$921
pledged of $1,500pledged of $1,500 goal
71
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Wed, January 1 2014 4:24 PM UTC +00:00
$921
pledged of $1,500pledged of $1,500 goal
71
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Wed, January 1 2014 4:24 PM UTC +00:00

About

In 2003, Philip Reed created vs. Monsters, a roleplaying game of horror. The game was created as part of the very first 24-Hour RPG Day and was a mad rush of creativity and insanity that quickly led to the idea that -- just maybe -- the basic idea could be expanded.

Download the original free vs. Monsters PDF.

vs. Monsters Deluxe Edition, 2004

Taking the rough framework introduced in vs. Monsters, Philip Reed ripped everything apart and rebuilt it, expanding the game into an 80-page digest-sized beast. (Available in print from lulu.com.) The game turned out wonderfully, with reviewers positively reacting to the work:

"Meant for fast and loose gameplay, embracing the legacy of horror while not turning a blind eye to its camp, VS Monsters is an elegant little game that’s well deserving of its cult following." -Tommy Brownell, RPG.net review

"If you like simple games, whether for one-shots or long-term games, this is for you. If you like horror and monster-mysteries and aren't dead-set on a game that has a different skill for everything, this is for you. If you like killing monsters, friend, this game is for you." -Peter Schaefer, RPG.net review

vs. Monsters Addition, 2004

Also released in 2004, Michael Hammes' vs. Monsters Addition (available in PDF) offered optional and expanded rules for the game, providing players with more and bringing the entire package closer to being what is traditionally known as a "complete" roleplaying game. Between vs. Monsters Deluxe Edition and vs. Monsters Addition the game had a feel of an old RPG box set . . . never a bad thing.

vs. Outlaws, 2007

Designed as a six-panel, micro GM screen, the vs. Outlaws RPG took the system hiding inside vs. Monsters and offered a fast, simple, easy-to-use one-shot roleplaying game of adventure in the American old west. Michael and Philip collaborated on the design of the game and the results were fantastic, with a lot of potential hiding inside a little package.

(Want a physical copy? See the $10 reward level.)

Download vs. Outlaws free!

In his review at RPG.net, Sophie Lagace writes:

"This is a great game for experienced groups and story gamers, people looking for an afternoon of fun with little or no preparation."

vs. Pirates, 2006?

The very first words for vs. Pirates were written in 2006, but work on the game stalled and was soon set to the side as other projects took over. As with vs. Monsters, the intended tone of the rules was not at all serious . . . as this fragment demonstrates:

Edge of the World: For player characters living in the world of vs. Pirates, which would be any of you players who are reading this section right now, the ancient sailors were right: sail too far across the ocean and you’ll sail over the edge of the world. What is frustrating (for the players; the gamemaster can actually have a lot of fun with this) is to watch a prize sail away and then, just as the player characters’ ship draws near, the sea opens up and the horizon vanishes. Turn back before you fall off of the face of the Earth!

Illustration by Howard Pyle, from "Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates," 1921.
Illustration by Howard Pyle, from "Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates," 1921.

Clearly, the idea was to closely follow the style of vs. Monsters. Unfortunately, though, the project fell by the wayside. Life and times change, and now it is time to return to vs. Pirates, to restart and rebuild what was worked on before. 

And here we find the reason for this Kickstarter project:

It is time, me mateys, for the seas to tremble in fear. It is time, with your support, for Michael Hammes and Philip Reed to design and publish the vs. Pirates roleplaying game. A completely stand-alone game -- you provide the players and tools -- vs. Pirates is planned to follow in the footsteps of vs. Monsters and vs. Outlaws and provide players and gamemasters with fast, simple piracy.

