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Navigate dangerous quests using creative, collaborative tactics rooted in principles of nonviolence.
Navigate dangerous quests using creative, collaborative tactics rooted in principles of nonviolence.
370 backers pledged $23,126 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$23,126

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What is Lotus Dimension? 

Lotus Dimension is a tabletop role-playing game (RPG). You've probably heard of at least one very popular RPG called Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), in which players create their own characters with specialized skill sets, then work together using these characters to solve challenges, defeat monsters and villains, deploy magic, find treasure and more.

I've always admired D&D because it's rooted in storytelling, magic and adventure, and it requires creativity and collaboration. But I wanted to know: What would a game structured similarly to D&D be like if players had to solve all the challenges the game threw at them using nonviolent means?

What if a game drew on amazing sci-fi and fantasy storytelling while also incorporating principles of nonviolence inspired by peaceful protests, historical leaders and the tenets of peaceful philosophical practices? 

And what if it offered players a way to visualize and role-play solutions to wildly imagined problems, responding to and replacing violence and weaponry with empathy and ingenuity?

Lotus Dimension is that game. 

Okay, how do you play?

Lotus Dimension takes place in a slightly futuristic world in which portals have opened up leading from Earth to other realms. Players work together to explore these realms and achieve objectives in a scripted quest. 

Each player creates his or her own character, choosing from a list of eccentric modern-day archetypes like hacker, mystic, parkour specialist, and more, then customizing their specialties. Player levels and stats are loosely designed around the noble eightfold path in Buddhism and the concept of karma.

One player acts as a guru guide, leading the other players through each quest. (The first quest, included in the Starter Set, is called "Liberation in the Zeppelins.") Players brainstorm together to solve problems, evade or defeat monsters or villains, overcome obstacles, deploy magic, obtain treasure and other rewards, free prisoners and find the way forward -- all while causing the least harm possible. 

Which can be super tricky. How do you escape imprisonment or confront a threat without using swords or spells that cause harm? How do you defeat an opponent to overcome obstacles and win treasure if your strategy has to consider your opponent's desires, safety and well-being as well as those of yourself and your own team?

Through the challenges of each quest, players build their characters' inner strength, mindfulness and wisdom to advance to new levels.

But it's not all woo-woo conflict resolution stuff. This is an adventure game. You'll voyage into other dimensions filled with strange beings, mysterious landscapes, and magic. You'll rescue prisoners, neutralize armed opponents and less-than-friendly creatures, search for clues, and evade terrorist assassins. You'll creep along cliffs that fall to undiscovered depths in the mist below, and advance with invisible stealth on a heavily guarded fortress. 

And to do all this, you'll have to think in new ways to come up with some pretty clever and unusual tactics and responses.

Who can play Lotus Dimension?

Anyone can play Lotus Dimension. You. Your friends. Your kids. Your parents. Your brother's kids who you never know what to buy for the holidays. Students. Teachers. Activists. Pacifists. Gamers. Game shops. Book clubs. Bookstores. Fans of Harry Potter, Tolkien, Star Wars, Game of Thrones, and Stranger Things. 

Basically, if you like storytelling, weird twists, and the freedom to guide the action and create new outcomes, Lotus Dimension is for you.

The game is simple to learn and changes with every play, based on players' choices. It's best for ages 12 to adult, due to non-graphic mentions of violence that set the context for some of the challenges players must face. 

What will my pledge dollars do? 

The Lotus Dimension Starter Set has already been completed, prototyped, and play-tested. It's ready to go into production. 

Your support here on Kickstarter will do four things: 

1) Get you one of the rad rewards listed. For example, a first-edition Lotus Dimension Starter Set, which has everything you need to start playing. We're also offering an Expansion Set of additional quests, custom quests starring you and your friends, stickers, postcards, original artwork, and more, so check out the Rewards list for details!

2) Pay fair wages to the independent, Brooklyn-based printer I've lined up to print a run of 500 Lotus Dimension Starter Sets, as well as to a handful of writers, artists and designers who will help to continue creating content and new features to make the game even more awesome.

3) Purchase booth space at select fairs and conferences to spread the word about Lotus Dimension.

4) Demonstrate an interest and demand for thoughtful, challenging gaming that embraces weirdness and adventure but goes beyond violent solutions to encourage creative problem solving.  

As with any Kickstarter campaign, if we reach the funding goal we get the full amount pledged by our backers, and the project will go forward! Hooray! 

But if we don't reach the funding goal, we get nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero.

Every donation, no matter how big or small, helps us reach our goal to make Lotus Dimension a reality and the world a more peaceful, playful and awesome place! 

Please pledge early and share this page!

Thank you. 

Gratitude

Thanks to Jeffrey Paul Coleman, Michael Cosaboom, Jay Derderian, Andrew Duden, Rob Erickson, Harvest Henderson, Brandon Hodge, Ken Kosman, Nien Lam, Eric Mika, Ryan Mullen, Cindy Pineo, Richard Pineo, Ian Reeves, Jason Smith, and Mike Witherell for all their help with development and play testing.

And a big shout-out to Cary Buchanan and Justin King, who created the music in the video. 

