Today's topic: "Kickstarted game most pleased you backed."
This is going to be a tough one. I Kickstart a lot of stuff, and I have a very good track record (only two items I've backed didn't fund). Most of those I've backed have delivered in some capacity, and even the ones that haven't aren't sources of regret.
So, I'm going to cheat here, just a little and throw out a few that hit different high notes:
Biggest, Most Elaborate: Cthulhu Wars, from Petersen Games. I got in on one of the early bird tiers, so my core set only cost $130. I wouldn't own the game at full retail price, so that's pretty awesome. The minis and the production values are just tremendous. Also, it got Sandy Petersen going back to gaming conventions, so I got to meet him and geek out over Lovecraftian horrors together. That's pretty damned cool.
I Knew These Guys When: Tianxia, from Vigilance Press. I've had the good fortune to know Jack Norris for well over a decade, and I first met James Dawsey at GenCon in 2009. Later, I made some guest appearances on James' "Vigilance Press Podcast," playing M&M for the amusement of the masses. I'm also an enormous fan of martial arts cinema, so when they launched the kickstarter for Tianxia, Jack's FATE-based martial arts setting, backing it was a no-brainer. I knew the material would be terrific; what I didn't expect was how incredibly beautiful the final product was. James made the very smart move of hiring Denise Jones to to all of the artwork for the game. Her style is a perfect fit, transforming Jack's words into beautiful images that are full of life and character and movement. The book has been a tremendous success and the folks involve deserve every bit of it. I'm happy to have helped them get it out the door. Now, give me an AGE conversion. :-)
Sentimental Favorite 1: Chill. Because I met my first serious girlfriend at an impromptu Halloween night Chill session.
Sentimental Favorite 2: Feng Shui 2, from Atlas Games. Apart from Champions, no other RPG has had an impact on my gaming style than Feng Shui. I remember reading my first copy (The Daedelus first edition) in the car while my wife drove us home from the game store. I hit the section titled "The Map Is Not Your Friend" and honestly felt like the I was seeing gaming for the first time. Feng Shui kickstarted my love of Hong Kong action films into high gear. It's the game I folded, spindled, and (on more than one occasion) mutilated to play genres far afield of the original setting (seriously, I ran "Keep on the Borderlands" with it). I own everything published for it, even the Ronin Publishing version of "Blood of the Valiant." In short, I love this game. Hell, I even Kickstarted a Shadowfist card game revival because I heard Atlas was watching it to gauge the popularity the setting it shares with FS. And I don't even play Shadowfist.
So, when word finally got out that Feng Shui 2 was in the works, you can bet I jumped on that train. I got my copy on Friday. It's gorgeous, everything I could have hoped for. Now, I need to find a way to run it.
So those four are special, I suppose. But every game I back is special. Every game I back is like a godchild (or maybe a niece or nephew). Many of the projects I back are helmed by friends of mine. And since I'm a far better consumer of than creator of gaming material, I consider myself lucky to be in a position to help the publishers with my one consistent contribution (money).
So, there ya have it.