Category Archives: kickstarter

New Flash Point Kickstarter just launched!

Happy, happy!  Joy, joy!  The new expansion is AN AIRPLANE!  I’ve been waiting for this and thought a jet would be totally doable after they went to a 12-sided die for the submarine and splitting the d6 into the front and back halves of the map.  Also included is a new role, a Fire Prevention Officer.  It’ll be interesting to see what they do.  The flip side of the board features a subway station, that should prove interesting.  As an exclusive for Kickstarter, a mini-map is included that adds another basement and attic level for last year’s Extreme Danger expansion.

I received the email  an hour ago and they’re already over 70% of their funding goal and I’m confident they’ll hit it by the end of the day.  The Kickstarter ends July 30 and they’re projecting a ship date (get it?  ship?  the Dangerous Waters expansion?) is estimated for November.  I don’t remember when last year’s expansion was promised for, but it did arrive in time for Christmas.

One VERY important note: the Kickstarter is limited to 3,000 copies, so order now!


Backstory Cards, now live on Kickstarter!

These are pretty cool.  They’re used mainly when starting a campaign with new characters and are intended for the players sitting around the table to draw cards and, through narrative, create backstories that link the characters closer together as a group.  For example, someone might draw “You and PC worked to undermine or directly combat one of GROUP’S machinations.  What did that conflict cost you?  What did it cost GROUP?”

So we know that you and another player character worked together in the past, in this case the card (as seen on the Kickstarter project page) has an arrow pointing to the right, so it’s the person on your right that you fought GROUP with.  The arrow might also point above, indicating the person opposite you.  So it might not be the person that you’d like to do something with, and it might not be the character with the skill set that you want, but that’s what you need to work with.  As you create an impromptu story with the other PC, you’ve deepened both character’s backgrounds, added some lore to the game, and possibly added a skill to your character.  You’ve also deepened the story of GROUP, which might just be the group that you’re working with…

The cards work with ANY role-playing game because you’re just making background stories.  I first learned of this from Ryan Macklin’s blog ( who provided me with an early beta of the cards.  I immediately fell in love with them, unfortunately I haven’t had the opportunity to get a group together and test them out.  The concept really appeals to me, I think any RPG is improved by having the characters more interconnected than ‘You meet in a tavern.’

The Kickstarter was created by Tim Rodriguez of Brooklyn Indie Games ( and Ryan Macklin, it’s already reached its goal of $5,000 and will be open until Friday, July 18.  $15 will get you a printed set of the cards, lesser amounts will get you the PDF for print and play.  You can also download the beta if you’re a contributor.


Kickstarter page

Shards Online: a new approach to an MMO

(also Why I Don’t Like World of Warcraft Much Anymore)

I can’t remember where I learned about Shards, but it caught my attention. The thing that really caught my eye was the fact that you could create your own server within their multiverse (for want of a better word). You can make your own rules, your own quest chains, etc. This really appealed to me. And the announcement of their Kickstarter launching hit my email yesterday.

I’ve played World of Warcraft since its vanilla release, i.e. before the first expansion, and frankly, I’m kinda bored with it and have been for a while. They’ve adopted a viewpoint from a class of players that are of the opinion that only end-game raiding and PvP are what the game is good for, and that if you don’t get to max level in the shortest amount of time possible, then there’s no point playing.

I am not of that opinion. I like exploring the world, and I’d like new and more complex content in the older and lower level areas of the game (yes, I have several max-level characters, that’s not the point). But that doesn’t happen. When expansions come out, almost all of the new content is in the new area opened up. So the game expands, but doesn’t develop. The only significant exception to this that I can think of was when the Cataclysm expansion released and several areas suffered significant upheaval, and I created new characters and ran it through the changed zones and had some fun. But then those new characters get to the level of going in to the intermediate and more advanced zones, and that content has not changed, so it always eventually becomes the same old grind to level up.

I’ve played other MMOs and seen different ways of doing things, which makes me like WoW less and less, to the point where I’m considering stopping it (other reasons are at play). Sony’s Vanguard has been a tremendous amount of fun and has some excellent mechanics, but it’s been sunsetted and will shut down at the end of July. City of Heroes had some great stuff, such as both Exemplar and Sidekick modes, but it’s long-gone.

Shards looks to remedy this by providing dynamic content. I’m not sure if this will be through the developers being actively engaged in making new content, or if they’re relying on people running their own servers for this. Another thing that I’m curious about is player mobility. It seems to me that the game could be quickly unbalanced by one person who runs a Monty Haul shard giving out BFGs like candy, then taking said BFGs to low-tech worlds and laying waste. One thing that prevents this is a tactical combat system where HOW you act in combat is as important as what you’re equipped with. And as always, the server admins are gods, so they can squash you like a bug if a munchkin gets too out of hand.

But for me, perhaps the best selling point is that they’re Mac-friendly: they’re preparing Mac and Linux releases, and are contemplating a Steam distribution. And like the soon-to-be-departed Vanguard, Shards supports what looks like a good crafting system and the ability for users to make houses, presumably this will also let people create guild halls.

The Kickstarter ends on Thursday, June 12, their goal is $320,000 and they’re not quite 10% there at the moment. $20 right now (quantities are limited) will get you a digital copy of the game. And the people behind it, Citadel Studios, have some good chops: Warhammer Online, Ultima Online, etc.

This looks pretty good to me, and goes far beyond the ‘click, kill, and collect crap’ model of so many games. (tip o’ the hat to Deb for that phrase)

Dragon Slayer: The Kickstarter

This is from Indie Board & Card, the people who bring you Flash Point, which I gush about frequently.  They’re about to close a successful Kickstarter for their first dice game, Dragon Slayer.  It’s a press your luck game where you can decide to quit while you’re ahead, but the other players can essentially dare you to continue rolling.  If you take the dare and win, the reward is increased.  If you lose, so also is the loss increased.

