The Lesser Key of the Sandestin - A ZineQuest Double Feature

Created by Andrew D Devenney

Two RPG zines for Into the Odd exploring strange corners of the Rainy City: ghastly ghosts and the criminal puppeteer underworld.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

April Update: Backerkit, Printing, and Digital Fulfillment
about 2 months ago – Thu, Apr 04, 2024 at 08:47:06 AM

Hey everyone, 

Here's a quick update on where everything is at. Things have been a bit hectic in my day job, which right now is mostly running an academic game press (CMich Press) and managing crowdfunding campaigns for them, which means I'm busy, busy, busy (we're finishing up manufacturing on Five Hundred Year Old Vampire right now, and we also have a Kickstarter happening right now, if you want to take a look at it, for the 1v1 or 2v2 player science game Hydrologic Cycle; it's fun, but also great in a science classroom...check it out!).


Backerkit orders will be locking down very soon (I was a few days late in initiating that process, so it didn't happen last Monday; I believe they will all lock by Friday, April 5). If you are in the 9% who haven't completed your surveys yet, locking orders and charging credits cards won't happen for you until you finish your survey. 

Once orders lock, I will charge credit cards on those orders. Expect that to happen Friday or Saturday.


The Puppethand's Guide is printed and sitting in our warehouse (aka my game room). Look, see, it's true:

Restless Dead is currently with the printer. I expect to see that soonish. After that, we have three reprints in the queue (Flott's Miscellany 1+2, and Beasts of the Outer Swells), but I don't have a firm timeline on that. Our printer has been very busy lately, so that's part of the minor delay we had in late March.

Once Restless Dead is done, we'll start physical fulfillment, starting with those orders that do not have any reprint add-ons (we have plenty of copies of our 3rd printing of the Visitor's Guide, even with Indie Press Revolution needing a restock). Once the reprints are done, we'll fulfill orders for those who have added those reprints. Everything should be done and dusted by the end of April.  

Digital Fulfillment

We have the digital versions of the Puppethand's Guide and Restless Dead all ready to go. They just need to be uploaded to DriveThruRPG and turned on. Then I can send the download codes/emails for the main pdfs of the campaign, plus any add-ons people took advantage of. You should start seeing these codes this weekend.

If you have any questions about anything, please reach out. 

Stay safe, everyone!

Full surveys away!
2 months ago – Wed, Mar 13, 2024 at 06:14:04 PM

The Backerkit smoke test has gone fine, so we're going to push all the surveys out. Have at it!

Key dates to remember: 

  • Surveys will be closed on Monday, April 1, 2024.
  • Credit cards will be charged on Wednesday, April 3, 2024.

Stay safe, everyone!

Where There's Smoke...There Are Surveys!
2 months ago – Tue, Mar 12, 2024 at 06:33:51 PM

Hello everyone! 

Kickstarter's payout having been initiated, we can move onto the next step – sending out surveys! These surveys are important because they allow you to finalize your shipping information for us and pay the shipping costs.

When Are Surveys Coming?

Soon! But, before the full blast of surveys, there will be a smoke test, whereby Backerkit will only send a small percentage of the surveys out to make sure there aren't any problems or issues. Assuming the smoke test goes ok, the remaining surveys will roll out after that in batches until all are in the wild!

Where Is The Survey Coming From?

Our backend fulfillment partner is Backerkit, so your survey email will come from them, not from Kickstarter.

If you used your Facebook credentials to log in to your Kickstarter account, the BackerKit survey is sent to the email address you use for your Facebook account. If you have another email address that you prefer to use, please contact support at

How Do You Complete the Survey?

You don’t need to create a BackerKit account to fill out your survey. When you receive the email with the survey, click the survey link to respond. Answer the questions about your reward preferences, provide shipping information, and purchase add-on items if you like.

How Long Do You Have to Complete the Survey?

Surveys will be live until Monday, April 1, 2024, after which we will close surveys to begin ramping up to fulfillment, so you shouldn't delay. This will be a tight turnaround. Also, after you respond to your survey initially, you can go back later and change your responses at any time before we close the surveys.

When Will Your Credit Card Be Charged?

