3 RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – DCC Annual, Marek’s Haunted House (Pathfinder), and Raiders of the Cloud Castle (5e)

For this pre-Halloween edition of “RPG Kickstarters You Should Back“, I’m reviewing options for Dungeon Crawl Classics, Dungeons & Dragons 5e, Pathfinder 1e, and Sword & Wizardry with great entry-level deals ranging from $2 to $6! At these price points, coming from the likes of Goodman GamesFrog God Games, and more, these products are a Halloween treat.  

  • BONUS MICRO REVIEW: In Vino Gigantus: A Fantasy RPG Adventure by Frog God Games
    • $6 gets you the 20-24 page In Vino Gigantus adventure module (PDF) for D&D 5e, PF 1e, or S&W by ENnie and Origin Award winning author James M. Spahn (“White Box Omnibus, the Three Castles Award nominated The Hero’s Journey Fantasy Role-playing, White Star: White Box Science Fiction Role-playing, and several products in the Star Wars and The One Ring“).
      Check out this campaign on Indiegogo here.  
An unsuspecting party will serve — and if necessary, die — to save a storm giant’s beloved wine.

For examples of these publisher’s games at the Open Gaming Store, and the game’s System Reference Documents (SRDs) at:

 

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DCC Annual (and other forbidden tomes) by Goodman Games

Ends on Mon, November 26 2018 2:59 AM EST.

“At long last, the elusive first official expansion for DCC RPG, six years in the making: the DCC Annual. And other forbidden artifacts!

Known only through whispers and rumors, the DCC RPG Annual is a legend before its time. Those few who have seen its pages are now but blasted ash. It’s your turn, mortal. Be careful when you turn its pages…

Color cover to the DCC Annual! By Doug Kovacs
Color cover to the DCC Annual! By Doug Kovacs

DCC RPG is the most fun you’ll ever have playing an RPG. It is also a game founded in principle. Important amongst those principles is an aversion to rules bloat. The DCC RPG core rulebook is but a single book. There are no splatbooks, sourcebooks, character books, monster manuals, or other supplements for DCC RPG. They are not needed. Incumbent upon the judge is the need to create: yon horizon is filled with adventure, and it is your adventure. You have worlds inside you: find them.

Yet the urge to create is a hungry god, and gods demand nourishment. It was originally conceived that an annual publication would exist in some form to showcase the brilliance of the DCC RPG community. This would be the DCC RPG Annual, published each year to distribute these gaming creations.

The best of things happened: the DCC RPG Annual was never needed. The DCC community burst forth a verdant jungle of inspiration, with ripe fruit on every limb. Blogs and personal posts; zines; community publications; the Gongfarmer’s Almanac; officially licensed third-party works: there is a vast supply of inspiration from whence the DCC judge can draw and iterate.

And thus we come here to Kickstart a volume which has no place. If you are a DCC fan, you absolutely do not need to support this Kickstarter. Should you to desire to do so, however, you will receive a book that has become a legend, despite never before being published.

Foil cover to the DCC Annual! By Doug Kovacs. Imagine this printed in gold foil on a leatherette background.
Foil cover to the DCC Annual! By Doug Kovacs. Imagine this printed in gold foil on a leatherette background.

The DCC RPG Annual

Spoken about for half a decade in hoary whispers, at long last Goodman Games brings you: the DCC RPG Annual. Much of the material for the DCC Annual was written between 2012 and 2014, when the original need was perceived. In many ways, it springs forth from the original inspirations of DCC RPG, which were psychically close at that time. There are magic swords. There are patrons. There are even more tables for making monsters unique. There are rules for making cleric deities more distinctive. There are rules for patron weapons and magic rings. There is the lost continent of Mu and the hidden places between worlds. And there are rules for magical moustaches.

The DCC Annual is a hardcover estimated at 160 pages finished length. Like the original DCC RPG core rulebook, it is available in two cover options: a full-color and foil cover edition. It is organized in the same manner as the DCC RPG core rulebook: chapter three is equipment, chapter five is magic, and chapter nine is monsters, just as in the core rulebook. There is no chapter two because the skills section of the core rulebook has no expansion material in the Annual.

The DCC Annual comes in two cover versions. The color cover is painted by Doug Kovacs and features Hugh the Barbarian and his Band. There’s a story in this cover, a chapter of the Band history, for those who can find it. There is also a foil edition featuring a new foil design (and someone’s decapitated head). For this Kickstarter, the foil edition will be printed in gold foil. The distribution version will be printed in silver foil. And never fear art fans – the foil edition also features Doug’s amazing cover art from the color cover edition (reproduced on the interior pages of the foil edition).

You absolutely do not need the DCC Annual to play DCC RPG, nor does any material in the Annual supersede or otherwise change the baseline game experience as expressed in the core rulebook. There is no rules bloat: only new vistas of imagination.

And with every gift from the gods, comes a toll. Not only does this Kickstarter offer the DCC Annual, but it also offers three other artifacts to show your devotion: a new printing of the DCC RPG core book featuring yet more amazing art; a new hardcover edition of DCC #83: The Chained Coffin; and an opening offer of the DCC Quick Start Rules for new initiates. Read on! 

