Showing posts with label Kickstarter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kickstarter. Show all posts

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The High End Of Gaming: Looking At Invisible Sun And The Gods War

It is interesting to watch the relative progresses of the two luxury table top games on Kickstarter right now. We have Glorantha: The Gods War from Petersen Games, and Invisible Sun from Monte Cook Games. I haven't back either, nor do I plan to, and the occasional analysis like this is part of why I don't back many Kickstarters.

This information is from Kicktraq, and current at the time of this post.

The Gods War
Backers: 1103
Average Daily Pledges: $113,012
Average Pledge Per Backer: $307
Funding: $339,037 of $100,000
Dates: Aug 16th -> Sep 15th (30 days)
Project By: Sandy Petersen

Invisible Sun
Backers: 903
Average Daily Pledges: $62,361
Average Pledge Per Backer: $276
Funding: $249,445 of $210,653
Dates: Aug 15th -> Sep 16th (33 days)
Project By: Monte Cook Games

It makes sense that Gods War would be more likely to fund first (it did), because its funding goal was about half that of Invisible Sun. It looked like Invisible Sun would fun on its first day, but it didn't until the second. Gods War funded on its first day.

Both of these games have pretty impressive names behind them. Sandy Petersen pretty much created horror gaming with Call of Cthulhu, not to mention work on seminal computer games like Doom. The Cthulhu Wars Kickstarter raised just over $1.4 million.

Monte Cook was one of the architects of the D20 System, and has worked on properties as diverse as World of Darkness and Call of Cthulhu. With the mega adventure Ptolus, he created what was probably the first successful boutique RPG supplement. The first Monte Cook Games game, Numenera, raised a little over half a million on Kickstarter.

These are both big producers, backed by designers with impressive pedigrees. According to Kicktraq, both are on a path to big numbers, just over $3 million for Gods War and just over $2 million for Invisible Sun. Of course, Kicktraq's projections are often wrong at this early of a point in a campaign.

I think that the important question from all of this is...Does this mean that we're going to see a spike in high end/boutique gaming items? Since both of these projects have funded, and are on track to make a good bit of money I think that is an easy guess that there will be more people will try to Kickstart high end gaming products. Will they succeed is an entirely different question. Sandy Petersen and Monte Cook are fairly unique individuals in tabletop gaming. There probably aren't a lot of creators with the cache to do what they do. I can see a lot of creators trying to create these types of products, I don't see many of them succeeding at it.

A lot of the conversations about Invisible Sun have revolved around the high price, but I think that can be a fallacious conversation. I get that people want games to cost less than $197 to buy into them. We have to get over the idea that all games are supposed to be cheap all the time. The fact that Invisible Sun or Gods War is successful in funding doesn't mean that all of a sudden everyone else is going to be charging more for their games. There is a good chance that there are a lot of publishers aren't paying themselves for the work that they do, or that creators are undercharging their fees because this is a "dream job." It is still a job, and if it is a job it should be what people are living off of.

I think that people forget that their beloved TSR games were made by people who worked every day in an office, and made a weekly paycheck for it. They weren't working for exposure, or to "live the dream."

I think that a big part of why Gods War is doing better than Invisible Sun, at least for now, is because the fans of board games understand better that if you want quality game designs and quality products, you have to pay for them. Meanwhile, role-playing fans still think that books with black & white art was good enough when they started, and is still good enough now. This isn't coming down on games with black and white art. I have games on my shelves with black and white art. I make games with black and white art, because they are what I can afford. I don't think that these games should be the standard for all the other games, however. I am perfectly fine with people like Cook or Petersen making games that I am not going to play. I don't expect my tastes to be catered to by publishers. The great thing about RPGs is the fact that, if games aren't being made that I am interested in play I can make those games myself.

So here we are as a fandom and as a business, standing on the edge of a cliff, with our toes dangling into empty space as we can feel the ground crumbling beneath us. We can decide that it is okay to embrace high end gaming items that we might not necessarily want, because that means that we will get better choices and more diversity overall in what is available. Or we can jump, cursing and screaming that it was somebody else's fault, and they are ruining the hobby, or the industry, or...something. I think it is time for growth.

There are always going to be a wide variety of tabletop games out there. From people who put books together on Lulu or the OneBookSheld sites, to companies like Palladium, to companies like Wizards of the Coast or Pelgrane, all the way up to companies like Petersen Games and Monte Cook Games. The existence of games like Invisible Sun or Night's Black Agents does stop Palladium from making more Rifts books. The existence of the D&D 5E books doesn't stop some guy with a computer, and a gaming group, from crafting a book from his play experiences and putting it up on Lulu with a few pieces of clip art. To think that Invisible Sun is ruining gaming, or making it more expensive, just by its existence is silly. We have a vibrant hobby. We have a vibrant industry. There are more games being produced now than probably ever before. We are getting games of all sorts of genres, playstyles and prices. And that is an awesome thing.

It is interesting to look at the numbers for Invisible Sun and for the Gods War and see where they are going to go. I'm sure, just in the time that it has taken me to write this article, that both of them have jumped in backers and funding levels. Even though neither of the games are for me, I wish them well and hope that both of them make a lot of money for their creators, and that allows them to make a lot of games for people. I hope that people have a lot of fun with those games, out in the world.

We need to stop worrying about what is going to ruin gaming, and spend more time thinking about how we're going to each make it better.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Roleplaying Kickstarter Coverage

Here is a change in policy for the blog. Effective immediately, this blog will no longer promote Kickstarters. I hope that you'll read the reasoning behind this post, but I will understand if you don't.

Now that a lot of people have gone, I'm going to discuss the whys of this decision. This is something that has been peculating in my head for a while, and I think that I've reached the point where it is time to make a change.

Monday, October 05, 2015

The Delta Green #RPG Now On Kickstarter

I'll be honest. I have a definite bias in favor of Delta Green. And, if for the only reason that the timeline of the setting will finally be pushed past 9/11 and into the new century, I support a new iteration of Delta Green.

Many, many years ago, when I was still living in Cleveland, I went one day into a newsstand/magazine shop (something that you don't see very much of anymore) and I found something peculiar. I found a gaming zine. A. Gaming. Zine. I had heard of this zine in passing because it actually shared a printer with another zine that I bought when I could, the official Cyberpunk RPG fan magazine called Interface.

I could go on about Interface, but it is only tangentially connected to the story at hand. The other zine was one that focused on Lovecraftian material, and had quite a bit of support for the Call of Cthulhu RPG. This magazine was called The Unspeakable Oath, and it was published by some people who called themselves Pagan Publishing. This particular issue of The Unspeakable Oath was interesting because it was a sort of cross over between it and Interface. There weren't any articles or characters that crossed over, just concepts.

