Vanguard is a sci-fi RPG for young and old gamers alike. The players take on the role of space-faring adventurers at the beginning of a galactic war. It is a story of personal, political and ecological adversity; of friendships tested by social and cultural differences; and heroism against a seemingly unstoppable force.
Designed to appeal to gamers of all ages (7+) and levels of experience, VANGUARD—Varmisk Fallen, draws on a wide range of inspirations: think of it as Wind in the Willows— meets MassEffect. However, it draws just as much from classics such as Robotech and Starblazers, Traveller, Mekton, HeavyGear and Cyberpunk2020; StarWars, Battlestar Galactica among others.
It is a heroic space opera that rewards teamwork and taking chances, with a depth of setting to inspire drama and conflict. Using simple mechanics and a modular design, VANGUARD—Varmisk Fallen, allows more advanced elements to come into play as newer gamers familiarise themselves with the concepts of roleplaying. Mathematics in the mechanics have been kept light, with only six-sided dice used and most statistics kept to single digits.
VANGUARD—Varmisk Fallen has been a year in production and game testing and is now reaching completion. The rules, setting and first two modules are complete, but there is still much to be done – and that’s where you come in.
This Kickstarter is to pay for professional editing and further artwork, to ensure the end result is a high-quality product.
The final product will take the form of two books:
Each book will be approximately 124 pages in length, with the core rule book containing everything needed to play and the expanded rule book providing a more sophisticated playing experience.
Large format (8”x11”, A4), in full-colour
Provided in digital (PDF) format
Also available as premium print soft- and hard-cover formats.
VANGUARD—Varmisk Fallen follows the story of a band of characters thrown into the turmoil of a galactic war against a previously unknown enemy.
The characters created by the players have established lives, friends, jobs, homes and plans, then their galaxy is rocked by the arrival of an alien race: the tanarii. The tanarii attack without warning, appearing out of warpspace and within hours destroy Varmisk city, capital of the Confederation, creating chaos throughout the galaxy.
Made up primarily of the varmint species– Badgerians, Hoppolites, Mausers, Molen and Nutwerks –the Confederation has been a driving force in space exploration and colonisation. Now the Confederation teeters on the brink of destruction: the ruling council was destroyed in the tanarii invasion along with the controlling government bodies, justice apparatus and Confederation military HQ. As news of the invasion by aliens spreads, the Confederation’s enemies see opportunity, ambitious bureaucrats seize the moment to elevate themselves and criminal elements assert themselves in the chaos.
The characters find themselves drawn into this chaos: will they act as champions of stability or seize upon the power vacuum left by the fall of the Confederation council and carve out their own empires?
Standing against them is more than just aliens. The pretador species, the varmints' natural enemies, continue their millennia-spanning war with the varmint while the once world-dominating reptyle species still plot and scheme from the vaulted crypts of their ziggurats. They remain hidden deep in the humid jungles of Arika, ever seeking a return to power.
The galaxy is also home to separatists, looking to free themselves from the bureaucratic agency of the Confederation: space pirates, slavers, space worms and more.
Ashen is the central planet, located in the Byos star system and home to the species of VANGUARD. With much of the surrounding galaxy yet to be explored, there is plenty of scope for adventures beyond the known systems. While the developed setting, star systems and planets provide a ready-made and vibrant gaming environment in which the characters can adventure.
Characters in VANGUARD take on the roles of active members of Confederation society: Athletes, Doctors, Scientists, Soldiers, Pilots, Engineers, Criminals, Hackers and Xenoscouts.
These vocations each start with their own equipment and gear; have their own talents and benefits. There are 16 unique vocations to choose from.
Characters can choose from a varied list of talents; special abilities that enhance a character – they are gifted and capable of amazing feats: an engineer designing new technology or a soldier ignoring wounds that would flatten anyone else.
The key design philosophies of VANGUARD:
Accessible to young and new gamers (easy to understand rules)
Players only have the information they need (minimalist character sheet)
Less time referring to the rule book (use of character–focused reference cards)
Modular to provide a gentle learning curve (expanded rules allow for growth of game sophistication)
Use of calculations and crunchy results minimised (system uses D6 dice pools and most statistics kept to single digits)
Provide guides and rules for interactive combat, hacking, social encounters,resource gathering and crafting
Use of colour and icons highlight mechanics and linked game aspects
What's so PAWESOME about VANGUARD?
