Tag Archives: Kickstarter

Cowboys and d6 Shooters

There are two Western-themed gaming Kickstarters going on right now by two of our favorite small game companies: Aces & Eights: Reloaded by Kenzer and Company, makers of HackMaster and Knights of the Dinner Table, and Six Shooters – Western Themed Dice by Black Oak Workshop, who we have backed twice before, for Bullseye d6, then Bullseye d4/8.

If you are a big fan of Wild West roleplaying games, then you may already be aware of award-winning Aces & Eights. What you may not know is that it was derived from Hackmaster 4e, which was itself evolved from AD&D 2E. HackMaster 5e, in turn, was adapted from A&8. To celebrate its 10th anniversary, KenzerCo is releasing a second edition, and it looks like the book will be a gorgeous, full-color, leather-bound tome like HackMaster 5e.

Even if you have no interest in the Wild West, its Shot Clock is an easy to way to resolve gunfire in a realistic manner without having to deal with cover and hit locations. Even better, the Kickstarter says it “can also be played as a skirmish-level miniatures battle.” I don’t have any particular interest in Wild West roleplaying, but we may well go for the $15 Showdown miniatures skirmish game rules.

Black Oak Workshop specializes in custom dice Kickstarters. We love our Bullseye dice, and are exceedingly happy with both the quality and how quickly they arrived. Like their previous project, this time the dice are 19mm rather than the 16mm of their previous offerings, which should make them much easier to read.

Take note that Aces & Eights is d20-based, while the Six Shooter dice are naturally d6s, but that didn’t stop Black Oak from backing Aces & Eights: Reloaded. Believe it or not, I actually heard about the A&8 Kickstarter from Black Oak Workshop before I did from Kenzer even though I’m on both mailing lists.

Bring Reading Rainbow Back for Every Child, Everywhere

I helped Reading Rainbow on Kickstarter, you can too!

Some of you may not be old enough to have the fond memories of Reading Rainbow my wife and I share, but it fostered my love the written word more than anything else. We now have the opportunity to give Reading Rainbow to children everywhere – for free! Not only will every episode be available from their app and elsewhere, it will be made available at no cost to thousands of classrooms.

Naturally, those worthy goals all cost money, and that money has to come from somewhere. Some of it is coming from us. Won’t you join us?

If you need more incentive, among the rewards are sit-downs with the cast of Next Generation. And some lucky Trekker with really deep pockets can have dinner with LeVar Burton and even try on the actual visor he wore in the show!

Hurry. The deadline is July 2nd.

Free RPG Day 2013

This year we will be running GURPS 4e and HackMaster 5e demos at Hillside Games. We have pre-gens ready for both and even dice to lend, so all you’ll need is yourself and your imagination.

As you may have read in my previous post, we have backed a Kickstarter for a new roleplaying game called Kingdom. Our donation tier entitles us to a copy of its predecessor and companion, Microscope, a game in which players work together to build an epic history. The author kindly gave us early access to Microscope so we’d like to run it today too if we have time.

Hope to see you there.

Update: We found out too late that Hillside wasn’t actually doing Free RPG Day this year, but if you ever see us there on a Saturday (except when we’re running Pokémon League from 4-8, of course), don’t be afraid to ask us to demo HackMaster, GURPS, Microscope, D&D, or any other game we know (my waist-length red-brown ponytail makes me pretty easy to spot).


I was finally able to upload all of my Pokémon game aids, but prepping for today and making D&D Encounters pre-gens for Wednesday night has kept me too busy to get the links posted here. As soon as I get the pre-gens finished I’ll get those links posted. For now, if you follow any of the scribd links on my download page you’ll be able to find the Pokémon stuff easily.

I still can’t figure out why WordPress won’t display my sidebar menu except on the front page. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know. Thanks.

Kickstarter Roleplaying Gems – Ending Soon!

We’re really excited about – and backing! – two soon-to-end roleplaying-related Kickstarter projects.

OVA (Open Versatile Anime) is our favorite rules-lite system, and has what may be my favorite dice mechanic. This is the KS is for the long-awaited Revised edition.

The game is definitely anime-flavored, but since the word anime covers such a huge variety of genres, the game is designed to handle them all. It doesn’t have stats, just abilities and weaknesses. Abilities for starting characters are generally ranked from 1-3; weaknesses at -1 to -2.

Those numbers tell you how many d6s to add to or subtract from the base two when making a roll (not surprisingly, negative dice are bad). To make a roll you toss the appropriate number of d6s, then add up any that match; the result is the single highest result among them. For instance, if you have “Attack! 2”, you’d roll 4d6 to attack someone, whether it’s with your fist, laser eyes, or BFG 2000. If the result was 2,2,3,6, the possible results are 3, 4, or 6, so you rolled a 6. That number is opposed by the defender in combat, and compared to a Target Difficulty otherwise.

One of my favorite things about the game is its physical size. The first edition’s book is so small and thin that I carry it around everywhere in one of the flaps of our backpack so I’ve always got it for a pick up game. OVA Revised is supposed to be about the same size.

As I write this, OVA has 6 days to go and has long since reached its goal, but now is the prefect time to get in on the ground floor of the new edition, and get some exclusive d6s in the bargain.


The other project we’re excited about is a story game called Kingdom. That’s right, the confirmed GURPS geeks are enthralled by a story game – that should tell you something!

I can best describe the game using a gameplay example from the Kickstarter itself:

We’re playing with a colony ship as our Kingdom. We’re still years from the target system when we pick up the signal. Could this be first contact with an alien intelligence? Unfortunately, it’s light years out of our way. This is our Crossroad: do we change course to investigate?

The colonists are excited even if it means abandoning our carefully calculated settlement plans. But by now all the players suspect that Captain Browning (ahem, *Acting* Captain Browning) cares more about looking like a good leader than being one. He’s in charge and he wants to keep it that way. My character tells the Captain that the data’s conclusive: the signal is definitely not natural. But she also mutters that if we’re abandoning the plan and just making things up as we go along, pretty soon everyone is going to want a vote.

I’m Perspective so what I predict is true. A Touchstone character showed us what the people wanted. But the Captain has Power. He decides what we do. And I just told him that if he does what the people want his precious authority is going to be a thing of the past.

Captain Browning carefully straightens his uniform, then flips the switch to make a ship-wide address…

To get a really good handle on the game I suggest taking a few minutes to read over the rest of the Kickstarter. Being as unfamiliar with story games as I am, I simply can’t describe better than he does.

We’re excited about using the game in two ways. First is to combine it with Microscope (Kingdom‘s predecessor and companion) to really flesh out the backgrounds of our game worlds (especially since my primary game world is the world of what I hope will be my first book).

Our second use is one suggested by Ben Robbins on the KS: Take an occasional break to investigate other parts of the world in detail. For instance, if the party just captured a lieutenant in an evil organization, once they’ve broken him we can switch to Kingdom to roleplay out the events he’s describing instead of the players just sitting there listening to the GM.

Kingdom has nearly two weeks to go but has likewise reached its goal (by more than 600% already!), but some of his bundles, like getting both the PDF and deadtree of both Kingdom and Microscope for $45, are unbelievably good values.