See, as I said these people all shared a printer. While working out having their respective zines printed, the creatives from both of them met. This lead to talks about the thematic similarities between Cyberpunk fiction, and the Chtulhu Mythos fiction that H.P. Lovecraft and his circle of writers spawned. So, they decided that they should cross pollinate in their zines.

Interface had an issue that brought the Mythos into the realms of the Cyberpunk RPG. It was an interesting piece, and I won't lie...I used material from it in a Cyberpunk campaign of mine once. It was well written material. The Interface issue is currently in a box in storage, and I hope to see it again one day soon.

The issue of The Unspeakable Oath had something pretty cool in it too. It had a modern day (modern day to when the issue came out) Call of Cthulhu adventure featuring government agents investigating a UFO siting that, unfortunately for the investigators, turns out to really have to do with the Mythos. This adventure was the first time that Delta Green made a public appearance. It was an awesome adventure, and for someone who enjoyed Cthulhu, conspiracy and weird alien shit in my gaming it was as if doorways opened up in my mind. I wanted...I needed more.

Keep in mind that The X-Files hadn't aired yet at this point.

I'm not sure how much later it was but the people at Pagan Publishing put out an immense setting supplement for the Call of Cthulhu RPG called (you guessed it) Delta Green. It had all sorts of options for running a Call of Cthulhu game in the modern era (a time period that Chaosium mostly stayed away from in favor of the eras of Lovecraft's fiction). It was great. Then, a bit later, they put out a supplement for their supplement that was bigger than the initial book. Delta Green: Countdown expanded the world and the conspiracies in it. The writers expanded the role of the Mythos god Hastur, and talked more about Robert Chambers' eerie King In Yellow. These books were some of the best things ever written for the Call of Cthulhu RPG.

Now, it isn't a secret that the once and former Chaosium wasn't a paragon of professionalism. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that when we fast forward to today that the people who have been publishing Delta Green material all these years might want to be able to have more control over their game and what they publish, and not be at the whims of Chaosium's nature. Note that this is just conjecture, and not based on anything that the people at Pagan Publishing/Arc Dream Publishing have ever said, but knowing the hole that the previous Chaosium had dug for itself, it honestly wouldn't surprise me.

This isn't the first crowdfunded Delta Green book (I have two books that they put out before Kickstarter existed), and I doubt that it will be the last. However, if you are a fan of any of the things that I have talked about in this post, you really should get out there and support the Delta Green Kickstarter. These people have consistently done some of the best Lovecraftian RPG material on the market, and with your help they will keep on doing it.

Friday, May 01, 2015

Go To Hell With The Codex Infernus For Savage Worlds Kickstarter

Update: This Kickstarter was cancelled.

Seriously, go to Hell.

I know, normally Josh would be writing about a Kickstarter, but between his being sick and having finals you ended up with me instead. I'll try to fill his shoes.

Do you remember the time when TSR backpedaled on the infernal in D&D games because they were worried about how the hobby was viewed by outsiders? Yeah, me too. I'm glad that those days are past.

David Jarvis of Gun Metal Games is Kickstarting The Codex Infernus, a guide to Hell and all forms of deviltry for the Savage Worlds game. He has also assembled a pretty good team, including Rob Wieland, Eddy Webb, Eloy Lasanta and Monica Valentinelli. A group of very capable and creative people.

The nice thing about this supplement is that it isn't tied to a specific genre or setting. The collection of new races, Edge, Backgrounds, magic items and rules for things like exorcism, demonic pacts, possession and other infernally fun things will spice up your Savage Worlds games regardless of what they are.

And anyone who is a Rifts fan will see that this supplement will be of great use when the upcoming Rifts Savage Worlds game setting is released. But, really, who doesn't want more demons for their role-playing games?

Jarvis has also assembled a team of adventure writers to round out the supplement. John Dunn is creating an adventure around demonic time travel. Gareth Skarka is crafting an ode to the great supernatural comics of the 1970s (a perennial favorite of mine). Savage Worlds creator Shane Hensley is working on an adventure based around the Shroud of Turin. These three are just the tip of the adventure iceberg as well.

There are still a couple of weeks to go (at the time of this post) and the campaign has not yet reached the goal of $21,000. That is a lot of money, but this is going to be a quality product in the end...packed with new rules, exciting adventure, stunning art and high production values. Get in on The Codex Infernus while the getting is good.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

The Super Villain Handbook Kickstarter

Last year, we had a post and interview about a little supplement that was in development for ICONS -- The Super Villain Handbook. Now, that supplement is being Kickstarted and, at the time of this writing, already nearing its funding goal with over three weeks left to go. For those not in the know, The Super Villain Handbook contains 40 different super villain roles for use with the supers-themed RPG, ICONS. So, if you play ICONS (or are interested in it -- you can grab it here) you'll definitely want to check out the Kickstarter.

Speaking of the Kickstarter, this project is set up fairly simply, but fairly efficient. The video is fairly long, at just over six minutes, but it covers all the information that you could want about the supplement. The text of the page is wordy, but it's written in-character and some may find it entertaining and worth the read specifically for that. Probably the biggest negative I can find is the general lack of imagery for the Kickstarter page -- having a book all about super villains should have some pretty fantastic artwork to tease the potential pledger with.

Some of the biggest positives for this project are on the financial side -- the funding goal is very reasonable and the pledge tiers are well priced. If you'd like to get in, you have some choice, low-cost options available: $1USD gets you the unillustrated PDF version of the rules, $10USD gets you the illustrated PDF version of the rules (and stretch goals) and $25USD includes the PDF, stretch goals and a credit for the print copy (shipping to be handled separately).  The more stretch goals hit, the better the value, to boot.

They have also added stretch goals with support for Fate Core, so fans of that game can now use The Super Villain Handbook in that system as well.

If you'd like to know more about The Super Villain Handbook, be sure to check out its Kickstarter page or its Facebook page.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Neon Sanctum RPG Kickstarter Interview with Adam Waite

A little over a week ago the Kickstarter for Neon Sanctum, an RPG set in a post-apocalyptic cyberpunk world, launched and it's already nearing the half-way point of its funding goal with around three weeks left to go. We here at Dorkland have managed to sit down with Adam Waite of Grenade Punch Games, developers of Neon Sanctum, for a little interview about the game and its Kickstarter.

Dorkland!: How has the Kickstarter been for you, so far? What have you learned that you wish you could share with your past self?

Adam Waite: We did a LOT of research prior to the Kickstarter, so we knew roughly what to expect. I’m not sure we expected that there would be so many other great games out this month. Neon Sanctum is up against some stiff competition!

