role-playing game

The original Shadows of Brimstone dungeon crawler by Flying Frog Productions and Jason C. Hill (Last Night on Earth, Fortune and Glory) was a Kickstarter phenom in 2013, earning $1.3M and delivering a robust unique dungeon crawler. In Shadows, 1-4 players took on roles in the old west, and adventured into an old mine that housed portals to other realms. The game had great monsters, a fantastic exploration system that required no GM, and powerful role playing and leveling options, including a town expansion in which to rest and work on your characters.

Flying Frog added numerous other expansions to the 2 starting boxes for Shadows, then followed it up with Forbidden Fortress in 2016, a stand-alone feudal japan version of Shadows. Now Flying Frog has started a Kickstarter Campaign for 2 new Shadows of Brimstone Adventures, Gates of Valhalla and Valley of the Serpent King.

Valhalla has multiple viking character types for players, who travel back to the Targa Plateau from the City of the Ancients Core set to battle new creatures and search of elusive dark stone. The Valley of the Serpent King features Spanish Conquistador characters, and has portals to the Swamps of Jargono from the Swamps of Death Core set. Both games feature numerous high quality miniatures, including oversized elite monsters, dungeon tiles, cards, tokens and all you would expect from a Shadows of Brimstone game. The new Shadows Adventures are fully compatible with all previous versions, but can be played on their own.

The Kickstarter Campaign continues through March 9, and the games are expected to deliver in September of 2020.

RPG games are all about the experience, from the people you play with down to the adventure you are playing, and sound can be a big factor in that.  So some background music/sound sites have popped up like Syrinscape or TableTopAudio to help build the atmosphere of the game.  Now Darkraven Games is throwing their hat in the ring with a massive amount of soundtracks in their first Kickstarter.  You can pledge at all sorts of different levels to get many, many hours of soundscapes for an Imperial City or Cthulhu setting.  In each pack is all sorts of setting music like that for a quiet inn, the emperor’s mead hall, a market, to even darker sounds like battling the undead in a crypt.  Overall the music sounds great and used well can provide depth to an RPG, or even the right themed game.  Check out the Kickstarter today to pledge for the music tracks.

Catalyst Games Labs has announced plans to publish Dragonfire, a Dungeons and Dragons deckbuilding game, in partnership with Wizards of the Coast.

The game will have three to six players selecting their race and traditional dungeon crawling role to form an adventuring party. Form a part of rogue elves, dwarf wizards and half-orc-fighter then equip your characters with spells, weapons and magic items.

Players will begin their adventures along the famed Sword Coast and carry on adventuring across the Forgotten Realms to classic locations like Baldur’s Gate, Neverwinter and Waterdeep. As they journey players will be able to level up equipment, feats and other characteristics.

The game is built on previous Catalyst design Shadowrun: Crossfire. This isn’t the case of a game being pasted on an existing system though, as the developer’s blog makes clear that the starting point was defining what makes Dungeons & Dragons so Dungeons-ish & Dragons-ish.

From the developer blog:

…back in December, when the design of Dragonfire began in earnest, we spent a solid two weeks meeting every other day with white boards and just talking at a macro level. What makes Dungeons & Dragons, well…Dungeons & Dragons? What’s that ultimate shared experience? … What aesthetic, if missing, would tear out the soul of D&D?

Though no release date has been announced the developers have announced what they are currently planning to put in the box.