The game is inexpensive during the Kickstarter: $13 will get you the game with American shipping.  It’s good for 2-5 players, and the dice are embossed, not silk screened, so they should wear well.

Looks kinda cool, I look forward to receiving mine.  The Kickstarter closes Tuesday night at 11pm MDT.

Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls up on Kickstarter

Tunnels & Trolls was one of the first FRPGs published, coming out in 1975. I owned both D&D and T&T in the late 70’s, and I found T&T to definitely be more to my liking of the two. You only need one type of dice, six-sided, and once you’re comfortable with the system you pretty much don’t need a rule book. I found it lent itself to more story.

T&T also spawned solo adventures with actual combat, you would roll dice to defeat opponents. LOTS of solo adventures were published, and this Kickstarter will include a couple.

Admittedly I am biased as I worked for T&T’s publisher, Flying Buffalo, and know all of the people involved. But it’s a good product, a good project, and a chance to get it as a PDF.

Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls on Kickstarter

Evil Hat’s Fate Core system up on Kickstarter

Fate, as you probably know, is a refinement of the Fudge system and is the core of the Dresden Files RPG system among others. Evil Hat Productions is the crew behind Dresden, and they are the license meisters behind Fate. They’ve been promising a new release of the complete Fate Core system with changes that they’ve made while making Dresden, and that product is finally out.

The Kickstarter was launched yesterday with the modest goal of $3,000. As of right now, they’ve raised almost $36,000 and it still has 55 days to go. Needless to say, they’re going to blow past any stretch goals that they set.

So if you’re interested, $30 will get you a physical copy of the book.

Magicians: an RPG Kickstarter

I don’t back a lot of Kickstarter RPG projects, there’s too many seemingly worthy projects out there and I just don’t have the time to play them or the money to back them since I’m recently unemployed.

Then I made the mistake of reading Ryan Macklin’s blog post about this one, Magicians.

Magicians has a very interesting twist: it is a contemporary-setting RPG, but the setting is Korea. There’s not a lot of English-language games about Korean mythology, so that immediately caught my eye. But the creator, Kyle Simmons, is coming at this from a unique perspective: he teaches English in South Korea and he has integrated smart phone voice recognition in to the game. You cast magic by speaking Korean.

Thus, by playing the game, you begin picking up Korean vocabulary. If the smart phone correctly parses what you said, then your spell worked. You start with a limited vocabulary and as your vocabulary grows, your spells become more powerful and diverse. And since there’s no ‘spell list’, no two players will be alike even though everyone is a spell-caster.

I think that is exceedingly cool. I don’t know about the Android phone platforms, but you can download Dragon Dictate for the iPhone for free. Kyle has a video on the Kickstarter page showing how it works. I’m not sure exactly how it would work for people who don’t have their phone set for Korean keyboards, but I’m sure that’s covered.

The Kickstarter has about two weeks to go, and has already exceeded the goal by a factor of six. It’s been getting a fair amount of buzz, and Kyle has been doing Skype interviews with various podcasts. I can’t imagine how tricky that would be to work people’s schedule around. You can get a multimedia PDF for only $10 and a physical copy plus the PDF for $25. It is being worked on by Ryan Macklin and Daniel Sollis, so that’s some pretty good talent behind the project, with them behind it I expect it to read and look great. If it hits the $20,000 level, the tenth stretch goal will be a hack to adapt it to learn Japanese, which should be very popular. I don’t think there will be any problem with it blowing past that point. At $30,000, a Chinese language hack/expansion will be unlocked. I would love to see that one released but I’m not holding my breath.

Magician’s Kickstarter page

Ryan Macklin’s Magician’s post

Yet Another Kickstarter: Race to Adventure, the Spirit of the Century board game!

Spirit of the Century, or SotC among some groups, is a Fate-based RPG in the pulp genre.  Every player was born on January 1, 1901, the first day of the 20th century.  Every player is also very gifted along the lines of Doc Savage or Buckaroo Banzai.  They’re not superheroes except along the lines of Batman, but they’re very good at what they do.

The game is also extremely good for pick-up games with as every character’s background is linked in some way with every other character’s background.

Well, the good folks at Evil Hat have made a board game based on SotC where the players run around the world in a competition to get their passports stamped, but in the spirit of Around The World In 80 Days and The Great Race and such nothing is going to be so simple as landing in Bangkok and getting your passport stamped.

It looks pretty cool and I think it’s worth supporting.

Two more Kickstarter projects that I’m backing: Ace of Spies and Tahiti

Tahiti is a resource-gathering game that sort of has a Cataan feel to it in the way that you build the world out using hex tiles.  You row your canoe around islands harvesting food and avoiding reefs.  Seems interesting to me, and it supports 2-4 players, and I’m very fond of two player games.

Ace of Spies is a ‘Golden Age of Spying’ game set pre-World War 2, the Gentleman (and Woman) Spy era.  You have missions for which you must gather resources to complete before competing players finish them to score points, you can also burn cards to activate special powers, like scavenging through the discard deck.  Looks like a lot of fun, and there’s a five minute video hosted on The Geek.

The Kickstarter page:

A 5 minute video showing the game:

Both projects have made at least their base funding goals and complete soon, so commit now or wait for them in stores!


The Order of the Stick Reprint Kickstarter project has broken $1,000,000.  And it runs through noon Tuesday EST.

Amazing.  EVERY OOTS book will be reprinted, and lots of future projects will be funded.  I don’t know if this is the biggest Kickstarter drive ever, but I’m sure it’s the biggest gaming/fannish drive ever.

Congratulations, Rick!

OOTS Kickstarter Page

%d bloggers like this: