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RPG Crowdfunding News 091: Dragons Conquer America, Imp of the Perverse, Operation: Deep Freeze, The

Welcome back to our weekly look at tabletop roleplaying game, and accessories, crowdfunding roundup! This week we see dragons over Mesoamerica, a couple of 5th edition adventures, journey into the black in a game of interstellar colonization, horror in the time of Edgar Allan Poe, a new Top Secret mission, and some more great Mythos inspired dice sets! If you have anything you’d like us to cover, or questions about anything we talk about, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or contact me directly.


Dragons Conquer America – RPG Core Book by Burning Games
(Campaign Ends : Thursday 12th April 2018; 21:59 UTC)

Dragons Conquer America is Burning Games historical fantasy RPG set in 16th Century Mesoamerica. With added dragons of course.

Dragons Conquer America takes you back to a warped, fantasy version of 1512 Mesoamerica, a few years after the first Europeans reached its lands. At that point in time, this region of central America is a melting pot of cultures and identities, bound by the might of the Mexica (a.k.a. the Aztec) empire and threatened by the terrible evils that lurk in the depths of the mossy jungle.

Rumors of foreboding omens seep through the grapevine and keep children up at night; dreadful monsters and decadent phantoms ignite fear and fury among peasants and monarchs alike; the promise of gold and glory forges the most unlikely hunting parties, as adventurers from different nations - and even continents - join forces tovanquish the darkness from the world. All this happens under the deceitful gaze of the Dragons, both American feathered and European scalebound, whose ultimate endgame - if they have any - is yet to be uncovered.”


The core rulebook is a full-color hardcover of 300+ pages. It gives you everything you need to build your own adventures… from character creation to magic and spells, from dragons (their history, how to train them, how to ride them and how to fight with, or against, them) to the rich setting, from gear and NPCs to an introductory one-shot adventure called Coatli Stone.

The Kickstarter campaign is also offering two campaign books. Each campaign book focuses on a different group of characters, from different backgrounds, to help introduce players and GMs to the sheer diversity of adventures that you can experience in the game.

The Eight Omens is the first of the two campaigns, and it will place you in the roles of a group of soon-to-be-sacrificed prisoners. Your mission will be to interpret the omens in the Netherworld an
d warn the Mexica Empire of the impending arrival of the Spaniards.

The Conquistador’s Gold is the second of the campaigns, and in it you will play as a group of Spaniards who must secure the bounty known as "The Conquistador's Gold".

Each campaign is designed to last for 8 to 12 sessions and includes everything you need to play it: pre-gen characters, a full rundown of NPCs and pieces of gear, and even a GM guide to help you track your player's progress.

The Dawn of a New World is the print version of these two campaigns, a 160+ pages hardcover book containing both campaigns, rivalled in quality only by the Core Book. With a 2-page spread illustration per chapter, it will be the perfect tool to immerse your players in the story.


You can read ENWorld interviews with both designers, JC Obal and Carlos Gomez Qiontana, for more information on the game and the thoughts that inspired it.


Imp of the Perverse: A Jacksonian Gothic American Horror RPG by Nathan D. Paoletta
(Campaign Ends : Saturday 14th April 2018; 04:59 UTC)

Imp of the Perverse is set during the decades of the Jacksonian Era of American history, which happens to coincide with the majority of the creative life of Edgar Allan Poe: the 1830s and 1840s.

In addition to being thematically resonate to the inspiration for the game, this period was a really interesting and dynamic time! Cities were growing, new technologies that enabled unprecedented communication and trade were invented (from the telegraph to railroads to the daguerreotype to the easy availability of newspapers, magazines and broadsheets) and new lands were being explored (and exploited) to support expansionist ideologies.

On the other hand, new riches were unevenly distributed, the benefits of progress were not at all obvious to many of those subject to these new technologies, and the conflicts over slavery that would result in the Civil War intensified. Social relationships were constantly renegotiated along familial, ethnic, geographic and professional lines, and those relationships created a dense web of networks that all influenced each other.

