Project KINMAKER feels solid and professional. The graphic design is downright intimidating, especially the “mandala” image spread across pages 5-8, which fully reveals itself only if you’re reading the PDF in two page Book View. If it’s weird I’m opening with the layout rather than the design, it’s because it’s that damn good.
KINMAKER adds rules for paranormal weapons and powers: Pyrokinesis, mental Domination, and everyone’s favorite Stargate Project, Remote Viewing.
There are Consequences for pushing yourself too far, a favorite game design element reminiscent of Dungeon Crawl Classics. (And of course, nearly all fiction dealing with psychics.) The consequences go far beyond a nosebleed, ranging from adopting a false personality to randomly disappearing from reality. New Traits are always a favorite of mine, there are ten new ones to play with. They’re all tied to the Powers. A Traveller takes the Universe Hopping power, etc.
To balance out all this power, the book offers new enemies with powers of their own, ranging from humanoid to Oh My God It’s Coming Right Towards Us. There are only three, which leaves me wanting more. It should be easy enough to add Powers to existing enemies. But still. More! More!!
I am bewildered by the sheer amount of stuff. There are printable reference cards for powers, weapons, and attachments, all illustrated with line art. There are blank cards of each time, allowing you to homebrew your own additions. The product page promises more to come: more powers, more traits, more cards, and – I quote – “More of everything!” Considering the present abundance of content, I believe it.
My one complaint (other than more monsters! More! MOAR!) is that key information is highlighted in red, which looks very nice in the PDF, but my gut reaction would be to bold those lines as well, as the red highlights are bound to look gray when printed. And considering all the cards and things, I’m totally printing this.
Look, here’s all I need to know: With Project KINMAKER, I can finally live out my dream of personally reliving the glorious headsplosions of David Cronenberg’s Scanners.
Is any of this balanced? I have no idea. Is balance as important as being able to explode someone’s head? I would say no. And based on the obvious care, talent and love poured into this project, I’m willing to bet the answer to the balance question is a resounding, “Yup!”