Now closed: The Rainbow Violence Prevention Network TTRPG fundraiser bundle

This bundle is organized by KiwiRPG to raise funds for the Rainbow Violence Prevention Network, a collaborative group of organisations that aims to reduce sexual and domestic violence against the rainbow community.

Valued at nearly $70, you can get almost 80% off this collection of 27 amazing ttrpgs for a diverse range of authors and support a great cause. All funds raised of proceeds go to the RVPN.

This bundle runs from April 18th-29th (NZT).

Thanks to Kelly Whyte for being the driving force behind this bundle!

Kia ora e hoa mā.

With the race towards the end of the calendar year, it seems appropriate for Kēmu Whakatau O Aotearoa to start thinking about the next one, and more specifically the next end of year, albeit the Māori one. Stick with me, it’ll make sense shortly.

The tent pole event in the KiwiRPG calendar is KiwiRPG week. We have done two now and they are always roaring successes. They bring eyes onto our little corner of the hobby from far and near, with media attention and community spotlights on all of the excellent creations Aotearoa contributes to our great hobby. KiwiRPG week formed the nucleus of Kēmu Whakatau O Aotearoa in many ways. It is an amazing opportunity for us all to celebrate Kiwi creations unapologetically.

When the committee sat down to start preliminary planning of the next KiwiRPG week, naturally we turned our thoughts towards when to hold it. Previously it had been in June and May before that. Dates chosen for various reasons. This year we wanted that reason to be one that is just as special to Aotearoa as it is to KiwiRPG. So we decided to coincide the week with Matariki, the Māori new year. Hopefully the opening paragraph is starting to make sense.

Matariki is a sacred time across polynesia, and for most Māori iwi. It is the time where its namesake star cluster rises in the eastern sky, and welcomes in the new year. It is a time we associate with endings and beginnings, life and death. It is a time where we come together to plan, to enjoy one another’s company and to feast upon the bounty of our harvests. To look back at the year that’s been and forward to the year ahead. It is a time to be introspective but ambitious and full of potential.

What better time for our community to come together, unite in voice and action to spring into the new year with pride, mana and something to show the world?

With this said, I would like to confirm that the official dates for KiwiRPG week 2024 are Sunday 23rd of June through to Saturday 29th of June. This obviously coincides with the Matariki holiday on Friday 28th. We will close out the year and welcome in the new one in the way only Kēmu Whakatau O Aotearoa can.

Thank you for your time to read this. As this calendar year counts down, put some mind towards how you want to welcome in Matariki next year and know we are all here with you.

Kia pai tō koutou rā
Liam Stevens
Kēmu Whakatau O Aotearoa Chair 

As KiwiRPG week 2023 comes to an end, our committee chair Liam Stevens writes to our community and also those from all around the world who have turned their thoughts to Kēmu Whakatau O Aotearoa this week.

The logo for Kēmu Whakatau o Aotearoa. The group's name is on the right hand side, along with #KiwiRPG. On the left is a K stylised to be reminiscent of Māori carving and tattooing practices.

Kia ora e te whanau!

KiwiRPG 2023 is coming to an end, and what a week it has been! We have seen a barrage of awesome KiwiRPG content, all across live streams, podcasts, game bundles, media etc. It has been an excellent week to be a part of and makes me so proud to sit within this community alongside you all. We truly are a community that performs at a world class level and can stand to get the world’s attention.

Full confession; I did not do a hell of a lot this KiwiRPG week. The joys of being a civil servant in election year has seen me consumed in work and work related travel to breaking point. Thankfully I needn’t have worried. KiwiRPG is greater than the sum of all of its parts, and so many of you stepped up to the plate and delivered throughout the week. The way everyone was able to come in and do their bit made everything come together smoothly and I am seeing all over the place nothing but positive responses to our collective celebration.

It’s hard to believe that our first KiwiRPG was just a year ago. And what a year! In that time we have organized, made KiwiRPG an actual thing as opposed to an idea, and have seen so many new people come into the fold. Hopefully that growth continues, and with it we see a more diverse range of voices and ideas enter the fold too.

So as the week winds down we are now planning to take time to consider how it went, what could be done better, what opportunities were missed and what should be further developed. We expect it will take several years before KiwiRPG week reaches its full potential so until then we will continue to analyze and learn from these sorts of event’s. I fully expect the community to be involved in that discussion. So get to thinking about what you think worked, what didn’t, what we could do better and what we missed out on. In Aotearoa we know you must look to the past to look forward, so let us all do that.

