Feb 092013
 

My pal James Wallis is a tabletop gaming legend. Among many other things, he co-created the wonderful Once Upon a Time card game; he wrote and published one of the first story-driven roleplaying games, The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen; and he launched the much-loved Diana Jones Award for Excellence in Gaming. He’s been off doing other things for a while, but he’s returning to tabletop games with a new game called Alas Vegas, and he’s funding it via Kickstarter.

Alas Vegas is, as James describes it, “an RPG miniseries about amnesia, sin, horror and gambling… The player characters begin the game by digging themselves out of a shallow grave in the desert, at midnight. They are naked, and they have no memory of who they are or how they got where they are. On the horizon is a scar of neon. There will be answers there. And trouble.”

I don’t know about you, but that hooked me good.

James’s backers smashed through the funding goal in under eight hours, and he’s lined up a number of excellent stretch goals. These include new campaigns by Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan and Allen Varney, cocktail recipes by John Tynes, a guide for using Tarot cards in other games by Robin Laws, and even an Alas Vegas novel by James himself.

I’m also chipping in a chapter on how to handle Vegas-style gambling in games that are already card and dice driven. As a game designer, that’s a fun challenge, and as you might imagine, I studied a lot about Vegas gambling to prepare for writing Vegas Knights. That kicks in if/when Alas Vegas reaches £13k. Since the drive’s already up past £8k and has 18 days left, I’m betting it can make that.

Go check it out. If you like it, deal yourself in.

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