It’s February, which means snow, long days that are slowly getting shorter, and zines. So many zines.
For the last three years, Kickstarter promoted ZineQuest, a celebration, and promotion of print and PDF zines for role-playing games. This year, Kickstarter moved ZineQuest to August to coincide with GenCon. That left a vacuum in February, which zine creators and their fans are filling with Month 2022 (hashtag #ZiMo2022) on Twitter), which is a community-centric alternative to Kickstarter’s offering.
The Zine Month 2022 website provides a simple, user-friendly interface for discovering projects, including filters for digital, print, stand-alone, system-neutral, and more. Unlike Zinequest, Zine Month is not tied to any particular fundraising platform – indeed, one of its goals is to promote alternatives to Kickstarter.
Zine Month Coverage
Zine Month’s attracted attention from a number of blogs; I’ll be adding to this list as the month goes on (feel free to let me know about your own Zine Month posts by leaving a comment below.
- Dicebreaker: 9 Zine Month RPGs you should check out (and where to crowdfund them)
- Wyrd Science: Zine Month 2022 – Part 1
- Wyrd Science: Zine Month 2022 – Part 2
- Polygon: Upset by Kickstarter’s decisions, some indie game creators are going their own way
- Tabletops & Tentacles: Zinequest is dead! Long live ZINE MONTH!
There are a ton of great zines out there; here are the ones that piqued my interest the most. I’m not necessarily backing all of these, but I’ll be getting as many as my budget allows.
|Skyworthy: A Solo Journaling Game||$9-$15
||Skyworthy is a journaling game of iconic Skyships, the Captains who fly them, and their adventures and struggles, made for one player. Play from the point of view of the Skyship, commissioned and constructed in a gilded age of exploration and discovery.||I love a good journaling game, and this one has an interesting set-up.|
|Crush Depth Apparition||$12
||Crush Depth Apparition is an eerie survival horror stand alone adventure zine. It includes rules for running and repairing a state of the art (of 120 years ago) experimental submarine, a map of the ocean, an unnatural labyrinth, ghostly encounters, hundreds of things that can go wrong, and a crew that depends on you.||I love the atmospheric nature of this game, and it’s deep-dive setup.|
|Barkeep on the Borderlands||$20
||Barkeep on the Borderlands is a system-neutral adventure that takes place in and around the pubs and taverns of a distant Keep. It also introduces new procedures for running pubcrawl adventures and simple rules for drinking and inebriation.”||When my gaming group returns to the real world, I could see using this to run a series of pub-crawl adventures in our homegrown fantasy city of Obsidian Bay.|
|Wail: A Rules Lite Solo TTRPG||$4
||Wail is a 25 page rules-lite ttrpg of solitary exploration, world building and journal writing. You take the role of a wayward adventurer lost in a new land and while playing you will build a map, generate locations, meet characters and resolve events.||A journaling game about getting lost and exploring a new land? I’m in.|
||Evergreen Wilds is a solo roleplaying game that allows a player to live and explore a season as a park ranger in a national park. Evergreen Wilds uses a simple journaling system, with keyword, and weather prompts, and map locations to create unique encounters throughout each week the player is stationed.||As a guy who loves backpacking, this is a natural zine for me to pick up.|
|Thousand Empty Light||12 pounds (approximately $16) print||Thousand Empty Light is a source book and solo adventure for Mothership RPG (1E) set in an abandoned underwater tunnel on an uninhabited planet. It blurs the line between sci-fi horror source material, Mothership adventure and universal solo toolkit.||Underwater is one of my favorite creature feature movies; this sounds like a potentially great riff on that idea. And hey, I’ve got a Mothership boxed set coming later this year…|
|DNGN: Weird-Fantasy Megadungeon Zine||TBD||A risograph printed adventure zine for use with Old-School Essentials and other OSR systems.||You had me at “Weird Fantasy Mega Dungeon”|
|For Small Creatures Such As We||(12 pounds, approximately $16) print||A sci-fi TTRPG about creating and connecting with alien species as you travel the galaxy. Inspired by Becky Chambers Wayfarers series.||Anna Blackwell designed DELVE, which I loved. This takes her to the stars. Based on her prior work, this is definitely worth getting.|
Featured Image Meta
Cover art from a variety of zines participating in Zine Month 2022.