Contents include:

  • Dungeon 1 Encounters Deck
  • Dungeon 2 Encounters Deck
  • Wilderness 1 Encounters Deck
  • City 1 Encounters Deck
  • Adventurers 2 Encounter Deck
  • Market Deck
  • Magic Items Deck
  • Character cards
  • Adventure cards
  • Adventure booklet
  • Sticker Sheets
  • Tokens
  • Plastic Clips
  • Rulebook

Expansions are already planned. Catalyst Games seems to be following something similar to the living card game model path of Fantasy Flight Games or expandable card game model of Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. Fans shouldn’t have to wait long, as the cord game and first expansions are will be sent to the printer simultaneously:

We’re sending multiple releases to print simultaneously with the base game. These additional releases will include such expansions as: Wondrous Cache, a Magic Items deck; Heroes of the Sword Coast, a pack of new character cards that introduce additional classes and races; and Encounters: Dragonspear Castle, the first of our storyline expansions that will include a selection of Encounters, Magic Items, and Market cards, along with a new Adventure that will advance the storyline. Future releases, in addition to those listed above, will include campaign boxes that will not only provide additional materials to enjoy, but will move forward the meta-plot adventure that will weave through Dragonfire!

While no release date has been announced, those interested in the game can follow what looks to be a regularly updated developers blog to track the game development.

The latest incarnation of My Little Pony has quite the following among the geeky subculture and has spawned many fan inspired creations taking place in the cartoon’s world.  And companies that cater to those interests have not over-looked this, evidenced by the creation and distribution of the RPG My Little Pony: Tales of Equestria.  But unfortunately for RPG fans of the series, there hasn’t been a US distributor, until now.  Ninja Division and Shinobi 7 have acquired the licensing rights to the game and will begin releasing the game at the start of 2017.  First up will be the core rulebook, then The Curse of the Statuettes Adventure Story Box Set which will contain all you need to get up and running quickly, and finally Tokens of Friendship to use in the game.  After that they promise quarterly releases of new content to keep the game fresh and moving forward.

The folks over at Inspiring Games love pencil and paper RPGs, but like a lot of people they just find it hard to carve out enough time and people to be able to sit down and go through a campaign.  So in an effort to take all the theme and immersion of an RPG, and pack it into a shorter time frame, they have created the card game Legends Untold.  In Legends Untold you are trying to make your way into the city of Dun Mordhain, the last free city that continues to survive the Newcomer onslaught, but getting in is very difficult, as it should be.  So you will be taking your adventurers through different missions of a sprawling 36 mission campaign until they are final able to settle inside the city.  As you travel you will come across obstacles, monsters, and new equipment and items like you would in any good RPG, rolling 3d6 to pass any checks along the way.  How fast you move will also play a hand on what you will find around the next corner, and sometimes the only way out is by fighting.  Can you and you friends make it all the way to the city?

Legends Untold looks interesting in that it is very much striving to bring an RPG experience into a card game that plays in about an hour.  They have a demo up so you can download and print it out to give the system a try, which I intend to do myself.  A bunch of stretch goals have already been unlocked as the campaign is at it’s half way point, so if you want to give this game a look, check out their Kickstarter page today.


GURPS has been around for 30 years now, and to celebrate that milestone Steve Jackson Games have created a comprehensive package for dungeon crawlers and fateful inn attendees. Dungeon Fantasy is a massive collection of resources for the premier tabletop gaming experience combining the best of the Generic Universal Role-Playing System with 30 years of weathered design experience and customer feedback. GURPS is renowned in RPG communities for being incredibly flexible in comparison to equally long-lived systems, allowing imagination and ambition to rule over strict rules or character stereotypes, and Steve Jackson Games say that they’ve streamlined this already forgiving game even further. As stated on their Kickstarter page:

 It’s compatible with GURPS, but the famously detailed rules have been streamlined to be friendlier to new gamers and veterans alike. For existing GURPS fans, revisions made in response to nearly 10 years of customer feedback on the GURPS Dungeon Fantasy series – along with completely new content unique to this set – make this a “must have.”

The best part is that the project, as of writing this, has funded and is merrily on it’s way toward unlocking stretch goals. These goals are some of the most consumer friendly incentives I’ve seen, from new content delivered to backers free of charge to lowered cost of shipping when all is said and done. So if you’re an established fan of the GURPS system in need of more materials, or a new tabletop gamer who’s willing to check out one of the most time-tested and impressively responsive systems to date, then feel assured that Dungeon Fantasy can deliver.

