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$1,197
pledged of $2,700pledged of $2,700 goal
38
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, June 30 2019 6:51 PM UTC +00:00

BLADE: Fantasy RPG Featuring Specialization & Accessibility

A swords and sorcery tabletop game featuring a short, easy-to-use rulebook, customizable characters & spells, and strategic gameplay

BLADE: Fantasy RPG Featuring Specialization & Accessibility

A swords and sorcery tabletop game featuring a short, easy-to-use rulebook, customizable characters & spells, and strategic gameplay

$1,197
pledged of $2,700pledged of $2,700 goal
38
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, June 30 2019 6:51 PM UTC +00:00

About

BLADE is a swords and sorcery, tabletop role-playing game offering ease and strategy. With this 100-page guidebook, 2-6 Players assume the personas of fantasy Characters, guided by a Game Master (GM) to forge myths in their own heroic worlds. 

This manual features complete rules for Players, helpful tips for GMs, over 50 creatures & Non-Player Characters, and over 100 items. By writing their own spells, crafting their own weapons, developing their own fighting styles, and finding their own voices, Players to collaborate and become legendary heroes around their own tabletops. 

From its first draft, Blade was designed with three concepts in mind. The rules should be quick to learn and easy to use, encourage creative problem solving, and have original flavor and mechanics. 

This final edition fulfills every goal. Featuring open-ending magic, item crafting, fully customizable Characters, alluring illustrations by the amazing Laura Fawcett, a quirky yet enchanting setting, and a simple Skill system in a 100-page manual, Blade is the most appealing swords and sorcery game available.  

The manuscript is completely written, extensively play-tested, and in the final stages of editing. Roughly half the illustrations are complete, with the rest soon to be in progress. Your support will publish this complete manuscript as a hardcover book via BookBaby Publishing, distribute the game to Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and make it available for wholesale purchase. 

On Players' turns, they direct their Characters to perform certain tasks by rolling Skill Rolls. On a Players turn, he or she can make up to two Skill Rolls. 

When making a Skill Roll, the GM will tell Players which Skill applies to the Action the Player is making. For example, if a Player is in a bar brawl and wants to swing at a fellow patron, the GM will direct the Player to make a Strength Roll. 

Players then roll a 10-sided dice (d10) and compare it to their Skill Level. If the result is equal to or less than their Skill Level, the roll is considered a Success and the Player applies any relevant bonuses.

Players then roll any bonus or penalty dice for their Skill and add the dice up. If the total is equal to or greater than the GM's Minimum Success (MS), then the Character achieves what he or she is attempting. 

However, if the d10 roll was greater than the Character's Skill, then the roll Failed. The Character can still roll any bonus dice, but no other bonuses are applied and the chances of achieving the MS drop considerably. 

This easy Skill Roll system is applied to every aspect of gameplay, including combat. There is no need to memorize different sets of rules for chases, vehicles, magic, or anything else. Every situation is governed by these easy principles, allowing even novice Players to participate fully. 

Just because gameplay is simple does not mean it is boring. This system removes unnecessary complexity, yet the dice rolls and Skill Level mechanic foster heart-pounding gameplay. Players choose which Skills to utilize to achieve their goals, how to interact with other Characters on a turn-by-turn basis, and react to the myriad of possible traps, NPCs, and puzzles the GM can present. 

Combat especially requires strategic consideration. Players utilize the Accuracy Skill to shoot at targets from a range, the Strength Skill to dominate hand-to-hand combat, the Resistance Skill to deflect heavy blows, or the Agility Skill to dodge opponents' attacks. Every strategy comes with its own tactical advantages and limits, ensuring that no two combat rounds are alike. 

 Characteristics are the professions, backgrounds, quirks, and tendencies that define Characters' personalities. Players choose a set of Positive Characteristics (special abilities or bonuses) and a matching set of Negative Characteristics (handicaps and penalties). Together these two sets of Characteristics couple with the Race to create an original Character. 

Using this system, BLADE allows over 83 quadrillion unique Characters to fit any Player's imagination. Whether a magnificent minstrel, a wily wizard, an angry artificer, or a completely new archetype, Players can create the Character in BLADE. 

Even distances are handled elegantly and simply. Distances fall into one of three zones: Near (0 - 10ft), Far (10 - 50ft), or Distant (50 - 100ft). 

The further away a zone is, the more penalties a Character incurs for interacting with objects or opponents in it. This way, Players do not have to rely on maps or miniatures -- though they are still welcome to! In fact, without a board or miniatures, BLADE can be played just as effectively in the seats of a car or airplane as it can on a tabletop.  

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Each Player, except for the GM, creates a Character -- a unique person in the fantasy realm that the Player uses to engage with the game world. Character creation allows literally any concept to become a playable figure by combing... 

