Ambrosia is a storytelling-driven, dark fantasy role-playing game inspired by the history and folklore of the Low Countries.
Ambrosia is a storytelling-driven, dark fantasy role-playing game inspired by the history and folklore of the Low Countries. Read more
About this project
A PDF with the Quickstart Rules, including an explanation of the setting, character creation, monsters, combat, skills and everything else you need to know about the game, can be downloaded here.
In medieval times, the Low Countries (known in present time as Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg) were constantly the stage for war and strife, as they were beset on all sides by some of the greatest powers in Europe. Ambrosia is Inspired by that bloody history, and the folklore people came up with to deal with those hardships.
Ambrosia aims to put some amount of historical accuracy back into role-playing games. We want to give you the feeling you're really exploring a medieval, western European setting. Where many settings present you with a world where knights, robots, dinosaurs and ninjas (just anything anyone would consider "cool", really) all fight each other to the death, we're taking a more adult approach to role-playing. The life expectancy is 45, for example; there's a huge difference in social standing between nobility, clergy and commoners; healers use leeches and blood-lettings; and stores are virtually non-existent - instead, people depend on the weekly market day to purchase goods from traveling merchants vital to their survival. Forget about that village smithy with a range of +5 swords in his window display; weapons are made on order, and metal armor is very expensive and quite rare. In that way, Ambrosia is more like "Game of Thrones", "Dragon Age" or "The Witcher" than, for example, "Warcraft"; we offer a gritty, realistic setting that's still supported by easily accessible game mechanics.
In Ambrosia, we're also taking a different approach to magic than you'll see in most role-playing games. Although it's a relatively low-magic setting, the occult is still known to be very real and those who wield magical powers are both feared and respected. Forget all you know about glass cannons, basically artillerists shooting fireballs and lightning bolts left and right. In Ambrosia, wizards can control and mold a certain aspect of reality to their will- there are those who animate shadows, others are fleshcarvers, some can even turn your own life blood against you. But as storytelling takes precedent over tactical combat, this offers you a host of original opportunities to advance the story as your character sees fit.
First and foremost, Ambrosia is a game of storytelling.
Each player is given a direct link to the story - for example, to use the oldest fantasy trope in existence, YOU as a player are the chosen one! Of course we won't stoop so low (I feel cheap just for suggesting it!) but you get the idea. The story evolves around you as the players, and your decisions have a distinct on the open-ended, sandbox-style campaigns Ambrosia offers. I myself have drawn from lessons learned from people like Joseph Campbell or Alfred Hitchcock when it comes to screenwriting, and what I learned is easily converted to writing role-playing scenarios. So what we offer, in the end, are correctly structured, yet modular and fully interactive storylines - where nothing is as it seems and clever twists and turns lurk behind every corner!
But Ambrosia is much more than that. It also offers you three-dimensional, fully developed player characters who are given realistic motivations to move the story forward. And the story gets center piece in this game; the tale of Ambrosia is told in so-called "Chronicles" - each an open-ended, sandbox-type campaign in which the choices players make, really matter. Each chronicle also builds on the players' choices in the previous ones, so no more linear dungeon crawling - the story changes as you go along, it's set up in a modular way, and the players' decisions are just as important as the gamemaster's notes. This makes for a living, breathing setting that advances along with the events that shape its core. You're no longer just coming along for the ride, you're the true protagonist of the story!
I also wanted to make Ambrosia a visually stunning, yet affordable, alternative to the more combat-oriented role-playing games we have now. We won't be publishing rules supplements, for example; what you see is what you get. This idea originated when I was overwhelmed with an insane amount of rules supplements some games bombard us with - one after the other offering more powerful game options than that last so you'll have to keep buying. As we keep focusing on the story, we will be developing more Chronicles, but only until the metaplot is fully resolved - for that's where the story of Ambrosia will end. No expensive miniatures or extra rulesets - Ambrosia has to be accessible by people from every walk of life. You don't need a fat wallet to enjoy this; all you need is a vivid imagination and the willingness to embark on an intense, emotional adventure!
Another important part of this game is character-building. Each player character is fully customisable in a skill-based system with talents and flaws, both shaped and scarred by his or her past experiences. You'll be playing a fully developed character of flesh and blood, in stark contrast to the Hit Point-heavy over-the-top superheroes you'll get in most other role-playing games. But this doesn't affect Ambrosia's mortality rate; you're still treated as the protagonist of the story, which also means you're hard to kill - but you're easy to maim. At a higher level, you'll be that veteran who tells all the kids I used to be an adventurer like you - but then I took an arrow to the knee! Game mechanics conveying morality and reputation add even more depth to your character as he or she is faced with dilemmas where a simple, victimless solution is simply impossible...
Ambrosia is the culmination of lessons, learned from both old-school and modern role-playing games. It's heavily influenced by narrative-heavy games like Vampire: The Masquerade, Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play and Call of Cthulhu, but also takes newer developments in the world of role-playing at heart, also not forgetting those house rules we all made up to streamline those games from the eighties. As such, we'd like to offer an exciting, original experience for veteran players that's also easily accessible to people who are new to the hobby. With this project, we're hoping to present you with an equal alternative to the big names in the genre, and a whole new way of looking at role-playing games!
The Ambrosia Manual is the core book for playing Ambrosia and it's all you need to get started. It contains all information needed by both players as the gamemaster. And, it is all you will ever need in the future too. There will be no countless additions, expansions, class kits or anything else. The possibilities for your characters and the world they live in are endless, but you only need your imagination to expand the realm of Ambrosia, not more books.
The only thing we will publish in the future are additional campaigns, the Chronicles, and possibly some mini scenarios.
If you would like to see what Ambrosia is like and get a feel of the kind of adventures you will encounter, you can watch this Gameplay Video.
