Flat Plastic Miniatures

This is a case where the name pretty much says it all.  Flat Plastic Miniatures (FPM) is a KickStarter to make, well, flat plastic miniatures for tabletop roleplaying games.  There is also a digital reward that allows you to get versions of the minis to use in the virtual tabletop of your choice though so maybe the name doesn’t quite say it all, but it’s close.  Twenty-five dollars (US) gets you any set of 62 miniatures of your choice along with a panel of bases to stand them up on the table.  You can of course double your order for $50 but things get interesting if you pledge $75.  At that point you get all five of the core sets of FPM along with the two sets of bases.  That is over 300 plastic miniatures and around 60 bases for the cost of three or four boxes of random miniatures from anywhere else, and that’s with shipping included (domestically at least, it will cost an additional $20 for international shipping).fpm_tabletop

The samples shown on the KickStarter page should be enough to give you an idea of the type of quality to expect from these minis.  They are printed on clear plastic with the character’s front on one side and a separate image showing the back of the mini on the reverse side, so facing is easy to distinguish in games where this makes a difference.  The variety in the core five sets is fairly impressive as well.  There are five sets: The Grove (elves and woodland creatures), Ancient Evils (Necromancers, zombies, eldritch horrors etc), Mankind (actual people), Wild Lands (goblins, orcs, barbarians etc), and The Underground (dwarves, drow, beholders and more).  As you can tell the basic sets are highly geared towards fantasy games which makes sense considering how dominate fantasy RPGs are within the genre.

fpm_evilThe KickStarter is already well past being funded with 30 days still to go as of the posting of this article and as more Stretch Goals are unlocked more interesting miniatures are made available including legendary creatures and additional add-on sets.  So far a pack of Super heroes and villains has been unlocked ($25 add-on) as well as a Monster Mansion pack that can be used with the board game of the same name which is currently on KickStarter with 15 days remaining.

I’m personally holding out hope for a set of modern man minis that can be used in Call of Cthulhu games and the like, but that will most likely be in a second phase of releases unless this KickStarter continues to roll along at a great pace.

There are also other rewards besides more miniatures that can be gotten including the right to submit your own miniatures which are added to one of the sets.  Have a specific monster you always wanted a mini for but could never find?  Here’s your chance!  FPM seems like one of those ideas that is so obvious that once you first see it it’s impossible to believe it hasn’t been done before.  Cost and storage alone make this a great idea for any tabletop RPG fan.  Check it out and let us know what you think!

#091 Obligatory GenCon Podcast

Hey everyone out there in Goblin Beatnik land!  We spent last weekend at GenCon and this week we force you to, err allow you to listen to some of our thoughts on the con, what we did and what we wish we had done.  Take a listen and let us know what you thought about GenCon and if you saw us let us know!

As always it helps us a ton if you (and your friends!) subscribe to the Podcast on iTunes, give us a good rating and tell others you game with about the show.  If you leave us interesting feedback or send us an email at podcast@goblinbeat.com we might even read it on air!

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#088 David Pulver Interview

This week Matt and Danny interview David Pulver about Laboratory of the Forsaken, his new adventure for Fantasy Craft, a d20 based game from Crafty Games.  David has been writing adventures and supplements for years, including several for D&D 2nd Edition when TSR was still around.  We had a great conversation with David and hope you’ll consider checking out Laboratory of the Forsaken.

If you enjoy our podcasts and would like to help us keep it going you can always donate to use using the donate button on our main page or buy a shirt from our shop to help fund further podcasts.  If you donate $10 or more make sure to include your address and we’ll send you an official Goblin Beat Wild Die as well as dedicate an episode to you!

Thanks to everyone who listens and don’t forget to tell your friends about us and give us reviews on iTunes!

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The Anagen Gate

The King of the Island Nation of Thalass has gone missing and his Queen is willing to pay handsomely for his return.  The King’s last known location was on a small island where according to legend a gate to another realm exists.  The King left with his most trusted advisors and soldiers in hopes of finding his way to this realm in order to gain a weapon or artifact to help him safeguard his people from the other nations of the area.

