A group of Latin American tabletop RPG designers have banded together to raise funds for one of their own currently hospitalised with COVID-19 by offering dozens of indie tabletop RPGs, adventures and supplements in an Itch.io-hosted bundle.
The Help Tiago Rolim fight COVID-19 bundle aims to do exactly that. Rolim – designer of Numa, a medieval Japanese RPG about revenge and oaths among frog warriors – contracted COVID-19 in March and is currently receiving hospital treatment in his home country of Brazil. According to bundle organiser Guilherme Gontijo, the treatment is putting a constant strain on Rolim and his family.
“His healthcare refused to cover the ICU expenses and his bill is already absurdly high,” Gontijo states in the description. “Each day in ICU costs US$1051.16 to his family, which is prohibited [from] working as their city is in lockdown.” Rolim currently lives with his wife and two children.
The bundle contains creative work from several other Latin American designers such as Lucas Rolim and Emanoel Melo. In fact, many of them are responsible for organising or taking part in the ongoing RPGLATAM Jam, which aims to connect RPG designers from South and Central American countries to work on new projects and spotlight art from non-American and non-European markets.
While the bundle contains plenty of exciting games to explore, I want to specifically mention a few that illustrate the breadth of experiences on offer. Lucas Rolim’s Pacts & Blades is a minimalist Old School Revival-style RPG (think AD&D’s dungeon crawls and constant threat of death) draped in the fantasy style of author Michael Moorcock. M. A. Gaux’s Mínimo is a tabletop system stripped down to the absolute bones that provides a pocket-sized game that can be easily taught to anyone – tabletop-averse grandparents included.
Melo’s CBR+PNK lets players embody a team of cyberpunk runners on their final mission in a single-session game laid out in a pair of fold-out pamphlets. Both the physical design and the streamlined Forged in the Dark ruleset – based on John Harper’s Blades in the Dark – keeps the action moving, the drama high and the characters one step from disaster.
All told, the Help Tiago Rolim fight COVID-19 bundle delivers 72 items for $10 (£7), with all of the proceeds donated towards Rolim’s medical costs. It has already surpassed its initial funding goal of $6,000 (£4,316) but will remain open until April 30th.