The forthcoming book John Silence from Ginger Goat Press is an original RPG and shared universe collection of short stories and poems. Your John Silence game is about people of color who are psychic detectives committed to saving Earth from planar creatures invisible to most humans.
The story is set in the United States between the years 1938 and 1998. This universe is an updated version of the one in Algernon Blackwood’s 1908 novel, John Silence, Physician Extraordinary.
This game is inspired by the mechanics of D&D and various OSR games. However, attacks and combat have been replaced with rhetoric and conversation. You are not rolling to kill the monster. You’re rolling to convince them to do what you tell them. Unlike in most RPGs, violence is not the best way to achieve your goal.
The John Silence universe is about black, indigenous, and/or people of color (BIPOC) psychic detectives. It is set in the United States at some time between 1938 and 1998. TV shows like The Dead Zone and Heartless fit the tone of this game, but we want a more diverse cast of characters.
John Silence is Weird Fiction or noir, but reinvented to be non-racist, non-sexist, and mostly non-violent. During a game, players are forbidden to use hate speech or slurs. Stories must not contain non-consensual sex or glamorized violence.
Stories might, for example, feature radios, cars, angels, witches, aliens or poltergeists. However, they will not feature smartphones, tablets, giants, or dragons.
GMs and players might want to explore these themes during a John Silence adventure.
- Psychic powers are interdimensional. They involve other
planes. Psychic monsters are attracted to human psychic activity.
- Friendship, kindness, and forethought are heroic virtues.
- Humans with psychic powers feel obligated to defend humans without.
The John Silence book is a complete roleplaying game (no other books needed) designed by Josh T. Jordan and his team. The book is also an anthology of several poems and short stories by writers of color. It will be full-color, 6x9 inches, and an estimated 160 pages long. We plan to make a pdf version, a softcover, and a Kickstarter-Exclusive hardcover version with a unique cover. This hardcover version will only be available to Kickstarter backers.
Supporters in the US or UK, where our printers are, receive free shipping on their softcover or hardcover books by selecting reward tiers labeled (US or UK). Supporters outside the US and UK should select a (Worldwide) Tier. These backers will pay shipping later. Shipping costs will be determined by DrivethruRPG, who will fulfill our shipping order.
Josh T. Jordan is the John Silence team lead and publisher at Ginger Goat. In addition to being an narrative scholar, award-winning teacher, and licensed minister, he has successfully crowdfunded games five times on Kickstarter.
Aura Belle, award-winning designer of A Real Game and co-designer of Singularity is our game editor. Aura has contributed games and scenarios to several rpgs and anthologies, like Misspent Youth, #Feminism, and Seasonally Affected.
Lev Mirov is our story and poetry editor. A three-time Rhysling award nominee, he is an MFA candidate at Goddard College and has been featured in short story anthologies like Myriad Lands II, Sunvault, and Mother of Invention.
Thomas Novosel is our layout artist. He also did the layout for Singularity and all the John Silence zines.
Tobie Abad, contributor to 7th Sea 2nd edition as well as Ginger Goat games like Girls Elsewhere and Advanced Doll, is our lead monster designer.
Layla Al-Bedawi is a poet, writer, and co-founder of creative arts organization Fuente Collective, with recent work in Strange Horizons, Fireside Fiction, and elsewhere.
Brandon O'Brien is a performance poet and speculative fiction writer from Trinidad and Tobago whose work has been published in Uncanny Magazine, Strange Horizons, and Sunvault, among other outlets; he is also the poetry editor of FIYAH Literary Magazine.
Fin Coe is our Classes & Skills designer.
Riva Arecol, our Natures & Spells Designer, is an experienced game master of various rpgs and an international event judge for collectible card games. Team lead Josh T. Jordan says Riva is "an expert in game mechanics."
We will also add several members to the team later this summer when Lev hosts an open call for poetry and short stories in the John Silence universe. Who knows? Maybe you'll see your name here next.
Risks and challenges
This is our longest book yet and we are hiring more freelancers than ever. That means there's a lot of moving parts that could cause delays. We believe we have scheduled conservatively and that we will be able to deliver your books on time, but there's also the risk of delay.
On the other hand, Ginger Goat has successfully delivered on all of its five previous Kickstarters, so we believe you can trust us with your investment.
- (30 days)