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RPG Crowdfunding News - MÖRK BORG CULT, HârnMaster, Tiny Taverns, and more

This week I include RPG crowdfunding projects that end by May 7th. As with the last three articles, I’m incorporating information from Kicktraq to give a view into how these projects are doing during the pandemic. While the number of RPGs is light, the number of RPG accessories are not. These numbers show the same results as prior weeks, the majority of tabletop RPGs continue to reach their goals with some nicely exceeding them. As a bonus, because Free League has a Tales from the Loop board game on Kickstarter, I share a few quick links and charts to a notables in that category.

MÖRK BORG CULT- FERETORY.jpg

MÖRK BORG CULT: FERETORY by Free League
  • END DATE: Thu, April 30 2020 9:00 AM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): MÖRK BORG
  • PROJECT TYPE: RPG zine
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: SEK 150 + SEK 70 for the PDF and print versions of the zine
“A sinful zine full of community made classes, adventures and treasures. The MÖRK BORG CULT made physical form. MÖRK BORG is a blackened artpunk doomsday rpg about miserable bastards and heretics enduring a bleak, dying world. It's a doom metal album of a game. A spiked flail to the face. Rules light, heavy everything else. It's made by Pelle Nilsson of Ockult Örtmästare Games and Johan Nohr from Stockholm Kartell, and published by Free League Publishing. MÖRK BORG CULT: FERETORY is a collection of tables, monsters, items, classes, rules and ideas that you can use in your MÖRK BORG game, or any other rules light osr-style game about deadly adventures, cursed treasure and terrible odds. All community made content in the zine will eventually be published for free download on morkborg.com, and some already have been. The things done by Pelle and Johan however, will only be available in this zine. The money from this Kickstarter will be spent on printing, editing, proofreading and of course compensating the content creators. MÖRK BORG CULT: FERETORY is published by Free League Publishing, same as MÖRK BORG was. They will handle printing, distribution and digital fulfillment.”


HârnMaster Boxed Set - Updated and Upgraded!.png

HârnMaster Boxed Set - Updated and Upgraded! by Columbia Games
  • END DATE: Mon, May 4 2020 2:59 AM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): HârnMaster
  • PROJECT TYPE: Core rulebook boxed set and sourcebooks
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $199 + $12 US S/H for seven printed books (no PDFs)
  • HârnMaster Boxed Set - Updated and printed in full color on thick card stock.
"Lead the charge into HârnMaster, the brutal, gritty, and realistic roleplaying system! The HârnMaster system is not for the faint of heart. Where other RPG’s have multiple layers of saving throws, HârnMaster has stark mortality. Where other RPG’s have lost their tension, HârnMaster is layered with it. HârnMaster has an authentic medieval feel and a high level of detail to keep players grounded in reality. Where other RPG settings only scratch the surface, HârnMaster digs deep to strike the mother lode. More than 4,500 pages and one million words have been published to support the HârnWorld setting.”

The StoryMaster's Tales __Dracodeep Dungeon__Hybrid RPG.jpg

The StoryMaster's Tales "Dracodeep Dungeon" Hybrid RPG by Oliver McNeil
  • END DATE: Sat, May 2 2020 6:55 PM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): An original system
  • PROJECT TYPE: Core rules
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: £30 + £15 US S/H for the PDF and boxed set
“Fantasy role-playing, boardgame & adventure gamebook. Set in a Dark and Grimm Fairytale world. 1-5 players. Ages 6-adult. Playing is straightforward. Create a character, select a quest, then start revealing your unique map with every turn of a StoryCard. Enter a world of folklore fantasy, epic storytelling and mighty magic! Set in the Grimm world of 18th Century dark fairytales. You will make your own treacherous pathway through the deep dungeons, encounter strange mystical creatures and find lost arcane artefacts. Alone or with friends you must choose a dangerous quest, but beware only those with the skill, intelligence and bravery of a hero will survive. Quick to learn, portable and most importantly really fun. This game is a unique hybrid of Role-playing, board and adventure gamebook.”


