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Crowdfunding Feb 2021 – Zine Quest

Crowdfunding Feb 2021 – Zine Quest

Thursday 11 February 2021
Everybody’s talking about The One Ring 2E Kickstarter, but don’t overlook this year’s Zine Quest event. Kickstarter’s third festival of small-press RPG fanzines from new designers has become quite the deal. More than 200 campaigns are now in progress, and there will be plenty more. Here are 30+ of the most interesting campaigns — and some of them end soon!
  • The 13th Fleet (Nathan Town): Officers of the Imperial Armada (and especially the 13th Fleet) have traditionally furthered themselves through ruthlessness, deceit, and the needless sacrifice of disposable Redshirts. Though they’ll need to occasionally help each other in order to make it home, the Captains benefit from causing entanglements for one another. A comedic mix of Jack Campbell’s Lost Fleet series, Blades in the Dark, Paranoia, Junta, and a ‘Mirror, Mirror’ FASA Star Trek setting using the Forged in the Dark rules. In space no one can hear you being a jerk.
  • An Altogether Different River (Aaron Lim): A storytelling game for 2-4 players about creating a town, then exploring how it changed through the lenses of the people who have left it and returned, and the people who stayed behind. Itch.io has a free text-only version of An Altogether Different River.
  • Back Again from the Broken Land (Cloven Pine Games): A Powered by the Apocalypse fantasy RPG about small adventurers sharing stories on the long walk home, Back Again From the Broken Land is inspired by the emotional, bittersweet concluding stretches of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. You’re returning to your home town after the great war with the Doomslord. The stories you tell determine the details of the adventures you’ve had and the home to which you return.
  • Beakwood Bay (Jackson Adams): A hack of Brindlewood Bay (in last November’s Indie Cornucopia 8) about adventurous mallards and the tales these ducks tell. Roleplay harebrained (birdbrained?) adventures as ducks in the mold of Carl Barks’ and Don Rosa’s Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck comics and the more recent Duck Tales cartoons. Seek treasure and protect your plunder, but beware of letting your ill-gotten gold corrupt you into Scrooge-like figures.
  • Beta Red: In this rules-lite cyberpunk RPG, Scott Uhls (Maximum Apocalypse) has built a “high risk, high reward” D6 dice system to navigate a world of robots, clones, and cybernetics. The drug “Beta Red” lets you graft cybernetic enhancements and compete with increasingly dominant robots. Free Beta Red quickstart on DriveThruRPG.
  • Bucket of Bolts (Mousehole Press): Jack Harrison adapts his entry in last year’s Zine Quest, Artefact, to let you build a spaceship and play to find out how it changes under many different captains. You’ll create a brand-new freighter, fresh off the manufacturing line, and explore how it changes as the decades pass — new names, new parts, fresh paint, fresh starts — until its story draws to a close.
  • Children Of The Dust: A Survival RPG: A rules-lite dark-fantasy RPG about kids “surviving in a society that hates you,” adapted from the World of Dungeons system.
  • Chronicles of the Spacejammer: Enoch’s Wake (R. Rook Studio): The sequel to the first Chronicles of the Spacejammer game, Enoch’s Wake is a space fantasy with orbiting cities, undead guardians, treasure, and player-driven character creation developed from the Mongoose Traveller SRD.
  • Contorta (Deanna Kim): A post-apocalyptic Lovecraftian RPG that uses token-draw mechanics to tell stories of people surviving in a broken world.
  • Low Stakes (Nerd Burger Games): You’re a modern-day vampire, werewolf, ghost, mystic, or maybe even a regular ol’ human sharing a household — and you’re not very good at it. You’ll create sitcom-style stories of gothic monsters trying to get by in a world that has moved on from their day.
  • Hibernation Games: 5 Journaling RPGs for Solo Play: This anthology includes short games by Lucian Kahn, Jeeyon Shim, Anna Anthropy, Viditya Voleti, and Will Jobst. The theme is literal and metaphorical hibernation — the icy cold, the spooky yet cozy mood, the moments of solitary reflection, the allure of the cave and the underworld.
  • Menagerie of the Void (Eran Aviram): In this solo storytelling game you’re the keeper of an ancient menagerie, created by a long-gone society and still operating. Create the story as you play, writing down details, deciding how to care for the strange, unreasonable exhibits, and drawing cards to see what happens next.
  • Rascals – High-stakes sf action-adventure (Giles Pritchard): You are ex-special forces, spies, or crooks — hard boiled types who worked together in the hottest zones during the former unpleasantness. You managed to get out and make a new life, but something has changed. Now your old crew of Rascals who survived the bloody final years of terrible war have been pulled back together. The game system uses playing cards and poker chips to conjure the tension, twists of fortune, and calculated gambles of action-adventure stories.
