Over the past couple weeks, three different game designers offered me a chance to contribute to their Kickstarter projects as a participant in possible stretch goals. As the first’s been active for a bit, and the second was just announced (the third isn’t slated to go live until next month), now seems like a good time to direct some traffic their way.
If you’re reading this, I suspect a high probability that you’re familiar with the work of tabletop game designer Robin D. Laws. I’ve been a fan of his stuff for twenty years, and I always look forward to seeing what he does next. He’s been teasing out his latest, DramaSystem, for a while and now folks will be able to get their hands on it.
As Robin’s excellent GUMSHOE (Esoterrorists, Mutant City Blues, Trail of Cthulhu) emulates procedural shows such as The X-Files, Law & Order, and CSI, his latest centers on the personal dynamics and relationships of more character-driven fare. The first product to use this, Hillfolk, is a game set in the Iron Age. Here’s the blurb from the pitch:
In an arid badlands, squeezed between mighty empires, your people hunger. Your neighbors have grain, cattle, gold. You have horses and spears, courage and ambition. Together with those you love and hate, you will remake history—or die.
The Kickstarter is already over 400% of its original goal and is well on its way through the slew of announced stretch goals. Chief among them are a variety of alternate premises using the DramaSystem. Not interest in Iron Age politics? Step into the shoes of time travelers stuck in the 1940s with Matt Forbeck’s WW2.1. Or play supervillians doing their best to stay reformed in Michelle Nephew’s Mad Scientists Anonymous. Or dip your toe in Cold War espionage with Kenneth Hite’s Moscow Station.
If the project hits $14k (and it looks like it will do that handily), I’ll contribute my own setting, the True Blood meets Being Human meets Vampire Diaries meets Twilight melodrama Inhuman Desires.
Subtitled “a roleplaying game of murder and vengeance”, Tracy Barnett’s two-player One Shot focus on personal relationships of a specific sort: the kind that usually have a gun involved. Check out the premise:
One Shot is a tabletop roleplaying game about murder and vengeance. Two people work together to tell the story of the Shooter, a normal person wronged, and set for revenge. One player plays the Shooter, on their path to their one shot. The other plays the Forces, the world and people around and in the way of the Shooter.
Sounds great, and fits perfectly with the work I’m doing on the Kickstarter-funded project I ran last year, Streets of Bedlam.
With a month left to go, One Shot sits near the halfway mark to its goal. If the project meets its stretch goal, I’ll contribute short fiction to an anthology that explores the ideas presented by the game itself. Other authors include Jess Hartley, Will Hindmarch, Filamena Young, David Hill, and others.
So please check out the above and, if they interest you, pledge your support! Kickstarter is a fantastic way for creatives and customers to connect. I love seeing folks like Tracy and Robin putting new ideas out there in a way that doesn’t threaten their pocketbooks.
As for the third, I’ll let you all know when that goes live. I think you’ll really dig it.