Altais: Age of Ruin - A dystopian fantasy RPG (Canceled)
A dystopian science fantasy roleplaying game about a world where magic has gone too far and brought society to ruin.
Project End and Relaunch
A big thank you to everyone that backed this project, it means a lot. It doesn't end here though, I'll be relaunching Altais in a few months with a lower target, a free preview of the game, and all new art! Follow on Facebook or Twitter for the latest updates and stay tuned for the return!
And thanks again, you are all awesome!
Altais: Age of Ruin is a tabletop roleplaying game about a dystopian science fantasy world set in the distant future. It is the first game in the Rephaim War series which spans the entirety of human history from their mysterious beginnings at alien hands, to their final end on a faraway world.
We begin at the end...
After colonizing the world of Altais, humanity lost contact with their home and in the thousands of years that have passed they forgot where they came from and the technology that brought them across the stars.
Scholars rediscovered the ability to bend the fabric of space, weakening it to allow the energies of the Six Realms to mix, creating many strange effects that were studied and codified into magical formulas.
As magic became common, mighty kingdoms were built, each harnessing magic in a unique way, each becoming a wonder that drew people from all around the world.
The fourth age began with the Fall. One of the Celestials, the three brightest stars in the sky, fell to earth. The Veil between the Realms was torn and magic became wild, plunging the kingdoms into ruin.
Over a thousand years have passed and the world begins to recover. The kingdoms have each become a fallen shadow of what they once were; war is common and greed, corruption, and betrayal even more so.
Players create heroes and scoundrels that seek to uncover lost secrets, rebuild the fallen cities and take back the land from the corrupt forces that rule it.
Will you restore honor to the Kingdoms? Or rule as a new dictator?
This setting is something I've been working on in my spare time for over three years and with your help I'd like to turn it into a product that we can all enjoy.
The money from this Kickstarter goes towards funding development of the project and paying writers and artists to create an extensive, full colour RPG setting. I am partnering with DriveThruRPG.com to publish the book in both a digital .pdf format and as a hard cover physical book.
Here's a list what I have planned so far if we reach our base funding goal:
- The detailed history of the world of Altais, its colonization and the founding of the various kingdoms as well as their fall to ruin.
- Beautiful full colour art.
- Character creation rules for playing adventurers, scoundrels and rebels, including two classes from each of the five major kingdoms.
- Maps and descriptions detailing the world, major cities and landmarks as well as three locations of interest within each of the major Kingdoms.
- A bestiary containing the plants and animals of Altais as well as other strange magical constructs, creatures from other realms and beings left over from past ages.
- This book grows as new stretch goals are reached!
Art Book: All of the art produced for the project will be compiled into a beautiful full color book that will also contain all the work in progress sketches, concepts, and doodles that went into producing it, along with some behind the scenes notes about each piece.
Creature Cards: I also plan to produce a deck of cards featuring the artwork from all the creatures found in the bestiary on one side and some info about them on the other. Great for showing your players what the creatures look like without having to hold up a book while covering the creature's stats.
Campaign Book 1: The first of many campaign books I hope to create, it will contain multiple campaigns and story ideas which you can use to dive straight in or use for inspiration in your own campaigns.
If we exceed our target I have a whole range of stretch goals lined up which will enable me to expand the setting, add more art and even produce supplement books to further detail each of the Kingdoms.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope you will join me in making this project a reality.
Why back this project?
Funding from this kickstarter will enable me to hire writers and artists to finish development of the Altais setting, but it's about more than just making the game a reality, I also want to give backers the chance to test the game out and give feedback so that together we can make this an excellent product.
Help Spread the Word!
For every 200 backers we get, I will add an additional monster to the bestiary in the core book, complete with art.
For every 200 likes we get on facebook, I will detail a new story location within the world, expanding the setting and providing new ideas for GMs to incorporate into their games.
$45,000: I will expand the Kingdom of Serpents to make it a major kingdom complete with two new character classes and three story locations.
$50,000: GM Screen will be unlocked as an add-on reward and I will add two new classes to the core book: The Thorns of Lyse and the Void Shapers.
$60,000: I will add more art to the core book, increasing it from around 60 images to at least 90 images! Poster map also unlocked as an add-on reward.
$70,000: The core book will be expanded to include more detail on the kingdoms and a larger bestiary section, that's an extra 75 pages! I will also add two new character classes: La'sharu the Wind Weavers and Seruhin the Desert Scouts.
