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August 9, 2017

Savage Planet Art: Sketches for Cosmic Trial Cards

During the successful Kickstarter campaign for our new card game Savage Planet: The Fate of Fantos our backers unlocked a “Stretch Goal” for new, unique art on all of the Cosmic Trial Cards. Over the past month, our fearless leader (Travis) has been hard at work with the game’s artist, Michael LaRiccia, to brainstorm and bring these images to life. For this first inside look at some of the new art in the series, we’re showing off these rough sketches, then we will follow up in the next few days with pen and ink details and a look at the final art!

Remember, these are preliminary sketches and brainstormed ideas. Details will change as ink and color are added:

 

June 23, 2017

Interview With Seth Grier from Quartermaster Logistics

Quartermaster Logistics is the new fulfillment arm of CoolStuffInc.com, and we are happy to announce that we will be working with them to ship and fulfill the rewards for our Kickstarter campaign for our newest game, Savage Planet: The Fate of Fantos! We, as creators, are always interested in learning more about our partners, and we know backers are always eager to find out all they can about every company involved in the process..so, we are happy to present this Q&A with Quartermaster’s Vice President, Seth Grier, as a way to introduce you to our chosen fulfillment company:

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Imp House Games (IHG): Cool Stuff Inc. has been around for awhile, but Quartermaster Logistics is a fairly new fulfillment company. When did you guys decide to begin offering your fulfillment services to the public? What triggered that decision?

Seth Grier, VP of Quartermaster Logistics (QML): We got started in December of 2016, and we’re a sister company of CoolStuffInc.com. One of the biggest reasons for offering fulfillment services was that we saw an opportunity to bring customer fanaticism to the fulfillment industry. We love customers, we love making things simple and easy for them, and with CSI’s shared resources, we already have the capacity and know-how to very quickly fulfill Kickstarters and bring that superior level of service to fulfillment for tabletop games. All of those factors seemed to come out to a winning combination for QML, so we saw a need, and an opportunity for us to fill that need with our unique passion for customers and CSI’s ability to do these kinds of fulfillment very efficiently.

IHG: Awesome; that definitely sounds great to us! So, what sets Quartermaster apart from all the other fulfillment companies out there?

QML: Well, a big part is how we treat and view our customers. But, I mentioned that previously, so let me explain how I think that customer fanaticism plays out in a few different ways at QML. We aim to be fast at turning around fulfillment, easy to use, and reliable. In other words, once we get your product in, it’s going to be shipped to your backers within days, not weeks or even months. Our pricing structure is greatly simplified, so it’s easy to understand and easy to calculate for your business. A 3-pound package is going to cost the same whether it’s going to Georgia or California, and whether there are 2 items to pick for it or 10 items to pick. Finally, we’re reliable; we have processes in place where your products are matched to an order and scanned multiple times before finally being packed. This greatly cuts down on error rate. Even more so, when we say we’ll fulfill something, we will; and we won’t make promises that we know we can’t fulfill. 

IHG: As project creators, we are so happy to hear that! Fulfillment and shipping are some of the most unknown factors when it comes to crowdfunding. So, which Kickstarter projects have you fulfilled so far?

QML: We’ve done “Vikings Gone Wild” from Lucky Duck Games; “Colosseum” and “Yokohama” for Tasty Minstrel Games; we’re currently in the process of fulfilling the “Man vs. Meeple” campaign and “Hostage Negotiator: Crime Wave” for VanRyder Games. We also have several other upcoming in the next months, including Tom Vasel’s “Dice Tower” campaign; “Feudum” from Odd Bird Games; and “Dragon Brew” by August Games.

IHG: Wow, you’ve been busy in your first 6 months! What would you say is the greatest challenge when fulfilling Kickstarter projects? Are there any projects in particular that turned out to be especially difficult? Why? (No need to name names; just general cautionary tales!)

