Category Archives: kickstarter

Flying Buffalo’s Mercenaries, Spies, and Private Eyes is being funded for reissue on Kickstarter!

To further age myself, I remember helping unload the truck when the first print run of this game arrived at Flying Buffalo when we were located at the 52nd Street location in Tempe!

This game by Michael Stackpole has been inert for a long time, it’s nice to see it get a refresh.  It was one of the earliest contemporary adventure games, coming out around the same time as Hero’s Danger International and Justice, Inc. – of course TSR’s Top Secret preceding everybody having come out around 1980.  MSPE is based on Flying Buffalo’s Tunnels & Trolls mechanics and introduced a skills system to the T&T oeuvre.  One feature that I particularly liked was a formula that allowed you to create your own firearms: you could look up a particular weapon from a Shooter’s Bible or gun magazine, find out the cartridge specifications, plug them into the formula, get the stats and you’re off to the show.

We spent a lot of time playing this game, one of my favorite characters came straight from Monty Python: Inspector Dimm of Scotland Yard, a detective on assignment in America.  He carried a Charter Arms .44 Special.  We got in a big fight with a tremendous number of goons, I shot someone, rolled hit location: groin.  Shot someone else, rolled hit location: groin.  All of the goons instantly surrendered.

This release will include material from the 1986 Sleuth Productions edition, several corrections, new material, and updated artwork.  $6 will get you the PDF, $18 a print edition and PDF, $25 a print copy signed by Mike Stackpole and the PDF, and the crew is currently researching whether a hardback edition can be done!

The Kickstarter reached fully funded status today,which is awesome!  And as of this posting, the campaign will be running for another 16 days, so plenty of time to get your order in, but no time to dawdle!  One excellent supplement, Stormhaven, is available directly from Flying Buffalo as well as the two Mugshots books and the solo adventure, The Adventures of the Jade Jaguar, here.

Yet another Flash Point Kickstarter, with very little time to participate for very little money!

This one, called Tragic Events, does not include a map.  It eliminates the hot spot counters, which some people find confusing.  Personally I have no problem with it, but that’s just me.  It adds a sort-of fate deck of cards to add a more chaotic nature to the fire.  I find that kind of terrifying.  Very nasty stuff happens in that deck!  It will be quite interesting to see how game play changes when it arrives.

The Kickstarter is running for another 32 hours, and only $20 will get you the whole shebang — the deck of cards and ALL of the bonus levels!  Bonuses include many extra cards, three additional firefighter figures, some additional roles, all sorts of goodness.  They’ve worked very hard to increase bonus tiers as the money has flooded in.  One that they didn’t anticipate was heavy demand for the Second Story expansion, which recently went out of print and has been added as an additional purchase level

Personally, I’m not a fan of the role-based figures where you put a colored disk on the base to show who is playing which figure.  I think the entire color of the figure showing who is what is easier to work with, but that’s just me.

And there are rumors of a new map….

It’s the 50th anniversary of Nuclear War!

No, not some alternative universe RPG, this is the card game created by Doug Malewicki and published by Flying Buffalo. It is a very simple card game where each player is the head of a country and trying to rule the world: first through propaganda, and then pretty much inevitably, through nuclear war. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a game won solely through diplomacy. And if you ever get to a game con that Rick is running a game of Nuke War at, you’ll see 20-30 people in a single game blasting the crap out of each other! It’s quite a sight.

But here’s the beauty of it: more often then not, there is no winner! If war begins and the last of your population is destroyed, with your dying gasp you press the ‘Launch All’ button as a bit of final retribution and wreak vengeance upon the person who destroyed you, or upon the world in general. And if they’re eliminated, they also get their final retribution, and so on….

Two additional games were made: Nuclear Escalation and Weapons of Mass Destruction. Since the Kickstarter has doubled its initial goal, WMD will be reprinted. And I learned from this that there is a smartphone app (for $1), both Android and iOS, that Claudia Christian, AKA Commander Ivanova from Babylon 5, will tell you the results — in her Russian accent. What could be better than a Russian telling you how many million people were killed as the result of a nuclear strike?!

The Kickstarter has one final week to run and $42 will get you a new edition of the game with shipping.

(sorry for the lack of anything here, I’ve been off to Germany and the Czech Republic and am working on a new edition of Zombie Cafe along with a anti-spy game that should be interesting if the mechanics work out)

If you are a fan of Girl Genius, you might want this game

Killer Robot Games has funded the sequel to their game, Legendary Showdown, by somehow coopting the skills behind Girl Genius, Phil and Kaja Foglio, and Gunnerkrigg Court‘s Tom Sidell.