This is a tabletop roleplaying game for 2-6 players. One player is the Editor, who builds the monster who will be the subject of the hunt to come and the Web that binds it to humanity. The other players play the Dramatis Personae of the story, creating and playing the individual protagonists who go on the hunt in order to resolve the Imps of the Perverse sitting on their shoulders.

This game is satisfying to play in both one-shots and campaigns. One Chapter of play covers the protagonists hunting down, confronting and resolving the presence of a monster. The Chapter can be played in one focused session or over multiple slower-paced sessions; long-term play is a series of Chapters played by the same group. Protagonists develop between Chapters as they use what they learn to build new connections in the human world, add new discoveries about the Shroud between worlds, or both.

When a protagonist does finally give in to their Imp, whether by choice or because they can no longer hold off the inevitable, that character becomes the monster for the next hunt. The player can choose to take over the Editor role in order to complete the story of the character, while the former Editor forms a new protagonist in the Chapter to come.

A core conceit of the game is the Shroud between the world of the living and the world of the dead. Imps come from beyond the Shroud, and they actively want to drag their afflicted back across. Hence, whenever a monster appears, all those with Imps on their shoulders can feel it, like a pressure wave of perversity sweeping over them.

Every Chapter starts with the protagonists actively aware that something is wrong and a monster is near; gameplay is about discovering the specific nature of the creature, exploring how the horror it brings to the world resonates with your perversity, and then confronting the creature to end the threat it poses.

The rules of the game are tightly integrated to embed characters in the setting, slowly reveal the horror of the situation as they investigate what's changed in their lives, and then tempt them to give in to their Imp as they confront the monster.

Individual protagonist characters are developed using a lifepath-style system that embeds them in their society as each player decides individually on the perversity that they want to focus on in play. First, each protagonist has a career:


  • Leisure: You are independently wealthy, taken care of by another or otherwise have control over how you spend your personal time.
  • Letters: You are engaged in a world of the mind that involves writing, reading, criticism and correspondence.
  • Affairs: You are a professional, run a business or otherwise have responsibility for some affair that keeps you in the manner to which you are accustomed.
  • Arms: You are trained in the use of arms and the conduct of conflict and have made a career out of it in battle, politically or otherwise.
  • Exploration: You journey outwards, whether out of wanderlust, the search for adventure or the need to generate new discoveries for whoever employs you.
  • Service: You provide services to or are employed by another, formally or informally, in a domestic, labor or other role where your lifestyle is largely dictated by someone else.

And then you decide what kind of family you come from, your marital and filial status, and whether you are happy or not about that situation. Each of these choices gives you a selection of traits to use on the hunt as well as fictional context for who you are and what you do in this world when not overcome with the dictates of the Imp.

You also decide how close to the Shroud you are (and whether you have a supernatural Edge because of it) and then workshop your particular perversity and your greatest strength in a freeform manner with the whole group, digging in to your initial ideas to make sure they are what you truly want to engage with in play. Perversities are not super-powers; you make a flawed character who you truly want to see struggle with this unhealthy influence, and who's fate is by no means certain.

Each Chapter starts with something mysterious, dangerous or horrible intruding into your protagonists lives.

  • First, you engage in Ratiocination to discover what's going on. To find things out, you spend points drawn from your earlier selections (Standing in a community, Resources on hand, Reason you possess).
  • As you close in on the monster, Anxiety rises, draining those points and pushing you towards taking action - where the dice come in.
  • You roll dice to engage in Exertion and impose your will upon the world.
  • The results of Exertion may tempt you to give in to your Perversity in order to get what you want.
  • You may need to use your very human quality of Empathy to discover how to end the threat the monster poses.
  • Whether the monster will be defeated or destroyed is not in doubt; this game is about what happens to your protagonist as a result of the hunt, not about whether the hunt succeeds.

