Kick Picks – Things from the Flood, Machina Arcana, Deck of Many Animated Spells, Set a Watch

Kickstarter continues to churn out great tabletop gaming projects. We’re here to help you figure out which ones might be worth your while to take a look at. I’ve got four projects to highlight today, all of them from developers with a history of prior successful Kickstarter deliveries.

Things from the FloodTales from the Loop, a relatively lighthearted roleplaying game of teenagers in an alternate, higher-tech 1980s, funded on Kickstarter in December 2016 and release in 2017 to wild critical acclaim, picking up multiple ENnies and Golden Geeks. It was definitely one of the Kickstarter roleplaying projects I came to regret not backing. But now I can (and will) rectify that error with Things from the Flood, a sequel to Tales from the Loop. Set in the same universe, but in the 1990s, things have gone awry, and now you’re playing teenagers in a much darker place – no childlike tales of wonder and discovery here. Instead, the teens will be looking into darker mysteries and face the possibility of harm or death. That cover art by Simon Stålenhag gives me a real Stranger Things vibe – and that’s definitely a good thing. The rulebook in print runs about $40, or about $70 if you want the book plus other physical products that get unlocked (map, dice tray, GM screen, etc.). And if you don’t have Tales from the Loop, there’s the option to grab that and/or some custom dice as add-ons. The Things from the Flood campaign runs through October 9, 2018.


Machina Arcana ~ From Beyond – I highlighted Machina Arcana’s successful Kickstarter campaign back in 2013. Now they’re back with an updated edition of this cooperative steampunk horror board game. The players control unique characters as they explore and face horrors both physical and psychological. Different characters can have their own side plots, and unique story events change each game, even within the different scenarios included in the core box. The artwork is both gorgeous and really creepy. It’s $50 for the base game, with an extra $25 for the two expansions together. The Machina Arcana ~ From Beyond campaign runs through September 28, 2018.


The Deck of Many Animated Spells – You may recall our discussion about Deck of Many from PAX Unplugged last year, and they’re back with a new offering of these Dungeons & Dragons player aids. Each card provides unabridged information on one spell, and on the other side lenticular printing is used to create an animation of the spell effects (like you can see in the image above). Because the cards are plastic, they’re also waterproof – so you can be free from party fouls or, if you have particular disdain for a spell, simply use its card as a coaster. So far only the cantrip and level 1 decks are available, but with the amount of time left the level 2 decks are sure to be unlocked as well (personally, given that the lowest level spells get used the most, I’m not particularly concerned if it stops there). It’s $30 for one deck (cantrips are one deck, higher levels are two decks each), but a bit less if you get multiple decks (so cantrips and levels 1 and 2 would be $100 for five decks). The Deck of Many Animated Spells campaign runs through October 4, 2018.


Set a Watch – While we’re on the subject of things we talked about at PAX Unplugged last year, Rock Manor Games (publishers of Brass Empire) have brought the small-box game Set a Watch to Kickstarter as well. A game of Set a Watch features a series of battles/puzzles, with each battle representing the party of adventurers defending their campfire (seriously, don’t let the fire go out) from the unhallowed evils emerging from the dark. Players use dice to activate character abilities or directly damage the monsters moving towards the camp – and that precious campfire lets the players see what’s coming and plan ahead. The standard version is $22, but it’s hard to see many folks opting for that when the deluxe version with Kickstarter-exclusive content is only $29. The Set a Watch campaign runs through October 11, 2018.



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