In the coming weeks here in Aotearoa we will be coming into Matariki, which is a time for reflection on the year that has been and planning for the year ahead. I encourage you to think back to where we were last year, a small discord group full of enthusiasm and hype to get stuck, and look at us now. Then imagine where you want us to be next year. Hold on to that thought, hold it near and dear but share it too. Dreams and aspirations work best when they see the light of day.

Lastly if there is anyone subscribed to this email who is not a part of KiwiRPG and you are wondering about joining; please do! If you live in Aotearoa, or are from here but live abroad, you are more than welcome. This is especially true of our marginalized communities but especially Tangata Whenua. This community simultaneously is about nurturing our hobby in NZ while also being Kaitiaki of the taonga of Aotearoa in the broader RPG sphere, a task that we have already had to exercise not long ago. So the more people we have, and the more diverse our membership, the lighter that load and the more well placed we are to make that happen.

If you subscribe to the mailing list and are not from here, welcome! Please stay subscribed to this mail list, as we are only getting started and it is going to get much bigger and better from here.

Ake ake ake kia kaha e!

Liam Stevens
Chair of the KiwiRPG Committee

 

Another epic KiwiRPG week is just around the corner! 

Starting with a bang on Saturday the 10th of June*, we’ve got exciting deals, streams, shows and events running throughout the week!

SEE THE KIWIRPG WEEK 2023 SCHEDULE

We’ve got something new and exciting this year. Every day there will be a DAILY DEAL, a KiwiRPG product with a huge discount, just for that day!

The DAILY DEAL will be advertised in the KiwiRPG calendar of course, but the best way to catch it is to SIGN UP TO OUR EMAIL NEWSLETTER! Get that deal in your inbox every time! Click here to sign up!

We’re really excited to celebrate Kiwi RPG ingenuity with you. See you soon!

* If you’re in Christchurch, the fun starts a week earlier, get along to see Dungeons & Comedians live on stage on Sunday 4th June!

 

 

Statement from KiwiRPG chair Liam Stevens

Kia ora tātou

I wanted to take a moment to respond to this last week’s controversy surrounding World of Darkness’s appropriation of the likeness of Tāme Iti, renowned activist and kaumatua of Ngāi Tūhoe, and their response to it. Due to the complicated and confusing nature of publishing for the World of Darkness line between Paradox and Renegade Game Studios, I shall refer to both entities as World of Darkness.

It is already documented elsewhere, but the TL:DR is that World of Darkness released a preview from their upcoming Werewolf The Apocalypse book. In the artwork of this preview was a character that had Tāme Iti’s face, including his Mataora, using a replication of a photo of Tāme. The community noticed and called on World of Darkness to fix this issue. World of Darkness posted two statements, one stating they would look into this, and then later another stating that they would be removing this art from the upcoming publication. 

Removing the artwork is the right thing to do, and I have to commend World of Darkness for taking this step. This issue happening at all is unacceptable. That said, it is important that we acknowledge when actions are taken to right these sorts of wrongs. Sadly it is all too common that the injustices against indigenous communities by publishers go unrectified in these situations. So when action is taken I am always glad to see it. Hopefully this is only the start of more efforts to move towards avoiding this sort of wrong completely going forward. 

Let me be blunt here; World of Darkness is fortunate that their cultural incompetence was caught in a pre-publishing preview. Had any other page in their book been the subject of this preview, it is highly likely that this appropriation of Tāme’s likeness and our cultural traditions would have been published. And I do wonder what other wrongs exist in the pages yet unseen.

The industry needs to normalize the practice of not utilizing indigenous cultures for their game’s aesthetic. It is very likely that the artist in this case did not know much about the culture they were using, they likely searched the internet for tribal facial tattoos and just helped themselves to the image, making many faux pas in the process. Instead the use of indigenous culture, or any culture for that matter, should be a deliberate act, with the experts of the culture being engaged from the start to ensure it is used with the care, mana and respect it deserves. When you treat cultures like aesthetics or bags of inspiration for the plunder, you are going to put your foot in it, and World of Darkness demonstrated this fully.

Much has been made of the collaboration with indigenous consultants for the current Werewolf line and yet this still happened. This is because not all indigenous cultures are alike. This may seem like an obvious statement, but it is one too often forgotten. 

Often when publishers talk about seeking consultation about cultural safety, what they really seek is to be safe from criticism for the use of this culture. But the reality is you are never safe from criticism for using another’s culture, nor should you be. Instead seek collaboration to empower indigenous cultures to express themselves as they see fit, either through their own works or as collaborators on yours. Often we have had to fight, and still do, to maintain the mana of our cultures, so it should be us who shares them with the world.

