Nefertiti Overdrive: Ancient Egyptian Wuxia
A tabletop, pen & paper RPG, Nefertiti Overdrive is mash-up of legendary Ancient Egypt and cinematic wuxia action.
Preview of rules available to all backers through Dropbox link in Update #1.
Fancy some kung-fu fightin' in Ancient Egypt?
Nefertiti Overdrive is about crazy wuxia action in a legendary Egypt. This isn't about history, mummies, or aliens building pyramids. This is about kicking badguys in the face. This is not a historical game. Its Egyptian setting is that of cursory knowledge gleaned from museums, comics, and the occasional action movie. You don't need to know about 25th Dynasty Egypt, you merely need to be excited about kicking a bad-guy in the nuts so he doubles over and you use him as a step to get you high enough to drive your knee into another bad-guy's face.
You can hear me talk about Nefertiti Overdrive - among other topics - on the Tell Me Another podcast.
You can read a little more about Nefertiti Overdrive in my interview at Dorkland!
You can see (well, mostly hear) a game of Nefertiti Overdrivehere or view it at the bottom of this page. You can download the audio of the fight example here and the audio of the non-combat challenge here.
An example of a fight using Nefertiti Overdrive.
An example of a non-combat challenge.
Nefertiti Overdrive will include a simple system intended to speed through play while encouraging lots of crazy antics. Like the systems from Centurion: Legionaries of Rome and Sword Noir: A Roleplaying Game of Hard-Boiled Sword & Sorcery, Nefertiti Overdrive will allow for character customization in a rules-light context that focuses on player characters succeeding within their niche.
The book should be between 110 and 130 pages in length, and will be presented as a 6X9 softcover.
Along with these rules, Nefertiti Overdrive will provide seven pre-generated characters with an alternate version of each and two adventures designed specifically for them. These adventures are designed to introduce your group to legendary Egypt. Maybe you are the Princess, the God's Hand in 25th Dynasty Ancient Egypt seeking her niece, lost in the chaos of the Assyrian invasion, or her loyal bodyguard, the Etruscan, who will give his life for her but would rather take the lives of any who threaten. Could you be the Spartan, haggard veteran and perfect warrior, commander of a group of mercenaries? Perhaps you are the Amazon, his lieutenant and archer beyond compare. Then there is the Monk, who has travelled here from the East, opposing the suffering of innocents with his lightning-fast fists and razor-sharp spear, and his friend and comrade the Serpent, a doomed assassin haunted by the Devourer of Souls. Finally, there is the General, who has failed to halt the Assyrian advance but refuses to fail again.
These characters cannot be threatened by mere Assyrian soldiers. They are the heroes of this story, and heroes can do the extraordinary. From the Spartan bursting through a wall of mud bricks to attack an unsuspecting squad of Lower Egyptian collaborators to the Amazon putting an arrow into the eye of the Assyrian commander the others can only barely identify in the distance to the Etruscan leaping from rooftop to tower in pursuit of an Assyrian spy, the heroes get to do amazing feats that defy physics and possibly common sense.
Further ideas and hooks for continuing campaigns are provided to help the GM craft a story beyond the two included adventures. Nefertiti Overdrive also includes rules for the players to create the kind of adventures they want the GM to run, providing the GM with a skeleton of description and ideas on which to build a campaign. The process mechanics allow the players to bid and therefore prioritize what kind of information they want to contribute.
The book will also include an appendix called Shadows of Wang Zhi, adapting the Nefertiti Overdrive system to Ming Dynasty China as a setting in the same ahistorical vein as Ancient Egypt. This section will provide a backdrop for adventures closer to the roots of literary wuxia, though with plenty of wire-fu action thrown in. The characters play virtuous agents of the secretive North Depot (entirely fictional), a police organization aimed at ferreting out corruption and criminality within the Eastern Depot, the law enforcement department oppressing the people of Beijing. The characters come into conflict with the eunuch Wang Zhi, a creature of the powerful consort Lady Wan pretending to be a loyal agent of the emperor.
You can find more information on the Sword's Edge Publishing website.
Graphic designer extraordinaire Rob Wakefield has designed some covers from which we can choose, and each backer at the Acolyte of the Scarab and above will have the chance to vote for their preferred cover. The most popular cover will grace our book.
I'm a writer and RPG designer who runs Sword's Edge Publishing. The SEP website is here and the SEP catalogue is here. I've written the game Sword Noir: a Role-Playing Game of Hardboiled Sword & Sorcery and Kiss My Axe: Thirteen Warriors and an Angel of Death. I successfully Kickstarted and delivered the historical RPG Centurion: Legionaries of Rome, which is now available at Amazon and your friendly local gaming store. My fiction writing has been presented in Forgotten Worlds, On Spec, and Black Gate.
Should our Kickstarter reach $7,000, all backers at the Acolyte of the Scarab level and above will receive Daredevils of the Water Wastes as a PDF. This is an alternate setting for Nefertiti Overdrive, with slightly different character Attributes but the same focus on detailed narratives and intense action. It will be a minimum of 2,000 words and will include art. A print version will be available to all backers at cost.
The late 19th Century sees cataclysms and inundations. Plague tears through the survivors, bringing with it the terrifying undead. Humanity is merely collateral damage as the mindless Ghouls and the cunning Wraiths vie for dominance. Europe becomes an archipelago of isolated islands. But in Sunken London one might find a man who may know of a cure. He can be found among the warriors of the Prize Ring, the greatest sport in Europe and perhaps the world.
