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KiwiRPG takes Aotearoa’s tabletop scene global through a week of podcasts, livestreams and a game bundle

A relatively small but passionate part of the tabletop industry strives to catch the attention of the rest of the world.

Image credit: KiwiRPG

Kēmu Whakatau O Aotearoa, or KiwiRPG, is currently running a weeklong series of podcasts, actual play livestreams and digital deals, including a large Itch.io bundle, all in a bid to capture a bit of shine from Western audiences.

The tabletop world is much larger than the local hobby shop indicates, but several critical factors keep designers outside of the US and Europe at the edges. Crowdfunding platforms don’t accept projects from dozens of countries - often in the global South - and the cost of shipping and stocking physical products in Western markets can be prohibitively exorbitant.

That’s why the creators of KiwiRPG, a coalition of designers and artists living in Aotearoa, started an annual celebration of their geographical corner that puts locally grown tabletop games in the centre of the spotlight.

Great solo tabletop RPGs to play on your own time.Watch on YouTube

“It isn’t always easy to share news of our creations with the rest of the world. We can’t easily make it to GenCon or Dragonmeet! However, everyone here sort of knows everyone else, and #KiwiRPG uses these friendly networks to combine our voices and reach further, together,” reads the organisation’s website. “We may be far from the rest of the world, but our games belong everywhere. The peoples of this land have always known how to cross oceans.”

As if to drive the point home, I didn’t hear about this event and its associated Itch bundle until it was halfway over. But that’s still plenty of time to scope the schedule livestreams and daily episodes of podcasts covering design conversations, roleplay tips and audio actual plays. The group will be announcing deals on specific games every day through Sunday, June 18th, which you can track on the event’s website.

The KiwiRPG week bundle on Itch.io collects 20 tabletop RPG, resources, adventures and other materials, all created by artists and designers from Aotearoa and priced at $25. From solo journaling RPGs about creation myths and epistolary games where mech pilots exchange galaxy-spanning missives, to a Steve Zissou-inspired playset for John Harper’s AGON, there’s an eclectic and impressive mixture of experience.

The bundle is only around until the end of the weekend, when this year’s KiwiRPG week wraps up. More information on events and their cast can be found by following the #kiwirpg hashtag on social media or visiting the official website.

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Chase Carter

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Chase is a freelance journalist and media critic. He enjoys the company of his two cats and always wants to hear more about that thing you love. Follow him on Twitter for photos of said cats and retweeted opinions from smarter folks.
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