Your protagonists have traits either of their humanity (qualities, relationships, greatest strength) or of the Imp (supernatural Edges, perversity itself). In order to engage in the necessary Exertion to change the world, you assemble a pool of standard six-sided dice, both black (drawn from human traits) and red (drawn from those of the Imp). Your target number is Lucidity, a number from 2-5 measuring your distance from the Imp - each die equal to or over this number allows you to claim success or preserve your traits.

But if you fail, or don't have enough hits to do what you want, you may be able to give in to your Imp to immediately lose a Lucidity and count additional successes. As you get closer to the Imp, you have more ability to control the outcome of the hunt; but once you lose your Lucidity, you become a monster.

This is not totally deterministic! You can play against the Imp and consciously attempt to regain your full humanity. You can gain Lucidity as well as lose it, and if you achieve the upper end of the track, your protagonist manages to banish their Imp and rejoin normal human society.

During each Chapter the roll results and points spent will contribute checks to your long-term development of Ontogenesis, tracking your general trend towards or away from your perversity. Use your human traits and resist the Imp during play, and you'll see Lucidity slowly rise; embrace the Imp and act in tune with your perversity, and you'll accelerate your decline.

In addition:

  • Players are able to play as each others Imps in order to tempt them with Weirding Dice.
  • Protagonists gain additional supernatural Edges as they get closer to the Shroud.
  • Protagonists can help and hinder each other with their social traits, and forge or break personal relationships as the result of play.
  • Players add additional details to the nature of the Shroud and what it means when monsters appear in the world as play continues on.

Every Chapter centers on a monster. Monsters are those who used to be like the protagonists, an otherwise normal person with an Imp on their shoulder, who have given in to theirs and became a literal creature of the night. There are no generic monsters in this game; every subject of the hunt is built from the group up to express the perversity they embody.
When the Editor makes a monster, they follow a set of procedures that embeds the monster in the center of a Web of human relationships and concerns. By establishing their portfolio of horror, who they desire, what they want, and who wishes to conceal or protect them, the Editor develops the context for showcasing the danger to those the protagonists are connected to and care about.

There is no question about whether the protagonists will discover the monster and, in some way, resolve its presence in their world. But how will they get there, what will they decide to actually do about the creature, and what toll will it take on them? Those are the questions that you answer by playing the game.

Monsters are creatures of the Shroud between worlds, the thin curtain between the living and the dead. One decision during monster creation is whether they are close to the Shroud (still of flesh and blood), beyond the Shroud (disembodied horrors) or returned from the Shroud (bereft of life but reclothed in the attire of the living).

During play, protagonists approach the Shroud as they lose Lucidity and allow their perversities to come out more and more. They may also have supernatural Edges, which are abilities that bring the two worlds closer together, channeled through their Imps. In long-term play, players detail the nature and behavior of the Shroud and the world beyond as their protagonists get closer to it and learn more of it. Through multiple Chapters of play, each group builds its own particular gothic world.


  • The Book will be a comic-sized (6.625" x 10.25") hardcover book, wrapped in red cloth and foil-stamped with the title. I estimate it to end up ~120 pages (this may change). Thanks to your support, this book will have a color interior, including two-tone color art, and additional production elements to make it both beautiful and functional! This is the only version of the book that will be produced, so the success of this Kickstarter directly dictates what will go out into the world afterwards.
  • The Cards will be a small deck of Tarot-sized doublesided cards, incorporating commissioned art and featuring a perversity on one side and a greatest strength on the other, along with suggestions for how to use them to inspire a character or monster. I estimate this deck to be ~12 cards (this may change).


Operation: Deep Freeze – A Top Secret: NWO Adventure by New Comet Studios
(Campaign Ends : Friday 13th April 2018; 02:00 UTC)

Operation: Deep Freeze is a new adventure from New Comet Studios for the recently released Top Secret: New World Order by TSR Games.

A Top Secret Soviet lab located just outside a small town in Latvia. Secrets put in Deep Freeze that should not have been. Secrets that leaked out in the dead of winter. Secrets of things that should never have been.