QML: The greatest challenges when fulfilling Kickstarter projects seem to be the things that are out of our control. For instance, one campaign got flagged by customs for an intensive scan and inspection. Customs doesn’t really tell you why certain containers are flagged, sometimes it can be the product name; other times it could be that the ISF (Importer’s Security Filing) wasn’t done correctly. Either way it can costs weeks and thousands in storage fees, so that is definitely something to watch out for. So, as a cautionary tale, always ALWAYS make sure ISF has been properly filed BEFORE your goods leave the port of origin. It could literally save you thousands of dollars!

IHG: Wow, good to know! There are so many little things that creators have to keep in mind before starting the process. How can creators better help you do your job?

QML: Creators can help us by being organized. Little things like making sure they send enough extra to deal with problem orders  (typically 5-10%) and making sure they send out their final backer update (address update) as close to shipping as they can. It really can help cut down on having to re-send product. Also, and it may be obvious, but the fewer SKUs to pick/pack the easier a project is to fulfill. Creating a project with tons of SKUs might be get customers very excited, but it also might end up being more trouble than it’s worth. There’s a judgment call to weigh the benefits and drawbacks there.

IHG: Understood. We do see a lot of otherwise great games being bogged down by extras and add-ons, which then derails the process of getting the rewards into backers’ hands, and can even cause the entire project to go into the red. Our goal as creators is to make every game be as great as it can be, with as little stress as possible to everyone involved! And, what about backers? Is there anything our backers can do to make your job easier?

QML: Backers can can help by making sure their shipping info is up to date and letting us know if there are any problems with their shipments.

IHG: Thanks for sharing some of your time with us, Seth, and we can’t wait to begin our fulfillment process with you very soon!

Click here to find out more about Quartermaster Logistics.

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Interested in learning more about our Savage Planet? Click the photo below!

February 16, 2017

FLGS Spotlight: Guardian Games

All of us here at Imp House feel a lot of love for the FLGSs (Friendly Local Game Stores) out there! These stores help connect gamers from all walks of life and give them a safe place to gather and discover new games together. One of our all-time favorites is Guardian Games in Portland, OR. This was the first store to place an order with us, back in 2013 when we were living and creating in Portland. Since 2005, Angel May, the store’s owner, has made it her mission to create a space 100% dedicated to gaming of all varieties. GG is not your typical comic / game store hybrid; it is over 10,000 square feet of pure gaming space complete with The Critical Sip, a 21-and-up gaming bar and lounge. Continue reading below for more information from Angel about her journey, and you can find out more on the Guardian Games website. This place definitely deserves a visit if you are ever in the Portland area!

Imp House: You’ve created a wondrous temple to board gaming in the heart of Portland, OR. When did your idea take hold, and how did you accomplish it so well?
Guardian Games: I was ready to start gaming again. And there were no stores that fit my needs (clean bathrooms, primarily).
Imp House: Your nightly events play host to a healthy congregation of tabletop worshippers. What are some of the most popular and unique events hosted at Guardian Games?
Guardian Games: Magic definitely. But equally popular are private groups playing rpgs and board games. Magic is the big one though.
Imp House: The retail world is sometimes a difficult journey, but there are many positives along the way. What is your favorite thing about being the owner of a large game store?
Guardian Games: I love to make people happy, so it is a good fit for me.
Imp House: The paths of our lives are twisted, and sometimes we wind up where we least expected. If you weren’t running a games shop, what would you be doing instead?
Guardian Games: I would have a Lego part business.
Imp House: Being a small business owner is non-stop. Do you ever get a chance to sneak away and dive into a game? If so, what’s your current go-to game of choice?
Guardian Games: Current fave is Mythic Vale. Great new mechanic. Short games.

