Category Archives: Kickstarter

Kickstarter: CONTACT – Tactical Alien Defense RPG

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Do you like computer games like XCOM – Enemy Unknown? Do you like roleplaying games with deep tactical combat, base building, high tech, and an alien invasion? You don’t mind crunchy rules? If you answered most of these questions with YES, you definitely should check out Clockwork Publishing’s latest Kickstarter project.

The German roleplaying games publisher Clockwork Publishing (aka Uhrwerk Verlag) is currently trying to raise money for an English edition of CONTACT, its “tactical alien defense” RPG. I actually picked up a copy of the German edition as soon as it came out a couple of years ago, and had a great chat with its author Robert Hamberger. In a nutshell, CONTACT is pretty much the XCOM series in roleplaying game form complete with base building. In my humble opinion it is the best adaption of the series I have seen so far, even though it doesn’t use the license.

cover-contact1Rules-wise it reminds me of games like Basic Roleplaying because it uses a similar percentile dice mechanic. But compared to BRP the combat rules are much more detailed. The game even uses action points like in the original XCOM games. I have to admit that rules-wise CONTACT is a bit too crunchy for my tastes, but you know that I prefer way lighter fare. But people who have played the game told me that you can easily reduce the complexity if needed. But if you are not afraid of crunch, you might find a lot to love in CONTACT.

The game is set into a near-future version of our world where the secret OMEGA organization is fighting against an alien invasion. Of course the OMEGA agents have access to the highest technology available to mankind at the moment. What really makes the game shine is it impressive artwork. Even if you don’t like the art style you just have to admit that this game has awesome production values.

If you want to have a free first look at what CONTACT has to offer, check out the quickstart rules available here.

The Kickstarter started today and is set to end on December 3rd. Clockwork Publishing has set the goal at €12,500 which should be enough to pay for the printing of the core rulebook. There are stretch goals which will update the core rulebook to hardcover or add additional material for the backers.

With a pledge of just €25 you get a copy of the PDF version of the rules if the projects gets funded. Starting with €40 you’ll get a full-color printed copy of the rules. And trust me, the book is gorgeous! As far as I know the rules are already fully translated, so backers should get their PDFs directly after the KS got funded.

If this sounds interesting to you, why not check out the KS project page now?

UPDATE: The PDF version is actually already available on DriveThruRPG right now. One of the KS pledge levels is actually specifically tailored for people who already own the PDF on DriveThruRPG and who are interested in the stretch goals. 🙂

Kickstarter: Shadow, Sword & Spell

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Shadow, Sword & Spell by Rogue Games is a game very dear to me. I still have fond memories of the game Zachary Houghton ran for us at GenCon 2010. Originally Richard Iorio II, the owner of Rogue Games, had planned to run the game for us, but unfortunately a very nasty cold stopped him from actually doing so. Shadow, Sword and Spell is – even in its 1st edition – a very easy to learn and to play sword & sorcery RPG with some interesting mechanics. The new mechanics which will power the 2nd edition of this fine game have been revised and now work better than ever. A Kickstarter project to fund the 2nd edition has just been started and at the moment of this writing has already reached more than a fifth of the goal of $5000.

For full disclosure I have to tell you that I worked with Richard on a couple of projects. I did nothing major, just some proofreading for several of his books, but this should be mentioned especially when I try to convince people to back his Kickstarter project. I also consider him a friend.

So, why should you invest some of your hard-earned money into this Kickstarter? For one Shadow, Sword & Spell is a great game which – in my opinion – is not as well-known as it should be. As I said before, the changes to the rules make the game even better. There will also be new artwork – which looks absolutely awesome by the way – and a completely new layout.

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Did I mention that everything from the 1st edition’s Basic and Expert books will be combined into the new 2nd edition rulebook? For a pledge of just $10 you not only support this project but you’ll also get a PDF, ePub, or Kindle copy of the game including all of the funded stretch goals. If you are willing to invest more, you can get a softcover or hardcover version of the rules.

What I really like about the Shadow, Sword & Spell Kickstarter is that it has a reasonable goal of $5000 and is not going crazy with pledge levels and stretch goals. I have seen too many Kickstarter projects fail because the goals where to high or the stretch goals could never be fulfilled.

In my opinion Shadow, Sword & Spell is a game which should be in any gamer’s library, especially if said gamer has a soft spot for the swords & sorcery genre. If you haven’t checked out the game yet, you should definitely give the Kickstarter project a look, or get the 1st edition from your local store or via DriveThruRPG!

RPG Blog Carnival: Technology in my Games

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Greetings dear readers! Michael recently wrote about our efforts to revitalize the blog, and I think we’re off to a good start. He invited our readers to discuss the types of posts and topics they enjoyed, and in one such comment Voidman said he liked one of my earlier pieces about using technology at the gaming table. Thank you for the kind words; it’s a pleasure to have you, and so many others as our readers.

This topic, the technology I use as a GM, is constantly evolving, and is one that deserves some revisiting periodically. On this post I’d like to discuss the technology I currently use to run our Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition campaign. It also happens that the topic of the RPG Blog Carnival for September 2016 is Game Master Tools, Aids, Apps & Hacks, so it all comes together rather fortuitously!

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Continue reading RPG Blog Carnival: Technology in my Games