Tiny Taverns.jpg

Tiny Taverns by Gallant Knight Games
  • END DATE: Fri, April 24 2020 2:01 PM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): TinyD6
  • PROJECT TYPE: Core rulebook
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $10 for the PDF
“The latest entry in the TinyD6 family of minimalist tabletop roleplaying games, Tiny Taverns is a roleplaying game about slice-of-life melodrama in a high fantasy tavern. Players create proprietors of a tavern (or hotel, or pub, or resort, or anything hospitality-related) which they invent together. Each game focuses on their daily lives, their evolving relationships, dealing with guests (some who may be adventurers), doing chores, defending the tavern from monsters and other threats, and trying to figure out if this really is all you want out of life. Using the rules in this book, you can tell new heartwarming stories with a revised iteration of the TinyD6 system, more akin to Fate or Powered by the Apocalypse, but still the same minimalist framework you love! With a focus on collaborative storytelling, adventure hooks seeded throughout, and an improvised setting that evolves as you play, Tiny Taverns provides hours of collaborative storytelling fun and a brand new way to play a TinyD6 game.”


The Twilight Dream- A 5th Edition Setting.jpg

The Twilight Dream: A 5th Edition Setting by Nicholas Robinson
  • END DATE: Sun, April 26 2020 8:14 PM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition
  • PROJECT TYPE: Campaign sourcebook and adventure module
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $10 for the PDF
“A 100+ page original campaign setting and adventure guide for D&D 5e inspired by the rich traditions of Celtic and Brythonic myth. This illustrated PDF takes players on an epic adventure inspired by the rich fantasies of the British Isles. You play as a group of high school students at Camelot University who, after discovering their extraordinary magical powers, are thrust headfirst into a battle to save two worlds from the mad ambitions of the Night King. The Twilight Dream is a secret world of magic and monsters, sky islands and scheming elven queens. Europa meanwhile is a land in the midst of great change as new technologies rapidly transform life for her people. Railways, ice cream, electricity and motion pictures exist side-by-side with kings and castles. It is an exciting time, full of interesting characters and new opportunities, and most of all – adventure! The world of The Twilight Dream was inspired by the rich stories of Gaelic, Celtic and Brythonic folklore and mythology. It also borrows from Norse, north German, and later Christian traditions. The story is set in a time period roughly equivalent to the late American Wild West, a time of great societal change as technology brought humanity into the modern era. It was my intention when making this setting to capture the spirit of the source material in a way that was respectful to the original cultures and traditions, while not being strictly defined by their history. Lovers of history and mythology will find many nods to familiar characters and stories reimagined for our fantastical world.”

Fireball- Role-playing Simplified & in Your Phone.png
Fireball: Role-playing Simplified & in Your Phone by Fireball Studios
  • END DATE: Sat, May 2 2020 6:06 AM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): An original system
  • PROJECT TYPE: Mobile roleplaying app. This is a complete tabletop RPG that’s hosted via this app
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $7 for early access to the app and other perks
A fantasy role-playing app bringing Game Masters and Players together to experience thrilling adventures. Fireball RPG is a fantasy role-playing mobile app. Are you familiar with tabletop RPGs such as Dungeons & Dragons or Pathfinder? The concept of Fireball is pretty similar, it will only make role-playing much easier and even more enjoyable. All rules will be automated and you will be able to play with your friends the whole day long. All that just a few taps away on your phone.”


Lost Menagerie.jpeg

Lost Menagerie by Necromancer Games
  • END DATE: Tue, April 28 2020
  • SYSTEM(S): Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, Pathfinder, and Swords & Wizardry
  • PROJECT TYPE: Adventure
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $22 + S/H for the PDF and softcover of the book for one ruleset
  • NOTE: This crowdfunding campaign is running on IndieGoGo. Unfortunately, Kicktraq does not track crowdfunding projects on IndieGoGo as of this writing
  • NOTE 2: For those concerned about coverage of a project from a subsidiary of Frog God Games, I’m linking the Joint Statement of BJ Hensley and Frog God Games
  • NOTE 3: Concerning Mike Mearls’ involvement, Sage Advice clarified that this project “is something that Mike wrote years ago before 5e was released. The FGG have simple resurrected the old file and finished making it 5e compliant.”
Lost Menagerie is a challenging adventure for characters of 7th to 9th level*, written by Mike Mearls, one of the two Lead Designers of Fifth Edition Dungeons & Dragons. In the distant past, the great wizard Arfaleo the Seeker claimed favors from four mighty elemental lords to create a self-contained world. The wizard populated his microcosm with strange creatures, to monitor what changes might occur to them over time, even bringing a small settlement of humans into the interplanar cavern. Eventually, though, the wizard’s interest in his experiment waned and he moved on, leaving behind the bizarre anomaly he had created. Since this time, the microcosm has changed in many ways, for it did not remain isolated from other planes of existence. New creatures have made their way into the wizard’s carefully-maintained experiment, and — there is no other way to say it — things have gone very wrong. This adventure module is available for 5th edition, Pathfinder first edition, and Swords & Wizardry (OD&D).”
RPG Accessories