DL: Most RPGs tend to stick with just a book as their material, which makes publishing them more straightforward. What are some of the unique challenges you're facing by publishing cards (and other materials)?

AW: Clearly, the printing and shipping of a game include cards, dice and battle maps with a rulebook too is more expensive than a book. But we’ve worked hard to get some good deals. Also, once you include dice in the game it automatically qualifies it as a game eligible for VAT if sold by retailers. That also means you have to start thinking about CE marking and try to find a printer who’ll ensure your game qualifies for CE marking if you’re marketing it to under 14s.

DL: What do the cards bring to the gameplay that wouldn’t be there otherwise? Can players use Neon Sanctum without cards?

AW: The cards make the game far more accessible than a traditional RPG, but they’re core to the game – you couldn’t play Neon Sanctum without cards. We use mechanics that you couldn’t do without easily without cards, things like shuffling for initiative. Also the way players use cards mean that they cycle between their hand and cooldown decks. This brings a resource management style mechanic to the game that is unique and constantly provides the players with interesting choices.

DL: Tabletop RPGs have been played online (through various clients and means) more frequently over the years. Could Neon Sanctum be played online? If so, how might they and, if not, are there any plans to allow fans to do so in the future?

AW: Yes! In fact we’ve been doing some demonstrations via Tabletop Simulator for people interested in the game. We weren’t sure if these would be popular, but over 70 people tuned in to our first one. In addition we’re offering a free app for character creation to aid the physical game.

DL: How does Neon Sanctum's setting differ from other cyberpunk settings? What might cyberpunk fans find familiar?

AW: Neon Sanctum is set in a unique world where the post apocalypse and cyberpunk collide. It’s set a couple of hundred years after a huge war, humanity was on the very brink of defeat when they found a final solution. It ended the war in a single stroke, but it also turned most of the world into uninhabitable dead zones. This forced the few humans who survived to look for new places to settle. Two hundred years one of these settlements has turned into Neon City a huge cyberpunk metropolis surrounded by mutant and bandit filled wastes.

The world obviously takes inspiration from films such as Blade Runner, Dredd and Ghost in the Shell as well as games such as videogames such as Shadowrun Returns and The Last of Us. The idea was to pick up where many movies and games end – how do humans survive once the world has been rebuilt from an apocalypse? And at what cost?

DL: Why should people buy and support Neon Sanctum? Why should they play it?

AW: People should buy and play Neon Sanctum because it’s great fun to play, accessible, and it’s something a little different. It may be a card game but it is also a really great RPG with full character customisation and advancement. The game has had some fantastic reviews so far, and as of three days in we’ve hit 34% of our target.

DL: What plans do you have for the future of Neon Sanctum?

AW: At the moment we are totally focused on the kickstarter, we do have some great stretch goals however. Things like more items, NPCs and even skill cards. The game is really modular so you could add in new cards really easily, so the scope for expansions is endless.

DL: Lastly, what has been a stand-out moment for you while playing Neon Sanctum?

AW: We always have a great time playing the game. Some recent moments include the group being so paranoid that they threw away a briefcase of a certain drug that they needed because they convinced themselves it was a bomb. Also we had a Pegasus character once leap onto the cockpit of a dropship and kill the pilot through the windscreen.

We would like to thank Adam for taking the time to answer our questions and wish him and Grenade Punch Games the best with their ongoing Kickstarter. If you'd like to know more about Neon Sanctum, be sure to check out the Kickstarter page and its website.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Neon Sanctum Kickstarter

If you have a post-apocalyptic cyberpunk RPG itch, there's a new Kickstarter that might just satisfy. Neon Sanctum by Grenade Punch Games is offering an RPG that utilizes cards in place of character sheets and involves them in the mechanics.

Sound strange? Well, it certainly might be at first and seeing, in this case, does wonders for understanding. Thankfully, the people at Grenade Punch Games have links to a free rule book and playtest kit on the Kickstarter page. Uncertain if the game is for you? Don't take anyone's word for it -- you can see for yourself.

If you do take my word for anything, though, it should be on this section: the Kickstarter project evaluation.

The video is, for most Kickstarter pages, the very first element seen and, in Neon Sanctum's case, the teaser image for it is a nice choice, and shows the post-apocalyptic setting off. The video is nicely edited, has a good length, and the imagery shows some of the cyberpunk elements. But, the information in it could easily fly over the head of someone without any knowledge of the product. Also, it didn't seem to have any audio, though I'm not sure if that's just me.

The main body of the page is really where this project shines. There is good use of imagery throughout the page and in a variety of ways. Then there's the formatting of the text and information that helps highlight important bits, and blocks of text are broken up into more manageable bites. There are even a couple of videos embedded to give further information and instruction for the product.

The product is clearly shown in imagery. The backing tiers, as well. And, as an added bonus, they went the extra mile and converted all of the monetary amounts into USD, GBP, and EUR. That isn't something we see too often.

All-around a very nice Kickstarter project.

Now, at this point, you might be wondering what getting in on it will cost you. The short: around a dollar for a 'Print and Play' version, $12USD for a player's 'deck' and, roughly, $50USD for the core set. All the contents of the core set are also shown on the Kickstarter page, if you're curious what your money is going to get you.

But, that's all this post is going to get. If you'd like to know more about Neon Sanctum, be sure to check out its Kickstarter page (which is full of information) or check out Neon Sanctum's website.

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Stygian Garden of Abelia Prem Kickstarter and Interview

There's a new adventure module being Kickstarted that fans of Lamentations of the Flame Princess (and other OSR games) should look into: The Stygian Garden of Abelia Prem by Red Moon Medicine Show. The 24-page module is already written and (with backing) will sport artwork and cartography (with keyed locations). The setting seems to fall into the weird-fantasy/Gothic variety and you can check out the background story on the Kickstarter page.

At the time of this writing, the project has just shy of two weeks left and is on the verge of funding. Which, for adventure modules, is quite good. It's easy to see why it's doing well in a quick run-down of the Kickstarter page (as I like to do): the video is interesting -- the information it does present is all visual and gives a glimpse of what you (or your party) may be in for; key information is bold and easy to notice -- it's easy to skim the page and learn everything quickly; the funding goal is very reasonable; and there are a good spread of pledge levels -- including some that are very easy to get in on. Also, the image that the title is on is pretty sweet.

As an added bonus I had the chance to ask Clint Krause (of Red Moon Medicine Show) some questions about The Stygian Garden and its Kickstarter:

Dorkland!: This is at least your second Kickstarter. What did you learn from the first project that you've applied to this one?

