Kickstart This: The Lucid Filter — An Urban Fantasy Series

Burlington-based writer/director Joshua Miner recently launched a Kickstarter for an urban fantasy webseries series called The Lucid Filter. He’s looking to raise $6,000 in the next 23 days.

The initial project will be for a 30 minute pilot episode, described as a ghost-hunting type show.

A group of college students wield arcane powers in a struggle to protect their sleepy New England town from demon-summoning occultists and eldritch horrors.  Serial entrepreneur Becky Carter founded the Paranormal Research and Containment Society, along with a reality-style web show called “The Lucid Filter”.  The web show is styled after typical ghost hunting / paranormal investigation shows, with the added feature of it including actual paranormal events mixed in with staged hauntings.

Backer tiers begin at $5 for a download of the pilot episode, going all the way up to $2,500 for executive producer privileges.

Kickstart This: Handmade Foam Dungeon Tiles

Need some additional items for your upcoming roleplaying game? A new Kickstarter project is selling handmade foam dungeon tiles. They’re looking to raise $500, with 11 days to go.

These handcrafted dungeon tiles are made out of a type of foam known as Extruded Polystyrene, also called XPS foam. The XPS foam is carved by hand to include intricate designs for cracked stonework in order to simulate stone flooring that would be found in a dungeon. Once the design has been carved into the foam, it is also textured to give an stony appearance. Once the weathered stonework design has been carved into the foam, and the stone texture has been applied, it is then given a coat of a sealer to protect the foam and to make it more durable. After the sealer is applied, the protected foam is now hand painted to mimic the appearance of stone, resulting in the final product.

For $5, you can get five tiles, and $25 will get you 30.

Kickstart This: The Exorcism at the House of Monkton Falls

This is a cool looking Kickstarter project from Burlington game designer David Tepfer: The Exorcism at the House of Monkton Falls. The project ends in 15 days, and still needs to raise $2000.

Here’s what it’s about:

The Exorcism at the House of Monkton Falls is a cooperative worker movement/set collecting game themed around the exorcism of ghosts taking up residence in a haunted house. Players take turns exploring the manor, searching for Tools, unlocking Hidden Rooms and using Tools to complete a variety of Tasks.

These Tasks range from calling the police to researching local mythology and earn them various rewards and Exorcism Tokens which contribute to their goal of exorcising ghosts from the manor.

When developing The Exorcism at the House of Monkton Falls we tried to create a game that would not just look the horror part, but would deliver the tense, high stress dread, and ultimate reward of escape that we have come to love in the horror genre.

$40 will get you the full game and a couple of extras, and there’s a couple of additional tiers with some other perks.

Kickstart This: MONARCH Board Game – vie for the crown

Here’s a cool looking board game being kickstarted just over the border in Hanover, NH: MONARCH Board Game – vie for the crown.

Both Empresses and Queens had more power than the history books have granted them. I have long been fascinated by the stories of Medieval Queens and stories of fantastic Chinese Empresses. These women were highly trained and truly well rounded, clever people (did you know, for example, Empress Xi Ling Shi invented silk?).

There are more stories about Queens you may not know. In the tales passed down to us, these women not only faced a violent world of battles and sieges, but they battled with magical powers, cunning family members, and challenging ethical dilemmas as well. To be venerated future leaders, the Queen’s daughters needed to be strong and influential women: expert strategists, socialites, and finance wizards cultured in languages, literature and music.

Essential to the game are its pan-cultural influences. Players will see elements of both Western and Eastern inspiration in the art and objects featured in the court. I wanted a game world that could span continents and time periods, wrapping the player in a rich, pan-cultural fiction that could appeal to a contemporary global imagination.

$40 will get you a copy of the game. They’re looking to raise $15,000 total. Pledge here.