  • Design. No design work is done at this time . . . we are truly kickstarting this project. All design will be handled by both Michael and Philip, though if history is any indication most of Philip's contribution will be in the broad strokes, the layout and graphic work, and in running around. Michael will (very likely) handle the heavy workload and flesh out Philip's vague nonsense.
  • Artwork. As with vs. Monsters and vs. Outlaws all of the interior artwork will come from stock art and/or the public domain. Older, classic illustrations will give the game a strong feel of the age of sail.
  • Format. The PDF will follow the exact same format as vs. Outlaws: 5.5" square, tri-fold GM screen-like design.
  • Delivery. We will try as hard as we can to meet the June, 2014 delivery date . . . but this is Kickstarter and life happens. We think we set the delivery date far enough out. Fingers crossed!
Illustration by N.C. Wyeth from "Treasure Island," 1911.
Illustration by N.C. Wyeth from "Treasure Island," 1911.
  • $3,000 - Printed! If we meet this goal then everyone who pledges at the $6 reward level or higher gets a copy of vs. Pirates in print; see the rewards for details. (We suggest that international backers add $3 for shipping if the $3,000 stretch goal is met, but this is not a requirement.)
  • $4,000 - The paper stock for the printed game gets better!
  • $5,750 - Micro expansion! A small expansion -- same size and format as the vs. Pirates roleplaying game -- is added to the project. PDF only at this point.
  • $7,500 - Printed micro expansion! Everyone who pledges at the $6 reward level or higher receives one copy of the micro expansion (see the $5,500 stretch goal) in print for each printed copy of vs. Pirates they are receiving.
  • $12,500 - Hidden treasure! This stretch goal will be revealed if all of the earlier stretch goals are unlocked.

There are no stretch goals past this point. Kickstarter can be dangerous to creatives if things go too well, so rather than commit to headaches and potential pain we are locking down the project and making no promises past this point. 

With your support vs. Pirates will go from an incomplete and unpublished idea to a finished roleplaying game. Thanks for reading, and we hope you will join us on this new adventure.

Risks and challenges

With only two weeks days for funding there's a chance the game will not reach its goal. But the short funding time is necessary to fit the project in the schedule, and this demonstrates one way in which we are minimizing risks before the project closes.

vs. Pirates follows in the footsteps of vs. Monsters and vs. Outlaws, two completed games with reviews and info online. We have created games before, so the only real risk at this time is if life gets in the way and delays us. If the project successfully funds the game will be created and delivered. Possibly late, but it will happen.

Previous Kickstarter projects. Please check my profile for earlier projects, including:

FLESHCITY STORIES UPDATE: Our most recent Kickstarter project, FleshCity Stories -- a collection of ten zombie flash fiction tales -- is on schedule and may even wrap up early.

TRANSFORMING EXPECTATIONS UPDATE: A hardcover companion to Transforming Collections, Transforming Expectations is a guide to third party Transformers toys and is coming together and on track for release. Currently waiting on a couple of key new toys to release in order to finish some sections of the book.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $6 or more About $6

    Digital! One copy of vs. Pirates in PDF delivered through Dropbox. ALSO includes one print copy of vs. Pirates IF the $3,000 stretch goal is met. (We suggest that international backers add $3 for shipping if the $3,000 stretch goal is met, but this is not a requirement.)

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Digital vs. Pirates + vs. Outlaws Printed! One copy of vs. Pirates in PDF delivered through Dropbox AND one physical copy of vs. Outlaws mailed to you. ALSO includes one print copy of vs. Pirates IF the $3,000 stretch goal is met.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Game Group! The $10 rewards times five! You may share the vs. Pirates PDF with up to four of your friends AND you will receive five copies of the printed vs. Outlaws game. IF the $3,000 stretch goal is met we will ALSO mail you a total of five copies of vs. Pirates.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Crew! The $10 rewards PLUS your name listed as "Crew" in the finished vs. Pirates RPG. The world will know of your greatness . . . and all of us will appreciate your generous contribution to the game. ADDITIONALLY, if the $3,000 stretch goal is met you will be sent a total of five copies of the printed vs. Pirates roleplaying game.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    First Mate! As the $50 reward EXCEPT that you will be credited as "First Mate" in the finished vs. Pirates RPG. ADDITIONALLY, if the $3,000 stretch goal is met you will be sent a total of five copies of the printed vs. Pirates roleplaying game.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Captain! As the $50 reward EXCEPT that you will be credited as "Captain" in the finished vs. Pirates RPG. ADDITIONALLY, if the $3,000 stretch goal is met you will be sent a total of five copies of the printed vs. Pirates roleplaying game.

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Funding period

- (14 days)