Demon City: The Ultimate Horror RPG
A modern horror RPG written by Zak Smith and filled with his evocative artwork.
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Wed, August 15 2018 10:17 AM UTC +00:00.
Murder, corruption, death, whiskey, hate, night, darkness, noise, summoning, possession, car chases, claws, disorder, firearms, glass shattering, bathtubs filled with blood, devoured corpses, tentacles, neon, broken men, fear.
Demon City is Rome, Tokyo, Los Angeles, anywhere, but coming to pieces. No-one gets enough sleep, everyone has three jobs or hasn’t worked in months, the trucks never seem to get where they’re going, the sky always has something in it, elevators creak, cell service sucks, police cars are black, streetlights burn the way an eye burns against an eyelid after staring too long.
A Demon City game can take place anywhere the Host can imagine something terrible happening in the dark, and Demon City players can play anyone doesn’t want it to happen again.
• Gorgeous artwork by Zak Smith.
• Five classes (Motives) that are written with the horror framework in mind.
• Quick and easy combat rules specially designed to lead to tense action, chaos and desperation.
• Between sessions is your character at the bar or the library? The innovative downtime system determines how your character improves over time
• In-depth nuts-and-bolts rules and advice about how to construct horror scenarios.
• Guidance on everything from how to make a game truly frightening to when you need maps to how to do a scary voice.
• Stats and descriptions for over 40 unique Horrors. • Over 90 unique supernatural abilities, rituals, and spells. Here's a few examples: The Lycanthrope, Demons of the Tenth Order- Those Who Bring Strife, and Witches.
• Innovative system using tarot cards instead of dice (though a dice hack’s included).
• And what book by Zak Smith would be complete without a HUGE section of charts and tables to generate things on the fly.
Demon City is packed to the gills with great ideas, easy but flexible rules, evocative art, and a unique take on how to run horror style RPGs, allowing a Host to run everything from True Detective-style murder mystery to Night of the Living Dead and everything in-between.
Zak Smith’s art is in the permanent collection of museums and galleries throughout the United States and abroad, including the MOMA, SFMOMA, Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Saatchi Gallery. In the RPG world, he’s garnered a reputation as the game-designer’s game designer with multi-award-winning projects like Vornheim: The Complete City Kit, Red and Pleasant Land, and Maze of the Blue Medusa gaining praise both inside the hobby and in mainstream media.
Demon City's design philosophy is about delivering a gorgeous high-quality game tool filled with evocative art that is not only a fantastic RPG and setting, but is also a compelling book on the table that’ll make even your non-gamer friends pick it up and want to know more.
Demon City is written and illustrated by multi-award winning author Zak Smith with layout by Shawn Cheng. Zak has teamed up with DIY RPG Productions to bring this amazing and gorgeous RPG book to life! Mike Evans owns and operates DIY RPG Productions and has produced several well-received rpgs, including a successful kickstarter for Hubris: A World of Visceral Adventure, which went on to win an Ennie at Gen Con 50!
We have a huge list of great stretch goals! We are excited to team up with some very talented writers to add content to Demon City.
UNLOCKED! $28,000 : OSR rising star Mabel Harper gives us some monsters from Filipino folklore.
UNLOCKED! $31,000: New Feierland's Trent Betts on realistic military and wartime horror.
UNLOCKED! $33,000: Richard Guy of Richard's Dystopian Pokeverse on research and running Demon City in Europe.
UNLOCKED! $35,000: Zedeck Siew on rituals and south-east asian folk magic.
UNLOCKED! $37,000: Zzarchov Kowolski of Neoclassical Geek Revival gives us a monster.
UNLOCKED! $39,000: Ben Laurence of Through Ultan's Door on meta-cults.
UNLOCKED! $41,000: Christopher Zeischegg, author of Wolves That Live In Skin and Space and Body To Job gives us a modern horror scenario.
UNLOCKED! $43,000: A monster and a witch from OSR’s queen of glittering weirdness, Scrap Princess.
UNLOCKED! $45,000: Cursed internet from Jordan Shiveley--the author behind Dread Singles, the world's creepiest twitter account.
UNLOCKED! $47,000: Nightwick Abbey boss Evan Elkins on horror in the woods
UNLOCKED! $49,000: Mike Evans creates a table of horrific murders that can be used to as inspiration or to launch a scenario.
UNLOCKED! $51,000: Author/activist Linda Tirado (author of Hand To Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America, contributor to The Guardian, The Daily Beast and more) on political corruption.
UNLOCKED! $53,000: PEN / Robert W. Bingham prize prize-winning novelist Vanessa Veselka (author of Zazen,contributor to GQ, the Atlantic Monthly and more) on the FBI, blood-delivery runs, and more.
UNLOCKED! $60,000: DIY RPG Productions will team up with Logan Knight (of Last Gasp Grimoire) to create an online NPC generator for Demon City.
UNLOCKED! $62,000: DIY RPG Productions, Zak, and Logan will work together to create an entire pack of online generators for Demon City hosts to use.
New Stetch Goal as of 8/1/18! Kenneth Hite has agreed to do two stretch goals for Demon City!
$70,000: Kenneth will write about sacred architecture as horror.
$73,000: The second one Kenneth will write is about Lovecraftian mythos in Demon City!
$87,000: Zak will design a set of 78 illustrations for a tarot deck to use with Demon City! It is estimated that these cards will cost $30.
If this stretch goal is reached, all backers will receive an email asking about their interest in the cards. When the illustrations are complete and the cards manufactured, you will receive an invoice via Paypal for the amount owed (including shipping).
Do not add on the $30 to your pledge level.
Shipping to backers within the United States will be handled by the United States Post Office and their current market rates.
International orders will be filled through a distribution company with competitive rates. If you are ordering the physical book you will be billed after the fact (but before book ships) and will receive an invoice/email for the shipping cost via PayPal.
Here is a rough estimate on shipping (mind you this can change somewhat- roughly a 4-5% flux based on the market):
Europe: $17 to $25
Brazil: $65 (ish)
Canada: $22 to $28
Norway: $30 to $35
Australia: $25 to $32
New Zealand: $36-$55
China/Hong Kong/Macao: $16 to $22
Rest of Asia: $33 to $43
All Other Countries: $95 and higher.
Shipments within the USA will be shipped out from Rochester, New York as soon as they are received and cataloged by Mike Evans.
Risks and challenges
The entire game has been written and the majority of the illustrations have been made. Once the kickstarter has funded the book will go through another round of proofing and editing while the few remaining art pieces are finished and Shawn begins layout.
After that, the text simply needs to be laid out and printed--unless the people doing that suffer a medical crisis, this project will be finished!
Once the kickstarter successfully funds, we will release an art free/unformatted version to all backers, so they can start reading it and running horror games in Demon City!
Rest assured that if one of the stretch goal authors is unable to fulfill the goal, Zak will write at least a page of extra content for that particular level. If Shawn dies in a fiery crash and can’t do the layout (you know, because being dead and all), we’ll nab someone else and the book will be fulfilled!
We are all excited about this project and the chance to change RPGs forever and are grateful to all of you who help us see it to fruition!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter