A week-long event beginning this weekend will celebrate the tabletop roleplaying community of Aotearoa New Zealand with new game releases, actual plays and more.
KiwiRPG/Kēmu Whakatau O Aotearoa week is an initiative launched by a collective of designers, content creators and other members of the country’s RPG scene, having grown out of a Discord server created by Liam Stevens and a community gathered under the #KiwiRPG hashtag in 2021.
“The story of Aotearoa’s creative industries is making our small size our greatest strength, because it’s easy here to share knowledge, work fast, and try new things with the community behind you," said podcaster and KiwiRPG co-organiser Liz Parker. "We’ve seen it in film and television and video games, and now in tabletop RPGs.”
The event will start on May 1st and run until May 8th, comprising a combination of game launches, bundles and sales, a series of live streams - including several actual play sessions - a live event, and announcements centred on Aotearoa New Zealand. (With Aotearoa being the original Māori name for New Zealand - the latter a title bestowed by 17th-century Dutch cartographers who never stepped onto its soil, which was then adopted by British colonisers.)
Among the games set to debut during KiwiRPG week will be Hamish Cameron and Ardens Ludere’s Kratophagia, described as an “intense” post-apocalyptic sci-fi RPG. The game sees players become scavenging creatures called kratophagoi eking out survival on a planet ruined by war, which must feed on other living creatures in order to survive. As the creatures consume, they gradually change from their human-like appearance into other forms. The game is designed for single sessions or short campaigns lasting up to 12 hours with four to six players, and will launch this weekend.
Another RPG launching this weekend is Paranormal Wellington. Morgan ‘Taleturn’ Davie’s RPG inspired by the What We Do in the Shadows spin-off of almost the same name turns players into investigators of the supernatural, with the added knowing wink that the characters are being recorded for a TV show - which plays into their ability to talk to the camera to progress the story. Paranormal Wellington’s gameplay draws from Blades in the Dark creator John Harper’s Powered by the Apocalypse game World of Dungeons, but swaps conventional success, partial success and failure outcomes for “Sweet As”, “Yeah Nah” and “Bugger”.
The game launches will accompany a series of daily live streams from YouTubers and podcasters, including Dungeons & Dragons series Dice Legenz, a Monster of the Week one-shot on Twitch channel Getting Dicey, a live stream of Kiwi designer Brad Zimmerman’s d12GO RPG, a return for charity stream Yes, And - which ran a 24-hour game of D&D 5E in aid of children’s charities last summer - and an in-person recording of Kiwis & Dragons in Hastings as part of the Hastings Library Nerdvana Festival.
KiwiRPG week will come to a close on May 8th with on-stage live show Dungeons & Comedians, which will also be live streamed online from Christchurch fringe theatre Little Andromeda.
As part of KiwiRPG week, some “very big news” has been teased for Monster of the Week, Wellington-based designer Michael Sands’ popular Powered by the Apocalypse RPG. No further details have been given ahead of the May 4th reveal.