Two Kickstarters that any adventure gamer should be involved with are ending in the next few days, and it’s long past time to call attention to them. Both might be of interest to writers as well, simply because the people behind them have created past efforts crammed with wonderful world-building and the tools for inspiring the same from their readers.
Kevin Crawford IS Sine Nomine, the creative genius behind a whole raft of wonderful old school gaming products that can easily be plugged into modern games. From the start, everything he’s been involved with has been top-notch. You might have heard of Stars Without Number, or perhaps Silent Legions, or any number of others that came from his fertile imagination. Layout and art are excellent, and so is editing (something you never notice unless it’s bad) but all of this fades into the background when you read the text and realize just how clever and inventive it all is. If you don’t believe me, download this free (also free of art) version of Stars Without Number and look at all the great world and setting generation tables. Story ideas just pop off of every page.
Every single one of Crawford’s texts is like that. Even if you don’t have dice to generate results from, simply glancing at the generation tables to see what might lurk in the ruins, or the political issues behind a village can spur the imagination into the creation of scenarios. And Crawford has some of the finest ideas about not just setting up an adventure site, but an entire “sandbox” of connected places. I enjoy his work so much I don’t just have PDFs, but physical copies of much of it, like his wonderful fantasy setting, Red Tide, and its expansions, which have some of the best “sandbox generation” tools I’ve seen in decades of gaming, and the phenomenal Spears of the Dawn, an African campaign setting.
Starvation Cheap is an expansion for his Stars Without Number setting, for mercenary characters of the far future. Get involved while the getting’s good!
As for the Sasquatches, I’m in love with Primeval Thule. It’s one of my favorite settings, ever, chock full of sword-and-sorcery goodness that harkens back to all the vivid, colorful fiction I grew up reading. Adventure lies around every corner of Primeval Thule, and wonderful story hooks and inspiration are threaded through ever page of the setting guide. The whole thing is set in our own prehistory, before the glaciers swallow a land of mystery and enchantment, of decadent civilizations. It’s a landscape roamed by saber-tooth tigers and wooly mammoths, where remnants of Atlantis struggle to survive alongside primitive human tribes and mad cults that worship Lovecraftian gods.
Really, just go look at this link, because the product lives up to the hype. I own the Pathfinder edition of the game, and this new Kickstarter is geared for players of 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons. Believe me, if any of what I just said sounds good, join in. I hiked all the way to the back end of the exhibition hall at GenCon two weeks ago simply to tell the writers how much I loved what they’d done. I didn’t need to buy any products, because I already had them. I just wanted to sing their praises. Here’s the Kickstarter!