ZineQuest 2 is Kickstarter’s now-annual homage to the handcrafted print zines of yesteryear. As someone who crafted a print zine with my friends using my Commodore 64 and a dot matrix printer, I have a lot of love for the idea.
For those who never experienced them, zines are fan-produced publications dedicated to any number of topics. The original zines sported amateur production values and counted their subscribers in the hundreds (our little zine had a circulation of about 3 and lasted one issue). There were available on newsstands at independent bookstores as well as through the mail. It’s a bygone area that Kickstarter’s looking to bring back.
I missed ZineQuest one when it debuted in 2019, but I was able to jump in at the last minute with ZineQuest 2 this year. The campaigns I participated in should still be going through the end of the month so there’s still a chance for you to join in as well.
- The Ioun Codex (Zine of Wondrous Power 03) ($5 for PDF, $12 for print) by Daniel M. Perez – The first zine I backed is all about ioun stones, the head-orbiting crystals from the early days of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. I’m running an old school-ish Saltmarsh campaign for D&D 5th Edition and this seemed like a good fit.
- DELVE: A Solo Game of Digging Too Deep (~$4 for PDF, ~$10 for print) by Anna Blackwell – Inspired by Dwarven Fortress and Dungeon Keeper, this is a drawing game in which you control dwarves who are digging deeply and fending off monsters and other threats. I love the idea that this game has you drawing your own illustrations on a 1″x1″ grid – it appeals greatly to my inner geeky child.
- Dungeon Delve: A fantasy roleplaying game zine for Savage Worlds Adventure Edition ($5 PDF, ~$10 print) by Sigil Entertainment Group – I don’t get to run it often enough, but I love using Savage Worlds for fantasy games. This zine includes an adventure generator, magic items, and new monsters.
- Sunlands: A Hexcrawl Zine (~$4 for PDF, $7 + shipping for print)by Chris Longhurst- This system-agnostic zine features 300 hexes of content with encounters like “the swamp kraken”, “Judgement engines”, and “A sphinx whose ‘riddles’ are terrible puns, a sphinx whose ‘riddles’ are surrealist nonsense and a third sphinx who thinks the other two are affronts to sphingine renown and will pay you good money to kill them.” It sounds like good, crazy fun
Better Luck Next Time
There were zines I wanted to get, but I missed their windows (next year I really need to pay attention to how long these Kickstarters last for; not all of them run the entire month).
- The Good Ol’ Days – A Survival RPG – A 1950s era game in which you take on the role of kids trying to survive an attack by classic Atomic Age monsters (e.g. Frankenstein, Wolfman, etc.)
- Accessible Gaming Quarterly, an RPG Zine – The name says it all. Inclusiveness in gaming is something I think the hobby would do well to embrace.
- 5 Room Dungeons: an RPG zine for D&D 5th Edition – Johnn Four (RoleplayingTips.com) offered a 24-page, 6-issue zine dedicated to providing game masters with ready-to-run adventures. I’m a fan of his “5 Room Dungeon” approach and this would have been a great addition to my inbox.
I don’t know if there will be opportunities to subscribe to these after ZineQuest 2 is over, but hopefully, they’ll be back for ZineQuest 3.
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Cover art from the Sunlands: A Hexcrawl Zine entry for Zinequest 2020. Credit: Chris Longhurst.