For some reason, January 2014 was the Month Of Kickstarters. Ever day seemed to bring a new project I had to back. There’s too many projects for me to discuss in a single post, but if I don’t write something soon time will run out, so let’s get started!
I’ve always been a sucker for miniatures. Like many others, I backed Reaper Miniatures’ Bones campaign, and was thrilled when the huge box of minis finally arrived. Hero Forge is a different sort of animal. Rather than offering quantity, Hero Forge offers the chance to create a miniature tailored specifically to your needs. More often then not, I ended up using a miniature that is close to my character, but not quite right… wrong weapon, wrong armor, SOMETHING I’d like to change. Hero Forge aspires to solve that problem. Using an online tool, you select from different poses, equipment, race, gender… hopefully finding the perfect match. The miniature you design is then printed in plastic (or other materials) and sent your way. Obviously there are limitations; you can only choose from the poses, equipment and races they provide, so my dreams of the warforged fighter wielding a Talenta tangat are off the table… at least for now. But there’s a wealth of options, and an opportunity to create a miniature that truly feels like a personal representation of your character. And as time goes on, they will be continuing to expand the library of parts, both expanding the existing lineup and adding new genres. They’ve already committed to Wild West and Sci-Fi lineups; Pulp/Noir, Steampunk, and other genres are just around the corner.
Hero Forge isn’t a cheap way to get a figure; depending on the material and number of figures you select, you’re putting anywhere from $15 – $30 into a single miniature. With that said, I’ve had a chance to examine Hero Forge miniatures directly, and I’m impressed with the quality and variety of the figures. Hero Forge isn’t about quantity. I wouldn’t use Hero Forge if I needed thirty goblins that will likely be wiped out in a single fireball. But when it comes to representing a specific individual, it’s a fantastic opportunity. I have to be honest: I never end up using most of the miniatures I purchase. Quite often I’m chasing one specific figure, and it comes with others that I simply never need. A Hero Forge figure may cost as much as a half dozen premade-minis… but it’s exactly the figure I want it to be, and I know I’m going to use it.
As of today, Hero Forge has been funded and already reached numerous stretch goals. I’ve seen their products and have no doubt that they will follow through with it. Time is running out, so if it interests you, check it out today!
As a professional designer, there’s a handful of people whose work consistently amazes me… people who inspire me and make me want to do more with my own designs. Will Hindmarch is one of those people. His cyberpunk epic Always/Never/Now is one of my all-time favorite roleplaying experiences. Now he’s launching a new game, Project: Dark. Personally, I think there’s an abundance of good systems out in the world, from the many flavors of D&D to Fate, Cortex, WaRP, Savage Worlds, GURPS, and on and on. As a result, it takes a lot to get me interested in an entirely new system. I want a reason for new mechanics… for the system to create a play experience that I simply couldn’t replicate with a difference system. And that’s what Dark does. It’s not a general-purpose system. It’s designed to tell a very specific sort of story – a story focused around stealth and exploration, about devising the perfect plan and creeping through the shadows to carry it out. While it’s designed for a certain style of adventure, it’s not tied to a single setting; currently it will include three distinct settings, each well-suited to the sort of stories the system does best.
I’ll be talking with Will Hindmarch about Dark in more detail in the next few weeks, so keep an eye out for that. The project is already fully funded with a few weeks to go, and it’s not Will’s first foray into Kickstarter. This is a project that’s going to happen, and a game worth checking out. So do it already!
From the minds of Anthony Gallela and Jeff Wilcox comes Zeppeldrome, The Hazardous Dirigible Rally. If you’re like me, you’ve been bemoaning the horrifying dearth of dirigible-based board games on the market today (though there’s a surprising surge in dirigible games on Kickstarter!). Zeppeldrome doubles down on this concept, as it’s a dirigible race in which the racecourse is itself in an even larger dirigible. This isn’t just a load of hot air, folks. Well, it is, but it’s also an intriguing game involving a modular board, pre-planned movement, and the ability to interfere with your opponent’s preplanned movement, while remaining casual and fun. So if you’ve been hankering for a quality game about humorously awkward airships, take a look!
I’ve always loved time travel. As a kid I ran into it through Peabody & Sherman’s Wayback Machine and Ray Bradbury’s “The Fox and the Forest”, and made my way to The Anubis Gates, TimeWars, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and so much more… I love it all. At the same time, I’ve never actually run a roleplaying game based around the concept. And more often than not, I’ve been frustrated by stories that feature time travel without truly considering the consequences of the technology. Kevin Kulp’s TimeWatch tackles both of these; it’s a brilliant time travel RPG that dives into all the issues that I find intriguing about the concept. TimeWatch is based on Robin D. Laws’ GUMSHOE system, tuned in various ways to fit the concept. As a TimeWatch agent, it’s your job to protect history from a myriad host of threats. Greedy Humans? Check. Radioactive cockroaches from the future trying to engineer nuclear war? Check. In any given mission, it’s up to you to figure out how history has been altered and what you need to do to resolve the problem. Like Project: Dark, TimeWatch has already been funded and already blown through multiple stretch goals, and it’s still got a week to go. If you like time travel, this is definitely worth a look!
Phew! That’s all for today, but that’s just the GAMES I’ve backed this month. I’ll be back later this week with a few more projects to check out. In the meantime, let me know what YOU’RE backing!