The Shanna Dahaka cover to the DCC Core Rulebook! By Doug Kovacs
The Shanna Dahaka cover to the DCC Core Rulebook! By Doug Kovacs

New Fans, Welcome!

We invite newcomers to join the Cult of DCC! As part of this Kickstarter, we are offering the DCC RPG Quick Start rules, in print+PDF format, for the ridiculously low price of $2.00. That price includes postage to anywhere in the world. If you haven’t experienced DCC RPG, this is your chance to get in very affordably. The Quick Start Rules include everything needed to get your character from level 0 to level 2, and also include two one-session adventure modules. This pledge level also includes three free PDF adventures of our choosing.

We are also giving away a PDF of the Quick Start Rules for free at this link right here. If you’re not sure what DCC RPG is, this is a great way to test the waters!

And finally, if you as a newcomer decide you want to jump in a little deeper, we invite you to check out the Three Best Pledge Levels, detailed below. The Favored Retainer level offers an affordable way to get started on DCC RPG.” 

The pterodactyl-wizard cover to the DCC core rulebook! By Sanjulian
The pterodactyl-wizard cover to the DCC core rulebook! By Sanjulian

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

TRICK. Let’s look at one of the best gonzo fantasy RPGs available for tabletop gaming: Dungeon Crawl Classics! What’s their trick? They make no bones about what you’re playing: 

“You’re no hero. You’re an adventurer: a reaver, a cutpurse, a heathen-slayer, a tight-lipped warlock guarding long-dead secrets. You seek gold and glory, winning it with sword and spell, caked in the blood and filth of the weak, the dark, the demons, and the vanquished. There are treasures to be won deep underneath, and you shall have them…

Adventure as 1974 intended you to, with modern rules grounded in the origins of sword & sorcery.”

Instead of aspiring to nobility and stability, make the game as unpredictable as the first days of tabletop roleplaying games. This isn’t low fantasy, this is sewer fantasy, this is circus fantasy, this is gonzo fantasy, this is Dungeon Crawl Classics

OR[igin]. At MomoCon, I picked up the DCC core rulebook. DCC was born from the Open Gaming License (OGL) for Dungeon & Dragons 3.5e. However, as its audience grew, Goodman Games’ desire to take the game in a new direction led to creating an original system. As a result, modern DCC does not contain the OGL. The DCC Annual offers the first rules expansion for the game making it a worthwhile addition to your table.  

TREAT. This Kickstarter offers an amazing deal: a flat $2 gets you the print version of the DCC Quick Start Rules shipped for free ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD! Beyond the print version, you also get the PDF (it’s linked in the campaign in case you want to get it now for free), and three PDF adventures. The 48-page quick start covers “your character from level 0 to level 2, and also include two one-session adventure modules.” Five physical and digital items for $2, that treat is too good to pass by! 

 

You can find examples of their work on the Open Gaming Store

This crowdfunding campaign ends on Monday, November 26 2018 2:59 AM EST. You can support this Kickstarter campaign here

 

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Marek’s Haunted House an RPG Adventure Module for Pathfinder by Zan’s Adventures

Ends on Sun, November 11 2018 5:19 PM EST.

“A haunted house, an ancient evil, a mysterious cult. A horror based adventure module for the Pathfinder Roleplaying System.

Marek’s Haunted House – An Adventure Module Made for the Pathfinder role playing game system.

A haunted house.  An ancient evil released.  Restless tormented spirits.  A malevolent cult.  Mystery, horror, adventure, fighting, secrets.  Marek’s Haunted House is a Halloween / Horror inspired mix of all of these things.  Will your players discover the ancient evil?  Will they banish it from this world, or will they befriend it?  

This module is designed to work as a side quest, a one-shot, or feel free to incorporate it into your own campaigns.

A Pick Up and Play Adventure

Marek’s Haunted House is designed to be a Pick Up and Play Adventure.  What do we mean by that?  There are a lot of great adventure modules out there, but many of them require you to spend a fair amount of time reading the module before you run it.  

That is great when you have the time.  But we know that life gets busy.  Sometimes, you don’t have the time to read a whole module before you run it.  Sometimes you just want to pick up a module and be able to run it right away with your friends.  That’s where we come in.  

Marek’s Haunted House is designed to be played with only a few minutes of preparation.  Key points, skill checks, items, and decisions; stand out in bold text so you can quickly find what you need.  Skill check successes and failures are clearly set in boxes to make it easy and fast to find the text/results you need.  No more fishing through paragraphs of text to try and find key points.  But don’t just take our word for it, see some of our page examples below.”

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

TRICK. For Marek’s Haunted House, you’re getting a Halloween appropriate Pathfinder 1e adventure set in a haunted house. Expect this series of encounters to be more mysterious than a normal dungeon crawl and, with the right GM, more tense. The game is preparation light as most of the directions are specific mechanics and encounters with limited flavor text. Add to that, the backer levels are set with an eye on not busting your budget (more on that below). Need another incentive? This project is promised to deliver in November:

“The module is already 98% finished. It has been playtested, and formatted. Right now we are just creating and adding some limited artwork.” 

