#RPGaDay Day 29: What’s the best run RPG Kickstarter you’ve backed?

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Day 29: What’s the best run RPG Kickstarter you’ve backed?

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: my pockets are not deep. I’ve backed very few kickstarters, though I vocally support a lot of them. I want them to succeed, even if I can’t take part. So, before I mention what I have backed, I thought I’d spotlight two that I didn’t (and am kicking myself for missing out).

Trudvang Chronicles is an award-winning fantasy roleplaying game based on the mysterious and dark Nordic and Celtic sagas and myths. Enter a world of enchanted forests, trolls, dragons, spirits of nature, heroes and adventures. Trudvang is both grim and dark, epic and yet down to earth, with a melancholic tone of an ancient age when nature was a living creature and magic was wild and strong. Above all, Trudvang is a saga…

Sounds awesome, right? Well, here’s what I missed out on —

trudvang

My heart breaks, but not as much as this next missed opportunity.

Monte Cook’s Invisible Sun makes magic magical again. Magic’s not just a series of mechanics. It’s weird, wonderful, unpredictable, and dangerous. With spells and incantations like The Flock Scatters at the Sound of Teeth, Sharp Edges in the First Frost, and The Punishment of Change Comes to the Wary, magic is what the game is all about.

Sounds exciting, no? Like Pan’s Labyrinth meets Doctor Strange. It gets weirder. Take a look at what you’d have gotten with a pledge —

invisiblesun

A little part of me just died.

But hey, like I said, I’ve backed a couple of kickstarters via my gaming group.

Robert E. Howard’s Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of was a brilliant campaign, full of excellent core and splat books, maps, screens, and more. As a lifelong Howard fan, this was a no-brainer for me, and thus far, Modiphius has delivered a beautiful collection of products.

Here’s what was offered —

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My favorite kickstarter, though, wasn’t really an RPG per se.

A Song of Ice & Fire: Tabletop Miniatures Game is a competitive miniatures game for two or more players. Each player controls one of the Great Houses of Westeros, commanding battlefield units, recruiting legendary Heroes, and manipulating the political stage, in the attempt to claim the greatest prize of all: The Iron Throne. Featuring House Stark and House Lannister, the Starter Set comes with over one hundred amazing, preassembled miniatures that are ready to play out of the box! All-new sculpts are based off original art created for the game by our crew under the direct supervision of George R.R. Martin and Dark Sword Miniatures, to ensure that the game delivers what fans have been envisioning for years.

Yeah, so my group will be modifying the game quite a bit, adding our own elements and introducing it into our RPG Campaign. Here’s what we got for our pledge —

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Uh, yeah, that campaign was run almost flawlessly, despite all the grumbling on the campaign messageboard. In the end, we received an enormous value for our money. The years of enjoyment that lie ahead for our gaming group is priceless.

#RPGaDay for 2017 is winding down. Only two questions remain.

 

 

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#RPGaDay Day 23: Which RPG has the most jaw-dropping layout?

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Day 23: Which RPG has the most jaw-dropping layout?

There are a lot of beautiful RPGs out there and many whose layout and design have made me drool, but without a doubt, at the top of the heap, are the books coming out of Modiphius for Robert E. Howard’s Conan: Adventures In An Age Undreamed Of.

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Clean, readable font choices, cool inserts and borders, spectacular art, and immersive content — Conan is an RPGers dream. While I may not be entirely sold on the system itself, the books are true works of art backed up by flawless design.

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Everything about these books is attractive, from legibility to illustration, and the tables are distinct and pop off the page.

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Modiphius have really gone above and beyond. Each book released so far have been tremendous works of art, but more importantly, well planned, laid out, and articulated.

If if you choose to not play the game, the books themselves are more than worth the investment.

 

#RPGaDay Day 19: Which RPG features the best writing?

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Day 19: Which RPG features the best writing?

Doing game prep this morning so not a lot of time for today’s answer which is a bloody tough one. As far as a reading experience, beyond the nuts and bolts of it, I think Green Ronin’s A Song of Ice & Fire tickles my fancy the most, though Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of is closing fast. I need to live with that one a bit more.

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Both captures the spirit of the IPs they honour. ASOI&F delves deep into George R.R. Martin’s lore and Conan treats Howard’s creation similarly, but Conan, I think goes a bit further, dancing on the edge of the fourth wall and really embracing Robert E. Howard every bit as much as they do the author’s Hyborian Age.