You are a member of ICON, trained and equipped to handle situations just like this. Join us on this mission to uncover the U.S.S.R. secrets frozen long ago during the cold war, that have begun to thaw.

The mission was written by award winning author and Latvian native, Ellena Landara.



The Dinosaur Protocol (for Savage Worlds) by Battlefield Press, Inc
(Campaign Ends : Thursday 12th April 2018; 11:00 UTC)

Battlefield Press’ Jonathan Thompson has teamed up with writer Chris Halliday to bring us a post-apocalyptic Savage Worlds setting of adventure and dinosaurs. Sometime in the 21st Century mankind fled the surface world and retreated into underground shelters, waiting out the centuries until the Earth was inhabitable once more. When mankind eventually emerged they found an unfamiliar world waiting for them. Nature had reclaimed the planet, and turned back the clock. Mankind awoke to a new age of dinosaurs.

Written for the award-winning Savage Worlds game engine by Chris Halliday and Jonathan M. Thompson, The Dinosaur Protocol is a game of mystery, exploration, discovery and adventure. Players take the role of explorers, scientists, scavengers, hunters and traders, trying to survive a world whose first masters have returned. Will they stay at home and build their settlement, or blaze new trails through the saurian jungles of a World Reborn? Will they extend the hand of friendship to other settlements, or war for valuable resources? Will they hunt the dinosaurs, or study them? Where did the dinosaurs come from, and what other mysteries lie hidden in the ruined cities, dense jungles and empty deserts? Just who – or what – else is out there?

The Dinosaur Protocol presents a bestiary of prehistoric life, rules for encountering, battling and wrangling dinosaurs, details on how to carve your own settlement from the primeval jungle, rules for scavenging ruined cities and ancient installations, and a guide to the World Reborn… everything you need to create your own Dinosaur Protocol campaign.

A post-apocalyptic table top role playing game of adventure and discovery in the jungles and plains of a world grown wild and strange for the Savage Worlds Game Engine.


In addition to the main setting the book also provides a selection of alternative campaign frameworks, allowing you to use the information provided for other ‘timelines’ such as On Safari that allows time travellers to access the past for everything from university projects, to holidays or big game hunting. Or Blast to the Past which sees something go wrong with a major weapons test. The result is that the sky tore open and now your hometown is millions of years in the past, and you and your neighbours must survive this new old world.


Siren’s Call: Interstellar Colonization Roleplaying by Tab Creations LLC
(Campaign Ends : Thursday 12th April 2018; 13:01 UTC)

I was a (very happy) backer of Tab Creations Shadows Over Sol RPG a few years ago and was eager to see the Siren’s Call campaign and sourcebook launched. Not only to continue the support for the core game but also because of the subject matter…

Humanity's first step beyond the Sol system might be its last.

Siren's Call is a campaign and sourcebook for the Shadows Over Sol roleplaying game. It follows the story of the ARC Project, humanity's first ever attempt to build and launch an interstellar colony ship.

The ARC Project is one of the most ambitious endeavors ever undertaken. If successful, it will transport some 10,000 colonists the 4.4 light years from Sol to the planet Siren, orbiting Alpha Centauri A.

The journey will take 400 years, with all passengers and crew in stasis. No one knows exactly what will be found on the other side — what challenges and horrors the colonists will face as they make a life on this new world.

Siren's Call is inspired by a variety of science fiction media, ranging from Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri and James S. A. Corey’s excellent The Expanse series, to Ridley Scott’s classic film Alien and Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy.

The Siren's Call campaign and sourcebook will be a full-color hardback volume estimated at 240 pages. It includes:

  • A flexible campaign consisting of eight core scenarios, plus numerous optional "side trek" adventures and ample room for GM-created personal plots.
  • Complete details on the ARC Project and the Alpha Centauri system, with plenty of insight and plot hooks for other interstellar colonization adventures.
  • Descriptions, ecological details and stat blocks for numerous exoplanetary lifeforms, enigmatic machines, human archetypes and individual characters.
  • A new system for colony building, societal planning, advancement and mass combat. What type of society will you create?
  • Optional rules for character aging, as well as how to handle wealth and lifestyle in the colony.
  • New interstellar colonization-related gear, vehicles and genelines!