OR[igin]. As with all Pathfinder 1e OGL, this system grew out of the end of D&D 3.5e OGL (and made popular as much because it is a fantastic system as by the lack of enthusiasm for 4e). This project continues to show the popularity of 1st edition Pathfinder, in the year of the Pathfinder Playtest and the competing popularity of D&D 5eMarek’s Haunted House this project is funding and still riding the wave of love that Paizo created with Golarion.

TREAT. $2 gets you the PDF of the adventure. $5 gets you the PDF of the adventure and a separate set of maps for Roll20. $10 (the highest level) gets you the $5 level plus your name will be added to the project’s Special Thanks section. That’s it, just three economically-priced tiers. This is a great, cheap campaign because it’s mostly done, the subject is timely, and the tiers do not include bloat. 

 

Questions about the system? Check out Pathfinder 1e’s System Reference Documents (SRDs) at: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/

This crowdfunding campaign ends on Sunday, November 11 2018 5:19 PM EST. You can support this Kickstarter campaign here

 

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Wyrmkeep Dungeons TZ1: Raiders of the Cloud Castle by Wyrmkeep Entertainment

Ends on Wed, November 7 2018 7:03 PM EST.

“5th Edition RPG module for 8th to 10th level characters who defend an imperiled village by invading a castle in the sky!

Are you a gamemaster looking for an interesting and challenging adventure to begin a new campaign? Or maybe you just want a scenario you can run for your players that can be completed in one session? In either case, I have just what you want… Wyrmkeep Dungeons TZ1: Raiders of the Cloud Castle is a fantasy role-playing game adventure module designed for a band of 6-8 5e DnD characters of 8th to 10th level.

The final entry in a ranger’s journal reveals clues to a terrible secret: wandering horrors from the sky have been ravaging secluded settlements all across the mountains and valleys of the Tanz in the last few years, taking all they can carry and enslaving those that survive the assault. The journal also has a prediction of which village will be the next target of attack: the farming community of Woods-end!

Quickly riders travel to nearby towns seeking those who would be willing to immediately lend assistance. Can a dignitary from Woods-end convince a band of adventurers to rise to the occasion (no pun intended) and make a preemptive strike against these Raiders of the Cloud Castle before all is lost?

 

The author of the module is Joe Pearce, who has been running and writing RPG adventures for over 20 years. This is his fourth fantasy RPG funding drive, the first three being the successfully funded and shipped Temple of the Dragon Kin, Befouled Maze of the Demi-Lich, and The Beast Below. Joe is also a video game developer and writes a webcomic.

An abridged version of Raiders of the Cloud Castle was run at Gamex 2018, and all that is needed to complete the module is a few additional encounters, final stat blocks, and illustrations. As such I expect it should be available for delivery to backers by early 2019. 

The module will have the following features as a base goal:

  • 16-20 pages in length
  • Over 16 encounter areas
  • 4 black & white interior illustrations
  • A color cover illustration
  • At least 2 new monsters available as Open Game Content
  • Maps of the cloud castle
  • 8 pre-generated player characters ready to use”
Hey! What are you looking at?!
Hey! What are you looking at?!

 

Egg’s Thoughts:

TRICK. The adventure is entitled Raiders of the Cloud Castle, yet why it’s called that is a mystery. There’s a picture of a giant, and an adventure hook discussing bandits intent on raiding a town, but will an adventure with “Cloud Castle” in the title include Jack and the Beanstalk or a Dragonlance-esque flying citadel or a more mundane setting is not addressed in the pitch. It is a question mark, but the possibilities are tantalizing.  

OR[igin]. This is a stand-alone Dungeons & Dragons 5e adventure for a larger party of 8th to 10th level characters. Laid out to give the feel of the early AD&D modules, but stat’ed for D&D 5e, this adventure is meant to evoke the early days of fantasy RPG but sale it to a modern audience. The module specifically calls out that it has “[a]t least 2 new monsters available as Open Game Content,” which I appreciate because the campaign is proudly building on the world’s most popular roleplaying game. 

TREAT. $5 gets you a PDF of the adventure module and a PDF of the cover at 24″ x 36″ (to print). As with the other campaigns listed here, the cost of joining is low and you get a lot of return for your investment. 

 

Questions about the system? Check out D&D 5e’s System Reference Documents (SRDs) at: http://www.5esrd.com/

This crowdfunding campaign ends on Wednesday, November 7 2018 7:03 PM EST. You can support this Kickstarter campaign here



About Egg Embry

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™, wrote comic book short stories, edited comic book series, wrote and drew a webcomic, and contributed to comic book journalism across the 2000s. With the advent of Kickstarter, and the resurgence in his love of role-playing, he bought a series of writing opportunities in tabletop role-playing games in the tradition of vanity press. Now he freelances for EN World, Open Gaming Network, and Tessera Guild, and writes for a variety of game publishers.

View all posts by Egg Embry →

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