"Set a budget," they said. "Pace yourself," they said. "Learn from past experiences," they said.
I never was any good at listening to things "they" said. What follows are projects I have backed for ZineQuest3 on Kickstarter. Mostly, I backed at the level that would garner me a physical zine. (In that respect I have learned from the past, because I am less likely to really read/enjoy a PDF.) Italicized text below has been copied from each game's KS page. For the ones you can still back, I've tried to make quick, digestible notes on each and why I backed them.
Still time to back these...
Kriegsmesser - game setting, written for Troika, low-no fantasy. I like Troika, I like Heironymous Bosch paintings. This doesn't have fantasy, but that could be added. Cool time period, nice previews, neat old art.
The carriage coach is on fire and there’s no driver at the reins. It is the Long Sixteenth Century, somewhere in Europe, or a place much like it. Plague stalks the land, people are rioting against widespread corruption while a monetary crisis is making the rich richer and the poor poorer.
Courier - solo game, original rules. I may regret this one. I'm a sucker for Roadside Picnic, the novel on which STALKER was based. Also sounds like Zelazny's Damnation Alley.
Deliver packages across a dangerous landscape while building your reputation and becoming a legend. System: . Inspired by some of my favorite games including Death Stranding, Fallout New Vegas, S.T.A.L.K.E.R., and Mad Max; you play as a Courier. The job: transport goods from one location to another while avoiding delays, hazardous traps and anomalies, dangerous weather effects, and those who would steal your precious cargo. Courier is a solo RPG telling the story of your rise from a lowly single-bag-Courier all the way up to a Legendary Wasteland Deliverer. You will create your own company, logo, and style as you complete delivery jobs across the New North American continent. Along the way you will discover new contacts, jobs, charms, equipment and upgrades to your Courier Rig while growing your reputation as a reliable company.
SIEGE: Pocket Warfare - original rules set, macro/add-on game. I'm working on my own macro rules along these lines. Seems cool. Cheap to buy in.
A modular battle-defense system to fuse with your RPGs. SIEGE is my attempt at helping you build a better siege, or really any sort of major battle. I've hacked into the board game Pandemic to draw out a really simple system that exponentially increases the intricacy and tension of your combats while barely moving the needle when it comes to complexity. It's a big amount of bang with almost zero added prep and minimal math or note-taking.
Crawler - system-agnostic campaign; back from 1 to 4 connected zines. The art! The concept! Also I loved the creator's personal note at the end.
In a fantasy world where raw magic is extracted from the earth like a fossil fuel— unsustainably, dangerously, and for the profit of billionaire death cultists—you are a member of the Black Shields: an order of anti-extractionist resistance fighters. The Shields aren't afraid to get their hands dirty. You've blown up a pipeline before, and you'd gladly do it again because you care about the future of your world. It's not a question of if raw magic will spill from pipelines and freighters to transform local wildlife into bloodthirsty abominations—it's a question of when.
The Void of Thrantar - 5e/OSR compatible campaign. I will probably regret this one. The art is not my style, but they had me at "Saturday morning cartoons of the 1980s."
Inspired in part by Saturday morning cartoons of the 1980s and with a nod to the work of artists like Frazetta and Moebius, this setting features twisted metal canyons, dinobirds, slimeords, owlbearian warriors, forgotten technomagic, alien beasts and more!
Before Fire - original rules, beer-and-pretzels rpg. I'm a sucker for prehistoric stupidity. A sucker, I tell you. I will regret buying this. Probably.
Before Fire is a comedy RPG designed for "pick up and play" one-shots. During a session, you and your friends take on the roles of Stone Age hunter-gatherers, sent on a great quest to save your tribe. Using your limited vocabulary and teamwork, you must triumph over such terrifying challenges as sabretooth tigers, stampeding herds of megafauna, and the 100% historically-accurate dinosaur riders.
Fresh from the Forge - OSE toolkit. This looks interesting. I'm a fan of d6 damage with a few tweaks, but most people like variable damage. Curious to see where they take this and I play OSE several times a week.
Combat is where heroes go to die. Whether it's a staple of your game or something you avoid, when it happens you'll need a weapon! Fresh From The Forge presents a collection of rules for weapons and combat that can be dropped into and used in any fantasy adventure game! The book doesn't aim to simulate all the intricacies of how weapons work. Armour has not been reworked to be more realistic. You won't find any intricate striking distance measures or precise weapon dimensions in this zine. The goal has been to prioritise something that meets the expectations of adventure game weaponry, while making all options equally valid.
The Pamphlet of Pantheons - macro, workbook. I listen to James' podcast. He knows his stuff.
The gods, spirits and religions of a fantasy world should be a vital and exciting part of its culture. But how do you create a pantheon that feels rich and real without having to do a lot of time-consuming prep work? The Pamphlet of Pantheons is the lazy GM's solution to this problem: a workbook zine that helps you create a pantheon for your fantasy RPGs, focusing on the bits of the iceberg above the water -- the bits that your players are going to interact with.
Microvania - hack of Microscope. I dig Microscope. I dig crawling through kaiju guts. This was probably a knee-jerk purchase.
A print run of Microvania, a map-making and story-telling game that is a hack of Microscope. Microvania is a game about these kinds of stories, where individuals or small groups explore a dangerous world that becomes a character of itself. In video games, these are called “Metroidvanias,” after the two most influential series in the genre. A common feature of those games is backtracking, with the world recontextualized after unlocking a new item or ability, or in some cases just learning something new about how the world works. Microvania seeks to create an experience like those games, by prioritizing the structure and flow of the world, while allowing players to fill in as many details as they like, and making backtracking central to the game’s mechanics.
Wizard Funk 3 - OSR miscellany. I know Thaddeus and I've got WF1 and 2. I like the spirit of this zine and it's true DIY aesthetic.
My gaming buddies and I have put together a zine for the sheer enjoyment of it. We love to play Old School RPGs. Myself? I was introduced to D&D back in 1981. I loved the hobby then and love it even more today. If you have seen Wizard Funk 1 and 2, then you will have a good idea about what you will get for your hard earned money in Wizard Funk 3. If you love Old School Rules, then you should take a chance on this KS. It's not much money and I've been able to deliver a satisfying product in the past. Fight On brothers and sisters of the OSR!