Showing posts with label kickstarter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kickstarter. Show all posts

Friday, November 3, 2017

Kickstart Your Weekend: Demons!

I am a huge Castles & Crusades fan.  Any chance I get to play is a good one.  So when they have a Kickstarter I pay attention.

Castles & Crusades Tome of the Unclean


https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/676918054/tome-of-the-unclean

I am a sucker for Monser books.  If they have demons or undead in them so much the better. If they are dedicated to demons or undead then I am sold.  I have the PDF versions of this, but to get it as a physical book with add-ons would be great! 

Friday, October 6, 2017

Kickstart Your Weekend: Jacob Blackmon style!

If you have been here for any period of time of bought any of my Pathfinder books then you will have seen the fantastic art of +Jacob Blackmon.

We are at a point where there are three Kickstarters out now featuring the art of Jacob and you can get in on all of them (if you hurry).

Super Powered Legends Sourcebook for M&M


A collection of supers for M&M that Jacob has been creating over the last couple of years. I have seen many of them and they are a lot of fun.  It features what I have come to think of his "cover girl" Pendragon.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1768030821/super-powered-legends-sourcebook-for-mandm

The Orcish Beefcake Calendar 2018


In what gets the prize as one of the silliest things I have seen is a pinup calendar of orcs.
Sure. Let's do it!
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/zombieorpheus/orcish-beefcake-calendar-2018

And ending in just a couple of hours is +Mark Taormino's

Dark Wizard Games: Double Mayhem Adventures


Jacob has had art in Mark's modules before, not sure if any will be in this one but I think so.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/marktaormino/dark-wizard-games-double-mayhem-adventures

There you go!

Jacob has a Pateron and can also be found on RPGNow with a TON of art and books you can buy.

He forever gets credit for really bringing my iconic witch Larina to life.


Not an easy task to draw a character that has been in my head for nearly 30 years and get her exactly right!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Kickstart Your Weekend: Adventures at End of the World Collection

Well according to the latest Doomsday theory tomorrow is the end of the World. Again.

But hey don't let that stop you! There are some great Kickstarters to be had.

Up first is another one from mad wizard +Mark Taormino.

Dark Wizard Games: Double Mayhem Adventures


https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/marktaormino/dark-wizard-games-double-mayhem-adventures
This one updates Hanging Coffins of the Vampire Queen and Secret Machines of the the Star Spawn. With new art and editing.  There is also the chance to get updates of other modules.


Burial Plots for the Cryptworld Game


https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1895361773/burial-plots
This book has five new adventures for the Cryptworld game.  +Dan P does some really great things with Cryptworld.  I wish I had the time to play it more to be honest.

Baker Street: Strange Cases and Hood: Beyond the Forest



https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/fearlightgames/baker-street-strange-cases-and-hood-beyond-the-for/
A new casebook for Baker Street and adventures for  Hood: Swashbuckling Adventures in Sherwood. Adventures Beyond the Forest.   +Bryce Whitacre has done a great job and Baker Street is a lot of fun. I have not played Hood, but if it is half as fun as it sounds then we are in good shape.

And what is the end of the world without demons?

Hell Awaits... Wave 1


https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/552604905/hell-awaits-wave-1
Some more demons based on old woodcuts.  Pretty cool if you ask me.

So go out and spend your money! We could all be dead tomorrow! ;)

Friday, September 8, 2017

Kickstart Your Weekend: Aliens in Dungeons, Wizards and Warriors in the Mean Streets.

Starfinder is the new hotness, but D&D 5 is still going strong.  So it seems natural to have a product that can support both.  So here is one of the first:

Alien Bestiary for Starfinder and 5E RPG


https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/legendarygames/alien-bestiary-for-starfinder-and-5e-rpg

I am sure converting to White Star will be easy.

If Starfinder takes the Pathfinder rules to the far future, Modern Adventures takes it the dark streets.


https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/highergrounds/modern-adventures-tabletop-rpg

I love modern adventure games and like so many I am not yet ready to retire my 3.x-era rules.

I really like what they have here.  Yes, there are LOTS of OGC/3.x based modern games out there but this one has a neat vibe about it.  There is something in it that feels a little like Kult or Chill.  I can also see you playing a cool Supernatural-like game.  I might even pull out my notes for the long abandoned Anita Blake game I was working on to see it would work there.

Combine these two books and you could have the best kick-ass game of X-files outside of Conspiracy X.

Both look really fun!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Kickstart Your Weekend: My Last Sunrise

This one started out with a limited amount of time and we are already near the end!

My Last Sunrise - Gothic Horror 28mm Miniatures


https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1512506318/my-last-sunrise-gothic-horror-28mm-miniatures

If it didn't have me at "Gothic Miniatures" or at a Dracula mini it had me at their witch mini.

Yeah, I am predictable.  But that also means that when these things hit the internet I will share them with you.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Kickstart Your Weekend: Cauldrons and Gaslight

Two projects that strike at the sweet spots in my heart.  Witches and Victorian Fantasy!

First up is one I should have told you all about weeks ago.