  • 65 Skill Points assigned to fourteen different Skills (i.e. Strength, Agility, Vigor, etc.) 
  • One of six Races (i.e. Giant, Undead, Gnome, etc.) 
  • Up to 12 Characteristics from 80 possible options(Battleworn, Alert, Pacifist, Deaf, etc.)  
  • Starting Equipment (Iron Short Sword, Leather Jerkin, etc.) 

Each Skill determines the highest roll a Character can make in a related Action. Up to 10 Skill Points can be put into each Skill, allowing Players to choose which areas of gameplay their Characters will excel at. 

This process of Character creation allows Players to design virtually any Character archetype they can think of. Without being bound by pre-built advancement, Characters only need fit their Players' imagination rather than an existing class concept. 

 Races offer further bonuses through Bonus and Penalty Dice. These dice are rolled during Skill Rolls and added or subtracted to reflect Races' expertise or ineptness. Additionally, each Race supplies unique special rules to help Players understand their Characters.   

 In BLADE, Magic is a fickle science called Arcana. Arcana permeates every aspect of the fantasy world. This mystical study is available to every Character regardless of background or Race and is tied directly to the Arcana Skill. To use Magic, Players either write a Spell or use one of the pre-built Spells included in the tome. Writing Spells involves seven quick steps laid out in four pages:

  • Name the Spell
  • Choose the number of targets OR size of the target area
  • Choose the distance away the target is from the caster
  • Choose the duration of the spell
  • Choose the element affected
  • Choose the action used
  • Detail the results of the spell

Each step increases the MS of the spell to varying degrees. For example, binding a demon to an enchanted ring for a Player Phase to siphon its power is easier than binding it to the ring for an entire Adventure. Totaling the modifiers of each step results in the minimum Arcana Skill Roll a Character must make to cast the spell. 

Characters can cast any spell and develop their own tactics. These could be a sage taking counsel from the imprisoned souls of his opponents, a thundering stormlord conjuring chaotic geists to disrupt enemy ranks, a druid turning wine to poison as it goes down their enemy's throat, or a giant freezing the rain around her into a barrage of hailing ice spikes. 

Players who use Magic regularly are encouraged to keep a notebook of their own spells. Over time, these Players will create an entirely original spell book perfectly suited to the needs and experiences of their Characters. 

Unlike other Skill Rolls, Arcana Skill Rolls use a 12-sided dice (d12) rather than a d10. Using a d12 creates a chance of Failure even if a Character has a Skill Level 10, reflecting the unpredictable nature of Magic. 

My name is Josiah Mork, and I am an 18-year-old student from Midland, Michigan. I have played boardgames for as long as  I can remember and frequently indulge in Warhammer 40K, Magic: the Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons, and BLADE. 

When I was 13 I could not play Dungeons & Dragons or other tabletop RPGs because of the bad reputation they received in the '80s. However, having friends that played and enjoyed D&D, I desperately wanted to try that style of game.

So I set out to build my own. 

Doing research on the mechanics of pencil and paper RPGs and talking with friends, I did my best to understand the concept. I created many prototypes, many of which completely missed the mark. However, as a novice player, my ideas were original and catered toward people who were as unfamiliar with the genre as I was. Determined to produce a working prototype, I continued writing until, in October 2015, I wrote a 20-page manual that would become the first edition of BLADE. 

In the last four years, through over one hundred hours of play-testing and eight editions, this manual has grown into a full-fledged system. I never lost track of my goal: to create an original, entertaining, and easy-to-play fantasy RPG. 

Since starting this game, I have played D&D and other RPGs and enjoyed them, but I always hear similar comments: "It's more fun to ignore that rule," or "we don't use that mechanic," or "that part of your Character is not that important." And I always ask myself the same question. 

If a game is more fun without a rule, if players don't use a rule, or if a rule is not important, then why is it there

The simple answer is, it should not be. In BLADE, there are no superfluous extra rules to slow down gameplay. Every page succinctly informs you of what you need to know and nothing more. Rules are easy to find, easy to use, and easy to remember. 

This is my first Kickstarter, but I have previous experience coordinating projects. In 2016 I earned my Eagle Scout in Boy Scouts of America Troop 763 after fundraising over $850 and organizing nearly 100 man-hours of volunteering. While the nature of this Kickstarter is quite different, the responsibilities are surprisingly similar and I enjoy the new challenges publishing this game presents. 

Funds supporting this campaign will all go toward the following expenses. If we raise more than +$70 over the initial $2700, that money will go toward a yet-to-be-announced Stretch Goal that will add another enchanting visual element to the game. 

