In the last month, there have been three successful Kickstarter projects that each saw a major part of their development take place within The Gauntlet: Hearts of Wulin, Quietus, and Red Carnations on a Black Grave. Hearts of Wulin is an official Gauntlet publication, and it has been play-tested extensively on Gauntlet Hangouts and, of course, the authors, Agatha and Lowell, are active members of our community. Quietus is by Oli Jeffery, who got his start in the TTRPG industry with Codex, and who also play-tested the game on Gauntlet Hangouts. Red Carnations on a Black Grave is by Cat Ramen, whose first game, Midnight at the Oasis, was published in Codex and was one of our Favorite Games of 2018. It was also extensively play-tested on Gauntlet Hangouts, and is still in the middle of its Kickstarter campaign (go back it!).
Inspired by the success of those games, I want to highlight some other games that are “Forged in the Gauntlet” (do you see what I did there?), both past and upcoming. A couple of notes: 1) The descriptions of the games included here are the authors’ words and 2) this post does not cover the many original games that were developed for Codex, which I will be talking about in a future blog post.
by Lauren McManamon and Jesse Ross
From Jesse: “Basically everything I've worked on has been nurtured by this community, but the two big ones are Girl Underground and Trophy. Girl Underground is inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, and similar tales. Girl Underground is a Powered by the Apocalypse game about a curious girl and her strange companions as they travel through a wondrous world, complete a quest, and find the way back home.”
by Jesse Ross
“Trophy is a psychological horror fantasy game about a group of treasure-hunters on a doomed expedition into a haunted forest that doesn’t want them there.”
by Rich Rogers and Lost Highway Games
“Hit the Streets: Defend the Block is a street-level superhero RPG powered by the same game engine as 1%er, the Outlaw Biker Game from Creepy Doll Studios. We've reimagined and reshaped the game for gritty street-level supers action inspired by comics like Marvel Knights, the web novel Worm, the CW Black Lightning show, and the ill-fated Marvel Netflix series.
Hit the Streets is now on Kickstarter!
Hit the Streets: Defend the Block was originally developed as "yet another 1%er hack" for the Gauntlet Comics living campaign. It has been played with numerous groups in the Gauntlet and wouldn't exist without this generous and helpful community. Their feedback and critiques have shaped this into a solid and routinely fun RPG that I cannot wait to share with the world!?”
by Fraser Simons
“A cyberpunk Forged in the Dark game that leans into climate fiction.”
by Mark Diaz Truman and Magpie Games
“Cartel is a tabletop RPG in which players portray bold narcos, naive spouses, and dirty cops caught up in Mexico's eternal drug war.
I totally feel like Cartel has both been made better by critiques and feedback I've gotten here, but also through the play-tests I've run in this space!”
by Gerrit Reininghaus
“A tuk fast, tuk furious Central American drama game, Powered by the Apocalypse. Atitlan Riders was born here and only brought to Metatopia thanks to the encouragement of Gauntleteers. Then, most play-test and in-depth consultation with Jason Cordova brought the game to the next level.”
by Gerrit Reininghaus
“A design framework for live action online gaming. The vision I had of LAOG came from playing with the Gauntlet and again the encouragement and excitement of the community.”
by Stentor Danielson and Glittercats Fine Amusements
“There is only one candidate who can beat the corrupt, incompetent incumbent mayor of this city: a cat. You play human staffers trying to get a cat elected mayor, by placing attack ads, scoring endorsements, and meowing your way through the big debate. Part of the recently Kickstarted ‘More Kittens’ collection; follow @PlayGlittercats on Twitter or Facebook for the announcement of its release to the public.”
by Alexi Sargeant and Cloven Pine Games
“A in-development PbtA game of darkness, sisterhood, and faith. Something sinister is threatening your convent this hallowmass season. How will you and your sisters rally to renounce Satan and all his works? How will your faith be tested from All Hallows' Eve to All Saints' Day to All Souls' Day? Choose from playbooks based on archetypes of religious sisters. Will you be the naive Novice, the crotchety Elder, the alarming Mystic? tl;dr: Nuns vs. Evil, Powered by the Apocalypse.”
