RPG Crowdfunding News 123: TALOC: MAYAN, Become, Never Tell Me the Odds, Crystal Heart, SotDL: Occul

For my second “RPG Crowdfunding News” article on EN World, I look at games based on webcomics, movie quotes, expansions to gaming lines, and more. RPGs that run on Savage Worlds, Mutant: Year Zero, Shadow of the Demon Lord, Powered by the Apocalypse/Dungeon World, and original engines. That said, it’s difficult to cover all of the games on Kickstarter or Indiegogo, and some of them were omitted like Modern: Book of Elves, Canitaurs & Felitaurs, and How Orcus Stole Christmas!, among others. That said, all of these crowdfunding campaigns are worth reading to see what’s coming in 2019.

TALOC: MAYAN - a tabletop RPG with miniature terrain & dice by Illusionist Investment Group
(Campaigns Ends: Sunday, December 9 2018 2:16 AM EST.)

With a basis in mythology and fact, this tabletop RPG explores ancient south American history with miniature terrain, maps & adventure!

The peoples of the ancient Maya began to polarize, forming two primary factions, the clan Kukul and clan Tezca. Named the EagleBearers and the Jaguars respectively, their totems and animal familiars gave them untold amounts of power in their death throes against each other. The Below is not immune to the dealings of those in the Above, and as their genocidal struggles continued, a great imbalance was created that must be satisfied before the End of Days. You will choose a side, and work to re-balance the inequities created by this epic conflict.

"Our RPGs are designed to support your favorite rules systems (5e, Pathfinder, Savage Worlds, Swords & Wizardry, BECMI, Cthulhu and more). We also feel that miniature terrain adds to the suspension of disbelief that enables quality storytelling. This is why our books support the AnySystem enhancement where QR codes throughout the book allow you to scan and download the stat blocks and rules of your choice. With custom dice, immersive storytelling, excellent DM props, quality terrain and solid design, we think your roleplaying games using the Taloc: Mayan setting will be a big hit on game night."

Become: The Game of AI Investigation by Dylan Grinder
(Campaigns Ends: Sunday, December 9 2018 3:00 PM EST.)

Become is a tabletop roleplaying game in which players take on the role of artificial entities searching for the hidden truths of their simulated city— and their own selves. Become is a game about the development of identity as player programs escape their initial design and build a new cage out of their self-chosen principles.

The mechanics of Become are built on a dynamic dice pool system that's easy to learn, with a strategic breadth that rewards experienced players. For groups that prefer narrative roleplay, the focus of the game is on non-combative conflicts resolved through Tests. As players engage in Tests, they construct a pool of possible opportunities and consequences, providing players with a better chance at success by taking bigger risks and creating more nuanced outcomes. For those looking for strategic crunch, the systems of violent conflict are a modular and shifting landscape that allows players to generate interconnected co-op strategies around finding weaknesses and new ways to exploit them.

Dylan Grinder is a graphic designer, game designer, and cartographer. He is the writer, designer, and creative director behind the game. Lee Dotson is a veteran character artist for games like Hellgate: London and Diablo 3, and his emotive and ethereal style will be brought to the interior of the rulebook to help draw you into the tone and themes of a game of Become. Domirine is a skilled and prolific artist in the RPG community, especially amongst the Critter crowd. Her art will grace Become's cover and join Lee's work on the interior of the book as well.

Never Tell Me the Odds by David Somerville
(Campaigns Ends: Tuesday, December 11 2018 10:29 AM EST.)

Never Tell Me the Odds
(NTMO) is a fast-playing sci-fi adventure story, full of desperate and hilarious risks and rewards. Think of Han Solo relying on a hyperdrive that keeps shorting out, Starbuck going all in when she really shouldn’t, or Mal Reynold’s last-ditch gambits never quite paying off. NTMO is filled with laughter and pathos as your scoundrels make bigger and bigger bets, going up against higher and higher stakes, all in pursuit of saving whatever matters most to them.

In NTMO, you don’t assign any numbers to your scoundrel when you’re creating them. You don’t add traits or apply abilities to affect your ability to succeed. Instead, your scoundrel is built on what matters most to them, and you decide what it is you’re willing to risk when you come up against a check. The odds are always 50/50—NTMO can be played with a coin flip instead of dice. Ready to risk a lot? Your outcome might improve—or you might lose something that really matters to your character. You can always choose to play it safe, of course… but fortune favors the bold. Just remember: It’s not about whether you succeed or fail, it’s what you risk along the way. You can play Never Tell Me the Odds now—the beta playtest version is free right here! Grab a copy and risk it all today!