The game is card-based combat between characters: you equip your peeps with great gear while trying to pass off crap on your opponent, and vice versa. Eventually it turns in to a fight, but with lots of permutations and trickery. The video for the game looks really good.

The Kickstarter is massively overfunded, you can get a copy of the game for $38 (+S/H) along with lots of pretty awesome coins and magnets and a copy of the original Legendary Showdown, which is based on Dr. McNinja.

Legendary Showdown: Machines and Magic is for 2-7(!) players and has LOTS of cards, and card from this set can be combined with the original game. The Kickstarter has seven days to go, and they are estimating delivery for July of this year. That might be optimistic, we shall see!

Blood-spattered white picket fences: zombie hunting in the 1950s!

Exploding Rogue Studios has put forth an RPG game set during the Red Scare 1950s called Dead Scare, in which it isn’t just women and children first, it’s women and children only!

The game designer Daniel Solis talked about several Kickstarter projects in his blog today that are nearing their funding deadline, amongst them was Dead Scare. It only has 5 days remaining and are less than $100 from their goal, so they’ll make it. The game is unique in that you’re not the Mighty Zombie Slayer, you’re the suburban housewife or the kid who has to defend the house. It’s a game that explores aspects of society that are not normally touched upon in most games, and it is also being published by a four woman team!

For $15 you can get the PDF of the game, plus digital rewards, a print copy will set you back $30 plus shipping.

The Don’t Rest Your Head boardgame

Don’t Rest Your Head, or DRYH as I’ll subsequently refer to it, is literally a crazy little RPG from Fred Hicks of Evil Hat. The basic premise is that all of the players are insomniacs, but they have something different about them: their insomnia grants them access to the Mad City. The problem is, when you have access to the Mad City, the Mad City has access to you and its denizens don’t like you.

You’re exhausted, you’re being chased by nightmares, and if you fall asleep you’re in serious trouble.

I’ve never played the RPG. I’ve read the rules, and I find it quite intriguing, but I just don’t have enough people in my area right now to launch a game. I’m also a little iffy on the dice mechanics, but as I haven’t attempted to run or play it, that’s probably just unfamiliarity. But I’m very intrigued by the concept. Evil Hat also published a fiction collection called Don’t Read This Book. I love the title! And I haven’t read it.

Well, Evil Hat is running a Kickstarter to launch a deck-building version of the game called Don’t Turn Your Back. It has less than 48 hours before the funding completes — sorry, I would have posted it earlier but it’s been a rough few weeks. $40, not including the shipping costs, gets you a physical copy of the game, plus PDFs of DRYH and the fiction anthology. You can get just the PDFs for $10.

The game is for 2-4 players and they say it takes less than an hour to play. You’re trapped in Mad City, as are the others, and you’re currying favor with nightmares to buy power to try to escape. Or at least that’s what the overall game play appears to be. Could be very interesting, but I can’t back everything and I think I might pass on this one, though I might chip in $10 to get the fiction anthology.

Exploding kittens! Star Wars! Brainy ebooks!

Wow. So first, let’s talk about Exploding Kittens. This is a game by the creator of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal’s creator, Elan Lee. And it is nuts. Pure nuts. You take turns drawing from a deck, and if you draw an exploding kitty, you blow up and are out. But if you can distract them with a laser pointer card, or wear a cheetah butt, etc., you avoid the blast. I just hope they weight the deck so you can’t have an exploding kitten as your first card.

Anyway, the Kickstarter for this one sought $10,000. It has five days to run and has currently brought in $6.2 MILLION. The video is fantastic and I’m really looking forward to it. They say they’ll have a ship date of July ’15, so they must have the pre-production almost totally complete.

Next, Star Wars computer games. Man, talk about memories! I remember playing these things back in the ’90s when good game graphics were pretty new. This is a Humble Bundle that packages Knights of the Old Republic, Jedi Academy, Dark Forces, Empire At War, The Force Unleashed I and II, and more. For $12. And the bundle is supporting UNICEF, so it’s a pretty good charity. This deal is good for another 3 days.

And in the ebook department, Humble has a brainiac bundle that teaches programming, electronics, Lego construction and robotics, and other cool stuff. 16 ebooks, DRM-free, for $15. Funds are supporting the EFF, definitely a worthwhile org, and it’s available for another four days.

Sorry about the short notice: my wife had the flu four weeks ago, I caught it three weeks ago, worked last week and now a sinus infection knocked me down this week. Such fun. And I only found out about the Exploding Kittens today.