Gaslight Victorian Fantasy 3e for Savage Worlds


Savage Worlds is not my jam, but it is a really good fit for the Gaslight World.  If I were to play Savage Worlds again it would be in the Gaslight World.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/battlefieldpress/gaslight-victorian-fantasy-3e-for-savage-worlds

Next up is a board game about witches, so you know I am in!

Cauldron: Bubble and Boil Board Game


https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/magic-circle-games/cauldron-bubble-and-boil-board-game

I have to admit it looks ridiculously fun.  Check out the game play videos and reviews on the KS page.

I hope to have more about both projects in future posts.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Kickstart Your Weekend: Medieval Demon Miniatures

Spend anytime here or reading my books you know I LOVE old woodcuts of witches and demons from the Middle Ages.   They were the Monster Manuals of the day.

Well much to my happiness Antediluvian Miniatures is coming out with a line of 28mm miniatures of these old wood cut demons, and yes some flying witches!

Medieval Demon Miniatures


https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1565070206/medieval-demon-miniatures

They look awesome to tell you the truth.

All the figures will be in metal too, not plastic.


It's like Pokemon, I want to collect them all!
Besides you can never have too many demons.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1565070206/medieval-demon-miniatures

Friday, June 23, 2017

Kickstart Your Weekend: Calidar: Dreams of Aerie

We all know the undeniable affect that has been left on D&D by Monty Python.  I am not aware of a single gaming group that has not thrown out at least one "Holy Grail" quote.

Well +Bruce Heard has finally given us, or will give us, our first Flying Circus!

Calidar: Dreams of Aerie



I mean seriously, how cool is this idea?

A circus, that flies. An entire mini-campaign setting, monsters, murder mystery, weird stuff!
Sounds absolutely fantastic to be honest.

From the Kickstarter page:
Adventure: This tabletop role-playing game adventure also is a self-contained mini-setting. Because the action takes place on a flying circus, Dreams of Aerie is easy to adapt to any game world. Drawing on Barnum & Bailey and Cirque du Freak, this book's main plot elements involve a murder mystery, the rivalries of circus guilds, urban adventuring, and monster-hunting. Countless hooks allow side trips and alternate storylines, as each of the 90+ circus folk hide shadowy pasts and secret motivations. The heroes must contend with secret societies vying for hegemony among circus folk. If left to its own devices, a monstrous presence hidden aboard heralds catastrophic world events.

Plus it is system agnostic.  So use D&D. Use Castles & Crusades. Use Swords & Wizardry. Heck, I am going to try it out under Blue Rose.

For me, there are some great Ravenloft books out there that are also circus themed. Sounds like a GREAT mix to me.

This looks awesome and you should support it.
Bruce has a rock solid reputation in the RPG biz and with his Kickstarters.  PLUS all these Calidar books have been top notch in terms of production.
They are also all great books to game with.

So. What are you waiting for. Time to join the circus!!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Kickstart Your Weekend: Interview with Kris Lippert

Today I want to share an interview I had with Witches Trine creator Kris Lippert.

His Kickstart, Witches Trine, is now up and looks like a lot of fun, but it has a bit to go yet.



Tim:  Hello, my name is Tim Brannan and this is my blog The  Other Side.
If there is one thing I love talking about its witches.  If there is a second thing it’s comics.  So when a new witch comic book comes around, well you have my attention.  So today it is my pleasure to talk with Kris Lippert creator of the new comic Witches  Trine.
So Kris, please introduce yourself and tell us about your creation.

Kris: Hello everyone, and thank you for this opportunity, Tim.
Born and raised in Hungary, I started my career in banking and risk management, eventually founding and building two successful companies of my own in the field, before moving on to my lifelong passion: films.
I currently live in Perth, Western Australia, and work as a writer/producer, focusing my efforts on thriller/horror projects, with an eye towards fantasy and supernatural elements.
My feature credits include horror comedy Gingerclown, featuring Tim Curry, and supernatural thriller Foreshadow made entirely in WA (Western Australia).

Witches Trine is my first graphic novel, and it's the centuries-spanning story of three immortal witches: Olivia, the Scholar; Eva, the Healer; and Victoria, the Warrior.


I usually write feature films, but when I started working on Witches Trine, it felt like the story called for a different medium. I considered writing it as a TV series first, but then I realised that it would work great as a comic. And ultimately it’s always been about telling my story, no matter the medium. I've found that actually there are a lot of similarities between moviemaking and creating a comic book: both rely on visual storytelling and both are extremely collaborative. I've managed to put together a professional and experienced creative team that includes penciler Hugh Vogt, inker Jeff Austin, colorist Teo Gonzalez and letterer Bram Meehan.

This project is a labor of love that I have nurtured for the past two years and it feels great to have the chance to share it with others.

Tim: Witches Trine features some great characters. Tell me a bit more about your witches.

Kris: My witches are three young women at first glance, but what makes them unique is that they are witches with mystical powers, who don’t grow old and die.

VICTORIA is the oldest, born in ancient Babylon. She is well-travelled and has martial arts skills second to none. She is a physical being using her seductive skills, sexual prowess and fighting ability to overcome problems. Her beauty is legendary and she has a body to die for. When we first meet in her in present day L.A., she seems like a wild girl hanging with her biker boyfriend Sean, but she soon has to step up and get her act together.