  • Realms of Peril (Spellsword Home Entertainment): An FRPG (based on World of Dungeons) designed for West Marches campaigns with old-school, fiction-focused gameplay.
  • Savage Sisters (Adriel Wilson): A narrative sword-and-sorcery RPG about powerful women making a difference in a barbaric world.
  • Stealing the Throne (Nick Bate): Assemble your crew for an epic heist. A thousand years ago, to fight a cataclysmic war, we built twelve giant mecha called Thrones. Ten survived that great war: ancient weapons with storied histories of battle and betrayal, but also symbols of dominance and entitlement. Possession of a Throne bestows wealth, power, and dominion over whole star systems. That’s why you’re going to steal one.
  • Tactical Deck (Baden White): A single-player RPG and strategy game about espionage and resource management. Tactical Deck sets you against a terrorist group occupying a skyscraper.
  • Terror of the Stratosfiend issue 3 (Sean Richer): If you got the first bunch of psychedelic issues in our recent Troika Bundle, you’ll want this “EVEN NEWER Tentacle and Sorcery Zine,” though this time it supports Dungeon Crawl Classics.
  • Tezca Sentai: A Mexican Rangers Zine (SerAke, Axo Stories): Based on the sentai series Power Rangers and Aztec mythology.
  • Through Ultan’s Door (Ben Laurence): Inspired by the dreamer’s tales of Lord Dunsany and HP Lovecraft, and the lush weirdness of Clark Ashton Smith and William Hope Hodgson, Through Ultan’s Door presents a vivid, lavishly illustrated setting that can be run as a campaign or inserted episodically into existing games.
  • Thursday RPG (Eli Seitz): Inspired by Russian Doll, Groundhog Day, and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Thursday is a game of time loops, drama, and learning from your mistakes — about finding out what is important in life as you fall off the fire escape for the fifth time. The story begins at 10PM on a Thursday and continues until one of the characters dies, triggering a cascade that returns everyone to their starting arrangements with the benefit of the knowledge they have gained. It’s about finally making that deep connection, but knowing it’ll all be lost with the next reset. Discover your character’s hidden backstory and unmet desires, and help them reach the personal epiphany they need to escape the fatal time loop and move on.
  • Two Summers (Côme Martin): A diceless RPG where you play the same characters 30 years apart, as they live two summer adventures as teens and adults.
  • The Vast in the Dark (Charles Ferguson-Avery): A 5E campaign setting about exploring a crumbling alien wasteland filled with brutalist mega-structure ruins. The Vast in the Dark includes tools for generating massive areas to explore, as well as unique player options and gameplay focused on player choice and ingenuity.
Lots of Zine Quest projects this year support Mothership (Tuesday Knight Games), the old-school horror-sf RPG in last July’s Old School Gold offer.
  • The Burning of Carbex (Tim Obermueller): A three-act, 100-page campaign where a malevolent alien parasite seeks to spread corruption across the galaxy.
  • Desert Moon of Karth (Joel Hines): A space western sandbox on a tiny moon. Harvest the ossified corpses of coral beings and live forever.
  • The Drain (Ian Yusem): A level-0 funnel adventure through an occult battlefield.
  • Dying Hard on Hardlight Station (David Kenny): “Die Hard meets Alien.
  • Gordinaak (Jeremy Childrey): Mech Bustin’ Gang Warfare on a dying planet.
  • What We Give to Alien Gods (Lone Archivist): Explore an abandoned temple adrift in the middle of Bermuda Triangle-like nebula, seeking the source of an interdiction field that rips ships out of FTL Jumpspace. Discover the secrets of the ancient structure once devoted to the worship of an extraterrestrial entity, betrayed and imprisoned by the alien species that once revered it. Decipher alien languages, and question your (character’s) existence.
And Zine Quest shows strong support for Old School Essentials, which we presented in our February 2020 Necrotic Gnome Bundle.
  • The Haunted Hamlet (Shane Walshe): Four free-standing, low-prep modular hexcrawl locations. Each has its own scenario, complete with hooks for your players, timelines of events, and unique monsters and NPCs.
  • In the Shadow of Tower Silveraxe (Jacob Fleming): A chaotic leader of a group of outlaws and mercenaries, Duard Silveraxe, has braved the Labyrinthine forest and taken the ancient ruined Tower of Shadow from the elves. A 52-page sandbox module of weird and fantastic pulp adventure.
  • Into the Wild (Todd Leback): A 200-page supplement about wilderness exploration and domain management.
  • Planar Compass Issue 2: The multiversal zine Planar Compass Issue 1 introduced the island of Dreamhaven, a home base for adventure in the Astral Sea. Now Issue 2 takes your Buccaneers of the Big Black out into the wider Astral Sea. Will you hunt a legendary trophy? Will you be hunted by an unfathomable monster? Why not both?