The designer, David Somerville is the creator of Vast: The Crystal Caverns, Lightning & Bolt, and micro-RPGs like Accio Hogwarts. NTMO is proud to feature the artwork of Grandfailure and Michael Lee Harris.
Crystal Heart - a colourful setting for Savage Worlds by Up to Four Players
(Campaigns Ends: Tuesday, December 11 2018 6:59 PM EST.)

Crystal Heart
is a new setting for the popular Savage Worlds role-playing game. It's based on the current storyline in our webcomic, which has been running for several years. In the world of Crystal Heart, people's hearts are literally made of stone. Some people – notably, the player characters – can replace their hearts with ancient Crystals, which grant unique arrays of superpowers... but also change their personality. Try the quickstart here.

We’re Aviv Or (artwork from Thornwatch, Good Society) and Eran Aviram (design work from City of Mist, and soon, EN5ider), two London-based gamers, originally from Israel, who work in and around the tabletop gaming industry. We're working with Amit Moshe of Son of Oak Game Studios, who amassed a lot of experience with planning, developing, producing, and fulfilling Kickstarter pledges.

The setting book will be printed in softcover "graphic novel" format (6.625 by 10.125 inches; 17 cm x 26 cm), with about 200 pages in full colour, and tons of new art by Aviv. The book includes:

  • Rules for using and misusing Crystals
  • A few dozen Crystals for your characters to start with
  • A few dozen Crystals for your players to find, including their feral manifestations – the strange effects surrounding uncontrolled Crystals
  • Guidelines for using and creating Crystals
  • Everything you need to know about Syn (and a few of the things you shouldn’t know)
  • Everything you need to know about the world of Crystal Heart and each of the Five Lands in order to have fun adventures in them
  • A full Plot Point campaign spanning 10 adventures
  • Lots of adversaries worthy of your antagonism, whether human, animal or Crystal-tainted
  • And all the Edges, Hindrances, weapons and setting rules you need in order to get the coolest Crystal Heart experience possible.

Shadow of the Demon Lord: Occult Philosophy
by Schwalb Entertainment
(Campaigns Ends: Wednesday, December 12 2018 9:59 AM EST.)

Occult Philosophy, the first major expansion to this sinister game [Shadow of the Demon Lord], offers 800 new spells divided between forty traditions of magic. Whether you are calling down a mountain to shatter the armies of the Witch-King or opening a portal to the ancient past before the troubles began on Urth, Occult Philosophy ramps up the magic in the game. Each tradition receives a considerable expansion, with spell offerings for rank 0 to rank 10, each of which has been tested for use in your campaigns. If you want to master the secrets of Battle magic or plumb the depths of Forbidden magic, Occult Philosophy has you covered.

Shadow of the Demon Lord
is a horror-fantasy tabletop adventure game that presents a world standing on the brink of annihilation. In this game, you and your friends play characters charged with fighting back against the spreading evil, whether that involves tracking down potent relics, exploring ancient faerie ruins, journeying into Hell to bargain with the Devil, or battling demons and the cultists who summon them.

Occult Philosophy
is a 192-page supplement that adds over 800 new spells to the game, as well as new paths and creatures you can create and summon to serve your will. Full color and illustrated by some of the best artists in the business, Occult Philosophy is an essential addition to the Shadow of the Demon Lord.

The book is written and extensively tested, so we’re ready to move to the next stage of production, which involves editing, layout, art direction, and the rest. Given the size of the book and the expenses involved, I’m asking for your help to bring this project over the finish line.

After the War by Genesis of Legend
(Campaigns Ends: Wednesday, December 12 2018 10:00 PM EST.)

