RPG Crowdfunding News – Lairs & Legends, TOKYO : OTHERSCAPE, Shield Maidens, and more

This week’s list of RPG crowdfunding projects end between April 14th and May 10th. In this sampling of what’s available, I’ve included several 5e options, a 1e option, some sci-fi including cyberpunk, a duet, a solo option, and even a graphic novel.
Lairs & Legends.png
Lairs & Legends from The DM Lair
  • END DATE: Sun, May 8 2022 4:00 AM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition
  • PROJECT TYPE: Sourcebook
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $110 + S/H for the print version of both books
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? This project gives you two stout 5e books: Loot & Lore and Lairs & Legends. The content comes from all of The DM Lair’s 2021 digital publication, Lair Magazine. In Loot & Lore, expect encounters, puzzles, traps, villains, NPCs, spells, subclasses, and more. From Lairs & Legends, expect 25 adventures, a 1st to 15th level campaign, monsters, and other new 5e content. This is hundreds of pages of content. If you’re a 5e fan, The DM Lair has a solid pedigree of content with a year’s worth offered here.

TOKYO : OTHERSCAPE - A Mythic Cyberpunk RPG from Son of Oak Game Studio
  • END DATE: Thu, May 5 2022 4:00 PM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): Powered by City of Mists: Reloaded
  • PROJECT TYPE: Core rulebook
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $99 + S/H for the PDF and print boxed set with the core rulebook, the setting book, five pregen characters, and more
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? Because this brings a streamlined version of the City of Mists system to anime-style cyberpunk. City of Mist is a tabletop roleplaying game that takes superheroics in an atmospheric, innovative new direction. Born from notes of Powered by the Apocalypse and Lady Blackbird, CoM embraces its tag system to be less like it’s inspiration and more of its own project. With this RPG, the engine is used to bring cyberpunk like Akira and Ghost in the Shell to tabletop. Working with manga artist Isago Fukuda, this campaign is funding the core rulebook and a campaign book together in a boxed set. If you’re looking for anime inspired cyberpunk and a streamlined City of Mists experience, this is worth checking out.

Shield Maidens: A New Viking/Cyberpunk Tabletop RPG from Mongoose Publishing
  • END DATE: Sun, May 1 2022 9:00 AM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): An original system
  • PROJECT TYPE: Core rulebook
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: £100 with free worldwide for the both books, dice, cards, and music
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? I love seeing genres combined into something new. In this case, it’s Vikings meets Cyberpunk. You play as a shield maiden tasked with freeing Yggdrasil. Think Valkyries, dystopia, and sci-fi. Offered as the 192-page Shield Maidens Training Guide and the 240-page Shield Maidens Gamemasters Guide, this project gives you enough pages to understand the details of this world in order to game it. If shield maidens and cyberpunk strike you as a perfect combination. check out the campaign page for a downloadable preview.

BEOWULF: The Trials of the Twin Seas for 5e from Handiwork Games
  • END DATE: Tue, April 26 2022 12:00 PM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition
  • PROJECT TYPE: Adventure modules
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: £36 + S/H for the PDF and print versions of the book plus some PDFs
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? This gives six duet adventures for BEOWULF, designed for a single player and a GM. This 224-page book of 5e content has adventures covering levels 3 to 6 and picks up where the introductory adventures leave off. This ENnie-nominated setting is perfect for a GM and single player that want the full range of 5e, but don’t have a large party to play with. If you’re looking for adventures from industry veterans, beautiful illustrations, and a different take on 5e mechanics, this campaign is worth checking out.
Mini-Adventure #1: Shadow of the Necromancer 1E/5E & Box Set from Dark Wizard Games
  • END DATE: Tue, May 10 2022 5:11 PM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): Dungeons & Dragons First and Fifth Editions
  • PROJECT TYPE: Adventure module
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $20 + $7 S/H in the US for the PDF and print versions of the 1e version of the book plus PDF extras
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? Like old school ideas and new school mechanics (or even 1e mechanics)? This project brings that 1980s RPG energy to a new adventure using either 1e or 5e options. Beyond the new adventure, this crowdfunding includes options to pick up older ones. The new adventure, designed for 1st to 3rd level characters, sees a 5th level necromancer trying to use his master’s spellbook, the result of which is unpredictable, mutant undead, and guess who has to fight them? If you’re new to Dark Wizard Games’ line of books, they’re fun throwback adventures, but with some great twists. There’s a lot of love for 1e traditions in these adventures and I enjoy them quite a bit. If you’re looking for undead and over the top concepts, this adventure is worth getting (as are the prior books offered here).

