Zero Hour is a survival horror game for 2-6 players. Players take turns competing against one another to see who will last from midnight to sunrise. Each player must keep their children alive and stay ahead of the deadly creatures of the night.
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Additional strategy layers will be added to the core system after PnP testing and balancing in September of this year.
Zero Hour will get even darker in 2014 with the introduction of an core game expansion (adult player characters,) 3-4 Additional Exploration Decks and a Zero Hour storybook.
Players choose 5 random cards from the deck of 30 children and assemble their survivors. Each child card displays the child's name, age, sanity level and "end game" point value. Your goal is to keep as many children alive and as sane as possible by sunrise. Survival is key and differs from child to child. Some kids are young and low on sanity, while others may have increased sanity due to age or street smarts. Each child card contains a simple descriptive term like Bully, Class Clown, or Doll to give insight into each child and add flavor to the core game.
In addition to the regular children, 5 gifted children hidden in the player deck. These gifted children are not only high in sanity but have special abilities that can change the outcome of the game. These abilities include the power to absorb a creature’s damage, evade enemy attacks and even pass damage meant for you onto your opponent's survivors.
The deep dark woods are host to a variety of dangers your children may encounter. Sometimes they are abstract shapes and sounds that serve only to frighten, while other times, deadly creatures will reveal themselves to the player. The player will encounter many different creatures throughout their experiences playing Zero Hour. Each creature Exploration Deck features a unique story line with specific locations, clues, items, personalities and a central figure designed for that game.
Every turn is an opportunity for each child to face their fears exploring the woods around them. Anytime a child is exposed to the creatures of the night he or she risks losing sanity. Once a child's sanity is reduced to zero, it is lost to the darkness, though an attempt can be made to retrieve the lost child the following turn. Gifted children can alter the attacks and damage caused by various creatures. The Gifted can also increase your chances of retrieving lost children.
The goal of Zero Hour is for as many children as possible to survive from midnight until dawn. Each round a card from the Zero Hour deck is flipped over, advancing time forward by one hour. At sunrise, each player totals the point values of their surviving children plus their total remaining sanity (and special point cards in the Deluxe game) and the player with the highest point total wins.
The Zero Hour Standard boxed game contains the following:
- 30 children cards (including 5 gifted)
- 30 sanity cards,
- 7 Zero Hour clock cards
- 1 event die
- 1 damage die
- 1 outcome die
- rules booklet
The Zero Hour Deluxe edition includes everything in the Standard game as well as:
- 100-card "The Rake" exploration deck
- 100 sanity tokens
- 3 Additional Zero Hour Clock Cards
The Standard game is a dice-based game that focuses on delivering a tension-based experience of keeping your children alive while being pursued by a malevolent forces in the woods. Children run screaming as eerie sounds are heard, shadows shift around them as they make their way through difficult terrain, sometimes snared by the living forest. Other times they watch their friends and classmates disappear right in front of their very eyes!
Players roll the event die for each of the five children in their hand. This die is used to determine what a particular child experiences...it could be a creature attacking them, a noise made by some unknown horror, or glimpse of a form that sends shivers up their spine. It may also be a period of safe passage through the woods without incident.
If a creature is encountered, the damage die determines how much sanity damage that child suffers at the hands of the creature. However, a child still has the opportunity to break free from the creature’s influence by rolling the outcome die.
After all of your survivors have faced their fears (and many have lost some sanity as a result), the other players repeat the process for their own children. At the end of the round, the next Zero Hour clock card is revealed, bringing the game an hour closer to dawn. If any of your children survive until 6 am, the points and remaining sanity of the children are tallied and the player with the highest total wins.
The Standard game is a stat-based dice game that requires you to perform tests to determine your outcome. That outcome largely depends on your ability to escape, as well as the sanity level of each particular child. These gifted children are similar to buffs/de-buffs by adding both offense and defensive bonuses to game-play. In addition, a child must be used to rescue a lost child and that involves risk that can take further sanity.
Much of the strategy of the Standard game focuses on using your Gifted to keep the youngest children alive since they are worth more towards your end game point value. That is difficult because every time a Gift is used, sanity is consumed. You are also managing your rescue attempts so your chances of success are greater.
