ZineQuest is a collection of small zine-length games, inspired by the days of yore when RPG zines ruled the landscape like majestic dinosaurs.
And like majestic dinosaurs, these games probably have a lot of feathers, metaphorically speaking. Which is to say they’re all a little more richly detailed than you might think upon hearing the words “Zine” and “Quest.” ZineQuest itself is a month-long drive put up by Kickstarter for creators to launch their own RPG-inspired zines.
Inspired by titles like Judges Guild, Alarums & Excursions, and A Pound of Flesh, Kickstarter is inviting creators to launch two-week campaigns for their own RPG-inspired zines.
- Zines must either contain an RPG or feature RPG-related content, like maps, adventures, monsters, comics, articles, and/or interviews.
- Zines must be 5.5” x 8.5” (A5) or smaller.
- Zines must feature one-color printing. Think beyond black ink, or consider printing on colorful paper.
- Zines must be unbound, folded, stapled, or saddle-stitched. No hard cover or perfect binding allowed.
- Campaigns should last no more than two weeks. Keep your project small and doable. In two weeks, you could launch another zine, or just look back proudly on a job well done
We’re already a full week in to February and there are plenty of creators out there putting out some fantastic games. Here’s a roundup of a few of our faves.
Beak, Feather, & Bone is a collaborative worldbuilding tool as well as a competitive map-labeling RPG. Starting with an unlabeled city map, players are assigned community roles before taking turns claiming and describing locations. Players draw from a standard 52-card deck to determine a building’s purpose and then describe its beak (reputation), feather (appearance), and bone (interior). As buildings are claimed, a narrative for the town and its inhabitants emerges, including major NPCs and shifting power-dynamics
Moonsailors is a GM-less, one-session game for 3-5 players where solitary travelers drift among the stars, each looking for something that they may or may not find. As you explore, the other players will help you tell your story by asking prompting questions. Will you open the door you hear sounds behind? How does the heat of the planet feel on your skin? What do you do if the ground starts cracking beneath your feet? What do you pick off the menu?
Lost Roads is a fantasy role playing game that follows migrants on their journey through a harsh, unforgiving world. Humans, once rich with magic and resources, exploited nature beyond its means. Modern society collapsed, falling to a pre-medieval level of technology. Pockets of civilization now huddle within barren and twisted landscapes, connected by the Lost Roads—defunct, reclaimed pathways.
Dream World Mercenaries is for 3-4 players willing to dive into dreams to gather information and plant thoughts at the risk of never waking up, in this inception inspired rpg. This game allows its players to engage a character’s subconscious in a very intimate way through the bending and twisting of an environment deeply embedded with symbols and connections that we rarely get to explore. Often we seek to find reality and a truth in the fictional stories we tell and we feel bound by gravity to the worlds we describe. This game does not forgo reality but it does invites you to question it. In this game, players will be maneuvering around a shifting landscape that will react to your incursion in its routines.
Each mind is different. Each heist is different.
This is a tabletop roleplaying game about the future queen of Ulunak, and the unusual figures who came together to escort her to safety. This is a game for 3-6 players which takes place over a single session of 3-4 hours.
Most of you will portray the Bearers, skillful and flawed adults who have chosen to escort the Heir to safety. You are a master of one of the six essential domains of the world; Warfare, Society, Sorcery, Religion, Nature, or Crime. To prove your value to the Heir and keep her safe, it is your job to warn of any dangers stemming from your domain. The Veteran may warn the group about an incoming patrol of soldiers, while the Shadow would point out that the kind guide is actually a con-artist. Bearers may also address threats, but doing so on your own Domain is likely to frighten the Heir. As a Bearer, your primary objective is to earn the Heir’s trust as you carry her to the safety of the aunt’s palace.
One of your number will play the Heir, daughter of the queen and the rightful ruler of the kingdom. The Heir is an innocent, compassionate young princess who has only seen a dozen winters. As the Heir, you facilitate the game and explain the rules. While you are but a young girl, each of her companions respects your potential as a leader and your word is final if ever a conflict arises. As the Heir, you watch your companions to judge if you trust or fear them. At the end of the game, Aunt Baru allows the Heir to decide the fates of each of the Bearers.