Kickstarter Wonk Redux: Zinequest Wonk 2021

February is only half over! Welcome to this year’s special mid-month edition of Kickstarter Wonk: ZineQuest Wonk! There are so many zines campaigned throughout the month of February that it seems particularly unfair to just highlight those who jumped to be first at the beginning of the month. That’s why this week I’m bringing another forty zines to your attention.

It is important to note that there are a lot more than 40 zines, and even more than the combined total of 80 between both articles. Nope, there’s well over 200 zines campaigning through February, and we’re officially at the point where Zinequest 3 is bigger than Zinequest 2, both in terms of count as well as earnings. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive, quantitative roundup, check out this post by Pandatheist, updated daily until the end of the month.

While this roundup uses the same categories as the standard Kickstarter Wonk article, I wanted to expound a little bit on why I chose them. Complete games are the items that show off the most creativity when it comes to the zine format (in my opinion), and the category is also where you’re most likely to see things that simply don’t come to print through normal channels. Settings and Rules-Agnostic Ephemera represents a category of enthusiasm, where designers can lean hard into maps or monsters or beverages or whatever they want, unconstrained by rules. Old-School Stuff is just that, but the category is of particular note in ZineQuest, as it’s the old-school material that’s most representative of the RPG Zine’s history. Last but certainly not least, Small Supplements for Small Games is a demonstration of the beautiful trend of indie games getting some supplement love that could only happen through community enthusiasm.

I’ve already backed several of these, and I don’t doubt that many of you will loosen your pursestrings a bit too. Now is a great time to take the plunge and actually back something; the costs are lower, the variety is wider, and you’re almost certain to support a designer who will pay it forward in their creativity and enthusiasm for years to come.

Complete Games

Cephalopod: Ocean Home: “Play as octopi orchestrating a prison break.” Not much I can add there.

Echoes of Chaos: It’s a time travel RPG using the Trophy mechanics, based on playing time tourists and pulling off underhanded time crimes.

External Containment Bureau: Forged in the Dark paranormal investigation which looks to be equal parts SCP Foundation and Laundry Files.

A Fantastic Longing for Adventure: An “autobiographical game zine” from the designer of The Thousand Year Old Vampire.

In the Light of a Faded World: Play small creatures exploring human spaces reclaimed by nature after a long-ago apocalypse.

Network 23: Nihilist Cyberpunk using playing card mechanics to venture through off-grid ‘pirate utopias’.

Once Upon a Time in New Centauri: Luchadore robot space western. I don’t think I could say more even if I wanted to.

Tension: A duet/trio game about cat-and-mouse romance, a la Hannibal. Already gathering some superlative reviews.

Thru-Hiker: A journaling game about long-distance hiking, and unbelievably the second hiking RPG I’ve seen this year.

The Very Good Dogs of Chernobyl: Telekinetic dogs in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, where each character is a single die to roll.

Warmer in the Winter: In case you didn’t know the depths to which PbtA’s genre emulation could go, Warmer in the Winter is a PbtA game modeling Hallmark Christmas movies. You’ve been warned.

Settings and Rules-Agnostic Ephemera

A Diabolist’s Guide to Role Playing Games: System-agnostic zine about using demons in your games.

Edinburgh Indie Gamers: A zine of content created by the Edinburgh Indie Gamers club members, back to support the club and their community.

Have You Heard About The Beast? & We Sail Beyond: Two collaborative worldbuilding zines, one based on maps and the other on monsters.

Hinterland: System-agnostic encounters and prompts for fantasy wilderness exploration.

Lethal Fauna Bric-a-Brac: 16 monsters that work in any fantasy game, accompanied by some charming artwork.

Not a Place of Honor: A zine about the methods of containment for magic items of campaign-ending devastation.

Occultural: A fantasy tabloid. Want your campaign to have trashy supermarket newspapers? Here’s how!

The Pamphlet of Pantheons: Guidance for creating pantheons of gods and fantasy religions for your RPG.

Tooth and Claw: Fantasy monsters reimagined with the help of some real (and not as real) world zoology.

Traveler’s Trunk: 30 magical items for any fantasy game.

Old-School Stuff

Codex Corporis: Modular rules for adding body horror into your system of choice.

Errant: A loose skeleton of an OSR system around which interesting procedures are built. Ostensibly a game, ripe for hacking.

Glimmer’s Rim: Psychedelic hexcrawl adventures on a weird island, easily dropped into your ongoing game.

Harrowed Grounds: An intro zine for an old-school hexcrawl.

Merchants of the Multiverse: Experience the best in interdimensional retail and wholesale with this zine originally cast for DCC (but highly portable).

Old School & Cool Volume 2: A second edition of gonzo nonsense for your OSR campaign, includes tiers with volume 1.

Skies of Hyperborea: What every fantasy game needs: Airships.

Trash Planet Epsilon 5: An old-school pulp sci-fi adventure built on a hack of Electric Bastionland.

Small Supplements for Small Games

Bloodstained Hands: A solo Trophy experience about dark rituals and guilt.

The Book of Hanz: A collection of essays on how to play and run Fate, compiled and saved from the demise of Google Plus.

The City of the Red Pox: Some quality Edgar Allan Poe adjacency for Troika.

Desert Moon of Karth: More space western goodness, this time as a module for Mothership.

Dying Hard on Hardlight Station: An adventure for Mothership.

Lacuna: Read Once and Destroy: A city-based expansion zine for Jared Sorensen’s Lacuna.

Mork Materia: A Mork Borg/WH40k crossover. What could go wrong?

Noctis Labyrinth: A zero-prep module for World of Dungeons.

Psalm IV:I: A dark (kind of duh, that) adventure zine for Mork Borg.

Token: A GM-less duet game built upon the dark forest foundations of Trophy.

The Vitacernis: A “tree-crawl” for Mausritter.

Like what Cannibal Halfling Gaming is doing and want to help us bring games and gamers together? First, you can follow me @LevelOneWonk on Twitter for RPG commentary, relevant retweets, and maybe some rambling. You can also find our Discord channel and drop in to chat with our authors and get every new post as it comes out. You can travel to DriveThruRPG through one of our fine and elegantly-crafted links, which generates credit that lets us get more games to work with! Finally, you can support us directly on Patreon, which lets us cover costs, pay our contributors, and save up for projects. Thanks for reading!

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