OLIVIA is the youngest of the three women at 150. Born and raised in a small rural community in Northern England, she fled to the US with Victoria when a mob lynched Eva. She currently works at UCLA researching medieval occult history and while she has a keen intellect, when it comes to people her skills are somewhat lacking. She has immense knowledge of spells and mythology, and approaches problems intellectually. She is ‘Spock’ to Victoria’s ‘Kirk’.

EVA, a master of potion making and a healer from Byzantine Greece, missed the last 100 years on account of being dead. She does play a part in their past lives, though, where we see that she provides emotional support for Olivia and a moral compass to Victoria.

Tim: I think Olivia is my favorite so far, but I have a feeling that Victoria might give her a run for her money later on.  What inspirations did you draw on from for your characters and story?

Kris: Monika, my wife, was actually the inspiration behind Witches Trine in a way. She is deeply immersed in the world of holistic healing and nutrition, and astrology. She is also always on the lookout for new methods and ideas, some of which she would adopt after much research. And in turn, she tries to educate me in the ways of the “witch doctors”. One of her accounts about discovering an interesting herbalist shop gave me the idea to write about modern day witches.



But since my daughter’s favorite comic book is The Walking Dead, my perception about the preferences of female audiences and heroes is slightly skewed. I wanted to have kick-ass witches who are sexy, smart, courageous, and full of attitude, and a story that balances fast-paced, visceral action with character development.

And as I usually played magic user characters in D&D growing up, magic was always going to be a significant part of the world.

Tim: Same here, I played a lot ow magic-users, wizards and witches over the years. What can readers hope to see in Witches Trine?

Kris: My goal has always been to keep the story grounded and more of a thriller rather than a superhero story. Witches Trine combines supernatural vibe with modern kick-ass action. Witchcraft, martial arts, and sexual seduction are all parts of the equation.
The narrative spans two time frames as we watch the witches deal with life in 19th century England, and a whole different set of perils in modern day L.A.

The witches have minimal magical abilities in the beginning and will have to achieve ‘unity’ and become Trine to attain their full powers. You want magic to be present in a story about witches, of course, but if your protagonist can use it with a flick of the wrist, it lessens its impact. I wanted magic to be present in Witches Trine without being overwhelming, and it is a fine balancing act.
The women’s struggles are mostly realistic, they rely more on wits, cunning and physical prowess than magic to solve problems.


Tim: Having read the first two comics I love the shift between the two times. What are your future plans for this story?

Kris: I wanted to rethink the modern-day witch genre by making it less soapy, more thriller-like, darker, and more grounded in reality. I want readers to feel that what they see could be happening in their own backyards.
The first four chapters set up the three main characters and their world, and the next four will have them deal with an immediate threat, and test their abilities and ‘unity’.

Tim: I can't wait to read it. And finally, where can we find you on the internet?

Kris: Our Kickstarter campaign is currently live: http://bit.ly/2qEDoLo
You can also check out the Witches Trine website at http://www.witchestrine.com
like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/witchestrine/
or follow us on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/witches_trine

Tim: Last question, something I always ask.  Who is your favorite witch, wizard or magic-user and why?

Kris: It has to be Gandalf for me.
As English is not my first language, I will always have fond memories of the first English language book I ever read, Lord of the Rings.

Tim: Excellent choice!

The Witches Trine Kickstarter is happening right now.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Kickstart Your Weekend: Lion-tiger-bears and Apocalypses Oh My!

A couple of brand new Kickstarters for you today.

First up is +Andreas Walters and Atlas Animalia - A book of monster variants for Pathfinder and 5th edition Role-Playing.


https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/metalweavegames/atlas-animalia-a-book-of-monster-variants?ref=6yv756

Metal Weave games is bringing together an all-star cast of writers, artists, and editors to bring us monsters from any clime and local to drop into your game. The hardcover book reminds me of the old Dragon "Ecology of..." articles. There will be PDFs of monsters stats in Pathfinder and 5e format.  It looks really awesome, to be honest.

The Apocalypse happened.
It sucked and now 70 years later the nations are dead and only The Lost Citadel remains.


https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/504269797/the-lost-citadel-post-apocalyptic-fantasy-roleplay

The Lost Citadel — Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy Roleplaying is for 5th edition RPGS, but will be offering "System Hacks" for other systems including AGE.
Funded in a matter of hours I think it is now well on to stretch goals.

It looks like a lot of fun to be honest and I might just pick it up to have some 5e/AGE translation notes.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Kickstart Your Weekend: Comics Edition

Only 12 and half hours to go before Wonder Woman tonight! Been looking forward to this for years and have had my tickets for weeks.

Let's look at some new comic kickstarters that feature powerful women or created by powerful women!

First up is Witches Trine: Rebirth.


https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1986208350/witches-trine-rebirth

Issue #0 was given out at GenCon 2016 and there are other issues out on DriveThruComics.
The story covers the lives of three immortal witches and the threats they deal.
The issues I have read so far are great and this should be a fantastic looking book.
Eva, Olivia, and Victoria are a group of witches I could really get to like. Hell, I liked Victoria from the first page I saw her on.