$80,000: Yet more art! The number of images in the core book will be increased to at least 130! Two new classes will also be added: The Treewalkers and the Akhubesh. That brings us to 18 playable classes!
These add-ons are available to anyone who has pledged $5 or more. Just increase your pledge by the amount listed and after the kickstarter is complete I will send out a questionnaire asking which add-ons you would like to spend the extra credit on.
There is no limit to the number of add-ons you can purchase, but if you add physical items to a digital pledge make sure you add an extra $10 for shipping outside of the US.
$25: Digital copy of the Altais: Age of Ruin core book.
$15: Digital copy of the Altais: Art Book.
$10: Digital copy of the Creature Deck.
$60: Hardcover copy of the Altais: Age of Ruin core book.
$40: Physical copy of the Altais: Art Book.
$40: Physical copy of the Campaign Book.
$25: Creature Deck.
Altais will use a dice-based system similar to those found in many role playing games; whenever the player wants to take an action that has a chance of failing (attacking in combat, leaping a pit, etc) a test is made combining the character's stats and some dice rolls to produce a semi-random result which the GM then uses as a guide for the story.
My current plan for the system (which may change during development and testing), is to use a d10 system I'm calling Cascade. Players will never need more than 6d10 (and that's only for extremely high powered characters).
The player rolls a number of d10s (based on stats), chooses one die (usually the highest) and adds or subtracts any modifiers in an attempt to beat a target number. The cascading occurs when the player rolls a 10; they get to choose a second result and add that as well, if that's also a 10 then they keep going until they add one that isn't.
I will also be publishing a free guide for playing the game using the Fate Core system.
Like in many RPGs, players begin by creating characters which earn experience points (XP) and advance as the game progresses. In Altais every character begins with a class that indicates what they have been trained to do up to that point. The class determines many of the character's starting abilities, and also grants each a special innate ability unique to that class but from there they begin to diverge.
The most important of the character's abilities are called Talents, these are special attacks and powers that allow them to perform amazing feats. Some are simply a matter of training (making a special attack that twists the blade for extra damage or firing two arrows from a bow) while some are magical (calling forth fire from the Blaze or opening a gateway to another realm).
There will be at least 30 different Talents and each will have ranks from 1 to 5.
There are no "levels" in Altais, players spend XP to increase their character's skills, attributes and Talents. The character's class affects how much XP these cost (a spell casting class buys magic more cheaply than a non-spell casting class), but anyone can buy almost any ability eventually. A few Talents are only available to certain classes but these are exceptions.
Beyond the world of Altais there are five other realms, each with their own unique properties, each containing exotic energy and matter. Magic occurs when the Veil between these realms is weakened enough for energy and matter to pass from one realm into the other.
For example the ambient energy within the Blaze is completely harmless while it is there, but on contact with our universe it reacts explosively and is the source of many of the damaging spells in the game.
Some realms aren't about the energy within but rather the properties of the realm itself; time within the Wild flows significantly faster and allows spell-casters to speed objects up by exposing them to that time stream.
The Wild is more than a simple haste spell however, travelers once used the Wild as a safe means of travel (it was pretty empty) but over time they have accidentally left seeds and other bits of our universe behind. Exposed to the Wild's flow of time for thousands of years they have grown into a verdant wilderness full of mega-flora and strange creatures that occasionally escape into our universe.
Spell casting is not a matter of arcane invocations, spell components or gestures, but rather an innate potential that all can learn to harness with enough training.
By partnering with DriveThruRPG.com we have no upfront publishing costs, this means that 100% of the money raised by this project goes towards funding development and fulfilling rewards:
- Finish writing the core book.
- Hire writers to contribute towards supplements unlocked by stretch goals.
- Pay for art.
- Pay for graphic design and layout of the book.
- Fulfill rewards.
- Pay kickstarter, paypal and other fees.
- Backup in case things cost more than expected.
Kicking It Forward
Kicking It Forward is a fantastic concept that encourages creators to reinvest back into the Kickstarter community, check out their link below.
Risks and challenges
Although this is my first kickstarter, I am not new to the idea of working to a schedule, dealing with production delays and funding projects correctly.
I have worked on 7 published computer games and have been writing in my spare time for over 15 years.
The biggest hurdle to indie development of a product like this is publishing, and with DriveThruRPG.com we have this problem solved.
If there were production delays this would be unfortunate but would not harm the final product as funding is being used to pay for completed work only.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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