Soulbound: Dark Industrial Fantasy
Soulbound is a dark, industrial role-playing game about wielding unique and powerful weapons to slay mythic beasts.
What is Soulbound?
Soulbound is a lore heavy, rules lite tabletop roleplaying game about wielding unique and powerful weapons to slay mythic beasts. The game is set in a late bloomed industrial age impeded by giant fauna and corrupted demigods. As soulbound wielders it is your duty to slay these monsters and protect the good folk of Solum. Soulbound is being made in the same style as its contemporaries, games like Dungeons and Dragons, World of Darkness, and Call of Cthulhu. What sets the game apart from so many others of its kind are the soulbound weapons, also known as bonds, that are created in conjunction with the player's characters. As Thor had Mjolnir, as Arthur had Excalibur, Soulbound allows each player to begin the game with a magic weapon bound to their soul.
These weapons can be randomly generated by rolling dice or via our online program. With 3 different build types, 100 weapons, and 60 powers there exist countless combinations. These weapons gain new arcane powers and receive industrial upgrades to grow in strength alongside their character.
You can generate a weapon on our website right now.
Your adventure begins on the plane of Solum, a violent and untamed land. This is a realm of mystery and wonder, home to timeless ruins, sprawling landscapes, and dark refuges left untouched by any human. Nations are plagued by giant flora and fauna. Mutated beasts that hide behind bone masks, known as deceivers, terrorize entire populations. Legends tell of corrupted shapeshifters, Akuma, that walk among men. Cities must construct towering walls to defend against such nightmares, but within these walls there is still hope yet.
The land of Solum is divided into six major nations, but many of its peaks and valleys remain untouched by man. Although these nations set boundaries and claim territory, they will seldom offer protection to those who venture too far from city walls. Below is a brief description of each of these nations...
- PRIMIUM - A vast and powerful theocracy which supports itself through agriculture. Primium is a simple land that consists of wide plains, arid grasslands, and lowland forests. It cities are often built near plateaus and rivers for defense. This nation is ruled by the Church of Des Natus, an organization which dates back to the beginning of man.
- UHYRE - A woodland empire that places the highest value on companionship and honor. Social life in Uhyre is dictated by totem pole, with each animal being assigned a value and rank. This is a land of alpine woods, dense swamps, and green meadows.
- AGREWIN - An island nation which must suffer brutal conditions to mine for precious resources. Agrewin hosts jagged peaks, frozen tundras, and a sprawling cave system. The citizens here endure such a lifestyle for the rewards it brings.
- QRAY RALIM - A desert nation that lies at the heart of Solum. Qray Ralim is best known for its researchers and scholars, both those who study the arcane and physical sciences. Railways stretch across this nation, connecting its many disjointed cities.
- RAJAN - A nation, built high in the mountains, which has been locked in a restless civil war for centuries. The Akasa and Dragana clans are each known for their ritualistic, almost fanatical, worship of the flying deceivers which inhabit Rajan. Cities here are built atop stone peaks or within the rock itself.
- SOZO - A tropical nation which prides itself on might over brains. In Sozo, political gain and prestige is earned through strength in combat alone. This land is known for its rain forests, open marshes, and countless islands.
How to Play
Soulbound is designed to be a rules lite game, focusing on content and world building instead of numbers and spread sheets. This means it should be easy to pick up but not lacking in depth. The game itself is played using six-sided dice. When taking actions in or out of combat players will roll varying amounts of dice, with fives and sixes counting as successes. In combat players must manage their Action Tokens, or AT. Attacking, defending, and moving all consume AT, forcing players to always think a few steps ahead. Attacking too often or too hastily will leave units vulnerable, making teamwork a key component.
Rather than a traditional system of classes Soulbound gives the player several options to advance their character in different ways. In addition to bonuses provided for leveling up, characters will be able to improve through arcane or industrial boons. The arcane advancements are as follows...
- ARCANE POWERS - A soulbound weapon's powers are its innate, defining abilities. These are potent spells which require concentration. Because of their strength they should be used sparingly. Arcane Powers are gained or improved when a wielder kills anything that has been infected by corruption.