I can also confirm that the book is complete. So it should ship right away.


Up next is the WONDERFUL Gisèle Lagacé and Ménage à 3 Volume 8 & more!


https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/pixietrixcomix/menage-a-3-volume-8-and-more

While you can follow the adventures of Zii, Didi and Gary online, these collected volumes have so much more to them.

While these are "adult" comics, they are more "Benny Hill" than "Fanny Hill".

There is more than just the sexcapades of a bunch of young adults in Toronto.  You also get the misadventures of Chole, the not-really-evil Succubus of Dangerously Chloe.



I say support both of these worthy Kickstarters.  This is exactly what Kickstarter was made to to do, help small publishers get the capital to start.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Kickstart Your Weekend: Monsters of Maximum Mayhem Dungeons

Evil genius +Mark Taormino is back with his fifth Kickstarter.  You might remember mark from The Hanging Coffins of the Vampire Queen and Maximum Mayhem Dungeon #2: Secret Machines of the Star Spawn.  Well, now he is back and bringing us all a new Monster book for Old-School style games.

Maximum Mayhem Dungeons: Monsters of Mayhem #1


I have come to expect some pretty great things from Mark in the past and I have not been disappointed.

This looks every bit as fun and at higher pledge levels you can get your own monsters made.

Mark always has a good spread of rewards and levels, so if yo are looking to finish up your collection of his adventures then this is a good Kickstarter to back.


This looks like a lot of fun.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/marktaormino/maximum-mayhem-dungeons-monsters-of-mayhem-1

Friday, April 28, 2017

Kickstart Your Weekend: Talislanta, Blueholme and New Minis

A bunch of Kickstarters wrapping up their funding here are some that caught my eye.

Talislanta: The Savage Land
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1861515217/talislanta-the-savage-land


Old-school gamers will remember the infamous Dragon ads of "No Elves" in the old Talislanta ads.  Well the old Bard Games classic is back and for 5 different systems! This one looks epic to be honest and I can't wait to see how the game looks when done.


BLUEHOLME™ Journeymanne Rules
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dreamscapedesign/blueholmetm-journeymanne-rules


I am not sure we need another retro-clone of Old-School D&D, but I am such a Holmes fan-boy that this is hard to pass up.  Plus I have been wanting to see these rules for a while now.
That cover looks awesome and they are nearing their final stretch goal.

Dark Sword Miniatures – Stephanie Law Masterworks Expansion
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/823962857/dark-sword-miniatures-stephanie-law-masterworks-ex


I am a big fan of the Dark Sword Masterworks miniatures and now we have a series from Stephanie Law.  She joins such greats a Larry Elmore, Keith Parkinson, Clyde Caldwell and Jeff Easley. These minis look great too, they will be perfect for my upcoming Blue Rose game.


Friday, April 21, 2017

Kickstart Your Weekend: Journey To Ragnarok

Every so often I get a Kickstarter sent to me and I am like "Whoa! That looks awesome!" and then I wonder, why haven't I seen this elsewhere?

Such is the case for Journey To Ragnarok: A Norse Mythology Adventure for 5e.

It looks awesome and the timing is right with American Gods and Thor: Ragnarok coming to screens near you.  It funded fast. But this is the first I have heard of it.


https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/micheleparoli/journey-to-ragnarok-a-norse-mythology-adventure-fo

The book is for 5e and looks like it will be a good fit.  With information for playing in the Nine Worlds of Norse Myth.


The book will contain:

  • The Nine Worlds setting based on Norse Mythology 
  • Adventure Module for players from 1st to 15th level 
  • New archetypes for all the classes
  • The Rune Master: A new playable class!
  • The Norse Pantheon: an in-depth description of deities and semi-deities
  • The Runic Divination System
  • Mythological and Magic Items
  • Creatures and Encounters from The Nine Worlds
  • Adventure Maps
  • Stunning Artworks by Art of Guardino.  https://www.facebook.com/GuardinoArt/

And the art looks amazing.





I have a soft spot in my heart for the Norse Myths and this looks fantastic really.

They are shipping from Italy, so keep that in mind when pledging (shipping costs will be higher).

Plus every pledge level gets a mead recipe! I HOPE they send the recipe after you pledge so you can make the mead and let it do it's thing while waiting for the books.

This is a fantastic looking book. I am going to be getting this myself.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Kickstart Your Weekend: Forest Kingdom Campaign Compendium

The quickest way to make me interested in something is to tell it is dual stated*.  Such is the case here for Legendary Games' newest Kickstarter.

(*ok, two different books one 5e and the other Pathfinder, but still)

Forest Kingdom Campaign Compendium for Pathfinder and 5E
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/legendarygames/forest-kingdom-campaign-compendium-for-pathfinder


There is something about old forests that scream "adventure" to me.  Hiden fey realms, goblin cities, and creatures that never leave so never seen by the likes of you and me.

