Zine Quest 3 is here, making Kickstarter the best place for new TTRPGs

Tabletop role-playing video games started little — rather actually. Dungeons & Dragons’ “white box,” launched in 1974, consisted of simply 3 slim handouts printed on routine sheets of paper folded in half. None were more than 40 pages long, however they assisted alter video gaming permanently. In February, Kickstarter is utilizing the restrictions of that little format to assist bring to life brand-new tabletop RPGs and supplements for existing video games.

The project is called Zine Mission, and in assisting to bring lots of brand-new worlds to life, it’s likewise making the crowdfunding platform feel a bit like strolling through an old-timey video game store. The brain kid of Kickstarter vice president and head of neighborhood Luke Crane, himself an old-timer at releasing TTRPGs, Zine Mission has actually assisted 360 zines get moneyed considering that 2019. There are currently lots up on the crowdfunding site this month, with much more en route. Most importantly, the cost of a zine in 2020 is someplace around $15. That suggests you can get 3 or more for less than the cost of a single mainstream RPG book at retail.

Here are simply a few of the brand-new jobs we’re interested in up until now.

A Complex Occupation from Jason Cost is a story about spacefaring fugitive hunter who fall on tough times and need to earn money by dealing with a cruise liner. Takuma Okada’s Stewpot: Tales from a Dream Pub, which was amongst our factors’ preferred video games in 2020, acted as motivation. You can get a digital copy for around $9.

Running with that area style, we likewise came across Rebel Residue, an “explicitly Anti-Fascist, cinematic RPG about a war in the stars.” The art design is highly affected by old Kenner action figures, so if you have a box of old Star Wars toys spending time your house, you currently have the minis you require to begin. Released by 9th Level Games, it utilizes the light-weight Polymorph video game system.

The Drain is a brand-new video game by Ian Yusem that provides brand-new life to the so-called “funnel” mechanic that was frequently carried out in early RPGs. To start, each gamer at the table develops a whole celebration of low-level gamer characters (PCs). Then they put those characters through a meat mill, eliminating them off one by one till just the greatest stay.

“If embraced,” Yusem writes, “a funnel becomes a contest to achieve the most spectacular PC death. Players and [game masters] bond in murderous collaboration, anxieties surrounding character death melting away. PCs become resources to throw at problems rather than precious things to be guarded. Campaign-spanning legends of heroic sacrifice and bitter survival begin here.”

If you enjoyed Netflix’s Russian Doll or have a soft spot in your heart for Groundhog Day, then you’ll probably want to check out Thursday RPG, a game about time loops.

“The story begins at 10:00 pm on a Thursday in the city and continues until one of the characters dies,” writes creator Eli Seitz, “triggering a cascade that returns everyone to their starting arrangements with the benefit of the knowledge they have gained.” Tzor Edery, an artist based in Jerusalem, will be handing the art.

Art showing three teens walking through the woods on a summer day. The sky is blue. One wears a backpack, another carries a map. They’re smiling.

Image: momatoes

Two Summers is another game about altering time, but with an eye towards emotional flashbacks.

“As teenagers in the 1990s,” its characters are “living an unforgettable adventure,” writes creator Côme Martin. Later in life, now in their 50s, those same characters return to that setting, “realizing the adventure is not over.” The diceless game allows players to switch between the two timelines at will “to avoid slowing things down and giving a maximum of narrative freedom to everyone.”

Finally, Zine Quest isn’t all about entirely new games. It also includes supplements that can be used in 5th edition D&D, Pathfinder, Vampire: The Masquerade, or whatever other system you and your friends are most familiar with. Some are small and focused, even more so than the zine format might require. The Haunted Hamlet — and other hexes, for instance, zooms in on four discrete locations that could be plopped anywhere on a traditional hex-based world map. There’s also Isometric Blanks, a kind of Mad Libs-style zine where you’re presented with the shape of a dungeon and have to fill in the blanks to bring your own adventures to life.

Other supplements are so ambitious that they could easily be the foundation for an entire game system. My favorite so far is called The Power Words Engine, which promises to give players the tools they need to create magical spells from scratch. Lots of the content of this campaign is obscured, either out of a desire for secrecy or because the details haven’t been finalized yet. But, as someone who has just recently started playing a magic user in my own home games, it looks like a very interesting idea that could be applied to any setting imaginable.

Zine Quest campaigns have a lower price of entry, however they also tend to run for a shorter period of time. Many only run for a couple of weeks, at most. Expect brand-new jobs to emerge on Kickstarter all month long.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.