by Hayley G and Storybrewers Roleplaying
“I first play-tested The Fictional Memoirs of Harriette Wilson and Her Three Sisters with Gauntlet folks Tyler, Lauren, and Vee, and that playtest is still very special to me and really helped guide the final version of the game. It's the fictional story of four real sisters and their lives of love, lust, and a little bit of ladylike blackmail. You can get it for free at the link!”
by Darren Brockes
A love letter to mecha anime. Play a teen just trying to figure it all out and fight civilization-ending monsters at the worst possible moments! Dev longs can be found here. PWYW preview is here.
by Mike Martens
“Put briefly: A Weird West PbtA game. Put a little less briefly: Steel Weeds casts American folklore and fantasy in a reimagined West, letting players explore the Western genre’s themes in a frontier of—and from a perspective of–their devising. The game introduces a combat system where every violent act can be deadly, a bond mechanic that tilts scales in surprising ways, and three-pronged character creation that provides intriguing hooks with extensive customization. Follow @lastmikeever on Twitter.”
by Ary Ramsey
“Lost Roads is a fantasy game about facing the hardship of climate migration in a bygone age. Follow @taketodark on Twitter for upcoming announcements and when it begins public play-testing. Many Gauntleteers have been instrumental in shaping the game’s development, including Agatha, Alex, Gerrit, Jim, Lauren, Mathias, Matt, Mikael, Vee, Kyle, and Jason.”
by Miguel Angel Espinoza
“Nahual is a tabletop roleplaying game of Mexican urban fantasy. In Nahual you play as shapeshifting nahuales that hunt angels to make a living. You run a changarro—a business—together and sell the angels you hunt as different types of products. Caught in the middle of an ancient feud, you struggle to find your place in a world of fantastical and overwhelming forces.”
by Ludovico Alves
“A postcard-exploration story game of prejudice, loss and hubris. You play as the members of a expedition to the lands of the King of Kings trying to make their way back to the sea. Central core engine and modular nature has been designed and perfected with support from the Gauntlet; in development.”
by Ludovico Alves
“A game about students and those that try to impair lessons into them. A vaguely inspired by World of Dungeons game that uses planned and unplanned events and encounters as a way to deliver and test lessons. What person will your student become? This game has been born, raised and got a home in the Gauntlet.”
by Ludovico Alves
“A game about religious picturesque and civil responsibility. Every year the priestesses of Vesta assign stipend for civic projects; negotiate with the other priestesses through a dominoes-based engine. This game was written five years before I knew of the Gauntlet, but the only way it is playable by non-dominoes players is this community.”
by Lowell Francis
"Changeling the Lost PbtA—this has gone through multiple iterations and changes with input from Sherri, Tyler, and Patrick. As it has it has moved further away from being a general adaptation to focusing in on the elements of the game and genre we like, including stuff not present in the original source. Eventually we'll be taking a hard look at how to rebuild the setting to fit with our play style to make it it's own thing and not just CtL. People can find the character keeper here.”
by Lowell Francis
“Veil'd Fantasy: Our adaptation of cyberpunk rpg The Veil to a fantasy setting. That allows us to tell everyday fantasy stories in an urban environment and explore different themes. We've run with a basic version and we're looking at how to make tweaks to focus on the elements that support the setting and make the playbooks define the world more. You can check out the character keeper here.
Anyone interested in running it can send me a message and I'll get you the playbooks. Running definitely requires a copy of The Veil.
I also covered this on The Gauntlet Podcast.”
by Sherri Stewart
“A Forged in the Dark hack for an anime cyber-ninja setting. This is based on the NSV setting created by Lowell. We've run a set of sessions for this and I am working on another iteration. I hope to eventually put together a small team to develop the idea and put it into a publishable state. It was written about here on The Gauntlet Blog. We also covered it on the Gauntlet Podcast.”
by Jim Crocker
“So it’s not a game, but my podcast Just Played definitely springs from my Gauntlet experiences, the culture of recording and reflecting on and sharing our play with each other. And of course the signal-rich format of our podcasts gave me the confidence to not worry about just talking about games without improv bits or personal boundary-crossing.”