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Kickstarting for the Holidays

The turkey is eaten, the leftovers are in the fridge, it’s the start of a long weekend . . . IT’S TIME TO SHOP!!!

Yes, so-called “Black Friday” is upon us, and all over the U.S. (and around the world, I’m sure), shoppers are out looking for interesting and appropriate holiday gifts for friends and relations. To aid in that effort, let me suggest a few of the current projects currently raising funds on Kickstarter. These will likely not give you an actual present you can place beneath the tree this year, but they will give your loved ones the knowledge that they helped bring a creative project they like to life . . . sort of like planting a creative tree that will only blossom in years to come. Plus, of course, if the fund drives are successful then the donation-appropriate level will show up some weeks or months later—a late holiday present.

I’m not going to be so crass as to put my project on the list. Those of you reading this have no doubt been fairly inundated by my news about The Littlest Shoggoth, and I’m not going to use the excuse of Thanksgiving Sales to shill for your money. Rather, I want to show you some other projects that I find both intriguing and worthy of support.

COMPLETE ELMORE ARTBOOK—A 300+ page book that presents 30+ years of art from Larry Elmore, one of the all-time great D&D artists. They’ve already passed their funding goal and are adding great stretch goals such as art prints and increasing the book’s page count. A great way to celebrate the history of gaming art, and what is sure to be a centerpiece of any fantasy artist’s library.

MAGNETIC COMIC—An interesting crafty product that combines dry-erase panels and a collection of magnetic characters that let you make your own changeable comic strip. Well, past its funding goal, this looks to be an unexpected run-away smash that’s part craft project, part toy, and all fun! Frankly, I’m kinda jealous that I didn’t think of this little product, and I can’t wait to get my copy so that I can start making magnetic versions of my own characters to pop into the scenes!

THE GUIDE TO GLORANTHA—A massive hardcover book detailing the geography, history, and cultures of the classic RPG campaign world, Glorantha. Already well past its funding goal, the Guide just keeps getting bigger and better.

TURN TO 400—A documentary about the Fighting Fantasy line of “choose your own adventure” books, that added the extra layer of being a GAME, not just a multi-path novel. Frankly, this one is in danger of failing to miss its funding goal, and could use all the help it can get. A pledge here in the name of someone who wants to help preserve gaming history would be a great gift.

THE SAGA OF DRAGONSTAR—There are all kinds of mash-up settings out there, but mixing classic fantasy with classic westerns is a new one on me. This project also covers the development of a new core RPG system, so there’s a lot of bang for your pledge buck. The drive is just getting started, so its hard to say what its chances of success are, but they’ve got a Black Friday Challenge and a really solid concept. Worth a look!

THE ART OF ADVENTURE!—A collection of art, maps, and character descriptions that detail an original town and the surrounding countryside. Consider it an “adventure sandbox,” lots of details for you to use in your RPG of any system. Lots of cool art and ideas from the folks at RKDN Studios. It’s already passed its initial funding goal, and there’s plenty of time to unlock all of the stretch goals they’ve got lined up.

TUNSE’AL QUICK-START for FREE RPG DAY—This is an interesting project, if only for the scope. Rather than trying to get a large book published, they are aiming to fund production of quick-start rules that can be distributed for at stores around the world on Free RPG Day. Worth considering, if only because they seem to have both an interesting world AND an interesting business plan.

 TNG ENTERPRISE BRIDGE RESTORATION—This non-profit group managed to save the parts from Paramount’s last set of the Enterprise bridge (from Star Trek: The Next Generation), and they are raising money to restore it so that it can be used in all sorts of fun and charitable ways. A great plan, a great cause, and a great gift for a Trekkie.

 DICE RINGS—Not just a cool piece of jewelry, but a functional d20 (or more than a dozen other randomizers). A cool way to give the gamer in your life a little bling. It’s already met its funding goal, and delivery is set for pretty early in 2013.

SIR, YOU ARE BEING HUNTED—A first-person shooter (kinda) where you’re playing a Victorian inventor trapped on an island with an army of killer robots. This is the kind of thing that will either appeal to you, or it won’t . . . but if it does, you have GOT to pledge!


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