Heroic Challenges - Roleplaying Cards for Players and GMs by LoreSmyth
  • END DATE: Thu, May 7 2020 10:00 AM EDT.
  • NOTE: Link to this project’s Kicktraq information (here)
  • “Challenge yourself (or the whole table!) with story prompts that reward player creativity and enrich your campaign. For any game system.”
Skyjacks: Courier's Call - Season 1 by James D'Amato
  • END DATE: Thu, May 7 2020 9:02 AM EDT.
  • NOTE: Link to this project’s Kicktraq information (here)
  • “A full season for the all-ages actual play podcast Skyjacks: Courier's Call.”
SoundTale - Sound and Music App for DnD and Pathfinder by Darius Sobolewski
  • END DATE: Sat, May 2 2020 11:59 AM EDT.
  • NOTE: Link to this project’s Kicktraq information (here)
  • “An app that creates a dense atmosphere through music and sounds for pen and paper adventures such as DnD or Pathfinder.”
Tactical Tokens: 1-4 Inch Wet & Dry Erase Blank Game Tokens by DJLProjects
  • END DATE: Fri, May 1 2020 10:01 PM EDT.
  • NOTE: Link to this project’s Kicktraq information (here)
  • “Always be prepared with these reusable wet & dry erase gaming tokens! An excellent choice for any tabletop adventure.”
Dungeon Tape: Tools for creating better custom TTRPG maps by Joshua Cade
  • END DATE: Mon, May 4 2020 12:59 AM EDT.
  • NOTE: Link to this project’s Kicktraq information (here)
  • “A box of all the tapes and stickers you need for custom city campaign map making. Why draw walls when you can use tape? It's easier!”
Atlas Worlds: Build Your Worlds On Our Shoulders by Mark
  • END DATE: Sun, May 3 2020 2:21 PM EDT.
  • NOTE: Link to this project’s Kicktraq information (here)
  • “Create - Discover - Unlock. An RPG management tool intended to maximize player immersion and improve the live sharing of game content.”
Board Games

Frosthaven by Cephalofair Games
  • END DATE: Fri, May 1 2020 5:00 PM EDT.
  • PROJECT TYPE: Tabletop Board Game
  • NOTE: While board games tend to perform better than tabletop RPGs, this one is a class onto itself
  • “Euro-inspired dungeon crawling sequel to the 2017 smash-hit Gloomhaven.”

They Live : Assault on Cable 54 by Iconiq Studios
  • END DATE: Thu, April 30 2020 11:00 AM EDT.
  • PROJECT TYPE: Tabletop Board Game
  • NOTE: This is based on They Live which feels like the meme movie of our times
  • “A cooperative adventure board game based on the cult movie. Use your Kick Ass dice & custom sunglasses to find the hidden enemy within.”

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

Comments

I am surprised. I mean some 3PPs have got really some good ideas for new settings, and I wish a long life for these franchises, what shouldn't fall in the oblivion after some years. Do you think anytime anyone from theses titles could later become a new official D&D setting?
 


Exandria, the setting of Critical Role is official D&D now. In the past a D&D sourcebook about Magic: the Gathering seemed totally impossible. Maybe in a future any 3PPs can't survive for more time and then they are sold, some franchises or all the company. I wouldn't blame WotC if it does it. Of course all 3PPs would rather total creative freedom, but I don't reject the option of a partnership with Hasbro, for example for toys or a videogame title.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Maybe in a future any 3PPs can't survive for more time and then they are sold, some franchises or all the company.
If we ever reach that stage, it’s probably the point where I lose interest in RPGs.

Fortunately for the industry the exact opposite is true, and we’re in a golden age of RPGs helped by easier barriers to entry, better publishing technology, and innovations like crowdfunding.
 

Paragon Lost

Terminally Lost
Supporter
Oh, a new HarnMaster.... (wanders off to check it out).

Edit: Just noted, no pdfs. 😑 I feel its a must for me. I want both physical product and PDF. I guess I'll be passing on this one after all. Too bad too, was about to toss $400.00 on that Kickstarter.
 