King Thalass, as all Thalassian kings are called, had been convinced that his small kingdom would soon be overrun by pirates and invading forces if he could not find a way save them.  As a result he fixated upon the ancient legend of The Anagen Gate.  A gate through which a person may pass to find new power and strength, strength King Thalass could use to protect his kingdom.

The Queen knows the location of the island where King Thalass was headed and can give this to the heroes.  The trick to the Anagen gate though comes from the fact that once you go through it, you can not go back out the same way.  Any who enter may only return to their own world by going forward, through six more gates.  Each gate takes the traveler to another realm where they must prove themselves worthy to move forward and only by making it through the seventh gate does one return to the island.

When the heroes arrive the King is stuck just inside of the third gate, where the last of his advisors was struck down.  Each realm has its own challenges and problems to solve to make it through the next gate but once the King is found, and the heroes convince him that they are both real and on his side, he will willingly work along with them to make their way out.

There is plenty more to flesh out here, each realm could be a single encounter or an entire adventure for the players.  The rewards for any hero making his/her way through the final gate could also vary greatly.  The reward could simply be the experience (and new power gained thereby) or could be strange new abilities or magical items.  Once the King is returned there could still be more to do as well.  Where did he learn of the legend?  Was it planted for him to find by an enemy nation or by a rival within his own kingdom, hoping to usurp the throne in his absence?

I think lots of fun could be had working within the framework of this adventure hook, but what do you think?

The Ruby of Torm Tura

Torm Tura was perhaps the greatest Warchief the Black Hand Orcs ever had. During his reign dozens of other tribes pledged their banners to the Black Hands. Torm Tura allegedly gained much of his warrior power from a fist sized ruby set into the center of his leather breastplate. The legends of the origin of the Ruby of Torm Tura are as many and varied as its supposed powers. Most of the Black Hands held that the ruby was torn from the eye of a great demon, and that it infused their Warchief with its demonic strength and vigor. Others claimed it was the eye of a great dragon or created by a powerful wizard to turn Torm Tura into his champion.

Whatever the truth, Torm Tura was not only a powerful warrior, he was also smart and conniving. While he ruled the orcs of what are now known as the Tormeric Planes no other race dared step foot in the region, including the gnolls who had long been their hated rivals. Upon Torm Tura’s death, after a reign of more than forty years, a length of time unmatched in orc history, the ruby vanished along with the body of the great ruler.

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Now, hundreds of years later, rumors say the tomb of Torm Tura  has been found. Fearing the return of a powerful orc ruler the humans, elves, dwarves and others that live in or near the Tormeric Planes are looking about for a group of heroes to delve into the ancient tomb and secure the ruby before the orcs can do so. The gnolls also fear a return of the days of Torm Tura and are seeking the tomb for themselves, and of course the Black Hand orcs are doing all they can to find their way into the tomb in hopes of bringing back the glory days of their tribe.

If the heroes accept the commision to find the Ruby of Torm Tura they will not only be delving into an ancient and deadly tomb, filled with deterrents and death traps, they will also be racing orcs, gnolls and who knows what else to the resting place of Torm Tura himself. And who’s to say that the ancient orc is truly dead after all?

As always let me know what you think about this Adventure Hook and how it works out if you use it!

Stark Dawson: Zombie Slayer

My wife and I both love watching AMC’s The Walking Dead, and apparently we’re not alone since last Sunday it led the nation in ratings with over 11 million viewers.  The show led me to search for a zombie apocalypse themed pen and paper RPG and what I found was Outbreak: Undead which has been available since 2010.  If you want a detailed review of the handbook and game mechanics check out the article from Gnomestew.  This popular TV show and somewhat less popular RPG along with some carefully placed whip blows from our almighty Goblinbeat overseer  inspired the background for Stark Dawson, zombie slayer extraordinaire.  Aside from Outbreak: Undead, Stark could be easily integrated into a zombie themed Dungeons and Dragons or Savage Worlds System.