Swords & Chaos from Blackspire Fantasy LLC
  • END DATE: Thu, May 5 2022 11:00 AM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): SIEGE Engine
  • PROJECT TYPE: Core rulebook
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $60 + S/H for the PDF and print versions of the book
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? This RPG combines the inspiration of Karl E Wagner, Robert E Howard, and Charles Saunders with Troll Lord Games' Castles & Crusades RPG engine. Advertised as over 300 pages, this offers rules, monsters, and more, all designed for edge of your seat fantasy. This system uses a d20, some bonuses, and static target numbers to make for faster dice checks. That’s important if you’re going to capture the feel of the guiding influences of this RPG crafted. Every decision needs to be quick and ready to roll. If you’re a fan of those pulp greats and Troll Lord’s engine, this is a campaign worthy of your review.

Station XENO - A Sci-Fi Horror RPG Module from Squid Ink Games
  • END DATE: Mon, April 25 2022 12:35 PM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): Death in Space
  • PROJECT TYPE: Adventure module
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $10 for the PDF and POD versions of the book
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? Looking for a solo sci-fi horror adventure? How about a group option? Maybe a GM-less version? This product offers all of those with rules from Death in Space so you can solo this mission or play with your friends. You’ve arrived on a space station to find valuables, but what you find is horrible and can only be stopped by blowing up the space station. If you need sci-fi horror for your gaming table, this project awaits.

Blessings, Healing, and Peace for Ukraine from EN Publishing
  • END DATE: April 14, 2022
  • SYSTEM(S): Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition
  • PROJECT TYPE: Sourcebook
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: £5 for the PDF
  • DISCLAIMER: EN World is a subsidiary of EN Publishing. To learn more about this project, you can read Morrus’ article here
  • NOTE: This crowdfunding campaign runs through IndieGoGo
  • THE CAUSE: “100% of the proceeds from this campaign will be donated to the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.”
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? Final call for this project that supports refugees from Ukraine while providing you with some great 5e content!
Deadlands- Dead Man's Hand Graphic Novel.jpg
Deadlands: Dead Man's Hand Graphic Novel from Outrider Publications
  • END DATE: Thu, May 5 2022 11:57 AM EDT.
  • PROJECT TYPE: Graphic novel
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $10 for the PDF of the graphic novel
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? Deadlands returns to comics, this time reprinting their original 100+ graphic novel as a premium hardcover. This collection brings four one-shot stories by the likes of Ron Marz, Jimmy Palmiotti, Steven Ellis, Lee Moder, Bart Sears, and so many other creators back into print. Designed as a jumping on point for fans of Pinnacle Entertainment’s weird west, expect stories set in the world, though, sadly, no gaming content. But, if you want to experience more of that RPG world, this project promises a beautifully visualized Wild West as only the Deadlands can deliver.

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

Egg Embry



Thought about backing the Legends & Lairs Kickstarter. Then I checked the pledge levels. $100 for the 2 PDFs and map pack is way beyond my price point, but it’s well and truly funded, so clearly enough people think that’s a decent price.

Have costs really gone up that much that people will pay $40 for a RPG PDF and $20 for a map pack, especially via Kickstarter, where you’re normally getting a better deal than retail?
 

Dire Bare

Legend
Thought about backing the Legends & Lairs Kickstarter. Then I checked the pledge levels. $100 for the 2 PDFs and map pack is way beyond my price point, but it’s well and truly funded, so clearly enough people think that’s a decent price.

