That Which Sleeps

It seems like there is an explosion of great projects out on KickStarter these days which makes it hard to pick and choose which ones to spotlight  here on our KickStarting column.  That Which Sleeps however moves beyond ‘great idea’ into the territory of ‘I would personally feel bad if I didn’t mention it and you missed out’.

Anyone who reads many articles here on the Goblin Beat or listens to our podcasts (or watches our YouTube channel) knows I love Lovecraft.  That’s right, love Lovecraft, what?  That Which Sleeps (TWS from here on) is a computer game and by the title you would suppose that it is Lovecraftian, which it is, but not in the typical fear ridden “what am I doing in this strange house and what are those noises and where did all these tentacles come from” sort of way.  TWS is a game where you are an Old One that has been reawakened after millennia of being locked away in a deep sleep, and now you are ready to take your rightful place as ruler of a pitiful world filled with mortals.

From the gameplay shown within the videos this game reminds me a great deal of Civilization in that this is a turn based strategy game about world domination, where most of the action takes place on an overland map showing the entire world.  Instead of building cities, roads, trade agreements and raising armies however you spend your time fostering Agents to do your bidding, corrupting mortals to further your goals and fomenting rebellions with the help of your trusty cults.

Take a look at the KickStarter trailer below and head on over to the KickStarter page to get more information on this game if you are interested.  The campaign has already funded at over 400% of the original goals and has unlocked a number of stretch goals that should add more content and twists to the finished product.

#110 Delta Green: Puppet Shows and Shadow Plays Part 1

We enter the gritty world of Delta Green in this week’s episode.  It’s the summer of 1996 and two FBI Special Agents along with a forensics expert are brought in to help solve a series of strange disappearances in Arizona.  If only they knew they were in a Call of Cthulhu game they would have probably called in sick!  This is another podcast pulled from our YouTube channel so feel free to go watch the action there as well.

As always please like us on Facebook, follow us on twitter@TheGoblinBeat and send us questions or suggestions via email at podcast@goblinbeat.com and last but not least we would appreciate any good ratings and/or reviews on iTunes.  Thanks for listening!

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Pirate Loot

Pirate Loot, A Card Game of Treasure and Treachery  is a KickStarter for a card game for the whole family.  The game accommodates 2-4 players with one of the stretch goals being to add support for up to 6 players.

The game is played in rounds where each player builds a pirate crew to help them gather loot.  Many of the crew have special abilities that let you draw more AzureCutlasscards, steal loot or force others to discard.  Each crew member also has a value and once one of the players draws the Set Sail each player gets one last turn and then the round ends and all players count up their points.  Whomever has the most points for that hand gets first pick of the loot and then the other players get to choose in descending order.  Play then continues with a new round until one player has enough loot to win, which is different depending on the number of players.

The designer of this game is Jason Bulmahn who is also the lead designer for Pathfinder, the massively successful offshoot of third edition Dungeons and Dragons.  The great art you’ll see on all of the cards and throughout the game has been created by Scott Kurtz of the PVP online comic and Dylan Meconis.

The KickStarter is already well past the base funding goal with one stretch goal down as well.  The first stretch goal was to add full art to the cards so that each unique card has its own full color art.  The next stretch goal will add unique cards to the deck for KickStarter backers only with further goals including the previously mentioned support for up to six players.

As with any KickStarter there are numerous support levels but the important thing to note is that the support level for a full copy of the game is only $20 US including shipping, with international shipping requiring an additional $10.  Considering the quality of the art, design and the fact that you can download and play the demo version of the game for free now this is a great deal.  Be sure to check it out soon as there are only ten days left in the campaign now!

 

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#109 Cthulhu Fluxx

We came back from DragonCon this year with a copy of Cthulhu Fluxx among other things.  Listen in as Chris, Danny and Brandon unleash the wrath of the great old ones and attempt to wrestle secrets from the Necronomicon in this game of insanity causing rules changes.

As always please like us on Facebook, follow us on twitter@TheGoblinBeat and send us questions or suggestions via email at podcast@goblinbeat.com and last but not least we would appreciate any good ratings and/or reviews on iTunes.  Thanks for listening!

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Catan: Ancient Egypt

That’s right Mayfair Games is releasing Catan: Ancient Egypt this November.  This isn’t just a re-skinning of regular Catan either, Klaus Teuber himself has reworked the original game to give it a distinctive Egyptian flavor in the Ancient Egypt collector’s edition.  You build settlements still but your cities are now Temple Cities and there are extra contents for Egyptian themed scenarios including papyrus boats, pyramid blocks, god cards and more.