Clint Krause: When we did the Kickstarter for Don’t Walk in Winter Wood, there was still a lot of creative work to be done once the project had funded. For example, we added a bunch of scenarios and other stuff as stretch goals. I found that I had a very hard time working creatively under the pressure of a fully funded campaign. My normal writing process is very slow and plodding with lots of tinkering and revision and re-imagining. The pressure created by our success made it very difficult to write that extra stuff. It came out okay (actually, one of those bonus scenarios has become my favorite scenario for the game), but I definitely learned a lesson. When we do a Kickstarter now, it’s important to me that all of the major creative work is done and all that remains is finishing work. It’s much less stressful that way.

DL!: This Kickstarter project is a little different from most in that the bulk of the material is already finished (sans art and maps) and there are no stretch goals. Why go this route? What are the benefits for you and for the backers?

CK: This ties into the previous question, but the idea is that this is essentially just a pre-order for the book. By now, everybody who uses Kickstarter has probably been burned by some unscrupulous creator and I don’t want that to ever happen with our projects. I want to deliver and do it in a timely way. Delays are inevitable, but it helps tremendously if the lion’s share of the work is already done.

We didn’t do stretch goals for this project because we didn’t need them. Kickstarter is a very flexible tool and there’s no need for every single project to be a big fucking cash grab. It can also be a very focused in-and-out sort of thing. That’s what we’re going for.

DL!: Are the print copies going to be print-on-demand or from a print run and why that choice, for you, over the other?

CK: The print copies will be POD through Lightning Source/OBS. We’re doing fulfillment ourselves though (even though it’s more expensive that way). Cas and I have learned that we really like doing fulfillment on our projects. It lets us add a personal touch to the packages and make sure that our backers get a premium experience. After the backer copies are all distributed, the book will become available POD on drivethrurpg/rpgnow.

Right now POD works best for us on most projects. We don’t generally have the volume of sales that would justify large print runs. If I were to do a run of something, it would be because I wanted to do something specific with the physical book that I could not do through POD.

DL!: What are some of the inspirations that went into the adventure module?

CK: I was inspired to get into OSR publishing by The Sleeping Place of the Feathered Swine by Logan Knight and Deep Carbon Observatory by Patrick Stuart and Scrap Princess. After reading those, I felt like I could really have some fun with a project like this.

The Stygian Garden was inspired by a bunch of different things. My first thought was that it would be cool to do something like an underground version of the Winchester Mystery House. I was also thinking of Bothwell Lodge near Sedalia, Missouri, which I visited many times as a kid. 

I’ve always been fascinated by the intersection between extreme wealth and fringe spirituality. There’s this great quote from the architect Robert Stacy-Judd. He said "architecture consists of frozen symbols, which can be thawed into a palatable language where measures and motifs are words and sentences."  When those frozen symbols are inspired by an eccentric viewpoint on the supernatural, the resulting “words and sentences” often tell an interesting, unnerving story.

The module also owes a debt to classics like X2 Castle Amber and House of Strahd. The song Unforgiven II by Metallica provided some imagery. The films As Above, So Below and The Taking of Deborah Logan were fresh on my mind at the time.

DL!: The adventure is for OSR titles of all natures, but you specifically mention Lamentations of the Flame Princess. How does this adventure fit with what Lamentations is about?

CK: Well, first of all LotFP is the game I’m running on a regular basis. The module is taken directly from my campaign. I think LotFP is a wonderful articulation of the classic game. As a brand, LotFP has set a precedent for creepy, atmospheric, location-based modules. The Stygian Garden harkens back to James Raggi’s earlier modules like Death Frost Doom and Hammers of the God. There are still traditional fantasy elements (elves and dwarves and stuff), but they are set loose in an eerie, dangerous environment.  It ends up playing like a slow burn horror film.

DL!: There seems to be a horticultural theme (going by the background and, well, the name) in the adventure. Why is that? What kind of role does it play in the adventure, if any?

CK: Plant-based imagery is wonderful to work with. Plants are creepy in that they are so prevalent yet so alien and they eat us when we die. These things are tied deeply into our subconscious. The module also features a number of valuable and useful plants that can be recovered by crafty adventurers. This led my players to start their own unusual garden.

DL!: Lastly, if you were to stumble across a Stygian Rose -- what would you do with it?

CK: Cas told me I should have it studied and duplicated so it could benefit a lot of people, but I wouldn’t be that forward thinking. I would probably put it in a safe and keep it until someone close to me died. Then, at the funeral, I’d leap onto the coffin while shouting “wait for it! wait for it!” and shove the thing in the cadaver’s mouth. Hopefully, the stories about the rose are true and it’d be one hell of a magic trick.

We here at Dorkland! would like to thank Clint for taking the time to answer our questions and if you would like to know more about The Stygian Garden be sure to check out its Kickstarter (still running) and Red Moon Medicine Show's website.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Nefertiti Overdrive Kickstarter -- Take Two

No, you aren't having deja vu (or, it's totally unrelated to this), Nefertiti Overdrive -- the wuxia-style RPG set in ancient egypt by Fraser Ronald over at Swords Edge Publishing -- is back on the Kickstarters. I talked about its previous Kickstarter attempt in March of last year and, while it didn't fund then, it is (as of this writing) on the verge of funding, with a little over two weeks left.

I talked about the project some in the previous article and, while I can't tell what might have changed, if anything, with the game since, the Kickstarter project has certainly received a nice face-lift, among other things.

First up, the information presented on the project page is more concise and streamlined -- there's less "wall of text" for the important gaming bits. The video is basic, but provides all the information you need. And there are some nice images that really help convey what the book is about.

The pledge tiers haven't really changed all that much, which is fine -- they are reasonably priced and should have something for everyone interested. The big change was a drop in the funding goal -- from CAD$5,000 to CAD$3,000. That change, along with the improved project page (and likely plenty of other things "behind the scenes") have really put this project on the right track for funding.

Enough waxing on the Kickstarter page's elements, is this Kickstarter for you? If you like tabletop gaming, Ancient Egypt as a setting, and old martial arts films -- then it's quite possible this Kickstarter is for you. The best way to truly find out is by downloading the quick start rules (that are free) from one of the links in the "About this project" section of the Kickstart page. [At the time of posting, the project was 90% funded.]

Apart from the Kickstarter page, you can also find more information on Nefertiti Overdrive over on Swords Edge Publishing's website.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

More Aihrde Kickstarter From Troll Lord Games

Now in the last few days, Troll Lord Games is having a Kickstarter for their Codex of Aihrde, the long running setting that has appeared in many of the Troll Lord Games supplements and modules over the years. I spoke with Stephen Chenault about the book and what people can expect from it.

Dorkland: Congratulations on the success of another Kickstarter. To what is the secret to success for Troll Lord Games and their Kickstarters?

