Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Gaming News

With summer Kickstarter has suddenly exploded with RPG options. I have swooped in and collected a bunch of them for your consideration.  Kickstarter has demonstrated an ability to reach out to a target market at a very personal level, which makes it fantastic for niche-operations like RPGs (and for niches-within-niches like Spy RPGs). I'm not backing all of these, but there some interesting stuff here that should pique yours interest.

The Lost Citadel: Some campaign settings aim at big, sprawling canvases that can accommodate any style or subgenre of play. The Lost Citadel is a lot more defined and refined - its world is founded by a single event, an underlying tragedy that informs everything that follows. Magic has died, the dead have risen, the last outpost of the living is a huge city of Redoubt. It is a dark world, with a single flickering point of light. This one has some serious talent, behind it and has funded and is knocking down stretch goals left and right. It also wraps in about a week.

The Yellow King: I don't know if this would exist without Kickstarter's ability to fund extremely dedicated markets. This is a four-volume set of adventures based on the Gumshoe rules used in Trail of Cthulhu, but not based on Lovecraft's work (a niche to start with) but in the King in Yellow, the creation of Robert Chambers. Starting in Belle Epoque Paris, the story bounces to an alternate universe with a horrific war, then to the present of that world, then back to "our" world with a few nasty changes around the edges. As a heads-up, this one looks like it is based out of England, and notes up front that the pledge does not support shipping.

War of the Cross: This looks like a diplomacy variant set in Theah, the "Europe" of the 7th Sea RPG. When I say diplomacy variant, it has armies, navies, area movement, convoys, etc... But it also has heroes (do differentiate the various nations) and treasures. This one has a while to go, both in time and funding - as a board game, it has a large up-front.[Update: Alas, this one has been suspended]

Torg Eternity: Long ago and far away there was TORG (The Other Roleplaying Game) from West End by BIll Slavicsek, Greg Gordon, and others. It used the multi-genre idea in divvying up the Earth into different zones, like the pulpy Egypt, the cyberpunky religious France, and horror-filled Indonesia. Now its back. You're a Storm Knight that can move between zones and fight the big bads.Torg Eternity rolled out with a 16-page introduction on Free RPG Day which was a good enticement.

Calidar: Dreams of Aerie: I mentioned Calidar as while back as Bruce Heard's design descendant of the Princess Ark concepts of flying ships. This time out he brings to the table a literal flying circus (as in three-ring) as a the centerpiece of his adventure. Suitable for use in any campaign with an atmosphere. You can see the initial maps at the link, which look cool. This one has just hit its numbers, but can increase through its stretch goals.

Top Secret: New World Order: This one has yet to go live, [Update: it is LIVE] but has an excellent provenance. The original Top Secret was one of the early non-fantasy games I encountered back in the day, and I contributed to the Top Secret: SI line with a cyberpunky future called FREELancers featuring old movie monsters re-imagined in a sinking Mirror-shaded Chicago.  And I had a pitch in for a TS Module called: Operation: Tin Man, which involved a camera on Mars sending back a picture of a banner saying "Surrender Dorothy!". Ah, yeah, good times. Do not know more about the details here, other than Merle "The Administrator" Rasmussen and Allen "The original editor" Hammack are on board for this  It has a spiffy video as well.

Check 'em out. More later.