All amounts are in Canadian Dollars.
$ 1 MINION: Thanks! You will get access to the playtest rules.
$ 7 ACOLYTE OF THE SCARAB: You will have access to the playtest rules and you will receive a PDF copy of Nefertiti Overdrive. Estimated delivery: Oct 2014
$ 17 CLAWS OF THE CAT: For international backers. You receive everything from the ACOLYTE OF THE SCARAB tier, but also receive a a code to purchase the print version of Nefertiti Overdrive at cost from Drive-Thru RPG. Drive-Thru RPG has experience delivering print products to a world-wide audience, and due to the costs and problems encountered with international shipping, this is the best option to allow international backers to receive the print version. You don't need to be an international backer to use this option, but it exists specifically to address the problems I've faced with international shipping. Estimated delivery: Dec 2014
$ 20 STING OF THE SCORPION: You receive everything from the ACOLYTE OF THE SCARAB tier, but also receive the print version of Nefertiti Overdrive. This is only available to backers in Canada and the continental USA, and the pledge level includes postage for Canada or the continental USA. Estimated delivery: Dec 2014
$ 60 SCREAMING FIST of the FALCON: You will receive everything from the Sting of the Scorpion tier, however you will receive a print copy of Nefertiti Overdrive signed by the author with a personalized message. This tier is limited to the US and Canada, and the pledge level includes postage for Canada or the continental USA. For international backers, please contact the creator to discuss worldwide shipping. Estimated delivery: Jan 2015
$ 125 STUNNING ROAR of the LION: You will receive everything from the Screaming Fist of the Falcon tier, and you will be included in a scenario creation session using Nefertiti Overdrive's campaign creation rules and a game session based in the campaign created. This tier is limited to the US and Canada, and the pledge level includes postage for Canada or the continental USA. For international backers, please contact the creator to discuss worldwide shipping. The sessions will occur over Google Hangouts and each will last a minimum of four hours. Limit of 12. Estimated delivery: Jan 2015
$ 250 SOARING TALON of the PHOENIX: You will receive everything from the Stunning Road of the Lion tier, and you will act as a model for one of the alternate character portraits. This tier is limited to the US and Canada, and the pledge level includes postage for Canada or the continental USA. For international backers, please contact the creator to discuss worldwide shipping. Limit of 7. Estimated delivery: Jan 2015
If you are interested in the other games I've written, this is your chance to get them cheap. Each game listed below includes a price. Add the total amount for the games in which you are interested to your pledge at Acolyte of the Scarab and above, and then message me through Kickstarter or at firstname.lastname@example.org indicating which games you would like. Print prices include the PDF.
After the project is funded, I will be sending discount codes for the PDFs through Drive Thru RPG as well as PDF copies directly by email. The Drive Thru RPG copies will ensure that should any of the games be updated, you will have access to that update.
Print copies are available in Canada and the continental USA. If you are outside of these regions, I am still happy to send print copies, but I'm afraid you will need to cover the shipping, and it can be expensive.
Sword Noir: A Role-playing Game of Hardboiled Sword & Sorcery. $3.50 PDF, $15.00 Print. As the name implies, Sword Noir is inspired by the novels and stories of Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Robert E Howard, and Fritz Leiber. It's Conan seeking for the Maltese Falcon, it's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser in the Big Sleep, set in Lankhmar, it's hardboiled crime fiction in the worlds of sword & sorcery. You can learn more about Sword Noir here.
Kiss My Axe: Thirteen Warriors and an Angel of Death. $3.00 PDF. $12.00 Print. Kiss My Axe is the grandfather of Nefertiti Overdrive. This was the first game in which high octane, cinematic action was hardcoded into the system. Kiss My Axe is a role-playing game of Viking adventure, focused more on the heroics of the sagas than the violence inflicted upon innocents. You can learn more about Kiss My Axe here.
Centurion: Legionaries of Rome. $5.50 PDF. $19.50 Print. This was my first Kickstarter. In Centurion, players play scouts, spies, or special troops marching under the eagle of Rome. The book supports games in the Late Republic (from the Second Punic War to the rise of Gaius Marius), the Civil Wars (from Marius to Augustus), the Principate (from Augustus to the Crisis of the Third Century) and the Third Century, when order collapsed, warlords rose, and the Empire divided, providing ideas for characters and adventures. You can learn more about Centurion here or at the Kickstarter page.
Risks and challenges
The greatest risk of any Kickstarter – as any backer of Kickstarter is bound to learn – is delay. Delays can easily happen, especially when one is reliant upon others to provide parts of or support for one's project. I cannot promise that I can deliver on time, however the dates provided are based on my experiences with my successful Centurion: Legionaries of Rome Kickstarter. If I can get rewards to you sooner, I will, but I am confident that the target date is practical, and delays will be minimal. I will be communicating with you as milestones are met or missed so you will have visibility on the onward movement of the project.
Certain key parts of the project – art, maps, editing – are being undertaken by third parties, so there is always the possibility of failure at some point. Failure of any of these will result in delays, possibly substantial delays. I promise to be open about problems I encounter, letting you know if we have a problem, how it is being addressed, and updating the due date.
International shipping is always an issue. International orders will be printed and shipped by Lightning Source, the print provider for Drive Thru RPG, which has an international presence and can ship internationally more efficiently than other providers. This does not mean that shipping will be without a hiccup. All shipping is problematic – as anyone who has used a postal system to send something domestically or internationally knows – but I will work with backers who encounter shipping problems until we reach a satisfactory solution.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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