3 RPG Kickstarters That You Should Back – Zorro, ADOM, and The Cryptid Manual

There are three RPGs on Kickstarter featuring legends, video games, or pulp characters coming to your tabletop. It’s an interesting time to game as more and more properties are moving into the world of RPG, embracing the audience and the options that tabletop can offer. This week, I look at:  


Dark Places & Demogorgons: The Cryptid Manual, Tabletop RPG by Bloat Games 

Ends on Thu, February 7 2019 10:00 PM EST. 

“A unique Tabletop RPG OSR Bestiary by Bloat Games, creators of SURVIVE THIS!! Zombies! Vigilante City and other oldschool based games!

Do you believe in creatures like Bigfoot, The Mothman, The Jersey Devil, The Pope Lick Monster, Chupacabra, Gremlins & Lake Monsters? Well you should! These things are real. They are out there, just beyond the shadows, stalking the unsuspecting. Awaiting the perfect time to strike! Don’t believe me? Then maybe you should check out the Dark Places & Demogorgons Cryptid Manual. It’s based on a stolen, partially redacted and notated Federal file and case book that is splattered all throughout with real blood stains.

Still not enough? Please kid, I implore you to keep reading below. The knowledge contained in this creepy file, may just save your life!

 "This book is the heart of the 'SURVIVE THIS!!' series in that it shows a bizarre, unlike anything-else monster set for modern times. Goat man fo' life."  - Brandish Gilhelm aka Runehammer
“This book is the heart of the ‘SURVIVE THIS!!’ series in that it shows a bizarre, unlike anything-else monster set for modern times. Goat man fo’ life.” – Brandish Gilhelm aka Runehammer

Dark Places & Demogorgons:  The Cryptid Manual has been fully written, edited, play-tested, layout complete and all art in is completed and in place.

The Cryptid Manual is Bloat Games first exclusively Bestiary/Monster Manual type of product.  However, instead of using the same monsters that find their ways into most Bestiaries, for the Cryptid Manual, Bloat Games focused on highlighting the creatures of Cryptozoology from all around the world.  If you’ve ever wanted to run your players against a Big Foot, a Lake Monster, The Mothman or Jersey Devil, then this supplement will be a must have.  While the Cryptid Manual was created for Dark Places & Demogorgon it can easily be used with any OSR game, with very little conversion needed by the DM.  

“Survive This!! Cryptid Manual is a unique rpg bestiary. It’s overflowing with creatures, new and old, for your games of Dark Places & Demogorgons, or any OSR game that you may enjoy. Designed to emulate a governmental file on all things top secret, this volume of monsters, nefarious and strange.” – Jodie Brandt
“Survive This!! Cryptid Manual is a unique RPG bestiary. It’s overflowing with creatures, new and old, for your games of Dark Places & Demogorgons, or any OSR game that you may enjoy. Designed to emulate a governmental file on all things top secret, this volume of monsters, nefarious and strange.” – Jodie Brandt

The physical book will be approximately 90 pages, full color, digest size (6×9) and available in hardcover and softcover.”

Actual physical proof copies.
Actual physical proof copies.
"I think that hardcore cryptid fans will be pleased by the book as much as the fans of Dark Places & Demogorgons.” – Josh Palmer
“I think that hardcore cryptid fans will be pleased by the book as much as the fans of Dark Places & Demogorgons.” – Josh Palmer


Egg’s Thoughts: 

Eric Bloat of Bloat Games and co-creator (along with Josh Palmer) of SURVIVE THIS!! Dark Places & Demogorgons ran SURVIVE THIS!! Zombies! 2nd Edition at Origins Game Fair 2018. I had the chance to play it and, while not the exact system or setting as SURVIVE THIS!! Dark Places & Demogorgonsplaying it revealed Eric’s design sense and what he lifted up from D&D. His goal is to make an RPG you already know but in a new setting. SURVIVE THIS!! Dark Places & Demogorgons is an OSR that mixes original D&D mechanics with Stranger Things’ setting. His work shares that best of early D&D while also being streamlined and feels like the fullest realization of the Open Gaming License as he takes the game you know and explores new stories with it. This project, Dark Places & Demogorgons: The Cryptid Manual, Tabletop RPG, gives the tool every GM and player wants, more monsters. These monsters are jumping from legend to tabletop, and if you play OSRs or even D&D/PF, this book will amp up your table with new takes on monsters and legends. It’s a Kickstarter worth backing!  

