Dropzone Commander, Fallout: Wasteland Warfare, and Kung Fu Panda comes their take on Cthulhu and pirates. Using a new 4d6 system, you’ll pick your profession, your crew, and sail for treasure and glory as you face off against the horrors of the mythos. If you need Cthulhu and pirates from creators with serious track records, this is worth reviewing.
AcadeCon 2021: Fellowship of the Con from The RPG Academy
  • END DATE: Wed, July 21 2021 11:00 PM EDT.
  • PROJECT TYPE: Tabletop gaming convention
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $45 for a 3-day badge
  • LOCATION & DATES: The Dayton Convention Center in Dayton, Ohio from November 5th to 7th, 2021
  • DISCLAIMER: Attending a convention is a personal choice that can be influenced by many factors including the potential for contracting any virus including COVID and/or “con crud”. Sharing this convention’s Kickstarter is informational and not meant to promote or deter attendees from going to this or any face-to-face activity
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? Every year I try to share AcadeCon’s convention Kickstarter. As a crowdfunding cataloger, a fan, and minor publisher, I’m eager to see the costs of a badge or a vendor space as well as how many fans pre-order. Having kickstarted this since 2015, I’m curious to see if their overall backer count will be at the same levels as 2015 to 2019 or if they’ll experience a change due to the pandemic and other factors.

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

Incantations seems like the kind of book groups are either completely uninterested in or 100% sold on. (I'm a backer, so you know what way I lean.)

I've always thought it was a shame that 3E UA's incantations system wasn't more widely used in later iterations of the game, although it obviously influenced 5E's rituals system.
 




dbm

Adventurer
Does anybody even use GURPS anymore?
For sure ;)

There is a very active community, though GURPS doesn’t get as much discussion on the general RPG forums as other systems for some reason.

This Kickstarter (and the similar one last year) is aimed at getting more people in the wider community to check out GURPS supplements. The PDFs on offer cover historic, fantasy, modern action and sci-fi with a dash of horror. Any one of them is easily worth $3 and probably more, so a dozen at that price is pretty good value even if a backer only enjoys a couple of them.
 
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There is a very active community, though GURPS doesn’t get as much discussion on the general RPG forums as other systems for some reason.

This Kickstarter (and the similar one last year) is aimed at getting more people in the wider community to check out GURPS supplements. The PDFs on offer cover historic, fantasy, modern action and sci-fi with a dash of horror. Any one of them is easily worth $3 and probably more, so a dozen at that price is pretty good value even if a backer only enjoys a couple of them.

I suspect GURPS doesn't get a lot of discussion in general forums because the very active SJ Games forum, where the line editor and a number of regular authors hang out, has sucked up all of that traffic. Even the other dedicated GURPS-related discussion areas like the Discord and a Reddit or two don't see that much traffic.

Anyway, as to the content of this year's Kickstarter, I'd point out that at least one of the historically themed PDFs has been described as almost systemless and very portable to other campaigns regardless of what specific game they're based on (in the grand tradition of GURPS historical books, of course; even if you don't play the game, they're great references), and I wouldn't be at all surprised if some of the others fit that description as well.
 

I think I own two books that are technically GURPS books (Suppressed Transmission 1 and 2), despite having never played GURPS. (I plan to use them with either Monster of the Week or Broken Compass some day.) There's a reason their sourcebooks are legendary.
 

dbm

Adventurer
Anyway, as to the content of this year's Kickstarter, I'd point out that at least one of the historically themed PDFs has been described as almost systemless and very portable to other campaigns regardless of what specific game they're based on (in the grand tradition of GURPS historical books, of course; even if you don't play the game, they're great references), and I wouldn't be at all surprised if some of the others fit that description as well.
You would know :D

(Turhan‘s Bey Company is a regular contributor to the GURPS body of work, including this Kickstarter)
 

VorpalBunny

Explorer
After selling out of the first two editions of this game in 2016 and 2020 respectively, North Wind Adventure is back with a new edition. This d20 RPG is a swords, sorcery, and weird science-fantasy affair played across a decaying flat earth...

Hyperborea 3E doesn't use the d20 system, but is based on 1e. Anyone expecting ascending AC and OGL skills may be in for disappointment. According to the author, it's "95%" backwards compatible with Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea 2e. As such it is easily portable to AD&D 1e/2e, but will take some work to convert to OGL systems (3e-5e).
 


Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
Incantations feels like an entire book of 4e's "Utility" powers. Which isn't a bad thing...

I buy the GURPS pdf bundles. For $3, why not? I haven't played in a long time, but I still have many of my sourcebooks. At one point in my past I purged all the "crunch" books like Vehicles and Space and my 3e rules (I had bought the GURPS 4th ed books and thought I didn't need the 3rd ed rulesy books. Whoops!). I would play, but not run.
 



dbm

Adventurer
I haven't played in a long time, but I still have many of my sourcebooks. At one point in my past I purged all the "crunch" books like Vehicles and Space and my 3e rules (I had bought the GURPS 4th ed books and thought I didn't need the 3rd ed rulesy books. Whoops!). I would play, but not run.
It is an interesting move from 3e to 4e. They spent a lot of time and energy on bringing all the rules together and building a new, integrated chassis from them.

One of the challenges with the 3e books was they were created independently, and so you see different version of rules subsystems for similar things; sometimes very different. That made mix-and-match between books (obviously something GURPS players are often want to do) tricky and sometimes completely broken. 4e brought pretty much 95% of the rules into the two core books; there are a few extra rules in Powers - pretty much every other book focuses on how to use the existing rules to achieve an effect rather than adding more rules.

This level of cover in the core has maybe slowed down the impetus to produce additional material, and that means there are a lot of 3e books which haven’t been directly replaced. I still have a crate of 3e books myself. :)
 

dbm

Adventurer
If you are considering the GURPS Kickstarter then currently there is 14 hours left. 11 of the PDFs are in the $3 pledge, with just 31 more backers needed to hit the last stretch goal.

Check out the Kickstarter here, and there is a good breakdown of what is included and how portable the content is here by one of the contributors.

I’m just a backer, but I really want that last stretch goal. :)

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MidnightBlue

Explorer
I think I have GURPS 3E, but not sure. I know I don't have the latest edition. I bought in mainly due to Transhuman Space and Star Trek Prime Directive. I've still got all my stuff, but sadly only had a chance to play once. But the Transhuman Space books are still great resources for my more narrative game systems. Lots of great material in those books. :)
 


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