KS Update


Bundle Operator

  • Tom McGrenery of Porcupine Publishing (he designed Malandro in the September 2016 Indie Treasure Trove 4) is funding The Elephant and Macaw Banner RPG, about 16th-Century adventure with sword and musket in a fantastic Brazil. Christopher Kastensmidt’s novel chronicled the travels of the Dutchman Gerard van Oost and the Yoruba Oludara as they protected both the new colonies and the native inhabitants against a host of creatures inspired by Brazilian folklore, from the brain-sucking Kalobo to the one-legged prankster Sacy-Perey. It’s a Brazilian Witcher. The Elephant and Macaw Banner RPG has a free Player’s Guide on DriveThru.
  • Graham Bottley of Arion Games (Advanced Fighting Fantasy, March 2017, and the Maelstrom Bundle, September 2017) has grand ambitions for Maelstrom Domesday: The Domesday Campaign: “The heart of this will be a 100+-year campaign spanning the rule of three Kings and allowing several generations of characters to make their mark on local (and national) history. This epic campaign will be published as two books, each of 300+ pages, and […] will take over one hundred game sessions to complete.”
  • The Gauntlet Gaming Community (Hearts of Wulin) has already found strong success with their campaign for Trophy, a suite of RPG titles about a group of treasure-hunters who enter a forest that doesn’t want them there. “Trophy Dark is a one-shot game of psychological horror where you portray risk-taking treasure-hunters on a doomed expedition. As they get closer and closer to the heart of the forest, it does everything it can to tear them apart, drive them mad, and — if they’re lucky — kill them. Trophy Gold is a campaign-length game of dungeon-delving adventure in the old-school model. Unlike Trophy Dark, your treasure-hunters aren’t necessarily doomed, but they are desperate. Their tomb-raiding lifestyle has burdened them with debt, and the near-certain death that comes with facing monsters is nothing compared to the certain death they face by returning home without enough treasure to pay those debts.” The Trophy website has the “Rooted in Trophy” System Reference Document that lets you publish your own Trophy adventures — and some fast-moving creators already have. (See below.) Free Trophy RPG preview on Google Drive.
  • Onyx Path Publishing is funding Hunter: The Vigil Second Edition, “a game of personal horror and sacrifice that tests relationships and encourages teamwork within a cell, compact, or conspiracy. […] The lore has been updated to not only reflect the uptick in monsters, but also the fact that hunting monsters is not exclusive to a location, group of people, or time period. There may be more monsters than ever before, but now there are more ways to fight them, too.”

  • Based on the transhumanist cyberpunk Netflix series and novel, Altered Carbon: The RPG from Hunters Books (Kids on Bikes in the Indie Cornucopia 7, November 2019) has, at this writing, already broken through US$205K. Altered Carbon is set in neo-noir Bay City in 2384, where your mind (“Digital Human Freight”) is saved and stored in a Cortical Stack. You can resleeve your consciousness into any body you can afford, transmit your mind across the cosmos in an instant, and, if you’ve got the credits and political cachet, accumulate wealth and power over millennia. “Take control of police, military, technicians, artificial intelligences, special operatives (CTAC), and even the influential elite of high society (Meths).” Altered Carbon Quick Start Guide on Google Drive (really a preview, not playable in itself). Altered Carbon RPG.net forum discussion thread.
  • Kobold Press is funding Tome of Beasts 2 for 5E with 400 new monsters, from angelic enforcers, sasquatch, and shriekbats to psychic vampires, zombie dragons, and more. Wolfgang Baur and his hard-working kobolds have already raised (at this writing) $292K from 4,369 backers.
Kickstarter’s ZineQuest 2 has drawn 100+ entries. These short-form games and adventures, many by new designers, take inspiration from Gustave Dore, Townes van Zandt, and terrible camping trips, and feature orchid hunters, roller derby queens, centipedes, snowy-gnomes, super-cats, and Mage Against the Machine. A few of interest:
  • The Artefact is a 32-page solitaire game of legendary items and transient heroes by Jack Harrison of Mousehole Press. Those treasures you find in a classic dungeon crawl — what were they doing before the adventurers came along? How many aeons have passed, in silent darkness, since they were last used? With The Artefact you create a single magical item, then follow its many different keepers across a vivid and detailed history.
  • Beak, Feather, & Bone: A Map-Labeling RPG by Tyler Crumrine of Plays Inverse Press is a collaborative worldbuilding tool as well as a competitive game. “Starting with an unlabeled city map, players take on community roles and claim locations. Draw from a standard 52-card deck to determine a building’s purpose, then describe its beak (reputation), feather (appearance), and bone (interior). As buildings are claimed, a narrative for the town and its inhabitants emerges, including major NPCs and shifting power-dynamics. Though the illustrations and GM notes help inspire a ravenfolk city, the beak/feather/bone labeling system can be used with any map, game genre, or populace.”
  • In 5 Room Dungeons: an RPG zine for D&D 5th Edition, Johnn Four of RoleplayingTips.com presents short adventures for a session’s entertainment. In the time it takes to drink a cup of coffee, you can read one and be ready to run an exciting session.
  • Remember the “Rooted in Trophy” SRD we mentioned above? At least three Zine Quest campaigns adapt Trophy: Sunken, Mycelium and Other Horrors, and Candlelight — lots of vigor for a game that’s still unpublished.
  • Mark Finn’s Monty Haul: A Fifth Edition ‘Zine with an Old School Vibe is “a treasure trove of new ideas, optional rules, campaign notes, and character choices, straight outta the 1980’s!”

  • Jason Pitre (Spark in the February 2015 IGDN Bundle) has Palanquin, a one-shot scenario about the future queen of Ulunak and her perilous escape from a palace coup. Most players are the Bearers, skillful and flawed adults trying to overcome their past. As a Bearer, your primary objective is to earn the Heir’s trust as you carry her to safety. The gamemaster plays the Heir, an innocent, compassionate young princess. As the Heir, you watch your companions to judge if you trust or fear them. At the end of the game, the Heir decides the fate of each Bearer.

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