  • Publishing & Distribution -- $2,145
  • Taxes & Fees -- $330
  • Shipping -- $110
  • Other (reward fulfillment, buffer, etc.) -- $135 

Your donations will bring this project to stores so gamers everywhere can access this customizable, convenient, and exciting fantasy RPG. 

Risks and challenges

This Kickstarter has been planned for roughly three months to minimize risks. Nevertheless, because no plan is foolproof, here are the biggest risks and challenges involved:

1) Timing -- I leave for college on August 11th, meaning all printing and reward fulfillment must be complete by this date. I expect no problems meeting this deadline. Once the project is funded, I plan to use savings to place the printing order so rewards may be shipped in a timely fashion. Then I will use the Kickstarter funds to pay myself back after the Stripe transaction processes. Nevertheless, in the spirit of full disclosure, I wanted to make all backers aware of this deadline.

2) Formatting -- BookBaby is a wonderful communicator, publisher, and printer. To minimize costs, however, I forwent hiring their design team, and am formatting the printing files myself. To prevent any sub-standard print jobs, BookBaby will halt printing if the files are not considered industry-standard. This could mean a delay of up to 3 - 5 days while I revise the manuscript after submitting it. This possible 3 - 5 day delay has been factored into the reward delivery schedule.

3) Art -- my original plan was to commission 20 full color illustrations from the fantastic Midland artist Laura Fawcett for this book. However, because of unexpected events and timing constraints (see above), this number may be reduced to 10 - 15 illustrations so the files can be delivered to the printer in time to fulfill all rewards.

Those are all the challenges we are looking at. I am confident none of them will compromise the quality or value of this game. However, if you have any concerns or questions before backing this project, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1

    Apprentice

    Become an entry-level supporter and earn a sincere thanks and credit for your contribution

    Includes:
    • Your name in the Supporter List in the Back of the Book
    • A Huge THANK YOU
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    Acolyte

    A loyal contributor, you receive both credit for your contribution and a PDF copy of the manual to print-and-play or enjoy from your mobile device

    Includes:
    • Full Color PDF of Blade RPG
    • Your name in the Supporter List in the Back of the Book
    • A Huge THANK YOU
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    Spellcaster

    Adding magic to the game, your funds significantly contribute and earn you the above awards combined with a hardcover copy to enjoy with friends and family

    Includes:
    • Full Color Hardcover of Blade RPG
    • Full Color PDF of Blade RPG
    • Your name in the Supporter List in the Back of the Book
    • A Huge THANK YOU
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    Wayfarer

    A dedicated follower from a far-distant land, this reward tier provides all rewards from the Spellcaster tier to international backers.

    Includes:
    • Full Color Hardcover of Blade RPG
    • Full Color PDF of Blade RPG
    • Your name in the Supporter List in the Back of the Book
    • A Huge THANK YOU
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    Enchanter

    A gamer in your own right, you receive all the above rewards and 2 vinyl BLADE stickers to spread the magic to items like computers and book covers

    Includes:
    • Vinyl Sticker of Logo & Interior Art
    • Full Color Hardcover of Blade RPG
    • Full Color PDF of Blade RPG
    • Your name in the Supporter List in the Back of the Book
    • A Huge THANK YOU
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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 1 backer
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    Arch Wizard

    A stirring force of Arcane might, your generosity merits all the above rewards plus an exclusive promotional sticker. Additionally, your hardcover copy will be signed by the author & play testers and inscribed with a handwritten thank-you note in the inside cover

    Includes:
    • Full Color Hardcover of Blade RPG Signed w/ Message by Creators
    • Vinyl Sticker of Logo & Interior Art
    • Full Color PDF of Blade RPG
    • Your name in the Supporter List in the Back of the Book
    • A Huge THANK YOU
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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 2 backers
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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    High Valiant

    The mightiest of supporters, you receive all the previous rewards. Additionally, you receive a complete set of rustic metal game dice so you can begin legendary gameplay as soon as your copy arrives.

    Includes:
    • Set of Premium Metal RPG Dice
    • Full Color Hardcover of Blade RPG Signed w/ Message by Creators
    • Vinyl Sticker of Logo & Interior Art
    • Full Color PDF of Blade RPG
    • Your name in the Supporter List in the Back of the Book
    • A Huge THANK YOU
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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 3 backers
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    Tavern Keeper

    A shopkeeper of great wealth and influence, this supporter not only enjoys the magic of BLADE but also distributes it to others. Included are six signed copies (with message omitted) available to retailers interested in distributing BLADE in their stores.

    NOTE: Signing optional; a corporate tax ID is required to complete this reward

    Includes:
    • Your name in the Supporter List in the Back of the Book
    • Full Color Hardcover of Blade RPG Signed w/ Message by Creators
    • A Huge THANK YOU
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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 0 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)