Catan: Ancient Egypt retails for $75 and appears to be a very nice set, especially if you are interested in ancient Egypt.  The fact that this is a collectors set and comes with somewhere around ninety extra game pieces and cards for the special Egypt themed variants and scenarios also help to make this very tempting indeed.

Stuff and Nonsense

Stuff and Nonsense is a new (to you at least…probably) game coming from Cheapass Games and the latest installment in our never-ending quest to keep our readers up to date on some of our favorite gaming related KickStarters out there.

Stuff and Nonsense is a card game where the players take on the role of members of the Original London Adventurer’s Club as they gather trinkets and evidence of their nonexistent adventures.  That’s right, the game is “an adventure game with no real adventuring.”  Each player sneaks around London gathering evidence of their fake adventures to bring back to the club and use as proof of their adventures.  There’s a catch though as this isn’t even an original idea.  You stole the idea from Professor Elemental (incidentally Professor Elemental is a ‘real’ person and you can learn all about him here at his website) who is on to you and trying to catch you redhanded!  adventurersclub

There is plenty more information on the game on the KickStarter site and you can even download a beta version of the rules for free to get an idea of how gameplay works.  There are also perks for backing the KickStarter now as opposed to simply buying the game when it comes out like a personalized postcard from Professor Elemental and six KickStarter only bonus cards for the game.  On top of that there are some interesting add-ons like a set of Meeple that to be used with the game, sets of Professor Elemental versions of the Cheapass card game Pairs, Unexploded Cow and the possibility of opening up others via Stretch Goals.  In particular the card game Give me the Brain looks like it would be a great game to play.

Let us know what you think about this KickStarter and if you own or have played any of these or other Cheapass games tell us what you think about them.

Achtung! Cthulhu: The Movie

That is not a typo above, Achtung! Cthulhu is making a movie!  Modiphius Entertainment, the folks that brought us the great Call of Cthulhu / Savage Worlds (along with Realms of Cthulhu of course) World War II setting are now going to make a movie based on that same setting!  They have already hired Dirk Vandereyken to pen the script and have tagged Raine McCormack to handle directing duties.  Both Dirk and Raine seem very excited to work on this project and I’m sure all of the Cthulhu lovers out there would love to see a great original movie that leverages the rich backdrop of the Mythos.

The movie is currently titled Achtung! Cthulhu – The Secret War and is set to begin shooting in Summer of 2015 with a possible KickStarter in the Spring to help fund the film if necessary.

For those of you unfamiliar with Achtung! Chtulhu here is the setting description from the press release:

The Achtung! Cthulhu setting uses the writings of H.P. Lovecraft – arguably the most influential horror author ever – and the events unfolding just before and during World War II as source material to unveil the horrific secret history of what was actually going on behind the scenes. It presents a nightmarish alliance of science and the occult, frightening inhuman conspiracies from the depths of time and unbelievable war machines created just as much by the infernal ovens of the German factories as by dark incantations chanted by a select group of immoral, Cthulhu-worshiping Nazi researchers. It also features the heroes of the time, flawed but courageous human beings making a stand in the idle hope of postponing the inevitable demise of humankind foretold in antediluvian manuscripts tucked away in hidden corners of the world’s greatest museums.

Many of the characters, villains and creatures in the film are drawn from the pages and inspirational graphic art of the critically acclaimedAchtung! Cthulhu books and will also be making an appearance in Dark Tales, an anthology of short stories set in the same universe, whilst Modiphius has just launched a large range of collectible miniatures based on the universe. 

You can check out the full press release here and we will be sure to keep you up to date on any further news regarding the movie.

Ghostbusters Playing Cards

The folks from Albino Dragon are at it again with another great playing card KickStarter.  You might remember them from some of their other KickStarters like the great Cthulhu card set they did last year.  This time around they are doing a 30th anniversary (has it really been that long?) Ghostbusters set replacing face cards with drawings of characters from the movie.  These are high quality Bicycle Playing Cards and in my previous experience all of the images are sharp and well done.

We at the Goblin Beat love the Albino Dragon cards for use in our Savage Worlds games where you use a deck of cards for initiative in combat but these are great for anyone that uses playing cards and the quality is so high that you can use the decks for a long time with no worries about degradation.  Check out the video below and check out the KickStarter to get your own deck for only $15!