Stark had a truly deranged childhood as he was born in the midst of a zombie outbreak that took over an entire island continent that was evacuated and quarantined.  Certain factions have succeeded in controlling the advance of these zombies to other regions of the world, but there has been no success in ending zombie domination of the island.  He had the distinct privilege to be born into a tiny community of humans that were not allowed to evacuate, but somehow survived years of zombie onslaught.  Stark never got the chance to know his father who died getting Stark’s mom to safety as she was in labor with him.  So, it was with the help of a protective older brother and an emotionally broken mother, that Dawson learned to survive under the most hellacious circumstances.  Their small band didn’t dare attempt to leave the island since any vessels seen leaving the island after evacuation were destroyed on sight for fear of spreading the infection.  When he was 15, his group decided to attempt escape in the hopes that the island was no longer being watched.  However, once the tide had taken his party out into the sea, an explosion rocked the makeshift vessel.  Stark saw his mother’s flesh peel from her bones as the heat from the blast struck her.  He jumped overboard and after struggling to stay afloat on a piece of wreckage for three storm-racked days was picked up by a wary but kindhearted fishing boat captain 200 miles away.  Now that he is off the island he wants to find out who is responsible for the zombie infection as well as his mother’s death.  He wonders if his brother survived but seriously doubts it.  Anger and thoughts of vengeance fill his ever-waking moment.

Since he’s always had to get by without access to manufactured goods, Stark can be extremely resourceful, from making his own ammunition and repairing weaponry to hunting/snaring game and foraging.  He also is adept at melee combat against multiple opponents, not taking normal minuses for being flanked, and he has an amazing knack for obtaining advantageous positioning across a variety of terrain. Mr. Dawson can be extremely cold and deadly, rarely hesitating to dispose of a threat; however this makes it difficult for him to connect with others outside of a combat situation.  He has been a loner for many months and trusting others is very difficult for him.

Fate Core System KickStarter

Anyone who loves pen and paper RPGs has at least heard of the Fate rule system by Evil Hat Productions even if you only know that it is the system the Dresden Files RPG is based off like me.  If you are also like me in that you haven’t ever actually played a Fate based game then now is your chance.  With the Fate Core KickStarter everyone has a great chance to get into this exciting system at a ridiculously low cost.  Just $15 gets you a physical copy of the new Accelerated rules book, which has everything you need to learn to play in the system, and you can add extra copies of the book for $5 each which means you could get enough books for a group of five for $35!

No matter what your backer level though you immediately get access to the current pdf version of the new Fate Core book and all backer levels $10 and up also get a PDF version of every expansion funded by the KickStarter!  This KickStarter has already blown the minimum funding level way out of the water.  They currently sit at over $330,000 of the $3,000 the project had set as the minimum goal.  This is beyond great for any RPG fan looking to check out the system because almost all of the stretch goals already met benefits you immediately.

Look for the Goblin Beat to run a couple of 1-shots on our actual play podcast very soon with the new Fate Core System.  We can’t wait to try it out and see what we think.

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Oh and I almost forgot, the $400,000 stretch goal?  An all new Dresden Files Accelerated book!  We are all big fans of the Dresden files here (the Goblins make us watch re-runs of the show on a bi-weekly basis) so there is no doubt we’ll be playing that if/when it gets funded.

One last bonus piece of information for all of you Atomic Robo fans out there (Matt!).  Evil Hat is working on an upcoming RPG game based on Atomic Robo as well!

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Interface Zero 2.0: Cyberpunk Savaged

KickStarter is quickly becoming the land of awesome RPG products and Interface Zero 2.0: Full Metal Cyberpunk is yet another example.  The original Interface Zero released back in 2010 as a near future Cyberpunk setting for Savage Worlds.  Now Gunmetal Games is ready to release an updated and improved version of the game along with new settings like Christ Church New Zealand and Atlanta Georgia (home of the Goblin Beat)!  Fans of hacking, cyber ware, robots and books like Neuromancer should take notice as this looks to be a great system.