There is a common saying “It’s better to ask forgiveness than permission”. It is that thinking which has resulted in indigenous cultures having to cling on to the edges of their cultural identity with tight fists as colonial aggressors take take and take some more. When a game designer thinks it’s their right to include our culture, watered down as it is, into their works without permission, they are joining the long line of colonial thieves. So instead, let us change the dynamic. Let us encourage others to not only ask for permission, but collaboration. Let indigenous tell their stories, rather than discover their face upon your page, awkwardly attached to another body bearing Polynesian tattoos.

But until then, I acknowledge World of Darkness for admitting their wrongs and seeking to fix them. What is done is done, but hopefully going forward they learn, at the very least, what not to do. And going forward won’t need to seek forgiveness. I have just seen that Tāme is aware of what happened and has contacted World of Darkness to discuss. Hopefully they learn from him and his mana too. Let us all see this for the lesson to the industry that it should be and aim to do much better.

Whāia te mātauranga hei oranga mō koutou

Hei konā mai

Liam Stevens
Ngāti Kahungunu ki te wairoa
Chair of KiwiRPG

 

MEDIA RELEASE: 20 MARCH 2023

KIWI TTRPG CREATORS STAND TOGETHER IN NEW ASSOCIATION

There is a new community voice in the international tabletop role-playing games field.

Aotearoa New Zealand’s TTRPG creators have come together to launch Kēmu Whakatau O Aotearoa, to spotlight their work on the global stage, support emerging talent, and speak out when needed.

The new association, Kēmu Whakatau O Aotearoa, also known by the short form KiwiRPG, is woven from two major strands of creative work: game design and writing, and creation of content for streams, podcasts, video and live performance. Many local creators work across both strands.

The first KiwiRPG committee is Liam Stevens (Ngāti Kahungunu), Penny D. Boyce, and Morgan Davie, who together bring significant experience across many different facets of the TTRPG industry.

The first act of the new committee was to announce the dates of the second KiwiRPG week, which will run from Saturday 10 June to Sunday 18 June (NZ time). 

KiwiRPG week showcases Aotearoa’s TTRPG streamers, podcasters, game designers, youtubers, freelance writers, and live performers, featuring special events, game launches, and special deals.

The creation of Kēmu Whakatau O Aotearoa | KiwiRPG as a formal association is a direct result of the tremendous success of the 2022 KiwiRPG week.

**ENDS**

Big news, everyone! 

KiwiRPG is about to happen, and YOU can apply to join RIGHT NOW!

Are you a TTRPG creative based in Aotearoa, or connected to this land? We would love you to be part of Kēmu Whakatau O Aotearoa, KiwiRPG!

After the success of KiwiRPG week 2022, the local creative community enthusiastically called for KiwiRPG to become something more than just a hashtag. 

Now we have a plan: free to join, elected leadership, simple structure, here to promote our stuff to the world & speak out when needed. 

You can see all the details in the full KiwiRPG proposal document.

Are you in?

Here’s where you can apply to join KiwiRPG

Are you curious to know more? Contact us here! 

The online hui to complete the creation of KiwiRPG will be Sunday 5 March, at 7:30pm. We’ll send invites directly to everyone who has applied!

 

 

 

This evening (Sunday 27 November) at 7:30, all Kiwi creatives in TTRPGs are invited to the first great KiwiRPG hui!

KiwiRPG week was a fantastic beginning for Kēmu Whakatau O Aotearoa, and it’s time to set ourselves up for the future.  This online hui is for all TTRPG creatives (podcasters, streamers, game designers, freelances, others) in or connected to Aotearoa NZ, and anyone else with shared interests.

Join us as we come together, build our community a bit, and make some choices for the future.

A new KiwiRPG association?

One important thing we will look at during tonight’s hui is setting up a proper association for KiwiRPG creatives. 

A short description (with a long appendix!) is in this google doc. Check out the comments too; we are working together to make sure this association takes the right shape.

Join us tonight!

Here is the link to follow:

Topic: Long Awaited KiwiRPG Hui
Time: Nov 27, 2022 07:30 PM Auckland, Wellington
Meeting ID: 829 8984 4605
Passcode: 317588

 

The KiwiRPG logo comes out of the water like the big shark in JAWS.

So far we’ve explored lots of exciting games that have been launched into the world from Aotearoa. Look at them all! So shiny! Now, to bring our tour of the game design side of KiwiRPG to a close, we just need to look over our shoulder – yes! You see it now! I know, it’s big, isn’t it? That’s right, it’s heaps and heaps of Kiwi-made material for other games! 