The sound is not very good in the intro, but improves when the session begins.
Printed Rewards :
When you would like to receive physical, printed books, you have the choice between just the Ambrosia Manual or the Ambrosia Set.
When you pick Just the Manual, you will receive the rulebook in hardcover (+ PDF version of the Manual) and create your own scenarios, or you can select a PDF of the First Chronicle - The Shadow in the Deep - as an addon. Also included is an A4 poster signed by the author, a PDF with Artwork and all unlocked Stretch Goals.
When you pick the Ambrosia Set, you will receive the Manual and first Chronicle in hardcover (+ PDF versions of both). Also included is an A4 poster signed by the author, a PDF with Artwork and all unlocked Stretch Goals.
We offer the Ambrosia Set in 3 different pledge levels : normal, early bird and deluxe.
The deluxe version will have the same content as the normal version, but the Manual and Chronicle will have a hard leather cover (imitation leather of course).
There's also a special treat for those lucky few who choose the Iconic pledge. They will receive a deluxe Ambrosia Set and their image will be used as artwork for one of the iconic characters featured in the Ambrosia scenarios. Backers that pick this pledge need to be able to send us a high-quality (at least 320 dpi) photograph of themselves, either in plain clothes (nothing too modern), a medieval outfit or fantasy LARP gear. You can send us a mail for more information on this.
Digital Rewards :
You can select both the Manual or the Set in digital version as PDFs.
These pledge levels only include the Stretch Goals in digital version : Devil's Winter, the Mini-campaigns and the reference cards as PDF.
The Books :
The Ambrosia Manual contains the core mechanics of the game, a detailed explanation of the world setting, character generation and progression, a list of skills, spells, monsters, items, ...
Everything you need to play the game, both for players as well as for the gamemaster.
The Shadow in the Deep is the first Ambrosia Chronicle and will provide most player groups with a story that will take around a year to finish. The second Chronicle will be published in the first half of 2018, so you can move on to the next one after finishing Shadows in the Deep.
Count Nicoterus Markolf, ruler of Merendal, has declared that a grand conclave will be held in the capitol city of Stellem. Every prestigious magic-user in the Alverlands is invited to join - but with house Markolf involved, nothing is what it seems… Baron Calistus Markolf has summoned a couple of seemingly unimportant people to his castle Oversalis, deep in the Dune Wall, where he will divulge a secret so terrible, its consequences will be felt far beyond the borders of Merendal. Meanwhile, deep beneath the waves of the Salis Sea, a mysterious entity lurks, growing ever stronger and casting its shadow more and more landwards…
The following Stretch Goals will be included in all pledge levels (excluding the Basic support and Artwork Aficionado Pledge).
Pledge Levels that include physical books and shipping, will receive printed versions of Devil's Winter and the reference cards.
The Digital pledge Levels will receive digital versions of Devil's Winter and the reference cards as PDF.
The first three Stretch Goals will make the manual look extra nice. These are exclusive to our backers, retail versions will not include these extras.
The next three Stretch Goals will add more awesome stuff to your reward :
- Reference cards with the most common actions and their cost in Action Points.
- The Gamemaster Screen : a 4-panel screen displaying the map on the front and tables for the gamemaster on the back. A laminated, full-color, highly detailed screen printed on high quality, sturdy cardboard (0.15")
- The Devil's Winter Scenario : an introductionary scenario that will provide you with around 15-20 hours of gameplay.
Devil’s Winter Scenario Synopsis :
Strange things are afoot in Hogwoud, a remote village on the western flank of the Morbic Mountains. The people of Hogwoud are used to harsh winters, but the last few months the village is engulfed by an unusually long-lasting cold front, accompanied by seemingly endless blizzards. Food is getting scarce, and the village is threatened by starving beasts as well as monstrous creatures fleeing the cold. Neither church nor state is willing to risk sending aid over the treacherous mountain passes - so the young steward, lord Gils Lonbarden, offers a reward in gold to anyone able to stop this endless winter. But some who answer his cry for help have ulterior motives to do so…
The Social Stretch Goals help us spread the word and once reached will provide all backers with 2 extra scenarios (around 2-3 hours playtime each).
The Post to Share and like can be found here on our Facebook Page :
I've received feedback from people that would love to back the printed version Manual, but receive Chronicles and scenarios in PDF. For this, we have created the addon for the PDF version of The Shadow in the Deep.
If you would like to receive the Manual in Hardcover and add The Shadow in the Deep as a PDF, pick "Just the Manual" as a pledge level and add 15€ extra to your pledge for the PDF of Shadow in the Deep.
Shipping will be charged after the campaign, 1 or 2 months before the rewards are shipped to backers.
These are heavy books, the total will be around 5-6kg depending on the stretch goals we will unlock. So shipping is not cheap.
It's also hard to provide you with final prices, because the number of backers in different countries might influence this. We do have a maximum shipping cost, which you can see below. Chances are, with a successful campaign, shipping costs will go down, especially for the US and Canada. But we can guarantee that they will never be higher than the cost indicated below :
Risks and challenges
Ambrosia is a finished game that's already in print in the original Dutch version, and has been a success in Belgium and the Netherlands since its release earlier this year. With this Kickstarter campaign, I'm trying to expand the audience abroad so the funds raised here will be used to have it translated into English.
There aren't any real risks about the game, as it's already been published and enjoyed by many. The funds raised with this Kickstarter go towards decent translators and proofreaders and Red Eyed Rabbit will publish Ambrosia in English and send backers their rewards.
The usual risks do apply however: the plague, invading foreign armies, roaming bandits and an ancient evil that engulfs the world in darkness. We're not really worried about those, but you never know...Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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