Fiction and roleplaying go hand in hand. It’s hard to imagine having one without the other. Various stories inspire the roleplaying in many games that we play, and good fiction usually requires authors to put themselves into the minds of their characters. Both are slices of escapism, where we — as writer, player, reader — attempt to switch personas for a little while.
It’s not surprising, then, that many tabletop RPG franchises spin off into fiction. But when you think of novels inspired by games, it’s always the big publishers that come to mind: Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, Games Workshop. Evil Hat Productions, the independent publisher behind a number of hit games (The Dresden Files RPG, Happy Birthday, Robot!, Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple) has proven that even smaller properties can support a series of tie-in novels.
Their Kickstarter campaign for The Dinocalypse Trilogy has blasted past its modest $5,000 target, exceeding stretch goals and expectations. The plan was to fund the publication of a book that takes place in Evil Hat’s Spirit of the Century pulp adventure setting. That book, Dinocalypse Now, is a riot of jetpacks and time travel and psychic dinosaurs. Written by the always-entertaining Chuck Wendig, it’s about a group of heroes called the Century Club, who are on call to prevent the assassination of Franklin Roosevelt. When a group of psychic dinosaurs take over New York, the Centurions — including Professor Khan, an erudite ape who talks — must save the human race from extinction.
Sure, it sounds a little far-fetched, but it’s also a hell of a lot of fun. I have to admit that I’ve never played a game set in the Spirit of the Century universe, but Wendig shoves you forcibly into the action and holds your head down until you happily drown in a raging flood of heroic pulp action. After I read the first chapter of Dinocalypse Now, available as a free preview, I wanted to start playing the game right away so I could be in the center of the action.
At this point, the entire trilogy has been funded. This means that Wendig is on board to write the second and third installments, Beyond Dinocalypse and Dinocalypse Forever. In addition, due to the success of the Kickstarter campaign, four other novels set in the Spirit of the Century world will be included. This means that for $10, you can get seven novels in e-book format. That’s less than $1.50 for each book.
Head on over to the Dinocalypse Trilogy Kickstarter page and join the over 1,200 backers in making independent RPG-inspired fiction a roaring success.