Deluxe (or Advanced) game:
The Deluxe Game is a card-driven game, with a few significant differences. Sanity counters replace cards and make it easier to keep track of your survivors’ sanity levels. Mostly important the Deluxe game comes with a 100 card exploration deck, and each card in the deck contains atmospheric details and potentially deadly brushes with the forces of evil including an encounter with The Rake himself. These deck is filled with clues, background information, allies and enemies. It's organic nature ensures that will never experience the same game twice!
The Deluxe game is a storytelling experience that focuses on atmosphere, but it also adds a level of strategy by introducing cards that not only allow you to experience unique events but add an equipment mechanic into the game. These cards not only count toward the end game point value but add complexity to the game. These additional cards improve your chances of survival and by giving you useful items (lanterns, flashlights, flare-guns, torches..etc) and artifacts (totems, talismans, old tomes) There are also cursed items that are worth a great deal but can affect you in a negative way. Let's say in you've picked up an ally, an item and an artifact. The ally you've picked up happens to be a distraught father looking for his missing boy. This man can be used as a shield for creature damage, while the lantern (item) allows you to re-roll the creature damage die if need be. A crudely carved figure (artifact) can used against shadow minions and if it's successful, it draws their negative energy and traps them in the totem. There is always a chance that you are unsuccessful as well and if that is the case, the shadows redirect themselves onto the next player group.
The Exploration Deck are what makes the Deluxe Zero Hour game unique, providing an in-depth, atmospheric storytelling experience. Each child is moving with their fellow survivors through the woods (or other determined location) and drawing exploration cards that describe random occurrences. These occurrences may requires dice rolling to determine the outcome and allow the child to continue moving forward. The cards are unique to the particular creature you are facing (such as The Rake) and might detail locations specific to that creature, artifacts, clues, hazards that are natural or location based, and bits of back story and history of whatever malevolent force you are facing. Some of these cards will be the creature and its minions that seeking to damage your mind and body directly. In the Deluxe game, certain locations and artifacts have point values. These card are retained by the player that find them and the points values are added to that players total to determine the winner.
Each exploration deck contains 90-100 cards in the following catagories:
- Background and History
- Natural Hazard
- Structural Hazard
- Major Creature Threat
- Minor Creature Threat
- Audio Experience
- Visual Experience
- Safe Zone
- Sanity Regained
We are producing a limited run of 300 plush toys of The Pale One. The doll is is 32" and weighs a little less than a pound. He is created from the finest quality materials. Each doll will be signed and numbered.
Each of these Creature Exploration Decks are made up of 100+ cards. Each deck represents a stand alone encounter with a new creature and includes unique locations, minions, allies, items, artifacts, clues, hazards, safe zones and background information. These decks can be combined for endless game play possibilities.
Add On Prints:
The talented Edward Pun has created a number of Zero Hour illustrations for the Zero Hour campaign. The first 3 are available with more to follow in the coming weeks.
PRINT X "The Mothman"
by Edward Pun (Special add on for $13)
PRINT Y "The Jersey Devil"
by Edward Pun (Special add on for $13)
PRINT Z "The Pale One"
by Edward Pun (Special add on for $13)
PRINT 0 "The White Lady"
3 Pack Creature Print Bundle! (Get all 3 for $35)
4 Pack Creature Print Bundle! (Get all 4 for $45)
13K Custom Dice! (custom printed symbol dice to replace the standard D6-Free for both Standard and Deluxe games)
15k Sanity Counters (die cut sanity counters to take the place of cards-Free to all Deluxe game pledges!)