December 9, 2016

Savage Planet Design Log: War

The fall harvest is over, and we have celebrated with a few fine days of sloth and gluttony. Now it’s time to get back to business and discuss the next possible Fantos Action: War.

wartitle

Before we get down to the nitty gritty of a battle there is one important thing to know: during regular play, War is always directed toward the Citadel on your LEFT. So, it may be a good idea to don your diplomat monocle and make friends with the Citadel on your right. That way, when you’re out Harvesting or decide to go to battle, leaving your home undefended, maybe they’ll leave you alone…

war_direction

It’s time to raise your banners, sharpen your blades, and kiss your loved ones goodbye…because War is coming. This Fantos Action works similarly to Harvesting, just with little extra math involved. Like Harvesting, when a Citadel goes to War, it Tasks one, some, or all of its Legacies to the battle. War then occurs in 5 steps:

1. Gather Your Army: The attacking Citadel can task any number of their currently un-tasked Legacies to go to war. Then, the defending Citadel can task any number of their un-tasked Legacies to defend but is not required to do so.

Important notes about DEFENDING against War:

    • Legacies that were previously tasked prior to the start of War are not able to defend their Citadel.
    • If the defending Citadel chooses not to task any Legacies to the War, then they may defend by rolling 1 Shard Die one time. The result is its final War Score.

2. Create Your War Score: The attacking and defending Citadels individually add up all of the war stats for each of their Legacies tasked to the war, creating a War Stat Sum for each Citadel. Then, they roll 1 Shard Die for each of their warring Legacies, and add the War Stat Sum to the die rolls results to create their War Scores. Legacies may now choose to hire Laborers to boost their War Scores if they hold any Labor Cards that would do so.

3. Compare War Score and Establish a Damage Score: The attacking and defending Citadels compare their War Scores; the higher score is the winner. Subtract the losing score from the winning score to create the Damage Score. Once a Damage Score is established, Legacies may no longer hire Laborers to assist.

4. Allocation of Damage: The losing Citadel must now remove the corresponding number of shards from its Legacies. A player may disperse the damage across any or all of its Legacies that were tasked to the War. If a Legacy’s shards are depleted during war, they are placed in the Legacy discard pile. If all of the losing Citadel’s Legacy shards are depleted but damage still remains, it will be paid from the Citadel (see #5: Spoils of War Awarded). All damage taken by a Legacy in battle is awarded to the winning player’s Citadel.


5. Spoils of War Awarded: If the losing Citadel’s Legacy shards are depleted during War, any excess damage is taken from the Citadel itself. The winning player is rewarded a shard from the damaged Citadel for each point of excess damage dealt. The Spoils of War are added to the winning player’s Citadel.

Here’s an example:

The attacking Citadel tasks their Knight and Executioner to war.

tasked-to-war

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The defending Citadel chooses to task their Arbalester, Reeve, and Shirazad to defend.

tasked-to-defend-war1

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The attacking Citadel’s Knight has a War Stat of 3, and the Executioner a 2, giving a War Stat Sum of 5.

basewarscore

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The defending Citadel’s Arbalester has a War Stat of 2, the Reeve a 1, and the Shirazad a 3, giving a War Stat Sum of 6.

basedefendingwarscore

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Each Citadel rolls the Shard Die once for each Legacy tasked to War. The attacking Citadel rolls a 1 and a 1, giving them a War Score of 7.

dieroll_warscore

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The defending Citadel rolls a 1, a 1, and a 2, giving them a War Score of 10.

dieroll_wardefendscore1

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The defending Citadel is the winner and is owed 3 shards from the attacking Legacies.

10-7equals-3shards

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The attacking Citadel decides to award 1 shard from the Executioner and 2 shards from the Knight to the defending Citadel.

war-rewards
The Legacies from both Citadels remain tasked until the start of the players’ next turns.

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It’s now time to let the dust settle and tend to our wounds. In our next Design Log, we’ll review the Tribute Fantos Action. (We promise to leave Katniss out of it; she’s been through enough.)

Until next time…keep playing games and making mischief.

-Travis Watkins, Leader of The Imps

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Savage Planet: The Fate of Fantos is now in the playtesting phase. If you would like to join our growing group of playtesters, please contact us on Facebook or send us an Email with answers to the following questions.

  1. Your experience as a playtester.
  2. The average size of your gaming group on any given game night.
  3. What types of games you typically tend to enjoy the most.
  4. Your physical location.
  5. The days with blocks of time that you are usually free to play.

