Just before the Gaming Shelf takes an extended break (we’ll be back July 12!) I’m thrilled to be able to spotlight some tabletop games and creators who have been working hard over the past months to bring us some great pieces. We’ve got indie studio Possible Worlds Games as well as a bit of a new direction for the Shelf, a book about text games currently crowdfunding.
Creator Spotlight: Tyler Crumrine
Also known as the founder and publisher of Possible Worlds Games, Tyler Crumrine has produced some incredible work since he founded the studio in the wake of his success with 2020’s hit map/labeling RPG Beak, Feather, & Bone. After successfully crowdfunding the Possible Worlds RPG Series in 2021 (which was delivered this year!), and creating a reciprocal artists’ grant program, he’s returned to Beak, Feather, & Bone and created an incredible new supplement. Claw Atlas is an expansion for Beak, Feather, & Bone, and includes 10 new maps and alternate gameplay rules. It’s already successfully reached its crowdfunding goal, and the campaign will continue through July 1.
From the original game page, “Inspired by map-making games like Avery Alder’s The Quiet Year and archetype-focused RPG systems like Meguey & Vincent Baker’s Powered by the Apocalypse, Beak, Feather, & Bone is a zine-length game including rules of play, 11 community roles illustrated by Austin Breed, a map by Jonathan Yee, and optional lore and GM tips for running games in a city populated entirely by ravenfolk.”
New Releases: Absurdia, In God’s Green Earth, Domesday 10XX
“Absurdia is an absurd modern fantasy game about the inane hilarity and understated horror of everyday life. You play as residents of a surreal suburban town marred by chaos and entropy, where the otherworldly is ordinary and the mundane, terrifying. It’s inspired by works of absurd humor, surreal horror, and literary nonsense like Welcome to Night Vale, Alice in Wonderland, and Gravity Falls.”
In God’s Green Earth, a first level dungeon for Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition, “A farmer has gone missing in the forest. Tracks lead to a small hill with a stone brick doorway protruding from it. The bricks are ancient and moss-covered. What is growing deep within the earth?”
10XX is a game about resisting the Norman invasion of England. You are marginalized Englanders—poor, outcast, ignored—trying to protect your neighbors and scream a violent scream before your inevitable death. (Available in modern or old English)
Crowdfunding: 50 Years of Text Games, The Last Adventure
“In [50 Years of Text Games] you’ll find 50 in-depth chapters, covering 50 games: one released in each year from 1971—when a Minnesota teacher wheeled a teletype into his class to debut a game called The Oregon Trail—to 2020 and the latest in A.I. storytellers. Revised and enhanced from the acclaimed blog series, each featured game gets a rich, deep-dive analysis into how it works, what it’s about, why it’s special, and its lasting legacy.”
“In The Last Adventure, you’re a warrior, champion, and monster slayer. Now you’ve come to die, but on death’s shore, neither family nor ancient heroes greet you… The Last Adventure is a tabletop role-playing adventure game in two zines. The first zine is you: a warrior, now dead, still seeking adventure. The second zine is The Land of Death: the places and landscapes in the land of death, and the people and monsters you’ll encounter there.” (From one of the co-creators of Apocalypse World and the Powered by the Apocalypse system.)
In Other News
- Free League Publishing is having a summer sale, includes games such as ALIEN The Roleplaying Game, Vaesen – Nordic Horror Roleplaying, Tales From the Loop, Forbidden Lands, Symbaroum, Coriolis – The Third Horizon and Mutant: Year Zero.
- BackerKit has dropped its plans for its new crowdfunding platform and the initial commitments include Monte Cook Games, Story Engine, Exalted Funeral, Restoration Games, and Unstable Games among others.
- The Queer Games Bundle is available for another week on itch.io.
- B. Dave Walters ran a D&D session for some members of the Stranger Things cast and said in an exclusive comment to io9 via email, “Stranger Things holds a special place in my heart, since that was the world I grew up in. Their story IS my story (maybe with slightly more monsters.) Being able to join the Hellfire Club, and bring the Arch-Lich Vecna to glorious unlife has been one of the highpoints of my career … and the ending is one of the wildest things I’ve ever been privileged to see!”
- Artana Games’ newest educational board game, First in Flight is currently crowdfunding.
- Don’t look too closely at your neighbors… the Rear Window board game is now available.
- Ticket to Ride: San Fransisco is now available exclusively at Target.
- Members of the Dungeons & Dragons community have made accusations against popular players Satine Pheonix and Jamison Stone, accusing them of abuse and mistreatment (CBR, Comic Book).
Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.