Crowdfund a Beginner RPG, Heroes of the Storm

One more thing from the Finnish RPG scene, aiming to make it big in the wide world outside… Mike Pohjola is working on a roleplaying game for children. Easy to learn, approachable, affordable, comes in a box with everything you need to play. In Finnish, it’s Myrskyn sankarit. In English, should an English-language version materialize (and I am confident it will), Heroes of the Storm.

These past few weeks he’s been doing a crowdfunding campaign on it over at IndieGoGo. He’s well past the halfway mark to his goal of $12,500, but he’s not there yet. By my experience, I can say that at this point it will fund, and the question that remains to be settled is by how much. Now’s your opportunity. I’ve put down $60, myself.

“But I do not comprehend your strange northern moon language!” you cry out in dismay. Fear not, for we have trained experts to deal with that. You want to take a look at the Khaleesi Daenerys Targaryen funding option: “You don’t read Finnish, but think an RPG for 9-13-year olds is a good idea. You want Heroes of Storm to be published in your language, sold in your gaming stores and being played by the children of your country. You get a copy of the game in Finnish, and if and if we get the game material translated into other languages, you get the translated PDF. If we get the game published in your language, you will get your own full copy. (Postage included.)” Personally, I figure the English translation is a fait accompli once the campaign funds, at least in PDF. (Though I should note that I’m not privy to any information beyond that which is on the campaign website, and am merely speculating.)

I think it’s important to have a game like this available. Something approachable, something the kids can read and figure out by themselves if need be. Funky dice, good-looking art. It used to be that the D&D Red Box had this function, but it’s been out of print for some two decades. We need ways to get fresh blood into the hobby. Get ’em when they’re young. Sure, it’ll have to compete with all sorts of fancy video game systems, but such is life, and the competition is probably not quite as direct as some would assume.

Besides, there’s Petri Hiltunen art, which is always a good reason to do things. Go forth, my readers—both of you!—and pledge!

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Red in Beak and Claw at the LotFP Grand Adventure Campaign!

It has begun! Possibly the craziest thing I’ve seen James do yet (and I’ve known him for some years), the July Grand Adventure Campaign gathers together 19 adventure writers from diverse backgrounds to write modules for Lamentations of the Flame Princess: Weird Fantasy Role-Playing. I am one of them, and if the $6,000 funding goal is met, my adventure Red in Beak and Claw shall be unleashed upon the world, and with art by Jason Rainville!

Red in Beak and Claw, as you can probably figure out from the blurb, is informed by Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. I, for one, have never seen an adventure module inspired by the film, but in case someone’s already done it, I’ll have to do it better. There may also be some Children of the Corn in there somewhere.

The campaign itself is megalomaniacal in its scale. There is a terrible beauty to the sheer size and variety of its contributors. There are indie game designers, a Nordic larpwright, a rock star, bloggers, OSR writers, veterans of D&Ds classic and modern alike. It is a testament to the lightness and flexibility of oldDungeons & Dragons that game designers from such diverse backgrounds can pick up the ruleset with little prior experience and feel comfortable working with it.

Apart from me, there are three other Finns in the lineup: first of all, there’s Ville Vuorela of Burger Games, for whom I translated Stalker. The art for The Dreaming Plague will incidentally be done by Juha Makkonen, I who I worked with on Roolipelikirja. Then there’s Mike Pohjola, Emmy Award -winning author, larpwright, game designer and I can’t even remember what else, with his adventure I Hate Myself for What I Must Do. This is also the man who wrote a roleplaying game using fortune cookies instead of dice, and I advise you to expect the unexpected. Last but not least, there’s Juhani Seppälä, of the blog Blowing Smoke, with his module Normal for Norfolk, that started out as a campaign he ran for James that James has been pestering him to write up ever since.

This is also my chance to get that Richard Pett adventure I was so cruelly denied last time around. Get to it, people. Just… fund me first, okay? At the moment, to my great perturbation, I seem to be in the lead, too…