The Great Soul Train Robbery—ZineQuest

Created by Alexi Sargeant (Cloven Pine Games)

A one-shot tabletop RPG in zine form, about Desperados robbing the train to Hell. #ZineQuest

Latest Updates from Our Project:

November Update: Layout Preview
10 months ago – Wed, Dec 30, 2020 at 03:26:41 PM

Happy Thanksgiving, pilgrims. Among the many things I am grateful for is all of your support as this project comes together. I'm also grateful for folks sending me play reports from sessions of the free version of Great Soul Train Robbery, so keep 'em coming!

Layout for the zine is underway. I'll include a preview spread at the bottom of this update. (Note that things are still in-progress, so there might be further adjustments before the final version.) I'm enjoying seeing the full text and interior illustrations come together. I hope you enjoy it too.

Based on this progress, I estimate I will be able to send out the PDF early in the new year, and start fulfilling shipments of the physical zine through Gumroad sometime not long after that. I'll share more specific estimates as I can make them.

Till then, have a happy holiday season, Desperados!

October Update: Layout Begun, Play at RPGAlliance Con
12 months ago – Mon, Nov 09, 2020 at 05:21:05 PM

Happy All Hallows’ Eve, cowboys, cowghouls, and other dread-inducing Desperados!

I had a great time playing the piratical reskin of our game, The Devil and The Deep Blue Sea, at Gauntlet Community Open Gaming. Check out the video of that session here, to whet your appetites for the soon-to-be-released PDF of that stretch goal:

Looking for an opportunity to play Great Soul Train Robbery online? Registration has opened today for RPG Alliance Con 2020.  Sign up for the session of GSTR I am running here!

Otherwise, the only update is that layout has begun on the zine. With the text complete, I am happy to begun this part of the process. I look forward to sharing a glimpse in the next update.

Till then, have a spooky one!

September Update: Meet the Editor, Online Play Raffle
about 1 year ago – Mon, Oct 05, 2020 at 02:40:44 AM

As fall arrives and spooks and specters start to gear up for All Hallows' Eve, here are some updates on our game of unquiet souls and unearthly train heists.

Meet the Editor: Rob Abrazado

I've been very pleased to work with Rob Abrazado as an editor. Together we've done several passes through the text making sure it's the best it can be before being laid out and sent to you, my lovely backers. Let me introduce Rob to all of you:

Rob Abrazado (@flatvurm) is a freelance game writer/editor, podcast editor, and general-purpose programmer. He has been a voracious RPG enthusiast since childhood and shows no signs of being sated any time soon. He currently lives in New York City with his family of loving humans and disdainful cats. Learn more about past projects and future prospects at

Online Play Raffle

I had a chance to run the game for a group of backers at Games on Demand Online, and it was a lovely experience! I had so much fun that I want to run for more backers at upcoming virtual conventions. Here's the scoop:

I'll be running The Devil and The Deep Blue Sea (the pirate reskin of Great Soul Train Robbery that you unlocked at the $2300 stretch goal!) at Gauntlet Community Open Gaming on Sunday, October 18th (here's the session). And I'll be running The Great Soul Train Robbery itself at RPG Alliance Con on Saturday, November 21st (here's that session).

Cover art for The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Gauntlet Community Open Gaming is a free online convention. RPG Alliance Con has reasonably-priced badges. For both cons, I'm saving a seat at my table for a Kickstarter backer. RPG Alliance Con will set that backer up with a free VIP badge as my special guest.

Interested? Fill in this form to let me know which sessions you'd be available for. I'll choose two random backers from among those who fill it out and let you know if you've won a seat in one of these sessions. I'll do this by Oct 1st, when registration opens for Gauntlet Community Open Gaming—so if you don't get into The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea through the raffle, you can sign up the old-fashioned way. (There's also a session of The Great Soul Train Robbery at Gauntlet Community Open Gaming, run by another GM, so check that out too if you're interested!)

Saddle up your steeds or get ready to row for your lives, Desperados/Freebooters! I look forward to playing with more of you this fall.

Text Complete! And Other August Updates
about 1 year ago – Thu, Aug 20, 2020 at 05:49:27 AM

Greetings, pilgrims. I'll cut to the chase: The text of The Great Soul Train Robbery is complete! I am finalizing arrangements with an editor. But if you want to join me in celebration of this milestone, toss your ten-gallon hat in the air.

A couple more updates for you, including a very special picture at the end.

Content Update

As the text came together, it became clear the zine would be better served by shorter examples throughout the text, rather than one long extended play example. So the extended play example will come as a bonus PDF for all backers, but the zine will contain snippets like this to illustrate each major mechanic and GM move:

Oscar, the quiet car is freaking you out. You can’t seem to focus on the mouths of the passengers; every time you try to look at them, your eyes just slide off. Your guns, though, are starting to sing, softly, about every bullet you’ve fired from them, and where those bullets landed. Slowly, every single mouthless person in the car turns to stare at you. What do you do?

 Conventions Past and Future

Thank you to everyone who joined us for sessions of the game at Gauntlet Community Open Gaming and at Gen Con Online! We had a great time with some memorable Desperados.

The next chance to play Great Soul Train Robbery online for free is coming up soon! I'm running the game for Games on Demand Online. Here is the session: Death Rides an Iron Horse.

Games on Demand Online is a free online event the weekend of August 28th–30th, with suggested donations to good causes. I'm excited to run my game on Sunday, August 30th from 2pm–5pm EDT. Hope to see some of you there!

Update: Another GM is also running Great Soul Train Robbery at the convention, at the same date and time! So you've got two shots to rob the train the to Hell at Games on Demand online. Here's the other session.

The Littlest Desperado

Back in the Kickstarter, I promised that any schedule updates would come with a cute picture of my (then newborn) daughter. Well, here is my six-month-old daughter in her custom Cloven Pine Games onesie. She's getting ready to stand on her own... just like this game.