I stopped the list last week of the Kickstarter’s I am currently waiting for an hoping will arrive in 2023, along with a few that have stories that seem to mean they are stuck in some kind of nebulous shadow realm. But I had more. So many more. While I did try to pump the breaks in 2022, I gave in and backed a few titles that were just too good to resist!
Board games can get expensive on Kickstarter but ttprgs? Usually there is a Print & Play tier that makes them easy to support for less than $20. Not that I ever stop myself at that level, but it is an option! So you’ll see a lot of “oh well for that much, why not!” back in this list of ttrpgs that caught my eye as I imagine a world where I have friends who would be into that sort of thing.
Crescent Moon sounded like a fantastic ttrpg, the kind that I am most drawn to – one that focuses on storytelling over dice rolls and character stats. I was particularly drawn to the idea of non-violent play being the focus – that problems were meant to be solved through clever conversations, cunning plans and puzzles. But of course I only found out about it when this kickstarter launched to fund the expansion. So why not go all in and get the original book and the new content? I know this one is right in the middle of the writing phase, which means editing and book design are still to come so I doubt I will have this in hand until late this year at the earliest.
That didn’t do it for you? Because it did it for me. Also, Banana Chan is attached to the project and she is just solid in all the work she does. In the game you will be students returning to their old prep school, exploring the space (as represented in the coloring book pages and your paper dolls) and navigating the memories left behind. It’s just the right amount of weird and creepy and tactile experience that would make for an amazing game night.
I can’t remember how I stumbled across Haunted Hill Academy, but 2-player rpgs appeal to me a lot because that seems like a more realistic player count for me to get around the table. Unfortunately, there have been no updates for over a year and I’m starting to worry this creator has dropped the ball. This might turn into the first time I lodge a complaint with Kickstarter…
Maul Peak is the sequel to Skulk Hollow, a fantastic 2-player, asymetrical game where one person is the giant creature protecting the forest, and the other controls the fox clan protecting their village. In Maul Peak, we have new creatures and new villagers – a bear clan! Skulk Hollow is really well balanced and gives players lots of chance for back and forth, strategy, and triumphant moments of battle. I’m looking forward to Maul Peak’s new characters and any new twists it brings to the gameplay.
Dead by Daylight is one of my video game addictions and something I play online with friends on a regular basis. So when the board game was announced, I was skeptical but also immediately wanted the minis of my favorite survivors. I mean, look at Jake on that hook? That’s hilarious.
Also, Level 99 Games made one of my top games – Bullet ❤ – so I have faith in their abilities to translate all the things I love about the video game to the board. They had been overly optimistic and said this would be out for Halloween but I’m thinking more Halloween 2023 now.
Castles by the Sea is adorable. This game was all over board game Instagram and TikTok and it has such a great visual style. You’re building sand castles with little blocks. Brotherwise Games offered a backing tier that was JUST the Kickstarter exclusive items, so that is what I went with, and then I intend to go to Games & Stuff and pick up the base game once it is released to complete the thing. Brotherwise is another company I have a few games from and they are all well done.
Through The Ice & Snow was another peer pressure back…I had seen the game in passing on my KS page but then a friend was talking about it and the cultural consulting on the Inuit character and then the FOMO for the KS exclusives…
But it does look really cool! It’s very theme heavy, focusing on the history of the exploration of the north. The artwork looks beautiful and the meeples are great. I think there is a solo mode…that might be what got me, I’m a sucker for a solo mode.
Brindlewood Bay is a tabletop role-playing game where you play as your version of Jessica Fletcher from ‘Murder, She Wrote’ if the small town that Jessica lived in was also menaced by Elder Gods and their cultists.
The PDF copy of the game has been made available to backers and I actually got to do a quick session with some friends. It was DELIGHTFUL. I really want to revisit those old biddies and their shenanigans. We were investigating the murder of a local millionaire but we spent a lot of time just enjoying the town and our cats and cardigans.
One of my TikTok friends designed Steel Colosseum so I had to back it to be supportive! Plus it sounds very different from anything on my shelf – mech on mech fighting action!
Skyrealms definitely falls under the category of “small indie game I could have paid $15 but I may have gone all-in so it was … more than $15”. But it’s such a fun idea! It’s a ttrpg sourcebook that is ALSO a coloring book! I can color in the creatures and brainstorm a game idea.
Also, one of my favorite humans, Sam Leigh, is doing the editing for the project so, again, had to back to show my support for them. If you haven’t checked out their games and TikTok about more games, I highly recommend them both.