Stephen Chenault: There are two sides to this coin. First, and foremost, we owe it to the community. It’s quite extraordinary. I think many people have played Castles & Crusades for years and enjoyed the game, but also they’ve enjoyed watching it grow, expand and become ever better. The other side is our online presence. Troll Lord Games has a very large online presence, from Instagram to Facebook, from a our Troll Dens Blog to Twitter; even our homepage is a portal where you can go and watch movie clips, view funny memes, heck you can even find out what movie’s are playing in your neighborhood…and also find out what Troll Lord Games is up to. These two together make it possible to get the word out to a large number of people about the game and what is coming. Throw in a nice helping of boons and stretch rewards and we have a remarkable record.

DL: What is it about Kickstarter that works for you as a publisher, and as a creator?

SC: At its heart Kickstarter is a funding program, and that’s where it gives TLG the real edge. It essentially allows us to test products, to see if they are well received or will be well received. That in turn allows us prioritize projects we are working on, or would like to.

DL: What are the origins of the setting of Aihrde? Is this the world that you have gamed in yourself, and others can now journey through themselves?

SC: Yeah, we started gaming along time ago and in the midst of all that there was one adventuring party we kept returning to. Level progression was very, very slow, and this allowed us to really explore the setting that slowly evolved around it: Aihrde. Back in 2000 when we launched the company we needed a fourth book to get a discount from the printer, having nothing readily on hand, I compiled all my notes on Aihrde, hashed em out, finalized the map of the central areas (the Lands of Ursal), and before long I had a 24 page setting book, The After Winter’s Dark Fantasy Campaign Setting. From there it just kept expanding.

DL: What has inspired the creation and development of Aihrde? What would be the “Appendix N” for the setting?

SC: J.R.R. Tokien’s The Silmarillian. I always loved this work, the Lord of the Rings is an epic tale, but the Silmarillian is more so. It relates the story of all things in Middle Earth, the tale behind the tale. That’s what I always thought made the Lord of the Rings so tangible. It was a story in a world that was complete…not just some names and places…but tales and stories that stretched from the beginning to the end. The first 120,000 words of the Codex of Aihrde follows a similar track. It is actually a stand alone book called the Andanuth. The Andanuth is the creation mythos from the beginning of Aihrde to the present.

DL: What sets Aihrde apart from other fantasy worlds and fantasy game settings? Why should people pick up The Codex of Aihrde and support the Kickstarter in its last days?
Aihrde offers the best of all worlds, so to speak.

SC: As mentioned above it has an extraordinary amount of depth to the setting, the mythos are covered from the beginning to the present, allowing both player and game master to really dig into the setting and its characters. In Aihrde there is true context. An ancient artifact can be placed in “time” so that what they are and were weaves with any ongoing adventure or story. The background is loaded with adventure hooks, an almost limitless supply of them.

Also, the peoples that occupy the setting aren’t unusual, they are giants and trolls, dwarves, humans and elves . . . creatures we are all very comfortable with. This allows one to pick up the setting, move any game they want to it and keep playing. No need to worry over shoe-horning a strange fantasy element to it.

The setting itself is placed 90 years after the world was conquered and controlled by the Winter Dark and the dark god Unklar. It is a world reborn on the foundations of the old. This allows anyone playing in Aihrde to guide the direction of the setting as best fits them. It is very open, much like Castles & Crusades.

But in the end, I think Aihrde offers a world rich in texture, one you can enter and become lost in. The stories range from the epic to the mundane, from the Red God’s war with the Val Eahrakun, to the dwarf maid Mette’s rage at her husband’s death (and the magic of his blue hat).

Plus, did I mention those giant, spring-roller mounted maps?

DL: For you, what is the coolest element to this Kickstarter? What are you most looking forward to getting so that you can play with it?

SC: Me personally?, it has to be the giant spring roller mounted map. This is something you can mount to the ceiling or wall, or place in a tripod and set up while you are gaming. This map will be one giant,  39 inch wide and some 30 inches tall map that you can raise or lower from the mounting assembly (like the  ones you see in schools). That’s a must have for my game room.

DL: What is on the Troll Lord Games Agenda for the upcoming year?

We have a very exciting year. We will fulfill the last few Kickstarters in the first quarter, then launch the Victorious RPG, work with Brimstone Comics to adapt their comics to the Castles & Crusades Siege Engine, as well as work with the folks over at Abyss Walker to explore his fantastic fiction in a C&C environment, and we’ll wrap up the year with the long awaited Adventurers Backpack, a kind of Unearthed Arcana for C&C and of course Gods and Monsters of Aihrde. It is going to be a great year.

Thank you to Stephen for talking with us today. The Codex of Aihrde Kickstarter ends on January 5th, 2015.

Friday, December 19, 2014

The Aihrde Kickstarter From Troll Lord Games

The folks at Troll Lord Games have another Kickstarter running, this time to get out their Aihrde setting out. For those who have followed the work of the Troll Lords, this setting has been a part of their games (d20 and Castles & Crusades) for a number of years.

From their Kickstarter page:
Aihrde is a complete campaign and world setting for your favorite RPG. Whether your playing Castles & Crusades, Dungeon Crawl Classics or any other RPG, you can find a home in Aihrde.  There is an in-depth history, mythology, descriptions of all the races of the world, from dwarves to giants and elves to orcs, a case by case study of all the relevant kingdoms and peoples and the geographical regions they live. It also includes deities and all the relevant info needed to run them: guilds, orders, significant terrain features and so very much more.  Aihrde is the most complete campaign setting on the market today.
 Now, at this point the book is funded, and that is left in the last couple of weeks is to reach a few of the stretch goals. Troll Lord Games is really good about getting their Kickstartered stuff together and out the door. Even if you don't play Castles & Crusades, you should be able to find plenty of interesting material for your fantasy campaigns, old or new school. If you haven't already, you should check this project out.

Why do I think that you should do this? Well, if having a world built for you isn't enough, I'll boil it down to one simple word: maps. The maps for this are just incredible looking and are suitable for framing as well. As a GM who can be lazy at times, I can say that it does always help to have premade worlds and cities and locations at your fingertips.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Steamscapes: Asia Kickstarter

Steamscapes: Asia is the "historical Asian steampunk" setting book for the Steamscapes RPG setting (which uses Savage Worlds). This particular setting book focuses largely on "China, Japan and the Indian subcontinent" with smaller sections providing some insight on other Asian nations. Some of the new rules and content include a new profession (the Apothecary), a new racial template (the Oni), and lots of other cool things like elephant cavalry. Who doesn't want to ride an elephant into battle?