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November 17, 2016

Lovecraft Holiday Horror Gift Guide: More Than Just Tentacles!

lovecraft_giftguide_banner_2We’ve all seen those Cthulhu-tentacled ski masks and basic tentacle-printed dresses (and leggings) linked everywhere. So, we felt that it was high time for a more unique list of insanity-inducing gifts for Lovecraftian horror fans. Read on for our top choices, and believe us when we say that we were in no way compensated by any of the makers on this list (although, we wouldn’t say no to an extra copy of the “From Beyond” soundtrack….).

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To start, here’s our very own offering to the gods of horror gifts, the Chaos of Cthulhu Dice Game. Perfect for monster-lovers, this game marks Imp House’s very first entry into the Lovecraftian annals. A lot of time was spent working closely with illustrator Daryl Toh to make the art visually provoking, in the style of Mike Mignola. It’s a dice game like no one has every seen before; part strategy, part luck…all madness! Gift-givers located in the United States can buy it at Amazon.com, and everyone else can purchase direct at ImpHouse.com.

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averyscarysolsticecd

Next, you really can’t go wrong with anything from the always insane H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society Store, and we’re especially fond of A Very Scary Solstice CD and Sing-Along Songbook. Who wouldn’t want to lead their family in a eggnog-fueled rendition of “Do You Fear What I Fear” or “I Saw Mommy Kissing Yog-Sothoth”? If you are feeling especially generous, your Lovecraft-loving loved one will never forget your gift of The Cyclopean Holiday Combo, complete with tentacle stocking and enough unspeakable (unsingable?) holiday tunes to drive anyone to the deepest depths of delirium.

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kinginyellow_xmascards
Another place to find a selection of fantastic gifts celebrating all things monstrous and Lovecraftian is Studio WonderCabinet and The Art of Heather Hudson. We are really looking forward to getting our hands on her King in Yellow Christmas Cards, which were successfully Kickstarted on November 15th. Be sure to sign up for her newsletter and/or follow her on social media to find out when these paragons of evil holiday cheer will be released.

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middleofbeyond_cthulhu

The artisans over at Middle of Beyond have some truly dreadful Lovecraft-themed ugly Christmas sweaters up for sale this year. We’re especially fond of that button-down version, which brings to mind an alternate-reality Mr. Rogers. They’ve also got a big selection of creepy ornaments that are sure to provide the perfect level of dread to your typically basic holiday decorations.

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pikachulhu

Every child in your life (regardless of age) must be bestowed with the gift of a Pikathulhu Plush. What better way to introduce them to the horrors of Lovecraft than with the adorable-yet-disturbing aggregate of Cthulhu and Pikachu? It’s a match made in Pokémon nightmares. (If you cannot find a pre-made plush, you can make one yourself by purchasing this pattern.)

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frombeyondvinyl

For the audiophiles out there, Light in the Attic Records offers some high-quality collectible LP releases of some of Lovecraft’s most horrific fiction. Our favorite is the From Beyond Soundtrack printed on Pink Slime vinyl. It really sets the mood for holiday insanity. If your loved one is a fan of spoken word, the very first vinyl recording of The Lurking Fear is available in limited quantities, and Pickman’s Model is up for pre-order now and should ship just in time for the holiday season.

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mininomiconweyes

No horror gift guide would be complete without a mention of artist Jack Eggers over at Small Magic Bindery. We especially love his Necronomicon-themed prayer flags and candles. You can also take your favorite HPL story with you everywhere you go with his Lovecraft Mini-Books, which are featured in the HPLHS store. They are truly mind-altering in their handcrafted madness.

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cthulhuwrappingpaper

And finally, to wrap this up (ba-dum-ch)…you’re gonna need some fittingly demented paper to complete the gift-giving insanity. This Cthulhu Wrapping Paper does the trick with Elder Signs, Cthulhu Idols, and a holiday-appropriate color palette. It’s a great way to add your own unique touch to the usual hum-drum holiday vomit under the tree.