Kick Picks – Vampire: the Masquerade: Heritage, Infinity’s Edge

We’re back (and a bit faster than usual) with a curated look at some of the games to check out that are on Kickstarter right now. Today’s picks include a Vampire: the Masquerade legacy-style board game (anyone who knows my gaming tastes knows I could never pass up such a thing) and a LitRPG-inspired roleplaying game (where the characters in the tabletop game know they are characters in an MMORPG).

Vampire: The Masquerade – Heritage: I’ve been looking forward to this one since our interview with White Wolf at Gen Con 2018. The game can be played as a legacy game, with the same group of players crafting their bloodlines (each player is a different vampiric Clan) over 700 years, from around 1300 (a bit after the Vampire: Dark Ages timeline) to the modern day. Or it can be played as a more standard, freestanding game. Thematically, it’s based on Vampire: the Masquerade, which I love. Mechanically, players ‘recruit’ (embrace) new vampires into their bloodline from a common pool, with each new vampire having three color-coded mental/emotional attributes. When a vampire is embraced, their attributes affect the struggle between the high and low clans, the war of princes for territorial control, and how much you have succumbed to your beast. Once the vampires are part of your bloodline, they are used to complete schemes to upgrade them for improved abilities (in the legacy version, the upgraded vampire gets a sticker here, establishing them as an existing vampire who can appear in later games) or activate coteries to play cards. There’s a ~$67 retail version, but let’s be serious, if you back this you’re backing the ~$101 Kickstarter Edition with all the addons, any unlocked stretch goals, and Kickstarter exclusives. The project is already fully funded, and the campaign runs through April 30, 2019.

Infinity’s Edge: Infinity’s Edge (from the designer and publisher of Thunderscape: World of Aden) draws from the LitRPG fiction genre to present a small-scale tabletop roleplaying game where the player characters are MMO avatars – and the characters know they are characters in a video game. This can make the game very meta, as characters can tactically choose to die, communicate through guild chat, or just talk in-character about their hit points or the best zones to loot. Pledge options are PDF or at-cost print-on-demand (no traditional print run is planned), running from $10 (for just the core book PDF) to $40 (for PDF and at-cost print-on-demand of the core book and all unlocked stretch goal books). The project is already funded (although not by a wide margin yet), and the campaign is set to run through May 8, 2019.

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