 

The Orton Estate

Although this Adventure Hook is probably more suited to a horror RPG like Call of Cthulhu it could work well within other systems like Savage Worlds (especially Realms of Cthulhu of course) or even Dungeons and Dragons with a few tweaks and the home could easily be fleshed out as a dungeon crawl.

Ian Theobald Orton was a famous adventurer and explorer who made his fortune finding and selling rare artifacts, artwork and curiosities.  At least that’s how the story goes in his official biography.  The truth however is much less prosaic.  Mr. Orton did indeed travel far and wide and dabbled in selling some of the more mundane things which he found in his travels, but his main purpose was the accumulation and use of long-lost forbidden knowledge.  A purpose to which he was uniquely suited and at which he greatly excelled.

Towards the end of his life he commissioned and built the Orton Estate on the outskirts of the city.  Rumors insist that Orton himself drew up the plans for the home and used different contractors for each stage of the construction so that no one person other than himself knew or fully understood the layout.  Many people even say that Ian Orton himself did much of the work even though he was upwards of sixty years old at the time.

Once the home was complete Mr. Orton spent the next few years arriving with trucks full of the art and curios he had obtained throughout his career as well as continuing to do some travel and acquiring more items which interested him until the time of his purported death over seventy-five years ago when ownership and upkeep of the estate passed to a Trust Mr. Orton had set up for the perpetual upkeep of the property for use by his family.

The Hook

Two weeks ago Natasha Hagelman, a seventeen year old local girl, disappeared and was last seen near the Orton Estate.  Authorities looking into the citizenkanedisappearance have come to the conclusion that the girl must have run away from home and have officially closed the investigation.  Natasha’s family however don’t believe this is true.  Her father is a long-time resident of the area and remembers several other disappearances around “the old Orton place” over the years and hires the players’ characters to investigate.

The Truth

Although investigations will show that the Orton Estate is currently owned by Ian’s great-grandson Henry Orton the only current resident is Ian himself.  Having prolonged his life and become immortal by turning himself into a Ghoul (a ghost or lich would work as well depending on your gaming system) he has continued his research.  Even now Ian has an insatiable thirst for forbidden knowledge which leads him to contact creatures from many realms.  These entities always require some type of payment for what they know and sometimes that payment comes in the form of humans.  When this occurs Ian abducts a passerby near his Estate and trades them for the information he seeks.  This has happened eight times in the seventy-five years since his “death” although only six were ever reported locally as the other two were from out-of-town, one a hitch-hiker and the other simply had the misfortune of being stranded near the estate on the wrong night.

2014 ENnie Awards Nominees

This year’s ENnie Awards Nominees have been announced and boy are there a lot of good RPG products out there!  Many of the nominees have been featured here on the Goblin Beat and some of them even used in podcasts.  Several of them are also sitting on the shelf waiting their turn to be used in a few gaming sessions.

I encourage you to check out all of the nominees and see what is out there that you might have missed but might love.  The one thing I found in the list that I Cover_tremulusreally want to get my hands on is tremulus, a game released this past year by Reality Blurs, the same folks that brought Cthulhu to Savage Worlds with Realms of Cthulhu, the hardcover copy of which is still one of my favorite source books.  tremulus follows in a similar vein being subtitled “a storytelling game of lovecraftian horror” and promising good horror roleplaying within an easy to learn system that requires only two six-sided dice to play.  Like I mentioned above I already have several other games awaiting their turn at the table but this one might end up being shunted to the front of the queue.

Speaking of games awaiting their turn at the gaming table Deadlands Noir from Pinnacle has several nods including Best Art and Best Cartography.  The hardcover of that book is also beautiful and I’m hoping to get to play in a game soon (maybe even talk someone else into running it!).  Pinnacle has other products on the list as well including a Judge’s Spotlight winner for Weird Wars Rome which we have used for a series of podcasts here on the site.

Fate Core and their extras have also been used for our podcasts and got several nods of their own including one for the Fate Dice line, which have been a great hit around our table, so it’s good to see them get recognized as well.

One product getting a lot of nominations which we have talked a lot about but haven’t actually done anything with yet is Numenera, the game system and world from Monte Cook.  Starting with a mega-KickStarter this game has really come on the scene in a big way over the past year and I’m sure it will continue to grow and hopefully we here at the Goblin Beat will get a chance to try it out at some point.

Overall this year’s list of ENnie nominees would be a great shopping list for any RPG lover and I encourage you to go through the list and let us know if there’s anything on there that deserves a shout-out that we failed to mention.