Plus there is so much cool stuff in this compendium.
The add-ons make it even better.  Add on their Gothic Campaign Compendium? Hell yes!

There is so much great looking art and material in this I am not sure where to even start.
Just check it out for yourself and then pledge.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Kickstart Your Weekend: Castles & Crusades Players Handbook #7

The good folks over at Troll Lords have a Kickstarter up for the next printing of the Castles & Crusades Player's Handbook.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/676918054/castles-and-crusades-players-handbook-7


They have five days left and only about $1,000 to go.

Castles & Crusades is my favorite game that I never get to play.  Well...I do get to play it, but not as much as I would like really.

This Kickstarter has a lot of really nice perks and the Troll Lords are super great guys.

Check it out!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Kickstart Your Weekend: Awesome Returns and More Passion!

It's the weekend folks!  Or very nearly anyway.  What does Kickstarter have for us?

+Venger Satanis is back with another Kickstarter of Awesome.

Trinity of Awesome Returns!


Venger is back with, huh, a vengeance to give us more gonzo adventures.
He has hit his target funding but more money means more awesome right?  Well, he has a "blank" stretch goal at $2,000 so it will be interesting to see what people come up with if he hits that.

VS has done a great job with his Kickstarters so far; he delivers what he promises and usually gets things to people before the deadline.  I think I ended up with Alpha Blue 3-4 weeks before the promised date if I remember right.

Bottom line you know what to expect here; gonzo D&D of the Heavy Metal magazine meets Weird Tales variety and it getting done on time.

Couple weeks back I mentioned the Book of Passion from Misfit Studios.


Well, the project has been funded and they are headed to the stretch goals.

They do have a few add-ons already.

From their Facebook page:
Because of your support you've unlocked the 200 backers level which means all $20+ level backers will receive an exclusive Impassioned version of the Talented Bard.
Also we're now less than $500 away from our next big stretch goal! Tell your friends and share this project, because if we can reach our $13,600 goal then that means you'll get SIX additional class options (Anti-paladin, Gunslinger, Magus, Ninja, Samurai, & Vigilante).
There is also a free preview up on DriveThruRPG if you want to check it out.

Personally, I am enjoying the new "Love" oath for Paladins and the material on Agrat bat Mahlat.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Kickstart Your Weekend: The Book of Passion

It's the week of Valentine's Day.  My wife and I have a LONG overdue date night and Misfit Studios has released their latest Kickstarter for OGL 3.75 (D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder I take it).

The Book of Passion, by authors Will Wells and Margherita Tramontano, adds role-playing rules for love and sex to your OGL 3.75 campaign. Long-time game designer/editor/developer, Christina Stiles, will publish the book via Misfit Studios.


To find out more about this project I went to the authors to ask some questions.

Interview with Will Wells and Margherita Tramontano

(Full Disclosure: I work with Misfit Studio on the Strange Brew line of Witch and Warlock books.  Margherita has contributed to my book. This book and Strange Brew share editors Christina Stiles and Robert Hudson in common as well as artists Jacob Blackmon and Peter Bradley.)

Tim: So with tell me who you are and what your other publications of note have been.

Will: Well, I'm an English teacher from Cleveland who has been gaming since 1999 (see next question) and has been creating fan-made rule systems and modifications to the same for basically just as long.  I love to translate what I see in film, books, and video games into tabletop rules (likely from my start with the Fusion system, which did that for Bubblegum Crisis - again, see below).

Most of the time, this sort of thing has just been for my own personal use.  In fact, that's how the Passion Mystery started.  Sometimes I post my system modifications on the Paizo forums for others to use as well (again, as seen with the Passion Mystery).

As for official paid publications, my only current publications are outside the gaming realm - although that is about to change in a big way - Margherita and I have been doing a lot of work for Christina Stiles the past few months.

Also - fun fact - I've been trying to write a bio for the front-matter of some of the aforementioned work, and haven't been able to hit the right tone.  I think I just did here, so if you don't mind, I'm going to steal basically everything I just said for my official bio.

Margherita: Well, I am an Italian Literature teacher and a mum of two boys. I always wanted to be a writer since I was a little child. I published two volumes of poetry and some chapters of my fantasy novel… then I began sending articles to Wayfinder. The Paizo forums put me in contact with so many great persons that also were authors and publishers, so I tried to send something to them too. And here I am, working with people I look up to.
In recent years, I published articles in several issues of Wayfinder, on the Kobold Press blog with a series of options for their shaman class, and in the new version of Green Ronin Publishing’s Advanced Bestiary (Teratocephalos template). I also co–authored four Letters from the Flaming Crab for Flaming Crab Games and created the Esotericist oracle archetype for The Knotty–Works; for Everyman Games, I am the author of Childhood Feats and Mysteries of Passion; and I contributed to The Colossal Creatures Bestiary for Zenith Games with the kaiju Dypthera. For Christina, Will and I co-authored and developed the Talented Adventurers of SpirosBlaak line. This year more projects in which I am involved should see the light!

Tim: I suppose I should ask how you all got into gaming. So. How did you get into gaming?