"The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking." -Albert Einstein

 

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Risks and challenges

The work ahead is simply to print, assemble, and ship the Lotus Dimension Starter Sets. With a completed prototype in hand and quotes for all costs from end to end, I'm confident that if the funding goal is reached, reward fulfillment will be successful.

If we surpass the funding goal, we'll aim to take the game even further in terms of promotion and retail placement, and we could expand the rewards. I'll definitely keep project supporters updated on the status!

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Lotus Dimension Sticker

    Hey, thank you for your support! Every bit helps. For your $5 donation, I will send you a Lotus Dimension sticker.

    Put it on your laptop, your lunchbox, your skateboard, your forehead -- wherever you want a little reminder to bring a peacemaking and friendly vibe to your day!

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Character Archetype Card + Sticker

    For your $10 donation, I will send you a Lotus Dimension sticker PLUS a postcard printed with an illustration of one of the game's character archetypes.

    Which one will you get? Is this a personality test? Will it impact your next direction in life? I don't know -- you'll have to pledge to find out!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Lotus Dimension Complete Starter Set

    For your $25 pledge, I will send you the sticker, postcard, and the Lotus Dimension Starter Set.

    The Starter Set includes a player guide, guru guide, a set of character sheets, three eight-sided dice, and the first quest, "Liberation in the Zeppelins," all in a custom-printed game box.

    This is everything you need to get started playing Lotus Dimension and making the world a more peaceful place, one awesome and challenging adventure at a time!

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Starter Set + 3 Expansion Set Quests

    For your $60 pledge, I will send you everything described above (the sticker, postcard, and complete Lotus Dimension Starter Set) PLUS an Expansion Set of three additional quests written by three different authors and/or RPG masters.

    This reward includes everything you need to start playing the game -- and then it lets you take your newly created characters on even MORE incredible adventures in three new and fantastic Lotus Dimension realms!

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Everything above + Jizō statue

    For your $100 pledge, I will send you the sticker, the postcard, the complete Lotus Dimension Starter Set as described above, the three additional quests, PLUS a limited-edition handcrafted statue of Jizō​.

    Jizō, aka ​Ksitigarbha​, is a bodhisattva known in East Asian Buddhism ​for his vow to be present with and help all living beings and to refuse Buddhahood "until all the hells are empty." He is the guardian of children and travelers, and he carries a wish-fulfilling jewel to light up the darkness for others. In short, a pretty inspiring dude.

    The Jizō statue that you will receive has been specially commissioned for this project from an independent ceramics studio in Portland, Oregon. It will be small enough to keep on your desk or carry in your pocket, and finished with a plain white glaze. Each statue will be slightly different because each one will be handmade, and each will be signed and numbered in an edition of 50.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    5 Lotus Dimension Starter Sets

    As an alternative reward for your $100 pledge, I will send you FIVE complete Lotus Dimension Starter Sets, plus stickers and postcards to go with them.

    That's five Starter Sets for the price of four, plus steeply discounted shipping.

    All five Starter Sets must ship to the same location.

    This option is for anyone looking to give the game as gifts, stock the shelves of your bookstore or game store, or donate them to an organization of your choice!

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $225 or more About $225

    5 Starter Sets + 5 Expansion Set Quests

    For your $225 pledge, I will send you FIVE complete Lotus Dimension Starters Sets PLUS five expansion sets (that's five bundles of the three additional quests).

    Basically, this is five of the $60 reward, at a $75 discount, plus steeply discounted shipping.

    All five Starter Sets must ship to the same location.

    This option is for anyone looking to give the game as gifts, stock the shelves of your bookstore or game store, or donate them to an organization of your choice!

    I'll throw in a bunch of stickers and cards, and the Starter Sets will be ready to give away or stock your shelves!

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Starter Set + Jizō​ + CUSTOM QUEST

    Okay, we're going to get a little bit crazy here. Crazy awesome, that is.

    If you pledge $250, I will send you the sticker, the postcard, the complete Lotus Dimension Starter Set, the Jizō statue, the three additional professionally written quests, PLUS...

    You will receive one CUSTOM quest tailored to your specifications.

    Want a quest starring you and your friends, or maybe your newborn daughter? How about one that centers on a special event, location or challenge of your choosing? I'll send you an interview questionnaire to get started on a quest tailored to your specifications.

    This reward includes everything you need to start playing the game, plus three additional adventures in new Lotus Dimension realms, AND an original custom quest inspired by YOU!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    All Above + Prayer Flag Dedication

    If you pledge $500, I will send you the sticker, the postcard, the complete Lotus Dimension Starter Set, the Jizō statue, the three additional professionally written quests, one custom quest, PLUS I will personally hang a Tibetan prayer flag for you in the Jizō Garden at the Great Vow Zen Monastery in western Oregon.

    Yes, that's a real place. It's a small forest full of Jizō statues of varying sizes and styles, located in the wilderness behind a functioning Zen monastery just a little ways inland from the Pacific Ocean. It's pretty magical.

    And as symbolic gestures of gratitude go, this is about the most meaningful one I can think of. Thank you so much for your support!

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Funding period

- (30 days)