Surveys that require payment of shipping fees or add-ons will be charged on Wednesday, April 3, 2024 after surveys are closed. This will not happen simultaneously; there will be a built-in delay to catch any last minute issues with surveys closing. Any digital rewards will become available then as well.

How Do You Access Your Survey After Completion?

If you need to review your information or pledge status, you can return to your survey by clicking the link in your survey email or requesting your survey link under "Lost your survey?" on our BackerKit project page at

How Will International Shipping Work?

As we mentioned before, we are using Pirate Ship's Simple Export Rate to fulfill international shipping. This involves shipping to a Pirate Ship clearing house in the United States where the package is relabeled and then exported to the relevant country before being handed off to the domestic postal service for delivery. While cheaper than base USPS international rates right now, Simple Export Rate does not include any local customs or VAT charges in the shipping rates quoted in Backerkit. Backers will be responsible, as normal, for those duties upon delivery.

Also, unless we have royally messed something up, there should be no VAT charges collected in Backerkit when you complete you survey and check out.

Anything Else You Want To Pimp?

Why yes! The other day on, we dropped the next beta version of a non-Rainy City RPG we've been plugging away at for three years now (and is one of reasons why we had a Rainy City hiatus in 2023). It's called ALTERIS: THE VEILED CITY.

Art by the awesome Alec Sorensen (Electric Bastionland, The Stygian Library, and Mythic Bastionland)

Here's a short description: 

"ALTERIS: THE VEILED CITY is a Forged in the Dark game about the delvers of an Aetheric Order, a radical guild or cell whose members scour glooms across the ruins of Alteris in search of the multiversal aether they need to fuel their power, prestige, and protection.

There are dangerous delves into glooms; battles against gloomspawn and rival orders; gloom hunts and ruin rangings; secret conspiracies and hidden ceremonies; archaeological digs and searches for ancient technological artifacts, and aether-fueled multiversal shifts to prior historical epochs.

We play to find out if the order can thrive in a ruined city beset by hardscrabble living, scheming factions, the threat of further multiversal collapse, the horrors of gloomfall, the overwhelming thirst for wealth and renown, and the inexorable degradation of cosmic paradox and quantum decay."

The beta is free (well, Pay What You Want, but really, just download it for free), and we'd love to get some more dedicated playtesting on ALTERIS. If this sounds like your bag or is something you'd like to try, please reach out to us at [email protected], and we can chat about how that process might work.   


Anyway, I'm off to initiate the smoke test, so keep an eye out for the first surveys to come in with the tide. We'll be in touch again soon.

Restless Dead Preprint
2 months ago – Sun, Mar 10, 2024 at 02:29:40 PM

This post is for backers only. Please visit and log in to read.

Early March Update: Where Things Are At
3 months ago – Wed, Mar 06, 2024 at 01:44:40 PM

Hi everyone, 

I wanted to give a short update on where things are at with the Lesser Key post-campaign. Here we go!

Puppethand's Guide: As I mentioned in the last update, this is finished. You're seen the preprint. No one noticed anything egregious, so we're ready to send to the printer. At the moment for what I assume are obvious reasons, we're waiting for Kickstarter to pay out before we do that, so right now that should be early next week. 

Restless Dead: Also finished, but we got back the proofreader edits, and we need to reconcile those. I'm waiting for the designer to tackle some of that. Once that's back, I'll drop the preprint of that for your eyes. My rough estimate on that is the middle of next week, but we'll see. 

Backerkit: The preorder store is open (yay!), which you can check out here: 

Important: If you are a backer of this campaign, then the preorder store isn't for you. Access to add-ons and paying for shipping will be in the Backerkit surveys. If you happen to know of anyone who missed the campaign and might like to still get on board, send them the link above. This is for them. :-) 

What's the timeline on surveys then? Well, Backerkit recommends waiting to send the smoke test (and then surveys) until after Kickstarter pays out, so we're waiting for that here also. Backerkit surveys are all set up; I just need to push a button, and things will go. I'll send another update with more specifics on that process as we get closer to surveys going out, which will most likely be at the end of next week.

Finally, here's a piece of art by Bill Spytma that ultimately didn't make it into the Puppethand's Guide. It's an umbral puppet (aka a shadow puppet). Enjoy!

 We're getting there! Until next time, folks. Stay safe!