Will: Back in 1999, I picked up a copy of the Bubblegum Crisis RPG because I was a huge fan of Bubblegum Crisis.  Having bought the book, it only seemed right to try it out.
From there, I jumped into 2nd Ed D&D just before the release of 3rd Ed - and 3rd Ed just made so much more sense to me than THAC0.

Margherita: It was a little tragic. I was involved in a game run by a friend, and since I always was curious about RPG, I accepted (it was a 2E campaign). It did finish well for my character, but much less well for me. I thought it would be an heroic Arthurian fantasy manga campaign, while the master and the other players were all into gothic dark Arthurian fantasy manga gaming. Like so many newbies, I couldn’t keep myself and my character separated, and the game’s flavor caused me a long period of deep depression and anger.
Fortunately, this stimulated me to learn more about the game, to understand whether I was wrong or my master was. I read manuals, tried to translate rules, created my own characters, campaign, game world and novels, and- well, ultimately I fell in love. I began to write my own rules at first just for myself. I found many beautiful netbooks of rules written by gamers (one was the Netbook of Witches and Warlocks, another the Complete Guide to Unlawful Carnal Knowledge!).
I never loved 3E or 3.5E much, however. But one day I found Pathfinder. The rest is history.


Tim: Great.  Now tell me about the Book of Passion.  Who’s idea was this and what are you hoping gamers can get from it?

Margherita: It was in part a coincidence. Will had started a thread on the Paizo forums with his first draft of the Mystery of Passion. I was searching for a way to convert one of my 2E characters to Pathfinder (the same that became my iconic romance oracle in the Book of Passion), and his idea was the nearest thing to her I could found then. So I answered to the thread with some ideas to make the mystery better. Before we knew, we were working together, exchanging ideas for the mystery, then for oracle archetypes tied to the mystery, then for other classes… I don’t remember which one of us had first the idea of making a book, but we liked it more and more. I had already proposed some pieces to Owen K. C. Stephens and Christina, so I thought to try sending some examples to them. And now, after some years of work, the book is nearly ready to become a reality.

Will: For me, it started with the release of Paizo's Advanced Player's Guide.  I loved the Oracle class during the playtest, and was eagerly awaiting the final book to see what interesting options would be released for clerics of Calistria.  I preordered the book and, when it finally arrived, I practically tore it open to get to the Oracle section and - nothing.  No mystery was listed for Calistria.  I was really disappointed - and after a brief snit, I decided that the best way to fix this was to make my own.

Except, of course, that Oracle mysteries are intentionally broad, so I couldn't make one specifically for her - I had to pick an aspect that she represented.  Plus, since I was also a huge fan of the works of Jacqueline Carey (particularly Kushiel's Legacy), I kept Naamah in mind as well.  Sacred prostitution is a shared theme between both goddesses, so that's where I started.

Tim: I am looking forward to that, I have used Naamah myself in other games.  What is one of your favorite features about this book?

Margherita: Among the parts I wrote, I like the Merciful Oracle archetype -the one that my iconic uses- but also the Chasmalim angel, which is the good counterpart of a succubus, and of course my pregnancy and hybridization rules, and the stats of my character. Among the parts Will wrote, maybe the richest of hints, flavor and fantasy are his descriptions of sex-oriented societies. But the Mystery of Passion is the book’s nucleus, the one from which everything else has grown, and we wrote that together!

Tim: What sort of games/stories do you expect that people will use this for?

Will: Any story that features romance, love, or sex.  Many (if not most) published Pathfinder adventures (by any publisher) feature these things, but they were usually on the "plot" side of things with no mechanical elements.  For example, in one adventure I can recall off the top of my head, it is a minor background note that two of the major NPCs are in a lesbian relationship with one another.  Aside from some motivations, however, this has no impact on the character builds.

With the Book of Passion, that could change.  Now, if there are two characters (PC or NPC), they could choose to take "Marriage Feats" - a special kind of teamwork feat that only works between individuals in a romantic relationship (they don't actually have to be married, but if you are choosing feats together, that's pretty significant commitment).

It can be as simple as that - or as complicated as the GM and players like.  During the playtesting for this book, I ran a game that resembled a fantasy romance novel.  There was a lot of political machinations, covert intelligence gathering, and - yes - a lot of seductions and romances.  Characters fell in love, entered into complex relationships (including a particularly complex polyamorous relationship between a married couple, their lover, her other lover, and his fiancee), suffered heartbreak, and in one case got murdered by a botched assassination aimed as the person sitting next to them.  The game was high melodrama and a lot of fun, with the archetypes, feats, and spells from the Book of Passion being a great way to flavor a character.  In fact, two of the three iconic character we present in the Book of Passion are from that game.

On the far end of the spectrum, we also playtested in a grim low-fantasy setting more reminiscent of Game of Thrones with a bit of Berserk (the manga) thrown in than anything like the usual Pathfinder setting.  And there, too, the Book of Passion was highly useful.  While there was far less magic in this game, several of the archetypes proved useful, as did a number of the more sinister monsters from the Book of Passion's Bestiary.