Moon is the finale in a trilogy of games in this style and I already own Villagers and Streets so…I had to back this and get the KS edition, right? I enjoyed Villagers a lot but have not gotten Street to the table very much…actually, just once in solo mode. But Moon was just too nice to pass up with all the KS bonuses.
Dodos Riding Dinos and Dodo Dash are 100% Grants Gamer Recs fault! His TikTok about how wild this game is made me not want to miss out on this reprint. It looks like such a unique title and I wasn’t sure if it was something my FLGS would pick up. But if it truly feels like Mario Kart on the table, I am all about it. I really enjoy racing games and this one looks like a great twist on the genre and very silly.
In late 2022, I discovered print at home roll & write games on Kickstarter… these really were pledges of $10 or less and SO much game. Shu’s Tactics was one of the first I backed like this, SO much game for just a few bucks. I have now invested in a laminate machine and will buy some dry erase pens so I don’t have to print out a new map every time. I’m so intrigued by the roll & write campaign and there is also a co-op mode!
Almost Innocent looks to be a fun, unique deduction game with a progressive story, so a campaign mode. Instagram and TikTok went hard on promoting this one. I went back and forth on if I wanted to back it, but in the end it wasn’t that expensive to back and I was finding it unlikely that a FLGS would have it. And the FOMO of the deluxe edition.
Draft and Write Records was an instant back for me. Inside Up Games makes some solid games and I LOVE a flip & write and the theme of getting your band together and touring? SO CRUNCHY! Look at all those cards and those player boards! Plus, Day 1 backers get their names in the box. It’s a big box so I think we will all fit LOL. Really looking forward to this one!
I missed out on MIND MGMT the first time around and then everyone loved it, so when Off the Page Games announced they were adapting Harrow County next, I binged all the comics and immediately backed the game. The comic is this great gothic, southern horror with witchcraft and betrayal and it’s just gruesome but so well done. The whole look of the game seems to be true to the books and the dice tower being part of the box…this is going to be something special!
I have a soft spot for solo journaling rpgs, even though I have yet to do one of the many I own. But just one look at Koriko: A Magical Year and I KNEW I needed it. The hardcover book looks gorgeous and the artwork is going to make me want to flip through and play it and create my own little story. This one was a relatively recent campaign so I don’t expect to see it until much later this year or maybe even 2024, depending on the state of shipping things.
I have had Kids on Bikes on my wishlist for awhile so when the campaign dropped for a 2nd edition, I decided now was the time to get it! I’ve played a single session with some friends online and it was a blast, lots of collaborative storytelling with minimal prep from the GM. It’s got those great 80s/90s kids E.T./Stranger Things vibes. And I think it is a basic enough game I could get some of my friends who have never played a role-playing game into it!
Okay, this was really a Wonderland’s War reprint campaign disguised as a little expansion campaign. I already own the deluxe edition, but decided to grab the expansion and the new character sheets that have been balanced to nerf the Mad Hatter who was a beast with his powers. I may have pledged a little extra to justify what the shipping costs would be, but I didn’t go overboard…though I probably could have waited for this to hit store shelves. Yes, backers regret.
I love zero-prep, GMless rpgs and for some reason I am drawn to horror games in this genre. In HOME, using a set of tarot cards, you wander a haunted house and create it as you go. If we are lucky, maybe this will arrive for October 2023.
I completely and totally blame Dicebreaker for me backing Redwood. Matt and Wheels were just LOVING this at Spiel and GenCon. I love the whole idea of competitive photography as a board game – you’re night fighting a batter or a war or controlling areas, you’re taking photos of nature and you want the BEST one!
I did go overboard with this, not going to lie. They had a LOT of KS exclusives and I wanted them all.
Pocket Book Adventures was TikTok’s fault – SO many of my favorite content creators enjoyed this. Also, $12!!! What a steal!!! I love little games with pencils!
I wasn’t going to back this but then it was a small game but a University press focusing on a historic event I knew nothing about and I decided I should back it. Rising Waters is about the 1927 Mississippi Flood that impacted African-American communities the worst and how they worked through it. It sounded like an important game and the kind of thing that if someone plays it, they will want to know more. And as I try to think of ways to integrate gaming into my library programs, this just felt right.
I wasn’t going to back Self Careless, I figured I could pick it up later. But then they added a “Cat Deck.” The end.
It’s a print and play – check
It’s a gm-less ttrpg – check
It has a solo mode – check
It’s horror – check
Yes, I was helpless against The Cottage. It literally checked all my weak-spot boxes. And because it is print and play, the odds of getting it before spooky season are in my favor! And maybe spooky season will come early!
Next up – games that I backed on BackerKit and Gamefound…