Easy to learn and understand rules that are flexible enough to deal with almost any situation on the fly
Rules for Hacking and use of special abilities that work in-time with other rules, including combat; which means taking control of an opponent's computer, security droid or power armour can be as effective as shooting a laser rifle and as fast
Scope of the rules cover individual actions, vehicles and power armour as well as starship combat while maintaining continuity of mechanics - including damage so there are no different damage scales
Ability and benefits to success result in a linear outcome, which means less reliance on dice and more on character ability
Rewards for teamwork and risk taking; including the choice of when a character wants to chance a critical success or failure; or transferring luck from one character to another through sacrificing potential experience
Rules for the design of droids and starships
Want to know more? Then come on over to the VANGUARD G+ community and let's have a chat. The community has been active as long as the game has been in production which gives you a great opportunity to see how far it has come and how it has grown.
The focus of this Kickstarter is the production of the VANGUARD rule books. However we have exciting plans for the game if we exceed our goal.
We'll announce stretch goals as the Kickstarter progresses.
CINs and Notable Citizens
The confederation identification number (CIN) is used to identify not only the confederation's citizens, but also all individuals that come into official contact with the confederation (such as captured pretador pirates). Citizens are allocated a CIN at birth and it is linked with their DNA. The CIN is the primary form of authentication within confederation space and acts as a passport and bank account number.
All backers will be invited to enter a name, species and vocation to be added to a list of Notable Citizens and their CINs which will be included the core rules. Your own Notable Citizen is our way of saying thank you for being part of the game, but the list will also be a great GM resource from which to draw inspiration for NPCs.
$6,500 Unique Miniatures
VANGUARD has many unique characters and we'd like to bring some of those to life in 3D. We've been working on a selection throughout the year.
At this funding level we have the opportunity to produce a range of miniatures with a long running miniatures manufacturing company that trade internationally. We've already arranged for an initial test moulding and final mould that would comprise 11 character sculpts in both 30mm and 15mm in white metal.
One of the great things about choosing white metal over plastic or resin is that a much higher volume of miniatures can be produced. This in turn keeps the cost down and quality high.
As our sculpts are produced digitally we can offer the same range in the two most popular scales: 15mm and 30mm. In addition at the 30mm scale the models will be provided with separate limbs allowing for tailored posing. This also gives us the opportunity to produce additional parts for even more customisation of character models.
At the moment we’re completing a range of character models that represent the crew of the NIMBUS-6 from the first game module. These will be offered as a set or individually, along with the tanarii xolt commandos. The reason we’ve chosen these miniatures as the first batch is to complement the first two modules as well as provide a miniature representative of the five main player species.
Of the NIMBUS-6 Crew we have already completed sculpts for 6 out of the 7 characters as well as the tanarii xolt commandos. Below are picture representation of the crew and low-resolution prototypes of the tanarii xolt commandos and Olgun power armour.
With further funding we will expand the range to include other species, a range of droids, starships, vehicles and of course more MAULs and power armour! Because you can never have enough power armour. Some of the sculpts that we’ve already produced and would require little in the way of altering for production are below, shown in low-resolution prototype.
$10,000 Confederation Colonial Guide Book
An additional book detailing both standard colony setup and individual colony descriptions: from the contested mining fields of Sancrast and Fallon's Rest to the frontier of the Ghost-light system and the Clover nebula. Details of confederation military security and operating procedures will also be described.
This book will give the GM rules for establishing and running a colony or outpost, from initial scouting and foundation to terra-forming.
Risks and challenges
VANGUARD is not the first game we have produced, it will be the third major title, including the innovative FateStorm system and Shattered Moon setting available via DriveThru RPG
not to mention additional modules, supplements and convention material.
This shows that we have the skills in design, layout and print production to produce the books.
As the majority of the rules are already written, the first two modules to support the game already completed and game tested at numerous game conventions, and much of the rules already laid out in preparation to go to the printers we are confident in delivering the game in the timeline indicated in the reward descriptions.
The greatest threat to the project is from catastrophic computer failure or loss. This threat is mitigated by file backup procedures to a separate server and additional hardware on standby should it be required.
We have a number of artists ready to begin work and if one of them is unable to complete a commission we are confident that the work could be taken up by another member of the art team.
We do not foresee any other complications or threats to the completion of this project.
- (30 days)