This crowdfunding campaign ends on Thu, February 7 2019 10:00 PM EST. You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.     



The ADOM (Ancient Domains Of Mystery) Roleplaying Game by Thomas Biskup 

Ends on Wed, February 13 2019 12:00 PM EST. 

“Fight the forces of Chaos & Corruption in a fast & furious fantasy tabletop RPG with breathtaking art and an old school soul!

The Campaign

This crowdfunding campaign strives to release the ADOM pen & paper roleplaying game in two manuals (Player’s Handbook and Gamemaster’s Guide), as digital and/or print-at-cost rewards (the latter is important – read the definition below in the section labeled “Reward Format”). Extra content and rewards are available on the highest pledge levels and as the result of stretch goals we reach (explained further down below).

Guest Authors!

Turns out we are not the only fans of ADOM. Through dark rituals, we have managed to attract some guest authors like the legendary Ed Greenwood, the sage Skip Williams, the wonderful James M. Ward and many more. Please see our recent Update for more details. All short stories will be delivered as PDF for Digital Adventurers and above.

About the ADOM Roleplaying Game

Ancardia was a peaceful world. Of course, there were stories of horrors lurking in the deepest caves and forgotten ruins of ages past. Also, kobold and goblin raiding parties were known to terrorize the wilderness, a danger only for the most careless of wanderers. But now a Gate has opened in the deepest of caves, and the corrupting powers of Chaos seep into the world to twist and conquer everything. The very nature of the world is in danger, and the forces of Order are preparing for war.

cHaOs is invading!
cHaOs is invading!

Welcome to the wondrous Ancient Domains Of Mystery. The ADOM RPG is based on the computer game ADOM, one of the biggest five ancient rogue-likes and the only one still in active development by the original creator. ADOM caused hundreds of thousands of players over the course of over 25 years to lose countless heroes to the many dangers in the dark, cavernous dungeons littering Ancardia. A few brave and lucky souls managed to secure a victory either by defeating the Lord of Chaos and bringing peace and prosperity back to the world, or even usurping his position and declaring themselves a God. Its sequel Ultimate ADOM is currently being developed and part of another soon coming Kickstarter. 

Now is your chance to adventure together in the Ancient Domains Of Mystery in a pen & paper roleplaying game, heavily inspired by and fully compatible with the Old School Renaissance (OSR) while still providing a modern touch by streamlining complex rules to allow for simple and quick gameplay without studying tomes. Unless you are a magic-user, of course. Those do tend to like tomes.

ADOM RPG: Ancient Domains of Mystery
ADOM RPG: Ancient Domains of Mystery

In 2012, we launched a resurrection campaign on Indiegogo to allow us to develop ADOM again. As an exclusive-to-backers reward, we created the ADOM Lite RPG. This was a one-time only event, never to be printed again, and have we ever regretted that decision – especially since fans keep asking us for it.

While the ADOM Roleplaying Game takes many ideas from the ADOM Lite RPG, it is a complete redesign from the ground up with a fresh new rules system based on the best OSR games out in the field, extended by what makes ADOM unique:

  • A tantalizing Corruption mechanic representing the powerful lure of Chaos. How far will you go down the road of damnation for the powers to help you defeat the very thing you are fighting?
  • A non-Vancian spell system based on power points providing many tactical options to caster classes. Will you draw on your very own life force to power the vital spells needed to survive an encounter? Will you give in to the whispering madness of Chaos to provide your spells with that special extra kick?
  • A morality system where Law and Chaos should never be confused with Good and Evil.
ADOM RPG: Player's Handbook & Game Master's Guide (draft versions)
ADOM RPG: Player’s Handbook & Game Master’s Guide (draft versions)

Barring any stretch goals (see below), ADOM the Roleplaying Game will consist of two books: The Player’s Handbook features all the rules required to create, play and grow your characters, and the Gamemaster’s Guide includes everything you need to create countless adventures allowing the player characters to evolve from simple villagers to immortality – if they survive the mounting challenges ahead of them. After all, ADOM the roguelike videogame is characterized among other things by permadeath, something we seek to emulate in the pen&paper variant. Death is quick and brutal and all the wits of the players will be needed to overcome the forces of Chaos arranged against them… or perhaps join them to take their rightful place as rulers of the world.

Old School Soul in a Modern Dress

Our goal is to recapture the feeling when we played our first roleplaying game. Remember that feeling when you saw the swinging blade in your mind’s eye and not the die on the table? When playing a thief was a very different game than playing a warrior? When picking a race was more than just a few bonuses to a stat? This is our core vision.

