Like many of my fellow GeekDads and GeekMoms, I spend a lot of time perusing Kickstarter for new and interesting projects. Sometimes I stumble upon them on my own… and sometimes a friend points me in the right direction. I’m particularly fond of Kickstarter’s games and gaming accessories projects. Kickstarter truly has changed how games make their way to our tables (or electronic devices). This week, I’ve got not one… not two… but three new game-related Kickstarters to share with you. Check them out, and if one or more is of interest to you, show your support by backing.
Years ago, I played a game of D&D where we (the players) had to break into a wizard’s library to steal a book for a wealthy patron. I don’t remember all the details, but I do recall how much fun it was to plan and recruit certain classes of NPC to get the job done. It was very Ocean’s 11, with complications and a final confrontation with the “mark” who wasn’t happy with the unwelcomed guests who had his prized possession in their hands.
If the idea of an RPG that mixes elements of fantasy with con jobs and burglary appeals to you, you’ll want to check out Rodney Thompson’s newest creation, Dusk City Outlaws. Thompson is no newcomer to game design, being the co-creator of Lords of Waterdeep (a GeekDad favorite!) and also part of the D&D 5e design team among other accomplishments. What this means for backers of Dusk City Outlaws is a new RPG that’s been thoroughly tested and will have a high production quality.
One of the things I’m most impressed with is the game’s storytelling mechanic that has both the Judge (GM) and the players embellishing the adventure based on dice rolls that aren’t just black-or-white, yes-or-no results. By combining percentile dice with certain fudge-style dice, players and the Judge can fine-tune a result and introduce complications or major/minor successes with a bit of storytelling flair. (I’m also pleased to see that character development is simple and fast, and that all relevant info on skills, background, etc, is found on two cards that are always front and center to the player.)
If Dusk City Outlaws sounds interesting to you, click here to view the official page and check out both the Kickstarter video as well as the video near the bottom showing actual gameplay. Even better, backers can immediately gain access to PDFs that will allow you to take the game for a trial run with one included scenario and both the player and Judge rulebooks.
The Kickstarter for Dusk City Outlaws ends on February 28, 2017.
My boys (ages 9 and 6) and I are HUGE fans of White Wizard Games and their card games. We play a lot of WWG’s Star Realms and Hero Realms, but my oldest really enjoys some one-on-one gaming with me with their Epic Card Game. What I really like best about Epic is this: players have access to every card through core decks and expansion packs. There’s never a risk that you won’t have access to some super-powerful rare card that no one else can afford. When two players come together for a game, there’s a balance and fairness that ensures that skill and strategy (and a little bit of luck) are the primary means to a win.
I stumbled upon Epic at Gen Con 2016, and I was so taken by the gameplay that I bought it immediately (rather than at the end of the Gen Con event) and found a table to examine each and every card on the spot. I knew my oldest son would enjoy it, and I’m really happy to see his strategy skills developing when we have an after-school game. But here’s the problem: he ALWAYS wants to play it. I’m not always available for a game, however… job, dog, dinner, dishes, laundry, etc. I wish I could play Epic with him when he’s ready for a game, but it’s not always an option. But a new Kickstarter is really going to help me out.
The Epic Digital Card Game is now live on Kickstarter, and it’s raising funds to finish the production version of the game for a tablet and computer. (Access to the Alpha version, however, is available if you back the project!) Scheduled for a Fall 2017 release, the digital version of the game offers up unlimited access to EVERY SINGLE CARD from the Core deck PLUS you’ll get the digital versions of the Tyrants and Uprising expansion cards for free when they are completed. Additionally, backers will get a bunch of Event Tickets (in-game currency) that can be traded in for upgrades to cards or to participate in online tournaments.
Be sure to watch the gameplay videos on the official project page so you’ll better understand how the game works. If you’re like me, you’ll be impressed with what I see to be one of the greatest strengths of the game, the fairness/balance of card availability plus the numerous options for deck building such as Dark Draft or Constructed. There’s also a single-player campaign mode that I’m very curious to try out myself!
The Kickstarter for Epic Digital Card Game ends on February 28, 2017.
I’m a big fan of mats and tiles for use in my D&D game, and I’m quite pleased with a new Kickstarter from Kris McDermott called Meanders 2 that offers up 400 (!) different maps split over 20 different settings with titles such as Plane of Fire, Dwarven Citadel, and Moonbase.
The idea behind Meanders 2 (and the previous project, Meanders) is simple; individual maps can be moved around in such a way as to create random terrain for a mix of games. Paths wander through forests, swamps, futuristic cities, and other locales, allowing a GM to create paths on the fly or in advance.
Digital files are also customizable and available in the following formats:
1″ Square Gridded and Gridless Hi-Res 300dpi PDF
1″ Square Gridded and Gridless Low-Res 50 dpi VTT-Ready maps (less than 1mb)
Each map measures 27 x 18″ each. Four extra grid PNG’s are supplied with every pledge = 1″ Square, Hex, 1″ White Cross-hair and Black Cross-hair with instructions included on how to easily add grids with a few clicks of a button and a program like GIMP or Photoshop.
You can download a free map here to see how it works and get an idea about the quality of the artwork. And if you see a locale or two that you like, there are multiple backer options that will allow you to grab specific ones.
This is an ambitious project, and I’m blown away by how many maps have been created. You can view the official project page here to get details on all the maps plus the various stretch goals.
The Kickstarter for Meanders 2 ends on March 26, 2017.