Red Markets Preorder

Summer is my chance to get a lot of reading done and, having finished reading Star Trek Adventures, I've moved on to Red Markets: A Game of Economic Horror by Caleb Stokes of Hebanon Games.

Red Markets is a horror game where the zombie apocalypse was unevenly spread. It is about the have-nots trying to eek out an existence while the haves live within safe zones. It's about groups of Takers completing bounties for supplies, for survival, and for the haves, with the hope of surviving to retirement.

I'm bringing this game up for a couple of reasons:

  1. It's a cool idea for a game and combines a lot of the tropes of modern zombie horror. We've got Dawn of the Dead Remake/28 Days Later fast zombies and Romero slow zombies. We have enclaves just trying to survive.
  2. It has a new take on the genre: The fact that everything isn't The Walking Dead is the real hook of the game, especially when there are plenty of zombie RPGs. Government and society still exists, even if the PCs are mostly cut off from it.
  3. It was developed in a level of transparency that was just astounding and, in my opinion, hasn't been seen since the early days of Evil Hat.
  4. And the creator of the game hit a really rough patch in his Kickstarter.

It is the last two that I wanted to talk about here.

Mr. Stokes is a regular host of Role Playing Public Radio, a well known RPG podcast. The development of Red Markets can be followed through RPPR's semi-regular Game Designer's Workshop episodes where Mr. Stokes and Ross Payton, RPPR's founder and game designer in his own right, discuss various aspects of game design and development.

The Kickstarter updates are also very informative and continues the level of transparency.

Listening to the development of Red Markets is a real lesson for anyone interested in seeing how a game starts as an idea and goes on to become a published product.

The other part is that the Red Markets Kickstarter is one of many Kickstarters that has suffered from the increasing cost of international shipping.

In response to this, Mr. Stokes has gone above and beyond to find better options for his backers. He has done this by splitting the shipment from China and engaging the services of a European fulfillment house…all at his own expense and after enduring no small level of abuse from a number of his backers.

This was a well researched and openly developed project that got hurt by forces beyond its control.

If you want a unique zombie RPG then head over to the Red Markets BackerKit Preorder page and place your order.

Ordering just the PDF and Stretch Goals PDF is, to my mind, like giving him money. But he is also happy for print orders.

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Kickstarter Watch: Empire’s Reign

Third Eye Games has started a Kickstarter to produce the first new supplement for The Ninja Crusade 2nd Edition, their game of ninja clans fighting a war against a tyrannical empire. The game takes its inspiration from shows like Avatar and several anime series.

Late last year, Mr. Lasanta ran a Kickstarter for a new edition of The Ninja Crusade, which included getting rid of the “Wu Xing” in the title and doing a complete overhaul on the system from the mechanics to character generation. Now the game uses a lifepath system along with a dice pool mechanic.

The current Kickstarter is for Empire’s Reign, which is a supplement about the Izou Empire to be used both as a resource for the ninja’s adversaries and a way to play as members of the empire. It is also geared toward funding a reprint of the core book as the stock is low and to help create other supplements for the line.

Mr. Lasanta recently posted a Q&A video with details about the supplement and the other plans for the line.

I have backed a large number of the Third Eye Games’ Kickstarters. I don’t know where I fell in love with Third Eye Games. I know that I got the PDF of Apocalypse Prevention Inc back in the day and liked their system and the ideas that I saw there. Then I started backing their API 1st Ed sourcebook Kickstarters. But when Wu Xing: The Ninja Crusade and Part-Time Gods came around, I think that is when I really became a fan. The changes that Eloy Lasanta made to their in-house system to fit the settings were good.

I have always found Third Eye Games’ products to be extremely well done and very reasonably priced. It is some of the best bang for the buck out there. If you want to scratch the martial arts fantasy genre itch and don’t want to deal with the complexities of Exalted, you should take a look at this game and it’s supplements.

I recommend seriously considering the Empire’s Reign Kickstarter.

The Sixth Gun RPG for Savage Worlds Kickstarter

I remember picking up the first Deadlands books at Origins back when it first came out. Since then, it has gone through several iterations, including it’s current form as a setting for Pinnacle Entertainment Group’s house game engine, Savage Worlds. This is only fitting since the Savage Worlds system is a streamlined version of the original Deadlands system.

When I first heard that Pinnacle was doing another Western setting, I was somewhat skeptical, especially considering it was another supernatural Western setting. I didn’t know that it was licensed from a comic book. Then I started to see some of the minor previews that Pinnacle was putting up on their Twitter feed which started to pique my interest. Ones like these:

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Following that, I looked up The Sixth Gun from Oni Press and got a digital copy of their first collected volume from Comixology. So far, it has been a good read.

The story of The Sixth Gun centers on six pistols of terrible supernatural power that are uncovered during the civil war and starts by telling the story of a woman who comes into possession of the sixth gun and the people that want it back.

Three things helped me decide to back this project: the aforementioned previews and the graphic novel, and Pinnacle’s tremendous record with their previous Kickstarters. It seems like the Pinnacle doesn’t post a project until it is pretty much finished. The turnaround time was incredible on both East Texas University and The Last Parsec and this promises to be no different with their statement that the main book will be sent out in PDF form as soon as pledges are collected.

The art of the look of Mike Mignola’s art style which is fitting for this supernatural setting. While it is a supernatural Western and Pinnacle notes that the material can crossover to Deadlands, the setting doesn’t seem derivative.

The project has already reached and exceeded it’s goal and now has several stretch goals unlocked. There is no reason not to pledge…unless Westerns aren’t your thing.

No Thank You, Evil: An RPG for Kids and Their Families

Monte Cook Games, the makers of Numenera and The Strange, just started their Kickstarter for their new kid and family oriented Roleplaying game, No Thank You, Evil.

The physical product will be produced as a box set with everything that is needed to play. It has already hit the halfway mark of the $40k funding goal. I have no doubt that this will fund considering their track record of amazing production values and staying on schedule.

You can find a link to the project HERE.