The Shadow Over Dunsmore Point. 5th ed D&D adventure by John R Davis
(Campaign Ends : Friday 13th April 2018; 09:08 UTC)

The Shadow over Dunsmore Point is a mini-campaign for 4 to 6 1st level characters for 5th Edition.

It pays homage to early 1st edition modules such as Sinister Secret of the Saltmarsh and Against the Cult of the Reptile God. It also draws inspiration from 1980s adventures as featured in Tortured Souls, Imagine and White Dwarf Magazine, as well as the Call of Cthulhu novella and other Lovecraftian tales.

There are at least 20 quests / plots / mysteries to resolve. There is plenty for the PC's to do, and for the GM to use.

This publication will contain:

  • A rural village to investigate, and save?
  • 20 wilderness encounters to overcome.
  • 10 site based adventure areas, containing about a 100 dungeon 'rooms'. These include the light house-tower, a ruined keep, several sea caves, an abandoned mine, and the decayed body of a titanic guardian.
  • 'Dungeon' maps will either be based on the excellent set available from Dyson Logos, or newly created.
  • A random encounter table for the various terrains.
  • A table of rumour, worry and gossip.
  • A map for Hexploration outlining the ranges of the many foul, and fair, creatures that roam the land.
  • 3 artefacts man was never meant to find.
  • Optional guidelines for insanity and madness. I like the term 'Corruption' so may use that to describe the slow fall and decay of the mind, body and soul.
  • Optional guideline for a hard mode where regaining spent hit dice is difficult and psychic damage carries extra effect.

Dunsmore Point is situated on a remote bit of headland. Sparse woodland bordered by windy heaths and gentle rolling hills. A wild and untamed sea. Lots of fishing, tin mines, and insular suspicious folk.

The neophyte PCs are escorting a trade caravan from the north, with the intent to pick up purified tin and copper. A minor earthquake hinders their journey and sets off a cascade of possibilities.



The Mermaid’s Blessing by William Dvorak
(Campaign Ends : Saturday 14th April 2018; 14:58 UTC)

The Mermaid’s Blessing is a 5th Edition adventure designed for 5 to 6 characters of 5th to 6th level. It’s been designed to challenge experienced players with the environments and obstacles that characters will encounter built to test players creativity in more ways that just the CR of their opponents. The characters choices will have consequences.

The party is summoned to the impoverished island nation of Zaltara by a friend desperate for their help. Unwittingly their friend has unleashed a wave of evil onto the island that threatens to kill and enslave all its inhabitants. Will the party succeed in saving the lives of not just their friend but everyone else on the island? Will they uncover the secret behind the invasion from the sea and defeat it, or will they unwittingly unleash an even deadlier threat that has lain dormant for a millennium?

The module has been designed to be played in about six or session sessions.



Elder Dice: Unspeakable Tomes – Cthulhu Mythos Themed Dice by Infinite Black
(Campaign Ends : Friday 13th April 2018; 02:30 UTC)

Elder Dice return to Kickstarter with three new designs…. Yellow Sign of Hastur, Sigil of the Dreamlands and Mark of the Necomonicon. Each set contains a complete set of nine polyhedral dice (1xd4, 3xd6, 1xd8, 1xd10, 1xd%, 1xd12 and 1xd20) as well as packaged in its own magnetic grimoire box.

Alongside the three new designs the original sets from the first Kickstarter are also available to purchase.


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If you have a forthcoming Kickstarter, or see one that excites you, please feel free to drop me an email on angus.abranson@gmail.com You can follow me on Twitter @ Angus_A or on Facebook where I often post about gaming.

Until next week, have fun and happy gaming!

Angus Abranson
 

Comments

ddaley

Explorer
The Shadow over Dunsmore Point includes John's previous titles as well. Check out the stretch goals.
 

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