As the invasion of Ukraine by Russian military forces escalates a years-long ongoing conflict, creators, designers and artists around the world have pooled their effort to offer assistance wherever possible, often through charity sales and relief aid fundraisers. The latest of these is the TTRPG Community Stands with Ukraine Bundle, which is offering 112 tabletop RPG titles for $5 through Itch.io.
The bundle, organised by a designer who goes by poorstudents online, collects games, maps, adventures and other supplements from designers and artists that normally would cost around $483. The $5 discount provides access to digital versions of all included titles, which constitutes a steep comparative discount.
Launched on March 7th, the proceeds raised has already surpassed the initial funding goal of $10,000 within the first two days and is now on a steady upwards march, sitting just shy of $27,000 at time of writing. The bundle will be available through March 17th.
The #TTRPG Community Stands with Ukraine Bundle is available now on @itchio Proceeds will benefit Red Cross and are doubled by the Canadian Gov. Please support this cause and share!https://t.co/oUkF5qfxze#ttrpgs #IStandWithUkriane pic.twitter.com/c4KQ8uoPaK— Two "Poor Students" make RPGs (@poorstudentsRPG) March 7, 2022
“Many of us have been feeling helpless and shocked during this time of tragedy in Ukraine. As a result, A large number of indie designers have joined together to help support those directly affected by the recent Ukraine Crisis,” poorstudents wrote in an email.
Among the dozens of games and supplements on offer is Possum Creek Games’ Sleepaway, a horror roleplay title from the creators of Wanderhome set at a summer camp in the woods where counsellors must protect their young wards from unspeakable things lurking beyond the edges of the campfire. For something with more levity, StarshineScribble’s Bust Blockers puts a solo player in the minimum-wage shoes of a Bust Blocker employee as the work to save one of the last locations of the dying video rental chain - it uses Chris Bissette’s Wretched & Alone engine to power its journaling gameplay.
Pearse Anderson and Aylin Erkan’s Recipe on Kmiydish Paper is a creation in the vein of Jack Harrison’s Lost & found games (Artefact, Orbital and Bucket of Bolts) that tracks a food as it passes from family to family, across sister cities and through conflict and cultural churn. The recipe will necessarily adapt over time, and the player tracks the significance of such changes from a unique perspective.
A digital version of WTF Studio’s Ultraviolet Grasslands and the Black City provides access to a cult hit tabletop RPG with deep inspirational roots in the current independent design scene. It describes itself as Dying Earth meets heavy metal and the Oregon Trail games, painting a world of weird genre fusions and clashing realities ready to be explored.
More prescient to our real world is Minutes to Midnight, which uses John Harper’s Forged in the Dark engine as the foundation to an espionage game set during a modern Cold War. It’s an explicit continuation of the NATA and USSR friction that led to the original period of global nuclear tension, but that same precipitous balance of power between heavily armed nations has again been questioned in the light of Russia’s aggressive push into Ukraine.
Proceeds from the TTRPG Community Stands with Ukraine Bundle will be donated to Ukrainian relief efforts through the Canadian Red Cross Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal, which the creators chose because the Canadian government has promised to match all donations made through the organisation. More information on the games and the bundle can be found on its Itch.io page, and this deal will remain available through March 17th.