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TTRPG Gaming News, Releases, Crowdfunding


Games have always been used to build community, with current examples like the Anti-Imperialist Bundle (supporting a local chapter of the MTST Solidarity Kitchen in Brazil) and the Queer Games Bundle, which directly benefits queer game designers. We are also in the middle of the second annual KiwiRPG week!

According to the press release, “this giant celebration of Aotearoa tabletop roleplaying will offer daily bargains, enthralling special events, and exciting new game releases… Kiwi roleplaying creations are as rich and diverse as our film, literary or digital productions. We’re equally comfortable making world-class blockbusters and weird little indies.”

You can sign up for the KiwiRPG Week newsletter on its site and take a look at the featured designers here. Participants and supporters including “podcasters, streamers, YouTubers, game designers, and game writers” will be posting using the #KiwiRPG hashtag throughout the week.

New Releases: The Moss Mother’s Maze, Lodestar, Gull Squad, Wander Wizards, Perfectly Normal Animal Village Simulator, Empanel, Tea & Cake or Death, Velvet Generation, Creation Myths

The Moss Mother’s Maze is a low-level dungeon adventure steeped in the folklore of the rural north-west of England. Players will delve into an ancient labyrinth beneath sprawling moorlands to uncover the secrets of the Moss Mother, a legendary dragon said to guard a mighty treasure. Immerse yourself in a world of rot, rust, and rebirth, where the echoes of buried legends stalk your every move!”

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“In this redux of the classic party game Werewolf and Spin the Bottle, Lodestar has players act as pirates about to sell a magical broken compass in just a few short days once they make port. However, rumors of spies in your midst have spoiled this victory, and everyone spends the remaining days seeking out would-be traitors until they make landfall.”

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Gull Squad is a group game for a GM and 2+ players about a group of seagulls trying to save their favorite restaurant from closing. It is a slapstick comedy featuring a fail-forward system where players must roll 2d6 within a range to succeed, and rolling over or under results in different types of failures.”

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“June is the perfect time to explore the great outdoors, and gamers who want to add a dash of TTRPG fun to their walks will love Starshine Scribble’s newest game, Wander Wizards. Wander Wizards is a solo-journaling game you play while walking around and exploring your favorite places.”

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Perfectly Normal Animal Village Simulator is a system-neutral adventure for low-powered characters. It combines cute animals with folk horror for charmingly dreadful results. PNAVS contains characters, a setting, scenes, and challenges. You just plug in the numbers from whatever roleplaying game you’re most comfortable running and join your players in a session of creepy fun.”

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Empanel is a two-player narrative roleplaying game based around telegrams and queer yearning. Completely diceless, Empanel’s messaging-based gameplay is designed for long-distance play between you and a partner.”

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Tea & Cake or Death is designed for four players and a Game Master, but GMs can adjust their tools to allow for more or fewer players. The general setting is French Revolution, but this game can be adapted for almost any setting! Players take on the role of differently Classed citizens upset with the current regime of nobles and monarchs. Board the ship, blend in with the upper echelons of society, and take down your target without raising too much suspicion.

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Cortex Lite is a streamlined, setting-independent standalone version of the Cortex system, the narrative-centered ruleset driving games like Tales of Xadia and Marvel Heroic Roleplaying. Concise and easy-to-learn, Lite is not only free to download and play, but free to use in your own Cortex projects, via the Cortex Community License.”

Xine One is the inaugural issue of the world’s first and greatest Cortex community zine. It packs in five articles of games, worlds, and rules mods for the Cortex RPG, all compatible with Cortex Lite and other TTRPGs primed by Cortex. It’s also completely free to download (though donations are gratefully accepted to support making future issues).”

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Velvet Generation is the new reboot of 2002’s original tabletop roleplaying game of rock and revolution, Starchildren: Velvet Generation. Players step into the role of an underground band, trying to survive under the Ministry of Music’s bootheel long enough to strike back and topple the regime from below.”

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Creation Myths is a solo journeying game based on the hero’s journey/monomyth narrative template. It is designed to help players dive deeper into character creation through the development of a backstory adventure via a set of dice and prompts, and to provide them with new things to think about.”

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Steel Hearts [Zero] is a feature complete version of Mobile Engagement Chassis: Steel Hearts, a Kinetic Mecha Tactics Tabletop RPG! In this game you’ll take the role of fragile Pilots destined to control heinous war machines, all in the name of defending humanity. Taking inspiration from Mechas across time (be it Zone of the Enders, Pacific Rim, Gundam, or Evangelion), Steel Hearts attempts to capture a sense of cinematic high-octane mecha action, while preserving a deep tactical rules system.”

Currently Crowdfunding: The Last Caravan, Wreck this Deck, 1978, Akeroth, They Came From the RPG Anthology!, Big Bad Con

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The Last Caravan is a cars and aliens tabletop role-playing game about a midwinter road trip in the wake of an alien invasion. Starting from the East Coast, you and your fellow travelers will navigate a shattered North America. You’ll explore land-scapes transformed by xenoflora, search abandoned towns and crashed spaceships, discover the otherworldly technology called Harmonics, negotiate with newly-formed factions both human and alien, outrun hostile pursuers, and fight for the future of your world.”

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Wreck This Deck is a solo journaling game of demon summoning and deck crafting. You summon and bind demons into your Demon Deck, defacing the cards as you go. Demon summoning is dangerous and you’re bound to get into some sticky situations as you play but it’s nothing you can’t handle—right?”