17k Black Aggie Exploration Deck (Free to Pledges of $70 or more! $7.00 advance game exploration deck for depth, variation and additional minor creatures--Kickstarter Exclusive)
20K Hellhound Exploration Deck ($7.00 advance game exploration deck for depth, variation and additional minor creatures--Kickstarter Exclusive)
25K Bloody Mary Exploration Deck ($7.00 advance game exploration deck for depth, variation and additional minor creatures--Kickstarter Exclusive)
27K Free Mothman Mini Pack 10 card pack for use with existing exploration decks (exclusive for deluxe game level pledges of $30 or more)
30k Free Digital Soundscape Custom Soundtrack designed for Zero Hour! (Free unlock to all deluxe game reward levels)
30K Wendigo Exploration Deck ($7.00 add on for depth, variation and additional minor creatures)
32K Free Jersey Devil Mini Pack 10 card pack for use with existing exploration decks (exclusive for deluxe game level pledges of $30 or more)
35K The Bodyfinder Exploration Deck ($7.00 add on for depth, variation and additional minor creatures)
37K Free Weather Effects Mini Pack 10 card pack for use with existing exploration decks (exclusive for Deluxe game level pledges of $30 or more)
40k The Pale One Exploration Deck ($7.00 add on for depth, variation and additional minor creatures--Kickstarter exclusive)
40K Free Vargulf Exploration Deck (For pledges of $21--3 or more decks...$7.00 add on for depth, variation and additional minor creatures)
42K Free Extra Children Mini Pack 10 card pack for use with the base game player deck (exclusive for deluxe game level pledges of $30 or more)
45K Free Extra Gifted Children Mini Pack 6 card pack for use with existing exploration decks (exclusive for deluxe game level pledges of $30 or more)
47K Free White Lady Mini Pack 10 card pack for use with existing exploration decks (exclusive for deluxe game level pledges of $30 or more)
50K Custom Metal Dice The custom dice you see pictured here, but awesomely cast in bronze and stainless steel! Add-on for $50
Final 48 Hour Unlocks!
58K Hellhouse - $7 Add On
60K The Lady of the Wood - Free Mini-Pack
63K The Drowned Boys - $7 Add On
65K Beast of Bray Road - Free Mini-Pack
67K The Night Watchman - $7 Add On
69k The Loveland Frogmen - Free Mini Pack
*In order to add an unlocked add-on, click on "manage pledge" at the top of the page and add the additional cost of the add-on. No additional shipping charges will be required for the exploration decks listed above.
The school bus sat waiting in front of the fairgrounds. Children from all parts of Harlington County were excited to start their trip and eager to see the Blue Mountain Campground on its opening weekend. It was late evening when the Mayor wished the kids luck as they rose from their picnic tables, hurriedly shoving bits of cake into their mouths as they climbed aboard the old school bus. Songs and the laughter filled the first few hours when one of the children called out, "I just saw something white crouched over on the side of the road ahead of us!" As the children strained their eyes to see into the darkness, tree limbs burst through the windows, propelling tiny glass fragments threw the air into the soft flesh of the children. Metal groaned and screeched as the bus pitched over onto its side, sliding into a ditch on the edge of the road. Screams echoed inside the bus as the children began moving and freeing themselves from the wreckage. The driver lay dead against the wheel. It was almost midnight, and the children were alone in a frightening forest filled with danger. It would be hours before anyone would even begin looking for them...
Zero Hour contains many story branches that will allow your characters to experience unique and horrifying adventures. Whether you begin your adventure by boat, train or bus, the Deluxe game's many unique intro stories will set the mood for spine-tingling thrills to come.
The Pale One
The Pale One is unnaturally tall, with long tentacle-like limbs that seem to grow and shrink on command. He blends in easily with trees and can hide in plain sight. Legend says The Pale One kidnaps children, hypnotizing them with the movement of his limbs so they are unable to run away. No one knows what happens to the children after they are captured. Small bits of clothing are all that remains.
Eyewitness descriptions of The Pale One vary, but certain traits are described consistently. He is very methodical, stalking his targets for years at a time and torturing them mentally. His motives are unclear, as almost everything about The Pale One remains a mystery.
Although his appearance is variable, he was most recently observed in the guise of a very tall, faceless human with abnormally long arms wearing a business suit. It’s possible that the “suit” was actually modified skin. Catching sight of The Pale One provokes a wide range of responses, with fear being the most common. It’s possible that we are simply incapable of perceiving his true form.
Willow Creek locals tell tales of a hooded figure wandering the grounds of the old monastery wearing a heavy gray robe that obscured the form beneath. Several people have reported hearing the cries of an elderly woman right before stumbling across the figure they have dubbed “Black Aggie,” after a placard discovered near the base of the chapel reading, “Agnes, may her soul be at rest at St. Christopher’s.” At least one person claims that a statue of Agnes once graced the overgrown grounds.