That's the thing - sex and romance are part of most of the stories we tell.  Whether they are the main focus, like in the romance novel game, or they are part of the tragic background, like in the low fantasy game, they're almost always there, somewhere.  Being able to make romance more core to a character, either through an archetype, feat, or spell, allows that oh-so important part of our characters' lives to be represented in their builds.

Margherita: I hope it will not be used to traumatize players or GMs! (Laughs) The book can be used not only to decide if a character gets pregnant or not, it also offers great tips for roleplaying many different situations and relationships in which sex must not necessarily be involved. If someone is just in search of “new positions”, then this is not the book they want.


Tim: It has to be asked, but is this just “Sex in D&D”? (nod to any old-school gamer that remembers that one).

Will: Yes - and no.  We do an update to some of the more common rules for sex presented in several different 3rd and 3.5 books, but that is literally the first half of the first chapter.  Sex has been part of D&D for a while now, and Pathfinder in particular has embraced that to a much greater degree than previous versions of the game.  However, while sex is a present and important aspect of the game, there is little a player can do to use sex meaningfully as part of their character.

That's where a lot of our work in this book comes in.  By far the largest chapter is a series of archetypes and class features for every class from Core, APG, Ultimate Magic, Ultimate Combat, and Advanced Class - all of which have to do with sex or romance in some way.  These features aren't just about flavor - they're about making sex and romance useful.  If you are a cleric or oracle who is granted spells by a god or goddess of fertility or sexuality, you should gain powers from that deity that relate to those aspects of the deity.  If you want to play a high class prostitute who uses sex to draw out information from his patrons, you can do that.  Or, if you want to play a knight with a pledge of courtly love to a noblewoman, you can do that too.  Archetypes for all of these concepts - and many, many more - are supported in such a way that even games that stick to a "fade to black" style PG rating can still use them.  A lot of game tables don't like to get into specifics but still use sexual themes, and we wanted to make sure they were covered as well.

Margherita: Nooooo. Love has many facets, and sex is just one of them. Will appreciates quality erotism, while I have a more romantic and platonic approach. We integrated both these points of view into our work. There is the temple prostitute inside, but there also is the virginal healer, the platonic lover, the courtly love-voted cavalier and bard. Passion is a nearly limitless subject.

Tim: So a related question.  What about the supposed “adult” content in this book. What do say to potential critics?

Will: First of all, I would ask where they were during 3.5 when at least five books on this topic (working sexuality into D&D) were released.  The concept of this book is nothing new - it's the execution, and the fact that it hasn't been done for Pathfinder yet, that make our book special.

Secondly, if you're talking about nudity, then I would remind any potential critics that the 3.5 "Book of Erotic Fantasy" used actual photographs of real models for its nudes, often photo-shopped in a very "uncanny valley" way to attempt to create magical effects.  We're using drawings - beautiful, well crafted drawings.  Again, anyone in a snit about this is nearly a decade late to the barbecue.

Does the book talk about sex?  Yes, quite a bit.  In fact, I make a point in chapter 1 to define sex as "oral sex, anal sex, vaginal sex, tribadism (aka scissoring), manual sex (aka hand-job or fingering), brachiovaginal insertion (fisting), or any other direct stimulation of one or both partners' genitals."  We don't just talk about sex - we talk inclusively about sex, making sure to cover various types of sexual relationships.

We also talk about the concept of "sex-positive" both as it applies to the book at large and to societies in various game settings.  Unlike some previous books on the topic, we don't make any assumptions about what a given race's sexual mores are and instead provide guidelines how sex-positive social mores might interact with various alignments.

Of course, we also talk about love and romance.  As I mentioned before, our archetypes are as likely to be focused on the emotion of love as they are to be on the physical act of sex.

Margherita: We always used a respectful language and a respectful approach to the many ways in which people see love. Some of the monsters and characters included in the book enjoy rape or non-consensual domination: these are evil. Many more enforce reciprocal trust, fealty and sincerity in a relationship, and defend even love that some would find “wrong”. These are the good ones and the model roles we hope to show to our readers.


Tim: Last question, something I always ask.  Who is your favorite witch, wizard or magic-user and why?

Margherita: Tiffany Aching. Because she will be the greatest witch in the Discworld and has surpassed even her teacher. She has all her teacher’s virtues and none of her teacher’s quirks. Though if I were a witch, I’m afraid I would be more a Magrat than a Tiffany.
Oh, and the witch I created for Christina, Marena Lenoire, is cool too. (Laughs)


Will: Favorite Witch?  Wow, how specific.  Okay - for me, that would be Anthy Himemiya from Revolutionary Girl Utena.  While she isn't a "traditional" witch, that is how she's described in the show, and she does have the power of illusions.  As to why - Anthy's story is that of a victim breaking free of her own guilt and finally walking away from her abuser.  She makes mistakes along the way and betrays her best friend, but it is that very betrayal - and her friend forgiving her for it - that finally makes her see that she can't keep being that person anymore and needs to change.  And change she does.  Her character arc is both tragic and uplifting, horrible and beautiful, and I love her to death.

--

Personally I think it looks like a lot of fun.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Kickstart Your Weekend: Team Synergy & London Gothic

I have a couple of really fun ones for you today!