Steamscapes: Asia is currently at the tail end of its Kickstarter project with just a couple days left to go, as of this writing, and is close to meeting its funding goal.

If you would like to learn more about the project or support its funding be sure to check out its Kickstarter page.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Mecha: Kaiju RPG Kickstarter

Heroic Journey Publishing's Kickstarter for Mecha: Kaiju is over half-way through its funding period and in sight of its funding goal. The giant monster themed supplement for Mecha includes all the stompiness that you will likely want from the genre, with plenty of art to show various types of kaiju.

The Mecha RPG works off a d6 dice pool with a roll-under mechanic and features players piloting mecha (giant robots). Mecha: Kaiju follows in this style, but introduces another staple of the genre -- the kaiju (giant monsters) that players can play as, with or against.

Hopping onto the Kickstarter is pretty easy, with the PDF of Mecha: Kaiju sitting at US$5. For US$10 you can get the Mecha Core PDF as well as the Mecha: Kaiju PDF. The US$25 tier(s) see the softcover copy of Mecha: Kaiju (along with the PDF) or an all PDF tier that also includes two other Mecha supplements.

For some critiques on the Kickstarter page -- the funding price point seems fine. There is a video that has an appropriate length (though could be a bit shorter) and gives a bit of flavor, but the text can be a bit hard to read in some shots. Both the video and the page could stand to give a bit more information on the game, especially for those who have no idea what it is. Plenty of artwork, though, which was very nice. Having some additional imagery for tier rewards would be nice.

If you want to get your stompy, giant creature and mecha-ness on, be sure to check out Mecha: Kaiju's Kickstarter page or Heroic Journey Publishing's website.

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Last Parsec On Kickstarter

Pinnacle Entertainment Group has a new Kickstarter running for their new sci-fi Savage Worlds setting, The Last Parsec. With the new Kickstarter comes a press release that details some information on the game, the Kickstarter, and includes links to more information. Those already interested will likely enjoy looking at this primer PDF for The Last Parsec that goes into a little more depth on the setting and races available. Of note, The Last Parsec will require the Savage Worlds core rules and Savage Worlds Science Fiction Companion to play.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

A Dorkland Interview -- Amazing Adventures RPG with Jason Vey

The Amazing Adventures RPG Kickstarter is entering its last week of funding. Troll Lord Games' SIEGE engine-powered pulpy RPG has already met and surpassed its funding goal and is starring down another stretch goal. During this busy period, we here at Dorkland! got a chance to sit down with Jason Vey, author of Amazing Adventures, for an interview.

Dorkland!: You're no stranger to Kickstarter -- what have you done differently, if anything, this time around? What do you feel has really been key to your quick funding?

Jason Vey: Honestly, this is the second Kickstarter I personally have been involved with, but the last one was for a different company which pretty much handled everything. On this one, the Trolls are keeping me very involved, asking for ideas to help push it, having me help with the marketing, answering comments from supporters, and the like.

DL: Apart from the hardcover edition of the book(s), what else is the Kickstarter aiming to do for Amazing Adventures? What all might be of interest to current owners of the softcover edition?

JV: Well, this isn't just getting the book in hardcover. We're doing a complete cover-to-cover edit of the core rules. That means incorporating errata, expanding and clarifying things, adding a few additional options, giving a character class or two a facelift, and re-expressing the rules so that they read more in line with Castles & Crusades, to increase compatibility between the two games.

DL: What are some of the inspirations behind Amazing Adventures? What kind of pulp can potential players expect?

JV: What I wanted to do with this game was provide a framework to model ANY sort of pulp. If you want to do an Indiana Jones type game, the rules are there. If the Rocketeer or Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow are more your bag, you can do it. If you dig The Shadow, there's rules for that type of character. If H.P. Lovecraft is more your thing, we've got Lovecraftian horrors and a madness system in there. If you're into Philip Marlowe hardboiled detective noir, go for it. My inspiration for this was not pulp in the strict, two-fisted way many games portray it, but pulp in terms of every sub-genre that appeared from the Dime Novels of the 1880s all the way through the sci-fi of the 50s and into the movies and stories that were inspired by them today.

DL: What seperates Amazing Adventures from other pulpy RPGs?

JV: Like I said, I think it's the breadth of possibilities. Most pulp games focus on high-flying, two-fisted adventure and neglect the horror, noir and sci-fi elements of pulp to a certain degree. This isn't true in all cases, but certainly there's a lean towards two-gun heroes in pulp RPGs. I wanted AA to be more broad in scope than that.

DL: What might interest fans of pulp stories that are not currently avid gamers? How easily might they be brought into Amazing Adventures?

JV: The SIEGE engine that powers Amazing Adventures and Castles & Crusades is so easy to use that it's an ideal engine for new gamers. The system is easy to grasp, fast and fun to play, and gets out of the way to let you focus on the game. I think most fans of pulp dream of telling their own stories of horror, weirdness, adventure, noir, sci-fi, or whatever their preferred sub-genre is. Role playing allows them to do exactly that, and Amazing Adventures is a perfect means by which they can get into the hobby and give it a try.

DL: Amazing Adventures has guidelines on how to run a pulp game -- how in-depth are they? How much background does a potential player need to run or play, if they have little to no experience with pulp?

JV: The book contains everything you need to get up and running, and in the second printing, I'm expanding the Game Master section even further for extra detail in structuring and running a pulp game. With the core book alone you have everything you need. The Manual of Monsters and Companion books, however, will blow the doors off the system and take it to unbelievable levels by greatly expanding what's already there and giving you new rules for everything from sub-genre emulation to expanded vehicle rules to mystic locations and even live action rules. I'm really excited to get the second printing and sourcebooks out there and see what people think!

DL: Lastly, what are some of the most 'amazing' moments you have had with Amazing Adventures? The kind of moments that really highlight why people should buy and play this game.

JV: Man, it's the players and characters that make the game. Some of my favorite moments have actually been con adventures I've run. I'll never forget a group I ran that had a vampire trying to get an ancient bible of an evil cult away from the PCs, and one of the players was playing Marie Laveau. Her strategy was to start stabbing the book and running around in circles while the vampire chased her and everyone else took pot shots at it! That probably doesn't read quite as funny as it played out, but trust me: there were tears of laughter in the eyes of everyone at the table.

We also, in the same group, had Bucky Newson, the Gadgeteer, try on a lie detector he'd designed, only to have it fail spectacularly to the amusement of everyone present.

There were moments of great heroism as well, like when a group's raider, Tennessee O'Malley, went toe to toe alone against an angry Succubus...and not only survived, but sent her on the run.