Grimtooth’s Traps, collected and funded via Kickstarter!

Back in the ’80s, Flying Buffalo published an amazing book called Grimtooth’s Traps. Grimtooth the Troll has been a sort of mascot for Buffalo since time in memorial. And now five or six of the books are being republished! The traps are systemless: you decide what it takes to detect and disarm or avoid, you decide how much damage they do. And a lot of the traps are just pure brutal: there was one, I believe it was by Liz Danforth and in the first book (which I have an original cover of), that was called the Cup of Golden Mead. It’s a cup of mead. And if you drink it, the mead transforms in to molten gold as it goes down your gullet. Good luck with that one!

That’s the sort of thing that you’ll encounter. Not all of them are massively lethal, some of them you wish they were.

The publisher is not Buffalo, they’ve authorized Goodman Games to collect them in to a single volume. And here’s the best part: not only is the project fully funded, Goodman has FINISHED ALL THE WORK. They have to work on the stretch goals, but that aside, they’re pretty much ready to go to press. They’ve blown through all their stretch goals: they started asking for $17,000 and they just blew past $142,000.

Here’s the bad part: the Kickstarter ends at 2am MST Wednesday morning, so about 32 hours from now. I apologize for not posting this earlier, the last couple of weeks have been weird and my wife was really sick over the weekend. And now I’m getting sick. So I’m blaming her.

But I have ordered the hardback for myself as I have material in a couple of the books. It’ll be cool to see them again. Now what I want to see is collected reprints of the Citybooks and Maps books!

Who knows. It could happen.

Dead Men Tell No Tales: a cooperative pirate game on Kickstarter

This looks interesting, it’s a game where you’re pirates trying to recover treasure from a burning ship, which conveniently is inhabited by a cursed crew. Wouldn’t want it to be too easy, would we? The game is both cooperative and tile-laying, so the game should change from session to session.

The video for the game looks good, and the fact that they support two players is a definite bonus. Here’s the bad part: the Kickstarter ends in 7 hours. I assume they sent me an email when the project launched, I must have glossed over it. Regardless, I’m backing it. The minimum level to get a physical copy of the game is $39.

Designers & Dragons by Shannon Appelcline

It is not often that I’ll call a book ‘fascinating’. If I’m reading fiction I’ll usually say ‘cool’ or ‘really cool’, this book is different and it fascinates me. Actually, it would be more accurate to call this a series because that’s what it is: a four book series of the history of gaming. Shannon started this as a labor of love, and he’s done an amazing job. It’s being published by Fred Hicks and the folks at Evil Hat Productions, and for $15 you can get an ebook edition of the entire series (epub, Kindle, PDF, etc.), higher pledges will get you physical copies. Each volume covers a decade: the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, and ’00s and current, I don’t know how late the last volume goes.

The first volume is available immediately with your pledge, and I’ve been reading it for a couple of weeks now. The first third of the book is the story of TSR and Dungeons & Dragons, and it is an amazing story. The second chapter is my proverbial alma mater, Flying Buffalo, followed by Games Workshop and GDW. I’m maybe half way through the book, and though I can’t say ‘I can’t put it down!’ or ‘It’s a page-turner!’, I think it’s an amazing retrospective on the gaming industry.

If you’re a gamer, and I don’t know why you’d be reading my blog and Twitter feed and weren’t, and are interested in the history of the gaming industry, this book is a must-have. I started gaming at the dawn of the industry in the late ’70s when TSR released the white box 3-book edition of D&D, along came Traveller and Tunnels & Trolls and others. I worked for Flying Buffalo during their hey-day in the early ’80s, and what was cool about that was that the owner, Rick Loomis, approached me and asked me if I wanted a job. He needed someone with good typing skills, and he’d seen me with my TRS-80 Model 100 doing some coding or editing or whatnot and needed someone to enter literally thousands of addresses in to his mailing list. Good times for many values of good. I’ve played an uncountable number of games and met a lot of great people, many of whom I’m still in contact with and are still friends.

Obviously this series has a lot of personal resonance with me, and the stories are quite interesting. If you have any interest in this history, this is a fantastic value for $15.

The Kickstarter is running for another 22 days and is already fully-funded, they were seeking $7,500 and are over $70,000. In fact, they launched the Kickstarter some 12 hours before they announced it via email etc., and made their funding goal before the announcement. They’re now busily blowing through stretch goals.

And for those who enjoy it, they’re also crowd-sourcing the editing of the project, so you can participate at yet another level if you have the time, skill, and inclination.

%d bloggers like this: