This is Audio EXP for the 21st of September 2019, and the title of this episode is Storming Area 51 with Robotech and Tintin.
[The following is a transcript of Audio EXP: #10]
This is a short highlights show in which we look back over a week of stories from the Geek Native blog.
At the end of the podcast, I’m going to reveal which superhero Geek Native readers voted most likely to be a tabletop roleplayer. That’s something to think about as we get on with the show.
First up, let’s not forget to mention the big Pathfinder sale at DriveThruRPG.
Ten years after the launch of Pathfinder, which was once the world’s most popular roleplaying game, we now have the 2nd edition.
There is, however, a vast collection of third party Pathfinder 1 material available. Some of it is on Paizo’s website and some on DriveThruRPG.
What do you think about Pathfinder 2? I’ve seen some gamers refer to it as Paizo’s own D&D 4th edition. I quite liked 4th ed, but I don’t think these gamers meant the comparison to be a compliment.
DriveThruRPG must think that now, a month after the launch of Pathfinder 2, is a good time for a blowout sale.
There are over 7,000 Pathfinder products in the sale, and most have 70% off. That’s a considerable amount of money.
I’ve noticed that many of these 7,000 items aren’t exclusive to Pathfinder. For example, Kobold Press’s Midgard setting is included, and that was marketed as a D&D 5e compatible material.
There are also lots of virtual tabletop assets like tokens and maps. So, even if you’re not a Pathfinder player, it’s a sale that’s still worth a look. Links to it and all of the headlines mentioned today are in the show notes.
What’s even better than 70% off? 100% off. That’s what the Storm Area 51 RPG has managed. It’s free.
All sorts of people had said they were interested in storming the so-called secret military base and possible alien conspiracy centre at Area 51 this week.
Looking at the news reports, I can’t help wonder if more t-shirt sellers than actual geeks turned up, but it’s been fun banter and we did the quirky Storm Area 51 RPG from Julia Grosvenor from it.
It’s only a 2-paged RPG. Page 1 is for players. Page 2 is for the GM.
Character generation is simple, and you get to have a Naruto stat which governs your character’s ability to ninja-like feats.
Some of the challenges you might face is a lack of WiFi. It might also be the case that one of your group is actually an alien in secret and is here looking for their friends.
While we’re talking about freebies, let’s take the time to mention two more from this week’s headlines. There’s the free to download playtest of Hyper Light Drifter from Metal Weave Games and the demo of Corpus Malicious from Dream Realm Storytellers.
Hyper Light Drifter is a computer game from Heart Machine and Abylight Studios. It has both a pixel art and a Zelda vibe. The indie was published in 2016 and has gone on to a cult hit. Metacritic gives it a score of 88.
Metal Weave Games are running an ambitious Kickstarter to turn it into a tabletop RPG. In fact, they’re asking for $50,000 because they hope to give the physical books for the game retro console-style boxes.
This week, Metal Weave Games supplied a free to download 50-paged PDF to act as a playtest. There are character generation rules, bits of the system, including combat and enough to get playing. There are only a few art teasers, though.
The playtest is a good idea. Free demos help persuade people back the Kickstarter and the news of them get more people interested in the Kickstarter.
That’s the tactic Dream Realm Storytellers used for the fantasy Viking setting Svilland which we talked about in the last Audio EXP. I predicted then that the young Turkish publisher was worth watching. Rather handly, this week they announced their next project.
We’re talking about adding a great evil to Dungeons & Dragons.
Dream Realm Storytellers are putting together the Corpus Malicious as the ultimate evil codex for 5e. There are new types of evil characters, new monsters, feats, spells and other such terrors. Geek Native has a free to download demo booklet, so you can check out the project even before the Kickstarter launches.
While we’re talking about publishers worth watching, let’s take the chance to talk about Fat Goblin Games.
Fat Goblin Games is an indie studio run by the artist Rick Hershey. Working with him are two project managers; Lucus Palosaari and Troy Daniels. With the help of the Goblin Hoarde – that’s a pool of freelancers – they’ve put out nearly one and a half thousand titles.
Fat Goblin Games are the focus of our RPG Publisher Spotlight this month. That’s our attempt to do good and shine light on some of the smaller companies that contribute to the industry.
You can buy traditional gaming supplements from Fat Goblin Games. They’ve made material for Mike Pondsmith’s Castle Falkenstein, for example, but they also sell stock art.
Stock art is used by other publishers to add illustrations to their games, legally but without having to commission pieces.
Increasingly, stock art is also used by GMs looking to add more visual elements to their virtual tabletops.
That’s a new market which companies like Fat Goblin Games can do well in and I talk to Rick about it in the Spotlight article.
Some of the top-selling items in the Pathfinder sale we chatted about at the start of this podcast are also virtual tabletop items. WarDrum, at the time of recording, has three product sets in the top ten.
WarDrum is Alex Drummond’s company, and we first featured his art in a 2013 article called The Drummond dungeon on Geek Native. The visual aid market in tabletop RPGs has been maturing for a long time.
That’s a recommendation, then, go check out Fat Goblin Games.
Now, both Fat Goblin and WarDrum might have been on my radar for a while, but Strange Machine Games have not.
That changed dramatically this week when Strange Machine Games announced they were now taking pre-orders for their Robotech RPG.
That’s right. Robotech. In fact, it’s Robotech: The Macross Saga.
It might be the case that for as long as you remember that Palladium Books was running that RPG franchise. They had it for 30 years before the license moved. They ran into trouble with the Kickstarter for Robotech RPG Tactics which took over $1m and then struggled to fulfil. Last year, when the license was up for renewal, it did not come back to them.
Strange Machine Games’ new RPG is written by Jeff Mechlinksi and Bryan Young. It’s a hardback in full colour and over 260 pages. Art’s a focus with 150 original illustrations.
We’re getting to the end of the podcast and I’ve still not mentioned Tintin, even though Herge’s comic-book detective is mentioned in the title.
I’ll tell you why. There’s no Tintin RPG coming, at least this week.
However, I challenge you to look at The Troubleshooters RPG announced this week by Helmgast and not think Tintin. They, clearly, can’t use the famous name and use the phrase “Franco-Belgian” style comics instead.
Clever. Not only does that summon up images of Tintin but it removes the challenges often associated with trying to make RPGs around characters, which I think is hard and often unwise, rather than building RPGs for great settings.
Yeah, you did hear right. It’s Helmgast who’ll be making this game. That’s the same Helmgast who did the spooky and very adult Kult Divinity Lost RPG.
They’re planning a Kickstarter for it. Of course, but it certainly has my attention.
Lastly, as promised. Which superhero do you think is most likely to also be a roleplayer?
In third place, Geek Native readers voted for Shazam. In the second place, is Beast Boy. The superhero most likely to be a roleplayer, in our survey, is Spider-man.
That’s a wrap. Thanks for the chat, especially Patreon backers, and see you next week.
Take part in the conversations on the site and leave a comment below.