ADOM RPG PHB: Character Creation
ADOM RPG PHB: Character Creation

At the same time, we value the fast and furious gameplay approach of modern roleplaying without having to go through hundreds of tables to calculate damage modifiers depending on the direction of the wind and the nearest city. We aim to provide the best combination of both worlds – a modern roleplaying game with an old school soul.

ADOM RPG PHB: The Danger System - Advantage/Disadvantage with a Twist
ADOM RPG PHB: The Danger System – Advantage/Disadvantage with a Twist

Player’s Handbook (PHB) in Detail

The player’s handbook will feature all 12 races (dark elves, drakelings, dwarves, gnomes, gray elves, high elves, humans, hurthlings, mist elves, orcs, ratlings, trolls) and the 22 classes (among them chaos knights, mindcrafters, duelists, wizards, elementalists, necromancers, assassins, priests and many more) available, as well as how to play and progress them as their characters grow in power and unlock more abilities unique to their class and race. 

ADOM RPG PHB: The Archer Character Class (Draft)
ADOM RPG PHB: The Archer Character Class (Draft)

Here, you will also find detailed descriptions of the over 350 spells, and how to employ power points to cast them, as well as sections on the skill system and mindcrafting (which is, as all mindcrafters will tell you, something very different from spellcasting).

ADOM RPG PHB: Mindcrafting
ADOM RPG PHB: Mindcrafting

The Player’s Handbook will also describe the Danger System – an elegant take on the advantage/disadvantage mechanics to simulate and resolve complex situations without complex rules.

The book will have over 300 beautifully colored pages filled with amazing artwork.

ADOM RPG: Layers of Mystery
ADOM RPG: Layers of Mystery

Gamemaster’s Guide (GMG) in Detail

The Gamemaster’s Guide contains extensive background information on the world of Ancardia, its monsters and minions of both Chaos and Order. Here you will find everything you need to run your adventures – no matter if your party is delving a dungeon in search for treasure, traversing the wilderness or even the high seas.

ADOM RPG: Invasion!
ADOM RPG: Invasion!

There is a very special and lengthy section on the corrupting effects of Chaos and how corruption grants powers and risk to the affected players. There are many reasons to give in to the temptation, and they are all listed in here.

Additionally you can find information about several mysterious factions taking active interest in the war between Order and Chaos, tying into the mythology of the upcoming Ultimate ADOM computer game.

ADOM RPG GMG: Factions Leaders
ADOM RPG GMG: Factions Leaders

The Lord of Order and Lord of Chaos reward levels will allow you to define a new faction each – and these factions not only will show up in the roleplaying game but also appear in the Ultimate ADOM computer game.

The book will also have over 300 pages featuring gorgeous artwork.” 


Egg’s Thoughts: 

Ancient Domains Of Mystery, or ADOM, is a computer game headed to tabletop RPG. This is not the first time ADOM has come to tabletop, in 2012 they did an ADOM Lite RPG as a one-off. However, this version will have more depth and options. Designed as an OSR and including guest authors like the “legendary Ed Greenwood, the sage Skip Williams, the wonderful James M. Ward,” this promises to be closer to the wonder of the first RPG than a straight D&D retro-clone. 2 books (the player’s handbook and the GM’s guide), 12 races, 22 classes, 350 spells, and so much more. Obviously, if you’re a fan of the computer game, this RPG should be on your list. If you’re not, this promises that old school game feel set in a world with a full, rich history. Like the other games on this list, the movement from another media to tabletop shows the continuing draw of RPGs. Legends or computer games or famous pulp characters, all are better at the gaming table, and you should consider this campaign.  

This crowdfunding campaign ends on Wed, February 13 2019 12:00 PM EST. You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.  



Zorro™: The Roleplaying Game by Gallant Knight Games 

Ends on Fri, February 22 2019 7:00 PM EST. 

“A swashbuckling and heroic roleplaying game using the brand new West End Games D6 2nd Edition system!

  ©2019 Zorro Productions, Inc., All Rights Reserved ZORRO™
©2019 Zorro Productions, Inc., All Rights Reserved ZORRO™

Zorro, the classic swashbuckling freedom fighter and hero, makes his full tabletop roleplaying game debut! Ally with Zorro as you carve your own initials into the fight against evil land and railroad barons, scoundrel soldiers, and those who would abuse and take from the less fortunate!