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“In 1978, One player takes on the role of the Survivor, a normal person caught up in a sequence of escalating nightmarish events as they are pursued by the Slasher, a supernatural killing machine controlled by the opposing player. Using a deck of poker cards to generate prompts and build an emergent narrative, play moves through the Day and Night of a fateful Halloween.

“During the Day, Both Survivor and Slasher build their backstory and legends, drafting cards and accumulating resources for an imminent deadly showdown. In the Night, Slasher and Survivor enter the house for a deadly game of cat and mouse, using the cards they gained during the Day to square off and leave both forever changed.”

“Designed to emulate classic slasher films from the ‘70s and ‘80s and guaranteed to provide countless hours of play, 1978 invites players to embrace the shape of the night and try to come out whole on the other side.”

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Farewell to Arms is a self-contained, rules-light, war-sodden tabletop roleplaying game based on and compatible with Mörk Borg. Easy to play, impossible to survive. The dying lands are locked in the greatest conflict ever known. What they thought would be a petty squabble for territory has turned into outright butchery of the earth, a race to conquer the newly found resource, Slaggvara. But the dying lands are not complacent in their murder—mountains move, rivers bloat and shift, trees swell and extend their reach—the world is fighting back.”

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Akeroth is the brand new setting for your next campaign. It is a place of epic adventures, magical powers, and towering villains. The world is wide and diverse, with a range of landscapes and regions that range from the scorching Aslana Deserts to the frozen tundra of Erstone.”

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They Came From the RPG Anthology! is a collection of They Came From genre pieces made available under one cover. Some of the genres featured were pre-selected by the developer, others will be voted in by backers of this Kickstarter campaign. These individual chapters cover types of movies, TV shows, games, and more that have yet gone untouched in the They Came From tabletop RPG library.”

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Memory, a 30-page zine for Mothership RPG, sees the crew of the Almayer awaken on a strange planet with no memory of arriving there. Alarms blaring and engines malfunctioned, the crew has one choice: repair the ship and escape. Explore Mnemosyne, face off against sinister Xenocultists, and try to escape the planet alive all while your memory slowly slips away.”

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Big Bad Con is a tabletop gaming convention focused on supporting gamers from marginalized backgrounds and nurturing a space to grow the gaming community by hosting a convention that is as physically, socially, and financially accessible as possible. We are a volunteer-run 501(c)(3) non-profit organization composed of volunteers, staff, GMs, and players.”

In Other News:

  • In This World is fully funded, but the Kickstarter is almost over! Check out this game from Ben Robbins, the designer of Microscope and Kingdom.
  • Issue 28 of Arcadia, the third-party TTRPG supplement zine, is now available for purchase.
  • The Queer Games Bundle on itch.io is now live and benefits queer indie game developers.
  • Jon Taylor and Jef Aldrich have published the Ultimate RPG Tarot Deck via Simon and Schuster. (I received a copy of this deck and it is very cute but very, very referential in both imagery and its guidebook to Dungeons & Dragons, and might not have a lot of carryover to non D20-guided games.)
  • The new Star Wars Villainous game from Ravensburger is now available for pre-order at Target.
  • Quest Chest is crowdfunding the production of immersive, system-agnostic fantasy themed TTRPG product packages that includes physical props and puzzles.
  • Yoon Ha Lee has written a TTRPG based on his Ninefox Gambit science-fantasy series. You can preorder it now from Asteroid Press. It will release in October 2023.
  • The Star Trek: Lower Decks Campaign Guide is now available to preorder from Modiphius. It will release in August.
  • Free League Publishing has released the next chapter in its acclaimed sci-fi roleplaying game, Coriolis – The Third Horizon.
  • The Chaos Protocol is an upcoming, long-term campaign on Transplanar RPG, an all-transgender, people of color-led dark fantasy TTRPG channel set in an original noncolonial, antiorientalist multiverse. Chaos debuts on Saturday, June 24th at 8:00 pm ET on Transplanar RPG’s Twitch channel, with full VODs posted to YouTube every Sunday and podcast episodes every Tuesday and Thursday.
  • Threeflings is playing D&D and hosting a raffle all month for the Montana Two Spirit Society.
  • My First Dungeon is releasing a Good Society Actual Play for its next season; it’s a game about social ambition, family obligation, and breath-taking, heart-stopping longing.
  • Maestro Media will launch a new board game based on The Smurfs.
  • The Library of Congress Friends’ Choice Civics Video Game Challenge is calling on video game developers to create fun and lightweight video games related to civics that incorporate library resources as part of an effort to improve public knowledge of the rights and responsibilities of American citizens. Winning video game entries, to be announced early next year, will receive $35,000 in cash prizes.
  • The TTRPG Anti-Imperialist Bundle is available on itch.io until the end of June. All profits go to the benefit of MTST Solidarity Kitchen in Brasil. 
  • The Alleyway Oracles Kickstarter is in its last few days of funding, and quite a few indie TTRPGs are represented within its mis-matched decks.
  • The Ink That Bleeds is now available in limited quantities after Kickstarter fulfillment.
  • Pod Against the Machine (with a guest from Wayward Expeditions) is running a few Pathfinder 2e streams raising money for Equality Florida for Pride this year. They will stream on June 23 at 7:00 pm EDT and then replay at 1:00 pm EDT on June 24 and June 25, with raffles during each showing for people who donate.
  • There’s an Elden Ring TTRPG! Caveat: it is only available in Japanese.
  • Massif Press has released a playtest for Icon, its new game system following on Lancer’s success.

Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.



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