Very few townspeople have gotten close enough to describe Black Aggie in detail, other than William Miller, a local boy. Billy was heading home from fishing one afternoon when he decided to take a shortcut through the old monastery. He heard a low moan from inside the crumbled walls of St. Christopher’s. Following the sound almost against his will, he spotted Black Agnes moving slowly toward him, her feet skimming the ground and her cloak moving behind her as if possessed by an eerie wind. As she drew near, the sky darkened and Billy saw a red glow spilling from under her hood. He stood transfixed for an endless moment before finally breaking free…
The highlands of Yorkshire are home to a creature resembling a large, black dog. The locals call it the “Hellhound" and believe it is a messenger of death.
In one well-known account, a number of years ago a local doctor described seeing "a dark and massively built animal” on his way home one evening. He reported that the creature kept pace with his horse for many miles before disappearing over a ridgeline. A few days later, one of the town elders became ill, and the doctor was called to the patient’s home. After securing his horse, he heard heavy breathing and the cracking of branches as something massive approached him from behind. He wheeled around and came face to face with the Hellhound, moving toward him menacingly, eyes ablaze with fire. Badly shaken, the doctor escaped inside and, hearing his story, all present decided to stay the night and not to venture out again till morning.
Only six days later, a neighbor discovered the body of the doctor a few hundred yards from his front door. The doctor's gnarled hands clutched his chest and his face was frozen in terror.
Mary Worth was a popular young girl renowned far and wide for her extraordinary beauty, but so vain she spent hours staring at her own reflection. Sadly, a tragic accident disfigured her permanently, leaving her friendless and living like a hermit, having smashed all the mirrors in her rundown home.
Years later, a wealthy family was holding a dinner party for their teenage daughter Christine and her friends. Late in the evening, the girls began playing a party game involving holding a mirror and a candle while ascending a staircase backwards. Many girls believed that when they looked into the mirror, they would see the face of the man they would fall in love with. When it was Christine’s turn, she gripped the candle tightly, gingerly felt for the first step and started to climb. Gazing into the mirror, a vague shape came into view and she giggled. The face in the mirror was not the man of her dreams but Mary Worth, hair wet and bedraggled, face covered with blood, eyes empty black sockets, and mouth agape in an endless scream.
As Christine discovered, angry specters like Bloody Mary lie trapped between the worlds, feeding off the fear of those who are foolish enough to stare into their world.
The Peters family was new in town and not fitting in very well with the locals that had been in this area for generations. Some of these people were Indian, others the children and grandchildren of some of the early frontier men and women.
James Peters and his family had relocated from the city to manage the road project he had told the townspeople would be called "The Interstate." This was an issue, for these roads cut through sacred lands and the people of Black Rock were up in arms. The local elders warned him of angering the spirits and that the Wendigo, a shape-shifting demon inhabiting the world of the living and the dead, would manifest itself if he were not careful. Jame ignored this warning and months went by without incident. The locals began to see and hear things they could not explain. Even a man from his own road crew had an encounter with something he said looked a bit like a deer, but moved like a man. James chuckled heartily to himself and recounted the tale to everyone within earshot while spending a few hours at his local watering hole one evening. It was nearing midnight when James decided to finish his drink and start the walk home. The sky was clear that evening and the rock formations in the distance framed out the night sky from all angles. He was close to home when he passed a stretch of interstate he was overseeing, when he spotted the dim glow of one of the generators. As he leaned in to shut the machine down, a low cry that sounded almost human could be heard echoing off the rock. James could feel the hair on the back of neck standing on end when he heard another sound, but this time it was nearby. The sound was similar to something popping or bubbling and he thought to himself of the times which he would make stew for the family, setting it simmer slowly. With that thought, he came around the rock outcropping to find the body of a man hanging upside down from a lone Cyprus tree. The man had been eviscerated. Straining he could make out a small figure crouching under the body. The figure's jaw was working feverishly and its entire body was covered in blood. As James began to step back from the scene before him, the figure rose up, its body convulsing as tufts of fur and bone begin erupting across its surface. What happened from that moment on took James many months to recall.
