Corsairs – Set to Sail

14 Days. That was the length of the Corsairs Kickstarter Campaign for the ZineQuest. Before launch I had my worries, I had my doubts, I had a cynical and self-deprecating voice in the back of my mind telling me Corsairs would fail. It didn’t.

236 Backers raised over $4000 AUD to help make Corsairs a reality. We hit a funding level of 274% and unlocked three stretch goals. We unlocked a better quality zine, improved art from Felicity Haworth, and two further PDF zines that will expand the Corsairs rules and setting.

I’m not sure how I feel. On one hand I am stunned, shocked, thrilled and excited, and on the other I am daunted by the challenge that lies ahead, and the worry that I can still muck it up. Replacing the concern that no-one would be interested and that the Kickstarter would languish unnoticed and forgotten is the concern that people who get the zine will be largely unimpressed. Such is the journey of anybody who creates content in the hope that others will like it I suppose! I cannot sit in a puddle of idle self-doubt, I have 236 people to thank and a successful Kickstarter campaign to celebrate! So onward!

An early test print.

Over the course of the Kickstarter campaign I wrote 23 updates counting something like 13,000 words all told, I did one interview, tweeted a lot, and gave shout outs in my updates to 23 other Kickstarter ZineQuest campaigns. I got a lot of feedback, a huge amount of support, and was stunned when the campaign funded on the second day, and hit 274% of the funding level by the time it wound to a close.

It’s been a roller coaster. I have learned a lot, and I recognise that I have much yet to do and learn. I am looking forward to the chance to officially commission Felicity to complete the artwork for Corsairs, and excited to see how it will all come together including her wonderful artwork. I have two source-zines to write: Smoke and Oakum, which will expand the rules for sky ships and sailing, and Speed, Strength, and Wits, which will expand the rules for characters. Through both I hope to also expand the setting and lore of the Molten Sea and the famed Floating Islands, as well as layering in as many adventure seeds as I can. All in good time! For now I have some freelance work to complete while I wait for Kickstarter to process the campaign. Once this is done I will be taking time out to finish Corsairs, and make the rules book and the source-zines that follow it as wonderful, and full of value for my backers as I can.

Playtesting was a lot of fun!

All in all Corsairs has me wondering about the viability of running a small zine campaign again later in the year. Yes it would be outside of the ZineQuest promotion, and that I have no doubt would significantly impact visibility, but I had a great time running the Corsairs kickstarter campaign… I got to interact with a wide range of wonderful and supportive people from gamers to designers and fellow zine-questers, and generally had a lot of fun. Then again, maybe I should instead focus my attention on my larger fantasy RPG: Ashmerl… Decisions… we shall see!

Corsairs has funded!

Wow, I have been busy with the Kickstarter page, and completely neglected the website. Last I wrote here, only a few days ago, Corsairs was sitting at 87% funded. Since then it has gone past its funding goal, and just hit the first stretch goal! I can’t believe it.

So far I have sent out 7 updates on the Kickstarter page, including information about the setting, the rules, and added a poll for backers yesterday in which they could vote for the next PDF Zine to be released for Corsairs.

I am honestly stunned with the level of support and encouragement I have received: it has been unbelievable. I’d love to hit another stretch goal or two as we move into the final week of the Kickstarter, but whether that happens or it doesn’t, I can remain content that I managed to do a thing. There is plenty of work ahead, don’t get me wrong, but I was doubtful I we would make it this far. Crazy!

I have learned so much on the journey so far, and look forward to what the next steps and twists have to teach me. It has made me think, maybe making some zines throughout the year might be an interesting and fun thing to do… Hmm.

If you haven’t yet, check out the Corsairs Kickstarter here. It has been more successful than I had dared to hope it would be, and that is thanks to everyone who has jumped on and supported me, and supported Corsairs!

Corsairs is Live on Kickstarter

Corsairs is now live on Kickstarter! One of the first, but one of many creative, passionate, and vibrant games put forward by the role playing community as a part of Kickstarter’s Zine Quest!

What is Corsairs?

You are a Corsair: nothing more than a pirate to the navies of the Empires that battle over the floating islands. But to independent islands like Teboa, you are a bulwark against the machinations of power hungry sovereigns.

Corsairs is a game of sky ships, powerful empires and fiercely independent floating islands.

The zine is a 32 page role playing game, with all the rules for character creation, taking actions, and darring-do that you would expect. It also includes rules for great battles between the sky ships that the ply the Molten Seas!

If Corsairs funds you will get a 32 page role playing game, including a character sheet and ship sheet, either as a PDF, or both as a PDF and a professionally printed zine.


If we hit the first stretch goal, my sketches will be replaced with wonderful art from Felicity Haworth. Check out her art at the link, I think it’s fantastic, and I’m hoping I have the opportunity to work with her to make Corsairs look even more amazing!

You can find and back Corsairs here.

Corsairs – Characters

Corsairs will be coming to Kickstarter as a part of the ZineQuest in a few days time. In the lead up I wanted to show a few of the details, and today that means talking about characters!

You can tell a lot about a role playing game from the character sheet, and this is the character sheet for Corsairs:

Characters are built around their statistics: Finesse, Might, and Wits. This dictates the base number of D6 rolled when a character is attempting a task. Each statistic has three linked skills, and these will provide bonus dice a character may roll, and can be improved with experience.

Characters also have Luck points, and these may be used to modify dice, or to add some narrative element or device to the game that aids the character in their hour of need!

As the pirates close in on poor old Edward Evans he stumbles across a small gully, Evan’s player spends a luck point and states that in the gully are some picketed horses… just in the nick of time!

Characters will also have positive and negative relationships with the other characters in the group. In our playtests Del Fuego had a negative relationship with Scarred Pete because Pete’s Monkey nearly pulled out Del Fuego’s infamous moustache.

Relationships provide a benefit or impose a negative effect when the characters are working together and helping each other out.

Characters have gear! Each character will also begin the game with one special item. Scarred Pete had his monkey, Del Fuego had his moustache. Special items provide a bonus to one skill.

At the bottom of each character sheet has a Damage chart, which is where a player tracks how injured a character is. Injuries can mean negative effects for the characters, like the Cursed condition. The Damage chart also shows how difficult the injuries are to heal…

Lastly, most characters will have a role on ship, this will mean certain jobs they are in charge of when a ship is getting ready, plotting a course, sailing, or locked broadside to broadside with an enemy!

Corsairs will launch on February 2nd! Check out the pre-launch page here, and click to get notified when it launches!