Kickstart This: Sword by Amy Bai

Vermont SF publisher Candlemark and Gleam has started a kickstarter for their next novel, Sword, by Amy Bai. Here’s what it’s about:

For over a thousand years, the kingdom of Lardan has been at peace: isolated from the world, slowly forgetting the wild and deadly magic of its origins. Now the deepest truths of the past and the darkest predictions for the future survive only in the verses of nursery rhymes.

And prophecies are just nursery rhymes for gullible fools. Right?

So thinks Kyali Corwynall, daughter of the Lord General and the court’s only sword-wielding girl. She’s never bothered believing in faery stories. But one day, an old nursery rhyme she’s heard since childhood begins to come true, naming her as Sword and her brother and best friend as Song and Crown, saviors of the kingdom. When that ancient magic wakes, the future changes for everyone. In the space of a single night, her life unravels into violence and chaos.

Now Kyali must find a way to master the magic her people have abandoned, or watch her world – and her closest friends – fall to a war older than the kingdom itself.

You can pledge to the project over here: $5 will get you a copy of the book, while $20 will get you a print copy.

Crowdfund this: VT Game Shop and Public Game Space

This looks interesting: Scott Gemignani of Middlebury is looking to set up a local game store. He’s got a place picked out and is looking to help set up a mortgage for the location:

My name is Scott. I’ve always wanted to own and operate a game store. I want not only a retail space, but a space in which the local community can congregate, family game nights can be hosted, and a place where those who are new to or already interested can broaden their board and card game interests. I have the passion and knowledge, but need the financial support to get this dream off the ground. Read the blurb below to find out more about why I feel this will be a great success.
I currently have a space that I can buy, I can buy it outright for $90,000. This means I would pay no rent, and the space could focus on free events and providing the community a space to get together. Even if I only make $20,000 on this campaign, I can still obtain a mortgage for the space. The mortgage payment would be LESS THAN HALF of all the current rentals spaces available in Middlebury, which is where we are looking to open the space.

He’s looking to raise a total of $20,000 in all. There’s more details available at the campaign’s GoFundMe page. Unlike a kickstarter, GFM campaigns will take in all money, regardless of whether or not the funding level is met.

Kickstart This: Red Star Tales

Here’s a really neat looking Kickstarter: Red Star Tales, an anthology of translated science fiction stories:

For most of the past 100 years, works of Soviet and Russian Science Fiction might as well have existed in a different universe for how well they were known in the West.

What few works did appear in English during the Cold War tended to be wrapped in political agendas. Western publishers singled out Soviet works that contained allegories of political dissidence; Soviet publishing houses offered stilted translations of dry, ideologically-correct fables. While some fine works certainly did get through the Iron Curtain, most that did were hardly representative of the rich tradition of science fiction in Russian literature.

In reality, the last 100 years in Russia has seen an astonishing diversity and depth of literary works in the science fiction genre, by authors with a dizzying array of styles and subject matter.

It’s time for a reboot!

This Kickstarter project will sponsor the publication in 2015 of the first comprehensive edition of truly notable Russian and Soviet science fiction – works chosen for their artistic and scientific merit, not because of any political or ideological agenda.

We’re titling the book Red Star Tales.

The 400+-page volume will include 18 stories, spanning from path-breaking, pre-revolutionary works of the 1890s, through the difficult Stalinist era, to post-Soviet stories published in the 1980s and 90s.

None of the works in this volume has ever been translated into English before, and we are engaging the services of some of the finest translators available to help us produce the sort of quality publication our 25-year-old company is known for.

The works will be richly annotated and introduced, to help the reader appreciate the context in which the stories were published, and how they were received. Among others, there will be works by the founder of Russian rocketry, by the “Soviet Jules Verne,” by the renowned writer Andrei Platonov, and by masters such as Dolgushin and Altov – household names to a significant cross-section of the Russian intelligentsia, but virtually unheard of in the West.

For over 100 years, most of the science fiction produced by the world’s largest country has been beyond the reach of Western readers. This project will bring a large body of influential works into the English orbit.