This rulebook brings Zorro to the tabletop in a complete game, powered by the brand new edition of West End Games classic ruleset: D6 System 2e

Our goal is to produce a line of beautiful Zorro products that will be at home on the tabletop and in collectors’ shelves for years to come!

These books are brought to you by Alan Bahr, Elizabeth Chaipraditkul, Steffie de Vaan, Miguel Angel Espinoza, Jaym Gates, Jack Norris, Ezzy Languzzi, Sabrina Vourvoulias and William L. Munn, along with other fantastic freelancers and stretch goal writers!

We are aiming to produce: 

  • Full color 200+ page hardcover Zorro: The Roleplaying Game core rulebook!
  • A Faux-Leather Collectors Edition.
  •  Metal Hero Point Tokens emblazoned with the iconic Zorro “Z”.
  • A collectors set of Zorro dice, including a custom Zorro Wild Die. 

As well as a brand new edition of the classic West End Games D6 System!

Zorro, the classic hero of the American Southwest, comes to the tabletop in a full-color, 8.5 x 11 sized book. 

The book will detail the setting of Zorro’s adventures in Alta California, as well as providing rules to emulate the swashbuckling, dramatic action of this masked hero of the people. 

Players will be able to work alongside Zorro as part of Zorro’s Legion, or even take on the role of the legendary hero!

The book is being created under license from Zorro Productions, Inc., and has access to over 70 years of Zorro history, artwork, media and research to power it!

More than an RPG, this book will also contain detailed accounts of Zorro’s adventures through media, from his original novel appearances, to blockbuster movies and TV series. While there is more media than a single book can contain, with our partners at ZPI, we’ve selected the highlights and essentials of Zorro’s career, and turned those into scenarios, adventures and more!

The book will be lavishly illustrated with art culled from the entire history of Zorro. 

West End Games is an iconic company in the RPG industry creating classic roleplaying games that powered a wide range of universes and properties! Working with West End Games to utilize the D6 System to power such an iconic hero as Zorro only makes sense!

To that end, in partnership with Nocturnal Media & West End Games, Gallant Knight Games has been empowered to bring a brand new edition of the classic D6 System to the tabletop! Fully licensed, and the next step in the D6 family, WEG D6 2e updates the D6 System to contemporary advances in game design. 

Throughout the Kickstarter, we’ll be previewing the new mechanics (and you can find some previews on our website right now). We’ll have more details about the new D6 2e System and its future throughout the campaign!

WEG D6 2e utilizes mechanics derived from the D6 System’s long history, but with contemporary updates. 

Classic D6 System features like: 

  • Lots of D6s!
  • Attribute + Skill forming a dice pool
  • Rolls that are totaled against a Target Number (TN)
  • The Wild Die

All still exist and play important roles (and rolls!) in WEG D6 2e. Updates and changes have been made to streamline the game, with some features such as: 

  • More Narrative Control
  • Fail Forward mechanics
  • Hero Points!
  • Revisions to the Wild Die
  • Streamlined Skill Lists

Our goal is to produce a ruleset that is intimately familiar, but fresh and exciting! WEG D6 2e has been in playtesting for 6 months, and has logged over 300 hours of play already! We’re committed to doing this right.”


Egg’s Thoughts: 

Reasons to back this: 

  • At 100 years old, this will be Zorro’s first RPG 
  • Alan Bahr is responsible for Tiny Dungeon 2e  
  • Zorro Productions, Inc. has opened their media library to provide 70 years of history, art, and media to make this game comprehensive 
  • A fully licensed, new edition of West End Games’ D6 System 2e 
  • Get custom dice and Hero Points! 

For the 100th birthday of Zorro, pulp hero of Alta California, Alan Bahr’s Gallant Knight Games and Zorro Productions, Inc. are bringing him to his first tabletop RPG, Zorro™: The Roleplaying Game. This promises to be an interesting game as the amount of material available to produce it is immense. They plan to select “the highlights and essentials of Zorro’s career […] from his original novel appearances, to blockbuster movies and TV series […] and turn those into scenarios, adventures and more!” As well, the artwork should be stellar as they are using “art culled from the entire history of Zorro.”  

For the game engine, Alan brought onboard Nocturnal Media & West End Games to redevelop and use their D6 System made famous in Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game. This is a bittersweet update as bringing the D6 System back was one of Stewart Wieck’s projects before he passed. I’m glad Alan and company are making this game a reality and using the right system to power it. The RPG debut of Zorro and the return of the D6 System are worth backing.  

This crowdfunding campaign ends on Fri, February 22 2019 7:00 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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