First up is a Superhero team of cousins called Team Synergy.
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hbcomics/team-synergy-vol-1-spellbound



From their Press Release:

“Team Synergy” Kickstarter Promises New Heroes For Young Girls
HBComics' super-hero comic on kickstarter is“For every young girl who never had a hero of her own”

HBComics, a boston based indie comic publisher, has launched a kickstarter campagin for “Team Synergy,” a comic about a super-team of teenage girls, aimed at getting young female readers interested in super heroes.

According to the creators, the book was very much inspired by their own daughters and nieces.

“This book is so important to be, because I have two young girls...we have a lot of girls in our family.” said Chris Hebert, in the campaign's video. “(The young girls at comic conventions) would light up when they saw the book. One girl was literally jumping up and down hugging it. She was so excited there was a book just for her.”

The description of the comic on the kickstarter reads: "Five Teenage Girls. All cousins. All super-powered. Trained by their great grandmother, the original super heroine, to be the next generation of heroes. For every young girl who never had a super hero of their own to look up to, this is TEAM SYNERGY!” The book is written by Alan Hebert (Writer of Lazerman) and has art by Scott Shiver (Fem Force) and colors by Chris Hebert.

The kickstarter is running until February 24th, and can be found here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hbcomics/team-synergy-vol-1-spellbound

About HBComics™: HBComics™ is an independent comic book publisher, founded by two brothers from Boston. More information on the company, or the titles being produced, can be found at www.hbcomics.com

####

If you'd like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview, please call Chris Hebert at 781-588-9867 or e-mail info@hbcomics.com

The heroes include team leader Awesome Girl, cheerleader turned superhero Hot Pink, introvert and skeptic punk (and destined to be a new fave here at the Other Side) Scatterbrain, shrinker and anime fan GlitterBug, and finally the hyper social butterfly Pinball. Love these names.  I could see these characters EASY in an Icons game.

Personally, I think it looks awesome and I love finding Kickstarters like this. For me this why Kickstarter was created; to help out independent creators get their creation out to you.

Switching from comic fun to the dark streets of Victorian London.

A London Gothic
Dark Tales of Vampires, Witches, & Demons on the Streets of Victorian London!
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/415194828/a-london-gothic


As I mentioned to the author, Paul Voodindi,  "Vampires, Witches, Demons, London of the Victorian age?  Sounds like my Christmas list!"

From the press release for this:
Paul Voodini welcomes you to the dark and Gothic London of an alternative 1888. A dark and Gothic London where the shadow of Jack the Ripper still hangs over the streets of the East End like a malignant memory, fresh in the mind and with the power still to terrify. It is barely a month since Saucy Jack claimed the life of Mary Jane Kelly, yet, as our heroine Little Nell Trent is about to find out, there are more horrors than just old Jack lurking in the grim backstreets of Whitechapel.

Attacked on her own doorstep by a vampire girl, 18 year old Nell is herself transformed, joining the ranks of the East End vampires, known by the human residents as Tooth Fairies, and is plunged into a world of blood, lust, and dark wonder.

Captured by a human gang and forced into servitude, Nell befriends her one-time assailant Sally, the girl who originally turned her from mortal to vampire, and over the Christmas period of 1888, Sally protects her protégé as best she can, and every night recounts to her a Gothic tale from the dark underbelly of London.
“I had so many stories to tell,” explains Paul, “that I didn't know which one to focus on. So then I thought, why not write them all?!”

Inspired by the classic '1001 Arabian Nights', in which a wife successfully manages to stave off her execution by reciting a tale each night to her king husband, 'A London Gothic' features a series of short stories intertwined within the main narrative. And so, amongst others, we hear of Mary Shelley, who in this reality is a witch intent on raising back to life her dead friend, Amanda Frankenstein; Tiny Tim, the vampire boy, who prophecy tells will lead the vampire girls of London's East End out of the shadows and into the glittering heart of the British capital; and the poor, young funeral worker who on Christmas Eve is possessed by the unquiet spirit of Jacob Marley.

“Yes, these are tales of horror and melodrama,” says Paul, “but they are also tales of love and of loss, and although the anti-heroes of my stories are all creatures of the night, the stories they tell are of being cast adrift in a world that shuns them. I think that's a story that we can all, on one level or another, identify with.”
Find 'A London Gothic' on Kickstarter here: http://kck.st/2kwaq9b

See, sounds like a blast.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Kickstart Your Weekend: Maximum Mayhem Dungeons #4: Vault of the Dwarven King

Mad genius +Mark Taormino is at it again!

Maximum Mayhem Dungeons #4: Vault of the Dwarven King


The 4th dungeon in the Maximum Mayhem Dungeon series is being Kickstarted.

These modules really embody what I think is best about Kickstarter.  Mark uses these to get to a wide audience to pay for his art and production costs, which are always top notch, and get them out to everyone despite being a one-man operation.

This adventure is for levels 4 to 7 so it helps round of the "missing levels" from the other three modules.  It's almost like he was listing to me! ;)
(for the record I know he was not, this is a logical level spread and my input was not needed.)

In any case, back this. You know you want too.

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