Content: 22 music-inspired settings and scenarios; many intriguing rules and foes; alternate Miseries; a whole spread of punishments for unruly dice
Writing: Variously fascinating and horrifying
Art/design: Widely variegated but all nicely done
Usability: A couple atypical layouts that reward a bit of scrutiny and patience
Concept: “Unleash havoc with this set of rules featuring devastating blackpowder weaponry.”
Content: Includes rules for historic firearms, blackpowder mishaps, and a gun-toting character class
Writing: Clear delivery of more-complicated-than-average weapon mechanics
Art/design: On-brand use of color, type, and visual arrangements
Usability: Well laid out in discrete sections and easy to navigate
Content: A variety of firearms, ammunition, and special rules for using them
Writing: Concise general and item-specific mechanics
Art/design: Uses the illustration and ground to differentiate general mechanics and categories of arms
Usability: It’s a spiked arquebus blast to the face!
Content: A blood-drinking robotic scvm.
Writing: Mechanically precise though not as soulless and inflexible as its titular subject.
Art/design: Superior in design, though not of machine precision. With a menacing full-color character illustration.
Usability: Ready to rip and tear.
Content: The first volume of collected FÖLK-LORE Jam entries
Writing: Varies by author, see individual entries under the FÖLK-LORE Jam tag
Art/design: Varies by entry; single-page entries are well balanced in spreads
Usability: Varies by entry, but it’s all Mörk Borg—how tough could it be?
Content: A race against the goblin curse and an album of your choice
Writing: Neatly arranged in two columns (scenario rules and concise, efficient room descriptions)
Art/design: Color and typography choices facilitate quick reference
Usability: A modular dungeon; depending on rolls and album choice, could be quick and easy, long and excruciating, or fast and brutal
Content: ; additional lore and options on product page
Writing: Covers behavior, preferred haunts, and mechanics
Art/design: Layout and design work to guide and direct the reader’s attention
Usability: Requires only slightly more effort than a regular garden gnome
Content: Generators for cults and curses, feats, 2 classes, black-powder weapons, 2 long adventures, a pair of 1-page dungeons, and a quartet of monsters/NPCs
Writing: Varies by author but consistently emphasizes images and concepts that are grim, creepy, and/or outright weird
Art/design: Every entry’s layout, graphic design, and coloration are distinct, creating a lot of visual diversity and easy navigability; sweet foil printing on the cover and first page; fold-out covers just to cram as much content into this zine as possible
Usability: The only obstacle is deciding what to read first.
Content: Fungi, environs filled with fungi, fungus-based class and items, and some mushroom monsters
Writing: Efficient but with enough detail to spur interest and imagination
Art/design: Relatively sparse but still under development
Usability: Very efficient layout for a lot of content
Concept: “As the death of the world approaches, harbingers ride out, embodying all of its woes.”
Content: Stat blocks for avatars of misery and mechanics for introducing them into your game
Writing: Clear, concise, and characterful
Art/design: A mix of artists and styles embedded in Mörk Borg’s aesthetic
Usability: Straightforward layout; tables add variety without being overwhelming
Content: A class that guards (and wields) powerful holy relics
Writing: Clear and characterful; contains some fun Easter eggs for the faithfvl
Art/design: Clean text layout with a piece of colorful (but not too colorful) art
Usability: Relatively restrictive character creation balanced by guaranteed good armor and some impressive relics
Content: “Classes, items, companions, monsters and encounters created by sacrilegious mind.”
Writing: A variety of styles, all appropriate to their content
Art/design: Worth downloading just to check out the range of art and layouts
Usability: Complexity varies by entry but consistently easy to use
Concept: “Venture into the swamps of Wästland to get to the bottom of the recent disappearances of foresters and peat cutters.”
Content: A morally ambiguous, jungle-themed hexcrawl
Writing: Primarily instructional with a random encounter table and some stat blocks
Art/design: Map-based with a floral background that sets the atmosphere
Usability: Discrete sections are easy to navigate