Have costs really gone up that much that people will pay $40 for a RPG PDF and $20 for a map pack, especially via Kickstarter, where you’re normally getting a better deal than retail?
I think companies offering "better than retail" deals on Kickstarter is a ship that sailed some time ago. It's nice to offer, of course, but doesn't seem necessary to have a successful crowdfunding campaign.

And yes, prices have gone up. Inflation is a thing, especially over the past year. I balked at the $40 tag on the PDF of the MCDM monster book "Flee, Mortals!" . . . but, sadly, I think that's probably a reasonable price at this point.
 


Scottius

Explorer
Thought about backing the Legends & Lairs Kickstarter. Then I checked the pledge levels. $100 for the 2 PDFs and map pack is way beyond my price point, but it’s well and truly funded, so clearly enough people think that’s a decent price.

Have costs really gone up that much that people will pay $40 for a RPG PDF and $20 for a map pack, especially via Kickstarter, where you’re normally getting a better deal than retail?
I feel that Kickstarter is a bit overpriced as well. I'm still going back and forth on whether or not I'll back it before it ends. The physical books not coming with a PDF copy unless you pay extra really rubs me the wrong way. I don't tend to like publishers who don't include a PDF with a physical copy sold.
 

I feel that Kickstarter is a bit overpriced as well. I'm still going back and forth on whether or not I'll back it before it ends. The physical books not coming with a PDF copy unless you pay extra really rubs me the wrong way. I don't tend to like publishers who don't include a PDF with a physical copy sold.

I think RPGs are underpriced. If someone buys a novel, they don't expect a free Kindle version. If I go to a movie, I don't expect a free streamed version. If I buy a CD (do they still make those?), I don't expect a free streamed version of all the songs. But make an RPG book and people expect a free electronic version. I actually think that practice is a little weird.
 

antiwesley

Unpaid Scientific Adviser (Ret.)
@Charles Dunwoody but if you buy a Blu-ray or 4K disc, you automagically get a digital copy through whatever service the company uses.
(Usually Movies Anywhere, I believe)
It could also be pointed out that almost all of the KS's I've backed over the last 7 or 8 years have ALWAYS included a PDF when you bought a hard copy. There actually are services out there that retailers can use for some products that allows you to send PDF's of materials your customers have bought in-store. Last I saw, this didn't include many large companies, but some very respectable smaller companies offer this setup through a third-party. A lot of retailers don't offer this service, because 99.9% of their product isn't offered this way. (they rhyme with Yahtzee and Caizo)
 

Sir Brennen

Legend
but what you find is horrible and can only be stopped by blowing up the space station.
So now that everyone knows this, the party can just blow up the station as soon as they encounter it.

Sounds like a short adventure.

[Disclaimer: I backed this project and I keed.]
 

Thought about backing the Legends & Lairs Kickstarter. Then I checked the pledge levels. $100 for the 2 PDFs and map pack is way beyond my price point, but it’s well and truly funded, so clearly enough people think that’s a decent price.

Have costs really gone up that much that people will pay $40 for a RPG PDF and $20 for a map pack, especially via Kickstarter, where you’re normally getting a better deal than retail?

Inflation, sadly, is definitely a thing. I remember paying $15 for my 1e Monster Manual...
 


Sir Brennen

Legend
I totally get that, but the price of PDFs seem to have gone up significantly in recent times.
Depends on a lot of factors. Is there also a print version of the PDF which required significant development? How "professional" is the PDF, both in content and layout/design? Did it use multiple illustrators and/or authors? How much content is there?

IME, PDF prices vary, just like they always did. Pricing can also be a matter of experience, with newer game designers often either way undervaluing or overvaluing their work.
 

Dire Bare

Legend
I totally get that, but the price of PDFs seem to have gone up significantly in recent times.
Inflation is part of the story, but also game developers are getting more comfortable charging prices that more accurately reflect the work and expense that goes into producing a gamebook. Rather than keeping prices artificially low because "PDFs should be cheap". More and more developers are willing to pay authors and artists better and more fair wages, and that also pushes up prices.

I'd rather pay $20 for a PDF gamebook than $40 . . . . but I think $40 is a more reasonable price all considering. Especially for small press publishers with small print runs.
 


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