This looks like an astounding anthology project. They’re looking to raise $16,000 and have a bit more to raise in the next couple of weeks. $18 gets you an eBook edition, while $45 gets you a printed edition. Russian Life is based out of Montpelier, Vermont.

Pledge here.

Kickstart This: “Name that Game” Posters by Mark Gonyea

Mark Gonyea recently kickstarted the The Mythical Alphabet and Cryptozoology Icon Posters, which were pretty cool. Now, he’s got a new poster project, one based around some of his favorite boardgames.

The games featured in these minimalist posters are Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, Lords of Waterdeep, Puerto Rico, and Pandemic.

My first Euro style game was Settlers of Catan. From there on I was completely hooked! There are so many games in regular rotation for game nights, Catan, Ticket to Ride, Lords of Waterdeep (my newest go to game), and so many more!

These posters are inspired by some of my absolute favorite games. As a graphic artist, I really loved the challenge of taking a wonderfully complex strategy game and distilling it down to an extremely simple, but still recognizable design.

I hope you’ll help me create these 5 strategy board game posters. Each poster will be 18×24 and printed on at least 100 lb. matte paper. Rolled, labeled as fragile, and shipped in a sturdy tube. The dollars pledged will go directly to the production of the posters, supplies (tubes & labels), and cost of shipping rewards.

These look pretty stunning, and they’d be right at home hanging on the wall of someone’s game room. He’s looking to raise $2,800 in the next 18 days. a $20 pledge gets you a 18×24 poster.

Pledge here.

Kickstart This: Crossover Miniatures – Intergalactic Super Hero Minis

Kickstarter creator Rusti has a neat project that’s already fully funded: Crossover Miniatures – Intergalactic Super Hero Minis! Here’s the blurb:

Crossover Miniatures is back with some awesome new miniatures and an emphasis on Alien escapades. Become a part of this new project…

We are truly in a golden age of miniature manufacturing! Gamers and collectors have a slew of choices they could never previously dream of at their fingertips, but one niche remains fairly under-served, 28mm metal super hero minis. The reason is because they don’t sell in the thousands and manufactures can make more money selling just about anything else. I think there is a need for high quality, CUSTOMIZABLE metal super hero minis. I make 28mm heroic super hero minis that are designed to have loads of character but be painted easily and quickly. The whole point is to get them on the table! I don’t think miniatures are made to be purchased and languish in a drawer, and I don’t think you do either!

I also believe the craftsmanship that goes into producing miniatures doesn’t need to be improved upon! Plastic is a wonderful material, but I like metal minis, they feel right. Crossover minis are hand sculpted by an artist, their work is mastered and molded by artisans using time tested methods. Every step of the process is performed by people who are good at their job and I want to pay them a living wage. All work produced by Crossover Miniatures is performed in Europe or the United States, that’s important to us and if you like that idea, I hope you consider joining our community.

They were looking to raise $500, and have already pulled in twice that. $18 gets you three figures or a Super Team, to be delivered in February 2015.

Pledge here.

The Mythical Alphabet and Cryptozoology Icon Posters

This looks like a cool Kickstarter project: The Mythical Alphabet and Cryptozoology Icon Posters. Mark Gonyea is putting together a bunch of posters celebrating Cryptozoology:

Since my earliest days of playing Dungeons and Dragons and watching the X-Files I’ve been interested in mythical and legendary creatures. I’ve taken that interest of the unknown and my graphic design skills and put it all into this iconic A to Z of mythical beasts. It includes my favorites like Cyclops, Minotaur, Werewolf, and of course Zombie.

Designing an icon means making a simplified graphic symbol that represents a real, fantasy, or abstract entity. In this case, definitely dark, creepy, spooky, fantastic entities.

The poster will be 18×24, printed on at least a 100 lb. paper, mailed in a sturdy shipping tube and labeled as fragile. The postcard will be a 4×6 version of the poster image and printed on 14-16 pt. card stock.

Interested? $5 will get you a postcard, while $20 will get you the actual poster. Pledge here.