Some of these things are actually made possible by the character customization rules in Amazing Adventures. Unlike most class-and-level systems, we incorporate the ability to customize your character class with things like backgrounds, knowledge skills, and Generic Class Abilities, which you swap out with standard class abilities to make your character different and unique from other characters of the same class. In addition, Fate Points are a mechanic that's fairly well known, which we incorporate to allow for turning failure into success, or success into wild heroics.

I could gush about the game for pages and pages. I'm really proud of this game, probably moreso than anything I've done in my 15 years in the industry. But my hope is that people will take a look and fall in love with it for themselves. Even if you're not a fan of class-and-level systems, I think Amazing Adventures may be an exception, due to the incremental way the SIEGE engine scales.


We here at Dorkland! would like to thank Jason for his time in answering our questions. For more book-stabbing and lie detector mishaps, be sure to check out the Amazing Adventures RPG Kickstarter page and Troll Lord Games' website!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Spirit of 77 RPG Kickstarter

What may be the funkiest tabletop RPG of the year (all years?), Spirit of '77, is currently running a Kickstarter for the game. The '70s-themed RPG by Monkeyfun Studios is running on a modified version of Apocalypse World. For more information on Spirit of '77's rules and setting, please check out Monkeyfun's demo of the game on their website.

Since Dorkland! has covered Spirit of '77 previously, I'll hop straight into the Kickstarter page -- and what a page it is. Needless to say, the project funded pretty quickly.

The first thing you're likely to notice is the cherry red muscle car speeding away from an exploding backdrop -- very nice artwork that is interspersed during the explanation of the game. Other imagery includes explanations of the various pledge tiers, add ons, stretch goals, and the Monkeyfun Studio guys, themselves (done in-character, to boot).

Everything is nicely explained. The information on the system is fairly simple, but also covers a decent bit to give the potential pledger a general feel for the game. The free demo (also linked to and easy to find on the Kickstarter page) goes into further detail, and allows the game to be trialed before pledging. Any pledge tiers, add ons or stretch goals that may require additional information have it included right below the imagery used for explanation -- and the information is italicized to further draw attention to it. In fact, just the general use of italics, bolding, bullet points, links and images throughout the page really help to break up and emphasize the information -- making it quicker and easier to process than most Kickstarter projects.

The header video is done in-character and is fairly entertaining, as well as informative. It doesn't go terribly in-depth, but it gives a good impression of what the game is like. The biggest issue I have with the video is the audio -- it could have used some more editing and cleaning. That audio is really the only complaint I have with the Kickstarter, on the whole.

For the pledging, US$20 will get you every digital product in the Kickstarter. US$25 will net you a physical copy of the core book (and its PDF), digital stretch goals, and a sticker (US-only option, UK/Canada and International folks have their own tiers, to cover shipping). And, lastly, the US$50 tier gets you all of the physical products (core book and expansion, PDFs of both, too), as well as physical and digital stretch goals (additional costs for shipping outside the US). Overall, the pricing isn't bad. The digital only tier is quite close to the physical core book, though, but it's a solid option for those living outside the US.

And there you have it -- one of the best setup Kickstarter pages I've seen for a tabletop RPG recently, and a very funky RPG in-general. If you would like to know more about Spirit of '77, be sure to check out the Kickstarter page, Monkeyfun Studios' website, and their demo adventure -- The Cruise Ship of the Damned.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Amazing Adventures RPG Kickstarter

If you are into pulpy gaming adventures, there's a Kickstarter going that may help you realize your Rocketeer dreams. Amazing Adventures is an RPG by Troll Lord Games that utilizes the SIEGE engine (as seen in Castles & Crusades). The game has been out in softcover for a couple of years but this Kickstarter project aims to bring it a hardcover edition (and, with stretch goals, its supplemental books). And bringing that hardcover, it will, as the project has already surpassed its initial funding goal and the first set of stretch goals. It's now working its way through the next sets which include hardcover editions of the supplementary books, an adventure, and something secret.
How is the Kickstarter project, in-general, though? I thought you'd never ask!

Clearly, it has more than funded and that means the project has done what it needed to do. The information present is pretty condensed, which is fine, and it does give a general overview of Amazing Adventures and the project. I would have liked to see a bit more detailed information on the SIEGE engine rules or even a play-test/demo to check out -- that would be especially useful for new, potential players. The imagery on the page is only used for stretch goals, add ons, and shipping prices. While I am fine with having all of those (especially the stretch goal 'dungeon', complete with 'secret doors' -- that's creative), there really should be, at the least, more art showing off the pulpy aspects of the game. Something to really grab the attention and entice pledgers.

The pledge tiers are done a bit differently than most projects, as the US$1 tier is used as a means to get the digital copies via add ons -- there isn't a purely digital tier. The first 'real' tier is at US$25 for the core book in print and digital. Then US$45 for the core book and the Manual of Monsters -- both print and digital. US$50 for the core book and the companion book -- print and digital. And, if you want all three, US$99 for the core, Manual of Monsters, and companion -- print and digital. That does not include international shipping, of which there is a chart to reference on the page. For the digital lovers out there, all three PDFs together are around US$49.

If you would like to get your hands on this pulpyness, be sure to check out the Kickstarter page, and, for more information, be sure to check out Troll Lord Games' website.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Spirit of '77 RPG -- The Cruise Ship of the Damned free adventure

Monkeyfun Studios, a new developer crewed by the seasoned team of David Kizzia and Bob Richardson, are releasing their first RPG: Spirit of '77. Running on a modified Apocalypse World rule set, Spirit of '77 promises plenty of awesome 70's-themed action and adventure, taking inspiration from many of the movies and TV shows of the period.

What's more, Spirit of '77 is going onto Kickstarter in early September (as of this writing, about a week away), and, to help you decide if this is your kind of game, the guys at Monkeyfun Studios have a free adventure to check out -- The Cruise Ship of the Damned.

The PDF sits in at 49 pages, nearly half of which are the rules which give a thorough understanding of how to play/run the game. Honestly, you're given enough to start creating some simple adventures/campaigns of your own with just this PDF. There are no character creation rules, but there are seven very interesting pre-made characters (complete with images).

It's a solid adventure and introduction to the game, in general. The amount of content there is more than worth checking out, especially since it's free. And, heck, just reading it is pretty entertaining -- a lot of the writing, especially the examples, are pretty evocative and show how much the developers really love this setting and style.

Also, they have a Spotify list linked on their site, with indicators of suggested songs to play throughout the adventure. I'm not certain how effective it is in practice, but it certainly helps get you in the mood for the game.