As Chief Brody might say, we’re going to need a bigger blog tour series. Well tough nuggins Chief Brody! You’re gonna compare scars and fight that shark in the one blogpost remaining to you, and you’re gonna like it!

The Dargons and the Dungons

Into the 5th edition of D&D? It’s only the biggest game in the world. If you like the 5e-ness of it all, KiwiRPG has a few things for you to check out:

Away from 5th edition, in the broader dungeon-type dragon-ish scene:

There! Lots of dungons for your dargons!!

Every other heckin’ thing

SF game Mothership is one of the hottest things in gaming right now, and making epic contributions to it (the one at that link is just the start) is Liam Stevens a.k.a. Toa Tabletop! (Also Mothershipping it up: that very same Scrap Princess who was just mentioned a few paragraphs ago!)

Malcolm Harbrow has been steadily releasing amazing stuff for science fiction game Uncharted Worlds

Marcus Bone! Where to even start on Marcus – years of highest-quality free content you can just go and download and use right now! Call of Cthulhu and Conspiracy X and Open D6 and The Esoterrorists and so much more!

Grant Robinson has been knocking out Shadowrun material for a long time, contributing to loads of books, chummer! (ED: Do Shadowrun people still say “Chummer”? Check before publishing – NO DON’T NO TIME KEEP GOING)

Tim Denee’s mapping for Blades in the Dark (in the DriveThru bundle!) is legendary and that’s just a kind of iceberg-tip of what he’s contributed to the RPG scene.

Who’s that in the contributor list for the Brindlewood Bay Kickstarter, currently cruising past the quarter-million mark with weeks to go? Why it’s Donna Giltrap, another veteran of the Kapcon SDC discussed in the last games post!

*second self-promo alert* I wrote some books for the Doctor Who RPG, good stuff if you like Doctor Who. (I like Doctor Who.) But hey lets do a REAL deep cut and link to these articles by Kelly Buchanan for Time Lord (the 1990s Doctor Who RPG from Virgin Publishing), published in legendary DW fanzine TSV. 

*final self-promo alert* The biggest thing I’ve been working on is a|state 2nd edition, for Handiwork Games. This is a reboot & reworking of early-2000s cult hit a|state, about hardscrabble troublemakers in a sprawling and haunted sci-fi cityscape, and honestly it is an incredible project. 

Do they even go to this school?

Paul Cockburn was there at the ground floor of Warhammer FRP, and has his mitts all over iconic 80s RPG mag IMAGINE, among other contributions. He’s been in New Zealand for years and years so does that make the Old World part of KiwiRPG? No? How about the D&D world of Pelinore then? Maybe a little bit? It’s in the blogpost now, too late, hahaha!

Colin Chapman, best known for free RPG Atomic Highway. has a long list of RPG freelance credits on amazing games you know.  He’s now in New Zealand too! What does that signify exactly? I dunno! But he’s in the blogpost now too!

Malcolm Craig wrote Hot War in the cafes of Wellington! Ha ha, he’s in the blogpost too! You can’t stop me! Nothing can stop anything! It’s the climactic action sequence, the shark is eating the boat, no time for details now! 

Wait, that’s it?

Is it really time to stop?

Yes definitely time to stop you are out of control plus it’s the last day

ok ok fine

But only with this final note: that’s definitely not all. There are gonna be other people out there making stuff and getting it out into the world, and they are going to be from Aotearoa, and I don’t know about them yet. Kiwis connect out to the global creative scene in all kinds of ways and, because we often don’t do much shouting about it to each other, their fellow Kiwis might not even know they’re doing it.

So expect this list to grow, as we find out about more people. (It might not literally grow, I’m not committing to editing this post or anything. But it will grow… in my mind.)

(Plus I might remember ones I’ve forgotten, whoops, I bet I’ve forgotten someone really obvious too and I will feel bad about it.)

Well, that’s it then. The last day of KiwiRPG Week 2022. A good time to stop, even though there’s more to talk about, always.

(Like, hey, what about discussion & consideration & criticism of gaming? Like the long-running Gametime group blog on livejournal, or (Kapcon SDC veteran!) Alasdair Sinclair’s epic critical work – his Brindlewood Bay review that’s actually a multi-part deep dive into the nature of investigative roleplaying is a masterwork I reckon.)

(Stop it morgue, you can’t introduce a whole new subject area in the last few paragraphs of a four-post journey!)

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tour. I am sure you now have many more tabs open in your internet browser, where they will wait for months until you lose them in a computer crash; or maybe you’ll read them now?

Read them now, I reckon. It’s what the shark would do.

– morgue and the KiwiRPG crew