After the War is a tabletop science-fiction roleplaying game of memetic horror. Ten years after the galactic war, millions of survivors try to rebuild on the frontier world of Polvo. They seek to guard their new homes from internal strife and the psychic fallout from the war. In this game you are…

  • Survivors of the galactic war, who refused to surrender to the horror.
  • Protectors who shelter your fragile new community from danger.
  • Believers, whose passionate hearts and fervent convictions drive them.
  • Dreamers, with a vision of a brighter future lighting your way.
After the War is a collaborative, independently produced game that explores how we can rebuild in the face of trauma. It’s a game where players learn how to lead with compassion and build something lasting. After the War is a ~240 page, digest-sized core rule-book. It's small enough to carry to game, but full of everything you need to build a new life on Polvo. The book includes 20 Origins, 20 War Stories, 20 Professions, GM Tools. The mechanics for After the War encourage full participation in each session, with collaborative scene creation and a codified role for players whose characters aren't involved in the action. Test out the quickstart here.

are resolved by building pools of 6-sided dice, with the highest total result winning. Whenever you win, or whenever you want to re-roll some of your dice in a conflict, you receive Strain. Each point of Strain negates the lowest face on the dice, so someone with two Strain doesn't add their 1's or 2's to their total. The more conflicts you engage in, the luckier you have to be if you hope to succeed. Fortunately, you can reduce your Strain through quiet moments of character exploration and roleplaying between scenes. These Moments of Discovery allow you to learn more about the characters and their history.

The Wyrd of Stromgard by Lost Dutchman
(Campaigns Ends: Thursday, December 13 2018 1:30 PM EST.)

The Wyrd of Stromgard is an expansion to Dungeon World that comes with everything you need to run highly detailed Norse fantasy and Viking campaigns. It comes with 10 character playbooks, 7 compendium classes, monsters, an entire setting with complex societies and cultures, equipment, a ready-made adventure, GM Toolbox, and more. Built to utilize Dungeon World's ruleset, Stromgard is a highly detailed stage setting that will make your games feel like they were pulled right out of the Poetic Edda.

Both the PDF and the physical book will have black and white interior illustration created by master occult artist Eli Spencer. Each playbook will have a full page class portrait and all monsters have an accompanying illustration. There are other embellishments all over the book as well- including inventory spreads for compendium classes. The cover will feature a wraparound design painted by Camille Kuo- which depicts two over-ambitious Norse warriors swiftly failing to bargain with a Norn, a keeper of knowledge who demands a heavy price for information.

The physical book will be printed as a 6x9in US Trade Paperback (15.24x22.86cm) which is the same dimensions as the original Dungeon World book and will be over 300 pages long (for a size comparison, Dungeon World has 408 pages).
Mutant: Elysium - Roleplaying Humanity's Final Fall by Free League/Fria Ligan
(Campaigns Ends: Thursday, December 13 2018 3:00 PM EST.)

This is the third major expansion to Mutant: Year Zero, the award-winning postapocalyptic tabletop roleplaying game by Free League Publishing. But Mutant: Elysium is no mere supplement - it stands on its own and can be played as a complete game in its own right. Get ready for the final fall of humanity!

The expansion, which also introduces non-mutant humans as a playable class in Mutant: Year Zero, includes:

  • New rules for creating and playing enclave humans, including their web of contacts with rich and powerful allies. The book includes all the rules you need to play!
  • A detailed description of Elysium I, the mother of all Elysium enclaves, including a beautiful full-color map.
  • The complete campaign Guardians of the Fall, that will settle the final fate of the enclave. The campaign incudes unique game mechanics that give the players themselves control over the four Houses of the enclave, thus partly controlling the events of the campaign.
  • An overview of how the enclave humans can adapt to life in the Zone, and join the mutants, animals and robots of Year Zero, Genlab Alpha and Mechatron!
The cover image of Mutant: Elysium is painted by the acclaimed scifi artist Simon Stålenhag, known from his amazing Tales from the Loop artbook. The interior art is made by the skilled Reine Rosenberg, who has been the lead interior artist for Mutant: Year Zero from the very beginning.

If you like what we do here at EN World (the Forums, Columns, News, ENnies, etc) and would like to help support us to bring you MORE please consider supporting our Patreon. Even a single dollar helps! This article was contributed by Egg Embry as part of EN World's Columnist (ENWC) program.
Egg Embry



Never Tell Me the Odds is so thematic and simple that I can't believe it doesn't already exist. And talk about rules lite. :)


"After the War sounds and looks fascinating.....backed!"

I played a playtest of it at a con. It was great. None of us wanted the session to end.

Also backed!

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