Eventually he stated that something pursued him, toying with him for almost 2 miles, sometimes moving behind him in the form of a man, at other times he stated it would be down on all fours running the ridge alongside him and snapping its jaws methodically. His wife found him early the next morning, in the back of their home screaming and swinging a hatchet at anyone who approached.
For years his name was whispered on the tongues of both young and old. The older ones had been speaking of his deeds for generations. He was referred to as "The Bodyfinder," and the older kids spent countless hours telling the little ones of the man in the thick wool coat seen on dark nights, dragging a heavy sack along winding roads. Now, exactly what was in those sacks was the discussion among many of the townsfolk and out of all that chatter, only one of them would find out.
His name was Elliot Snow and he was a delivery boy for one of the local grocers in town fetching supplies and moving them to their destinations by bicycle. Late one fall evening, he headed out with a load meant for the men of the old lumber mill. He'd almost made it when a heavy storm hit and flooded the road with continuous rain. Elliot was moving down main street on his bicycle when he spotted a cluster of dense trees hanging over a nearby side street. He pulled his bike off the main road onto the side street hoping to get out of the rain, when he noticed a man on the side of the road dragging something behind him. The boy adjusted his speed coming alongside the man and called out "hello," thinking he had come across one of he workers from the mill headed home. The man was dressed in a thick coat and Elliott was able to see that something was wrong with his skin and features of the man. His skin appeared to drip a dark oily substance that had stained the parts of the coat in contact with his head and hands. Elliott's "Hello" had elicited a strong reaction and the man jerked his body around to face him. This motion upset the man's grip on the bag, opening it up and spilling its contents onto the wet road. Human limbs lay strewn about but the man paid them no heed, instead focusing on the boy. Elliott let out a scream and dropped the contents of his bag before him as he veered his bicycle away and toward the main road. "The Bodyfinder" stood waiting on the road as Elliott turned back one last time to see the creature fade into the night.
PRINT #1 "Finder's Keepers"
Artist: Brenden Wilson
PRINT #2 "Search Party "
Artist: Denae Wilkowski
Detail of "Search Party"
PRINT #3 "Come to Me"
Artist: Santiago Germano
11x14 print is limited to 77 and will be signed and numbered.
Nevermore Toys is the creator of Legendary Monsters, a line of collectible toys based on urban legend and folklore.
For more information about Nevermore toys and Legendary Monsters please contact R. Todd Broadwater at www.nevermoretoys.com
And like Nevermore Toys on Facebook here:
Legendary Monsters series 1 will be available for purchase in October of 2013.
I wish to thank my friends and family and most of all my wife who has stood by me and supported me through the successes and failures of my artistic endeavors. Also, I wish to thank my three daughters who are so tightly intertwined in these experiences.
Zero Hour's 32" Pale One/Slender Man toy is being produced with the permission of Victor Surge-- the originator and man responsible for the initial photographs and writing behind Slender Man.
Risks and challenges
I want to take a moment to thank those of you that supported us on our "Legendary Monsters" Kickstarter campaign in April. We would not be here if not for your support and passion.
I want to take a moment to explain the state of "Legendary Monsters." All aspects of production are underway with the figures and packaging. Plus Fabrication is doing the casting and all packaging needs are being handled by Printing Blue. That means that the figures will not be returned to me until September 2013. When the final figures do return, they will need details painted and will need to be mailed to those that placed orders. That leaves me with many months of development time to create new products such as the "Slender Man 32" Plush" you see here, without impacting the "Legendary Monsters" toy line. "Slender Man 32" Plush" is being made by Gann Industries and once all orders are taken, I am "hands off" again until the dolls are complete which will take another 90 days. When "Slender Man" returns, the only step left is to ship him to your door. No painting or packing is needed. This is the "stagger effect" of product development where one product leaves and the previous one returns for final polish. This is how these product lines will be developed, maintained and shipped. If you have any questions or concerns please contact me directly.
R. Todd Broadwater
One final note, the artist and designer portions of my career have only been a part of what I do. The other aspects of the game and toy industry that I deal with on a daily basis come down to team management, resource management, scheduling, outsourcing, approval of art and design elements and disaster control. I'm not only an artist and designer, but a project manager for both industries. I say this to help explain how I've been able to take this concept from an idea in my head to the reality of a finished product.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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