Nerdstarter: We’re going to need a bigger bookshelf

A few new RPGs on Kickstarter, all of which have reached their funding goals already and are working through the ol’ stretch goals: TimeWatch, by Kevin W. Kulp, is a game of investigative time travel based on the GUMSHOE system created by Robin Laws. It’s got four days left to go, with a lot of bonus stretch-goal content unlocked (including rules for playing as an alternate-timeline intelligent dinosaur, so, you know, get on that).

Twelve days left to go on indie RPG icon Will Hindmarch’s newest kickstarter, Project: Dark, a game focusing on stealth-based adventures but with enough flexibility to be played in a variety of settings. The default setting is the fantastical city of Saturnine, described as “a blend of Elizabethan London and medieval Constantinople,” but a couple setting supplements have been unlocked as stretch goals: Dark|Net, “a post-collapse dystopian future,” and Dark Planet, “an extrasolar colony world oppressed by an alien menace.” With hearty endorsements by both Wil Wheaton and Jason Morningstar, Project:Dark sounds like it ought to be good fun.

Finally, Paul Czege, author of the Diana-Jones-Award-winning indie RPG My Life with Master, has a new project on Kickstarter that’s already made its funding goal with twenty-five days remaining: The Clay That Woke is a game about a minotaur underclass in a human civilization. The setting information is intentionally sparse, but the artwork is pretty inspiring and the game mechanics look to be rather elegant. If My Life with Master is any indication, Czege’s newest is bound to be an intelligent and immersive game.

ConTessa Online Tabletop Gaming Convention

ConTessa Feb 7th- 9thI just heard about ConTessa through the Story Games newsletter with a couple weeks to spare. The convention will be February 7th through 9th on Google Hangout, with games, panels, and more.

But the really awesome thing? While the convention is open to attendees of any gender, the conference and all the games will be run by women. And there’s a big emphasis on getting more women into game design, including a panel discussion with indie game designers Meguey Baker of Night Sky Games, Emily Care Boss of Black and Green Games, and Brie Sheldon from Daedalum Analog Productions. And it’s free, so you really have no excuse…

Hellmouth High: A Fiasco Playset

As part of my resurgent efforts to get regular content on this blog, I give unto you Hellmouth High, a Buffy-inspired playset for the Fiasco roleplaying game, created by yours truly (the playset, not the game, I mean). In other words, I had this kicking around on my hard drive from ages past and figured I might as well make some use of it. The game Fiasco has been mentioned before here when Wil Wheaton and friends did their awesome actual-play video. You can also clicky on the image below to view the pdf.

Thanks to the folks at Bully Pulpit Games for providing the template for creating this. Also, stay posted for my review of their newest game, Durance, whenever I can spare the time.

Edit: The playset has been updated to include a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 2.0 license. I forgot to add it first time around, but assume the earlier version can be likewise shared, hosted, remixed, whatever.

Wil Wheaton and friends play Fiasco

I’ve been meaning to review the game Fiasco, but Wil Wheaton has provided something much better: video of an actual game of Fiasco played with actor Alison Haislip, screenwriter John Rogers, and author Bonnie Burton, part of Wheaton’s Tabletop series. For those not already familiar with the game, Fiasco combines improvisation, collaborative storytelling, and randomly generated story elements to produce a Coen brothers-esque story about people with “powerful ambition and poor impulse control.” The game itself is available from Bully Pulpit Games.

2012 ENnie Award Nominees Announced

The 2012 nominees for the ENnies RPG awards have been announced. I’m slightly irked that D&D, Pathfinder, and various d20 games and supplements continue to dominate, but there are a few games on the list that I had either missed entirely or not given proper attention to.

Hollowpoint by VSCA, the makers of the hard-scifi game Diaspora, had been completely off my radar, and there are a couple of pulp scifi RPGs, Cosmic Patrol by Catalyst Game Labs and Bulldogs! by Galileo Games, that I had seen at the friendly local gaming store, but hadn’t given a thorough look. Nice, though, to see at least a few small-press nominees on the list. The award ceremony for the winners will be at Gen Con in August.