Modiphius Entertainment, publisher of games like Thunderbirds and the Mutant Chronicles RPG, are making good on using the Star Trek license by releasing a new RPG based in the universe.  At the start you will only be able to play Starfleet characters, but you will have access to the whole of Star Trek lore from the original series to Enterprise and all the movies.  This new RPG will also use the same 2d20 system that Modiphius’ other RPGs use and will be designed by Jason Little, one of the designers behind the X-Wing Miniatures game.  And speaking of miniatures, the RPG will also include the launching of a new line of Star Trek miniature figures.  This is of importance because no miniature line for Star Trek has been produced in 17 years, and now you will be able to obtain iconic characters like Sisko, Picard, Kirk, and Spock.  All of this is slated for release in the summer of 2017.  You can sign up for playtesting at major conventions, or sign up for alerts through Modiphius’ website.  Until then, live long and prosper.


Monte Cook Games, the creator of the Numenera RPG, has announced they will be releasing a starter box for the Numenera RPG game.  This box will include everything you need to get into the game with all the rules, five pre-generated characters, dice, a map, and any cards you might need.  Their hope is that with a self-contained starter set, and low cost of entry, they will be able to stir more interest in the brand.  Look for it on stores shelves come November of 2016 and give it a try for yourself.  You can read the announcement on the Numenera Facebook page.

Modiphius Entertainment announces two new releases: Achtung! Cthulhu: Dark Tales from the Secret War and Dust Adventures: Operation Apocalypse.

Dark Tales from the Secret War

This is a collection of 13 stories that mixes the H.P. Lovecraft mythos with mankind’s finest and darkest hour in World War II.  This series of stories expand and expound the Achtung! Cthulhu universe, allowing players to “peer deeper into the sinister cult of the Black Sun, the terrifying technology of Nachtwolfe and gain valuable insight into the brave men and women of Section M and Majestic who oppose them, in a series of tales which will thrill and delight and even inspire even more Achtung! Cthulhu adventures.”  Dark Tales is available in print or in PDF format.

Operation Apocalypse

This is a 136-page campaign for the Dust Adventures RPG series that will take players to the pre-Mayan ruins in the Amazon jungle.  Highlights of the campaign include:

  •  A globe-trotting story that will take you to such places as South America, Turkey, Thailand, and the Philippines.
  • The introduction of a new alien species fighting the Vrill, as well as the secret history of their intergalactic war.
  • All-new information on the three blocs.
  • Epic action set-pieces, including a battle aboard a top secret Axis aircraft carrier.
  • Dust Tactics and Dust Warfare scenarios for the large-scale battles of the campaign.

For more information, visit the Modiphius website here.

warhammer quest

Join forces with legendary heroes to brave the many dangers of a cavernous dungeon. Wield potent weapons and magic. Conquer hordes of vile monsters. Discover fabulous treasures. Glorious battles and astonishing riches await you with the upcoming release of Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game!

Fantasy Flight Games announces the upcoming revival of the classic dungeon-crawl board game, Warhammer Quest, in the form of a cooperative adventure card game.  In this game, 1-4 players will select from four hero types (Bright Wizard, Ironbreaker, Waywatcher, or Warrior Priest) and enter the tunnels together underneath the fantasy city of Skompf to fight monsters that threaten the city’s very survival.  Behind the havoc of the monsters in the dungeon is the quest’s deadly nemesis, whom the hero must confront and defeat to win the quest.

warhammer quest cards

Each player will control his or her hero using four different action cards: Attack, Aid, Explore, and Rest.  While each hero possesses the same four action types, the effects of taking the action and amount of dice rolled varies between the different heroes based on the role they play in the party.  When executing an action, players will exhaust the appropriate card to take the action.  Exhausted action cards cannot be used again until the player refreshes all actions.

Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game is for 1-4 players ages 14 and up and plays in 30-60 minutes.  It is scheduled for release late in the third quarter of 2015.  For more information on this exciting new release, visit the game’s pages on the FFG website here.