The original version of the Interface Zero setting was an award nominated hit and 2.0 promises a sleeker  more streamlined version of the same system.  As if that by itself wasn’t enough there are stretch goals (some of which have already been met) to have well-known industry veterans create source books for different locations.  As of this moment the Japan source book stretch goal is close to being reached and it will be written by none other than all around great guy and friend of the Goblin Beat, Stan! Brown.

As with any good KickStarter project there are also plenty of add-ons and Interface Zero 2.0 has some sweet ones.  Firstly, the obligatory custom wild die, which can be had for $2, print editions of the book, custom bennies, custom playing cards and even hardbound copies of the book are available.  Recently they have also added an Explorer’s Edition available as an add-on, the price of which varies depending upon which backer level you select.  If you haven’t seen the Explorer’s Edition bound books before  they are 6.5″ x 9″ and fit great in the hand.

So what do you think, ready to get your Cyberpunk Savaged?  Check out the video below for more information.

Adventure Quest: Learning & LARPing for Kids

Every once in a while you hear an idea that is so simple and makes so much since you can’t believe you didn’t think of it yourself.  That is what happened to me when I first found out about Adventure Quest (no not Adventure Time).  Adventure Quest started out as an after school/camp activity created for kids which basically lets them play in a kid friendly, LARP environment where they learn to solve problems through critical thinking, play fighting with foam swords (my kids do this part on their own anyway) and learning about history and mythology.

This one activity actually gets kids to run around and play outside, teaches them about subjects which will help them in school, and helps them learn how to better interact with their peers and adults.  Now the folks at Renaissance Adventures have created a KickStarter to allow them to create game books for anyone to run their own Adventure Quest games with special emphasis on parents, educators, gamers and even entrepreneurs that would like to run the games as part of a business.  On top of that they have also created a RPG version of the game.  According to their claims you can seamlessly go from LARP to RPG and back with the same adventure/story.

The idea of having my kids engaged in playing games outside instead of asking to play a video game is intruiging to me.  If you’d like to know more check out their KickStarter page and see what you think.

 

KickStarter Hopeful – Soul Gambler

If you’ve ever enjoyed a “choose your own adventure novel” then you will like this game.

Billed as “an interactive visual novel” by m.gaia studio, this solo rpg has a contemporary setting, but is based on the 19th century play, Faust by Goethe.  Actually, your only choice of character is a male named Faust.   He is offered a seemingly preposterous deal by a mysterious old lady at a bus stop: sell pieces of your soul for anything you may want.  Using supernatural powers, she quickly convinces Faust that she is for real.  Since the game hinges on him wagering his soul and refusing the deal just prolongs the inevitable, Faust soon enters into a pact with forces beyond his comprehension.

Currently, only chapter one is available, and the character creation screen is simple and logical.  Faust begins with six points to distribute across 4 attributes (Health, Intelligence, Charisma, Manipulation), but cannot initially add more than three points to any attribute.  During the course of the game, there are problems that Faust needs to solve and anytime he sees his reflection, a demon offers to help for a percentage of Faust’s soul.  Depending on the situation, if he has high enough scores in certain attributes, he can save some of his soul and get the job done on his own.

Overall, if you’re looking for an action-packed, fast-paced game, than this isn’t for you.  If you would like something that takes some careful decision making and you like the idea of watching a story unfold as you take part in it, then this game may be a lot of fun.  It’s also perfect for a smartphone, because it’s so easy to put it down and come back later to where you left off.  You can play the free demo version on your computer here or download it through your smartphone’s app search feature.

This is a kickstarter.com game still in pre-production, so if you want to find out more about the developers or about donating,  check out soulgambler.com