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ddaley

Explorer
I marked The Twilight Dream to remind me... after a quick look, it seems interesting. Will have to circle back to read it more thoroughly when I have more time.
 

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
Oh, a new HarnMaster.... (wanders off to check it out).

Edit: Just noted, no pdfs. 😑 I feel its a must for me. I want both physical product and PDF. I guess I'll be passing on this one after all. Too bad too, was about to toss $400.00 on that Kickstarter.
Huh, hadn't yet wandered, just was getting out the map (ie, opened a new tab). No pdfs is not strictly a deal breaker, but I can already tell I'm going to be priced out of this edition... Especially as I don't have any use for the rules 🙃
 

Dire Bare

Legend
Supporter
Oh, a new HarnMaster.... (wanders off to check it out).

Edit: Just noted, no pdfs. 😑 I feel its a must for me. I want both physical product and PDF. I guess I'll be passing on this one after all. Too bad too, was about to toss $400.00 on that Kickstarter.
What an odd decision by the creators, not to offer digital files. Do they give reasons?

You might keep an eye on the Kickstarter, as other publishers who have made equally weird decisions have changed their tune after getting feedback from backers. It's fun sometimes to read the comments where people back just to comment, and then cancel their pledge once they've had their say.
 


Paragon Lost

Terminally Lost
Supporter
What an odd decision by the creators, not to offer digital files. Do they give reasons?

You might keep an eye on the Kickstarter, as other publishers who have made equally weird decisions have changed their tune after getting feedback from backers. It's fun sometimes to read the comments where people back just to comment, and then cancel their pledge once they've had their say.
I couldn't find anything, but I do hope they change their mind on this.
 

Egg Embry

Adventurer
Re: HârnMaster Boxed Set PDFs
As I understand it, Columbia Games views physical and PDF products as separate categories and does not bundle them as some publishers do. Here are two quotes from Columbia Games from the comments of their campaign:
"The PDF's are already available. If you want a deal, join HârnQuest! Not only do you get the latest articles, you will get all PDF's at 50% off!"
"This list does contain both print and PDF, but it is easy enough to navigate.
Harn"
 


Dire Bare

Legend
Supporter
Re: HârnMaster Boxed Set PDFs
As I understand it, Columbia Games views physical and PDF products as separate categories and does not bundle them as some publishers do. Here are two quotes from Columbia Games from the comments of their campaign:
Yeah, I was digging around on the Kickstarter page comments and that's what I found. There are a lot of comments from folks asking for digital files. Columbia Games response is essentially, "Why include PDFs? They are already available!" What they don't understand is that including PDFs on the highly visible Kickstarter could result in significant sales. I can respect, if disagree, that bundling print+pdf isn't a way they want to go . . . . but not offering a digital tier is a huge mistake, IMO.

They've already hit their funding, the campaign won't fail. And for those who really want digital files, they can go pick them up on DriveThruRPG.com. But offering a digital bundle as a part of the Kickstarter would have been a wise move. Bundling print+pdf even wiser.

I will point out that Columbia Games has mentioned that if you subscribe to their Harn newszine (forget the name, HarnMag?), you get 50% all Harn PDF digital files . . . presumably on their own webstore, and not DriveThruRPG.

EDIT: Boy do I feel dumb, you mention the HarnQuest subscription deal in the post I quoted . . . .
 


A great write up this week, Egg. I like the addition of the Kicktraq stuff. To be honest, I've never looked that up before, but now I'll be an addict to that just like I am for your column.

I haven't even looked yet, but I was interested in the Harn stuff. If they aren't bundling the digital contents with it, I'll probably skip it. Dire is absolutely correct when he says it's a mistake to not include them. You're never going to lose business by including them, even if you increase the price a little bit,. (You shouldn't increase the price, though. A pdf included with the printed copy is, and this is just my opinion, expected at this point.) However, omitting them and telling customers to find and fully purchase them somewhere else will only ever drive customers away. No one will say, "Well, they don't include the pdf so sign me up!"

I'm glad they're going to be successful, but when you're an 'on the fence' buyer, especially with what's happening right now, you may lose a few thousand or a few tens of thousands of dollars.

Agreeing with Bare, it just doesn't make good business sense to me. I'm not a business man, though.
 


Dire Bare

Legend
Supporter
Just stumbled across Brancalonia, an Italian "spaghetti fantasy" with 17 days left to go . . . .

It looks really cool, I just backed at the digital tier.

 



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