- ARCANE TRICKS - Tricks are simple magic effects that a wielder learns through practice. These abilities can be used liberally as they pose little chance of failure. Players choose their own tricks as they level, allowing them to wield their weapon in unique ways.
- VILIS CORONUM - A vile mutation which may affect wielders after slaying an Akuma. This disease is magical corruption that manifests as a twisted headpiece atop the wielder. Vilis Coronum gifts the afflicted with unthinkable power, but not without a price. Any wielder who becomes too corrupted by this mutation will grow feral, likely to be hunted down by the very people they fought for.
- INDUSTRIAL UPGRADES - Characters may outfit their weapons with a wide array of technologies to assist during combat and travel. This could as simple as a hidden compartment in a sword's hilt or as complex as a mechanized chain blade.
- SUPPLY ITEMS - By joining a hunting house characters gain access to items designed specifically for adventurers and wielders. The House of Battle, Scouting, and Occult each have their own roles which later graduate into specialized hunting schools.
- LAYERED ARMOR - Player are allowed to mix and and match in Soulbound by layering their armor. Armor stats are divided into Slashing, Impact, Piercing, and Elemental resistances. A blend of industrial fashions and traditional armor allows for complete flexibility.
Beyond the Walls
Solum is land rife with danger, and anyone venturing too far from city walls should prepare for trouble. As players move further from civilization they will encounter more bizarre, more supernatural horrors. Below are the primary of dangers that players will confront in Soulbound...
- DECEIVERS - Deceivers are the common, and seemingly endless, opponent of humanity. These beasts appear in all shapes and varieties, with a patterned bone mask being their unifying trait. Under this mask lies one or several disgusting, humanoid faces. Deceivers affect the daily lives of every man and women across Solum. Much of the Hunting House's technology is designed to combat this perpetual threat in effective ways.
- AKUMA - These ancient shapeshifters are made from the very essence of Solum itself. Long ago the Akuma lived in peace and their civilizations spanned the world. As Solum became afflicted with corruption, so too did these supernatural beings. The Akuma fell from grace and now roam the land as twisted, monstrous avatars of their affliction. Akuma hold the ability to change their appearance and blend in among mortal men as well as the ability to possess lesser beings. Due to these otherworldly gifts and their devilish cunning Akuma are humanities greatest threat.
- CORRUPTION - Ages ago Solum's purity was tainted by an ethereal corruption. Its positive qualities, such as Creation and Life, were twisted into the dark magics of Ruin and Decay. This caused the fall of the Akuma and produced humans to wield soulbound weapons. This infection now spreads across the land of Solum, acting like a disease. Corruption, and all things arcane, are generated from either Akuma or wielders. Akuma may corrupt lesser beings such as deceivers, humans, animals, and even the land around them. Wielders may accidentally create haunts when using powers. These cat-sized abominations sow corruption on anyone or anything they can. Knowing the various strains of corruption can prove invaluable when exploring out in the field.
- AND EVERYTHING ELSE... - In addition to these horrors players will be exposed to the typical dangers of a lawless, unexplored land. Bandits watch the roads, stealing goods from corpses. Weather conditions are brutal and subject to change suddenly. Cults hide in the shadows, pushing their sinister objectives. Feral animals grow to unthinkable sizes. Life is difficult in the land of Solum, even for those who do not gaze into the abyss.
Below are a few animated examples of what a soulbound weapon, or bond, could be. Sample weapons for the Master Pledge will appear similar to these, but they will not be animated.
Risks and challenges
Soulbound is our first major project so it is to be expected that we will encounter difficulties along the way. That being said, we are dedicated to working through all obstacles to deliver the best possible product. Assembling the book into a coherent work will present the greatest challenge to us. The game is already playable and much of its content is complete, but polishing this content will take time. We are already in contact with graphic designers and editors who will be able to help transform this into a final product. Additionally, the game's balancing is expected to take some time. We would like the numbers to be as fair as possible for a tabletop game. With all of this in mind we hope to create the best possible experience for our players.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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