A toss up. Why not check out both and decide for yourself?

 

#RPGaDay2017 Day 12: What RPG has the most inspiring interior art?

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Day 12: What RPG has the most inspiring interior art?

One of my favorite things about rpgs is the artwork, how it informs and inspires, so this question is a tough one because there are so many great games to choose from.

Mulling over the games I own — all the various D&D, Pathfinder, Call of Cthulhu, Star Wars, Marvel, DC, The Riddle of Steel, Middle-Earth, A Song of Ice & Fire, and on and on — I’m going to settle on <insert drumroll>…

CONAN: ADVENTURES IN AN AGE UNDREAMED OF

Let’s face it, Modiphius really pulled out all the stops, hiring some of the best known, and Conan-connected, artists in the field. Take a look at some of Tim Truman’s work and you’ll see what I mean—

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tim truman

Here are some more samples —

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This is a book that positively drips with inspiration, from the remarkable cover art and throughout all the interior renderings. It’s a beautiful book and a terrific game.

Heck, I’m getting excited just thinking about it.

 

#RPGaDay Day 8: What’s a good RPG for a 2 hour session?

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Day 8: What’s a good RPG for a 2 hour session?

Any RPG can be adapted to a two hour time frame. I’m running a two and a half hour game on Mondays and a two hour game on Saturdays. Both are Dungeons & Dragons 5e. Of course, these are also “big campaigns” and our sessions are like tiny slices of a much broader narrative.

So, wrapping my head around this question, I think a game that is sort of tailor made for a two hour session is Robert E. Howard’s Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of.

Howard’s Conan tales were, for the most part, a series of short stories, written and published between 1932 and 1936. There was a single novel and three novellas among the original twenty-one yarns. The rest are all considered novelettes.

Conan’s world lends itself to lightning-paced narratives and the game mechanics in Modiphius’ adaptation is a terrific match for this, duplicating the same kind of visceral experience that Robert E. Howard wrote so well.

Two hours to kill? Conan fits the bill.

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Heart and Steel

man with a sword

“If that’s true, then answer this priest, why are we in these pits, hiding from some animal?” Conan asked “Someday, when all your civilization and science are likewise swept away, your kind will pray for a man with a sword.”

— Robert E. Howard, Rogues in the House (1934)

This quote was on my mind this morning after a particularly brutal longsword training session with Connor. He’s thirteen and a half now and beginning to be more than a handful. I’m still stronger and more experienced, but his endurance and speed are becoming a thing to be reckoned with.

A sword is an extension of one’s self, as much a part of you as the flesh and bone of your body, to be sure, but also of your will, spirit, and intelligence.

If all were to be swept away, and we were sword armed against the rising horde, I can think of no one I’d rather have at my side than Conn.

Hither came Conan, the Cimmerian

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At long last, the core rulebook for Robert E Howard’s Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of by Modiphius has see the light of day, at least in pdf form. In addition, another book, Conan: Jeweled Thrones of the Earth, has been released alongside it.

As a backer, this is exciting news. We’ve been poring over chapter releases for months, with incomplete art and typographical errors. It’s nice to see it in its completed glory, even as a collection of pixels on a computer monitor.

Some of the art is uneven and I sort of wish they’d have just buried Tim Truman in money for all the interior illustrations. His work really pops in this.

The core book is strong, with in depth character creation mechanics and a rich and erudite examination of the cultures and homelands that make up Howard’s Hyborian Age.

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Jeweled Thrones is an adventure book that most gamers will find indispensable. They are compiled chiefly of thinly-veiled pastiches of actual Conan adventures which maintains the flavor if not the overt originality. I think this is a good move on Modiphus’ part. By making it hew as close to Two Gun as possible you establish the world as intended and train those less versed in Howard’s words.

Skilled Gamemasters will be able to take the reins from there.

The core book is priced at $24.99 with the adventure book coming in at only $10.99. I know some people balk at prices like these for pdfs, but believe me, this is money well spent.

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While not originally a fan of the 2d20 system, it’s grown on me and I look forward to bringing the game to our Club.

I’m also excited to see the rest of the kickstarter material to be unveiled in the months ahead. There is a wealth of source books on the way, as well as dice, tiles, maps, and more.

It’s been a long time coming, but the wait is mostly over. The time of Conan is at hand.

Robert E Howard’s Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of and Jeweled Thrones of the Earth can be purchased through DriveThruRpg