If you're interested in learning more (or want to snag a copy of the adventure) be sure to check out Spirit of '77's website, Facebook page, and Monkeyfun Studios' website. And keep your eyes peeled for the Kickstarter that's opening soon.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Heebie Jeebies - A Game Of Unsettling Notions On Kickstarter

One of the fun things about being a blogger is that I sometimes get to see things before they come out, or in early/beta versions. People either want critiques of their stuff, ideas for direction of their game, or just to help generate some buzz. It makes the work that I do as a blogger feel worthwhile.

So, one day a prototype of this strange little card game called Heebie Jebbies showed up in my mail box. I will openly admit that I don't play many party games, of any type, but flipping through the cards made me interested. The cards are funny without being hurtful, and without trying to be edgy (protip: trying to be edgy on purpose rarely works). It looked fun to me.

Over the 4th of July weekend, I took the game out for a spin. The rules are easy to explain, and easy to play. A player draws four cards and lays them out on a numbered board. The player decides which of the cards gives them the most "Heebie Jeebies" and then reads all for of the cards out loud. The other players have Voting Cards, numbered 1-4. They play the voting card of the number that they think is the card most likely to give the player the "Heebie Jeebies." The correct votes get points. Rotate to the next player and repeat. The person  who reaches 10 points first wins.

Not in the rules, but from actual play experience, I would suggest that adult beverages improve the quality of play. This is probably more of a house rule.

So, right now, Heebie Jeebies is on Kickstarter, trying to raise the money to fund the production of the game and get it into distribution. I think it is a worthy goal and you should definitely check the Kickstarter out and throw them a few dollars. The game play was fun and easy, I'm not sure how family friendly the game would be, and definitely converted this non-party game player to the cause. The campaign is in its last 10 days (at the time of posting) and could definitely deserve some love. Let's see more independent creators get into distribution with their games.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Drinking Quest: Trilogy Kickstarter Interview with Jason Anarchy

The Kickstarter for Drinking Quest: Trilogy Edition, the game that mixes tabletop RPGs and drinking, is in its final few days. The project has already cleared its funding goal and several stretch goals. We here at Dorkland had a chance to sit down with Jason Anarchy, creator of Drinking Quest, to interview him about the project.

Dorkland!: How has the Kickstarter experience been for you so far? What have you learned that might help other new Kickstarters?

Jason Anarchy: No matter how good your plan is, you can’t plan enough. Also it’s a ton of work, it should be a very busy 30 days of your life.

And don’t get greedy, put your product out there at the lowest cost you can offer it.

DL: Why the shift from 3D6 to D4, D6, D8, apart from added complexity? Is added complexity good for a drinking game?

JA: Added complexity and range WITHOUT adding a single new rule or anything that the players need to think about. I was always very careful what rules and features make it into the game and what don’t. This is a great change that makes for more interesting battles and weapons trees.

DL: How much bigger are the new cards than the older ones? Why the change there?

JA: About 25%. I wanted a bit more room for art and text. Every Drinking Quest card is loaded with content and honestly I needed the space.

Every card has original art, a scenario for the player and a ridiculous narration from the cards (which act as the GM). Plus there are no duplicates. It’s looking good for the stretch goals so it would be 216 full colour cards, with hilarious artwork and story with no repeats.

DL: What are some of the 'smaller improvements'?

JA: Things like combinability. That was always requested with previous games and it could be one unofficially. Now if you want you can do a mash-up game and have up to 12 players.

I’ve also streamlined it in a way where all 12 heroes can be playable in any of the three games so there is even more variation there.

The Instructions are now colour and a lot nicer. (It was just a black and white insert before)

And then the new box and character sheets are much better as well.

DL: How much drinking is there in this drinking game? How much of the game is actual gaming?

JA: It plays like a stripped down Dungeons and Dragons. You have a character sheet, you roll dice, you fight monsters, you find treasure… but when your character dies in the game you have to chug your drink!

Each game has four “quests” with the cards acting as the GM. They start off easier and get harder as the game goes on.

You’ll encounter different monsters and Saving Throw events. When you pick up a monster card the person to your right controls the monster and it’s a one-on-one FIGHT TO THE DEATH.  If you win, you get the coins and points and move on and if you lose you chug your drink immediately.

Now HOW MUCH drinking is in the game? A pretty reasonable amount. There is a one chug per quest limit which stops everything from turning into a pass-out-ten-minutes kind of drinking game. (If you have to chug a second time per quest, you do 3 swigs as an acceptable substitute)

So playing a full game (going through all four quests in one of the games) averages about 2 or 3 chugs over 2 or 3 hours (per person).

If you’re not drinking there are also alternate rules to accommodate you.

And it is an actual game, the person at the end who has the most points wins. The person with the least amount of points loses (but they also chugged the most so they’re probably not having a bad time)

It’s 100% gaming with a occasional chugs to add to the tension of the gameplay.

DL: You mention non-drinking rules also being included -- what does DQ hold for people who are not drinkers? Why should they be buying the game?

JA: The Drinking meets RPG feature could be a pretty shallow gimmick. The plan was to incorporate that well and combine the genres as best I could. So that’s the hook that gets people playing.

From there the reason they keep playing is that it’s a really strong comedy RPG. There really isn’t anything that plays like it on the market.

It’s a really fun story that’s told in loose puzzle pieces like Lost or Pulp Fiction. Each quest is always randomized so you figure different story pieces out at different times.

Also the humour is a little smarter and more layered than most people expect. It’s more Arrested Development than Two and a Half Men.

DL: What is an experience that you've had while playing DQ that has really highlighted the game and the reason to play it? What is so great about it that people should be buying it and playing it?

JA: First of all, it delivers on the promise. It combines the genres well. The gameplay isn’t a super deep weekend filling experience… it’s casual, easy to learn and extremely fun!

There have been multiple nights where I’ve been with a group trying a brand new game and we spent the whole night learning the rules but didn’t play the game!

With Drinking Quest it’s super fast to get going particularly if you have a working knowledge of RPG basics already.

I’ve been designing games since childhood and into adulthood. Gaming with your friends and having a few drinks is great social lubricant and an even better way to keep groups of friends together as an adult.

I would always design game systems that took the broad strokes from bigger RPGs and cut out all of the micromanaging so you could just have a good time.

I also wanted to have a game where players could drop in and out… keep the same group of adults showing up once a week is a tough thing to do!

I’ve spent 10,000+ hours designing and testing game systems and with Drinking Quest I wanted to bring my flavour of casual, funny and rules-light role-playing to the masses.

The first three games have been hits and I’m pushing the new Trilogy Edition as much as possible to get the best version out there I can make.

We here at Dorkland! would like to thank Jason for his time in answering our questions and wish him the best with the project. If you would like to know more about Drinking Quest be sure to check out its website, twitter, Facebook or Kickstarter page.