A unique game combining steampunk and material from the works of H.P. Lovecraft, set on an alternate earth full of horror. Read more
This project was successfully funded on August 14, 2013.
About this project
We did it!
What is this Mechanika?
Mechanika: Empires of Blood and Steam is the first core rule book for the Xaos system. We at Xaos Publications have been working hard trying to bring a new system and a new gaming opportunity to the market.
Mechanika was designed to truly embrace the Steampunk horror genre, while at the same time incorporating Magical elements. Bringing them all together in a way that makes them feel genuine, and fully realized. Mechanika (indeed all the Xaos games), is also designed to deliver a rapid fire cinematic tabletop experience. We call this genre of tabletop gaming: Cinematic Roleplaying.
We accomplish this in a few different ways.
First, the system is designed to be easy to learn, with fewer types of dice in mind. Fewer types of dice means fewer types of rolls, fewer types of rolls means faster gameplay. All you need to play is a pair of percentile dice, and a set of FUDGE dice. This dice combination is simple, yet allows for a high level of customizability. It gives the game a system for varying degrees of success or failure. We have found that this ensures combat (whether social, mental, or physical), is quick, brutal, and rewarding.
Second, we give you all the tools to play what you want, how you want, from the very beginning. We have no classes or level system, resulting in an open ended free form development process, while still offering rich opportunities for character advancement. Character creation is deep and satisfying, with perks, flaws, bonds, back stories, and more customizability than you can shake a gas powered stick at. We want the characters you make to feel like they are the true stars of the game.
Thirdly, magic is magical and machina is amazing! In mechanika you have access to terrible and incredible powers through a force we call flux. We want it to be a truly spectacular thing to cast an incantation, or use a piece of artifice. But everything in Mechanika has a price, and the price can be dire indeed. Manipulation of flux can draw the attention of sinister beings and dark forces better left unmentioned, and unimagined. For this reason overusing these terrible powers can cause insanity, death, or worse. This gives your decisions weight and consequence; and makes success that much sweeter.
Finally, we want the characters to feel like they are more than just players in a story. We want the characters to help create that story. For that reason we have implemented a destiny system. Allowing player the ability to earn points for roleplaying the aspects of their characters that make them unique. These points can then be used to make live in-game changes. Anything from rerolling dice to completely altering the scene in a measurable way. This keeps the GM on his toes and makes the whole experience more engaging for everyone, and therefore, more fun!
Mechanika is about Steampunk and steampunk is about building anything and everything. We want to emphasize that creation process in every aspect. From magic, to machina, to monsters, we give you the tools to build practically anything you can imagine.
Take magic for instance. We give you 12 primary schools of incantation, With many specific abilities in each school. You can then mix and match spell effects, allowing you to create elaborate chained catastrophic effects on the fly as the situation dictates. Do you want to set an undead soldier on fire, teleport him into a group of his buddies and watch him explode? Yeah. You can do that.
Or take machina, our version of steampunk gadgets. We give you a system of templates and effects to work with and you do the rest! Want to build a steampunk set of ironman armor? How about a bunch of exploding clockwork spiders? Done and done.
Finally even our monsters are fully customizable. We give you a rich menagerie of terrible and dark creatures to choose from, and a full system of templates and conditions that can be quickly and easily hot swapped to allow for unpredictable and innovative encounters. All of this customization and cinematic experience would mean nothing if it didn't have a rich and interesting environment to live in. The world of Mechanika is that environment.
The game is set on an anachronistic Earth, following an alternate timeline filled with historical and fictional characters from throughout history. Mark Twain, Mr. Hyde, Rasputin, Queen Victoria, Vlad the Impaler, and Nichola Tesla. Just to name a few. Altered and augmented in dark and exciting ways, and given new roles in our new world.
We have reimagined Earths cultures and countries in a myriad of interesting ways, injecting them with a heavy dose of Lovecraft inspired cosmic horror and exciting high adventure, and We can't wait to show you our vision and give you the opportunity to be a part of the story.
Thank you for reading, we truly believe we have a fun and innovative experience here that will tailor itself well to both the new and experienced gamer.
From all of us here at Xaos Publishing. See you in Mechanika.
As we near our goal we wanted to let you all know that we've got plenty more to come beyond what we've already shared with you. We have a set of stretch goals that we will be adding to the project as we finalize the steps and challenges to bring these additions to you early. This is our love and our passion, every level we climb during this kickstarter allows us to pay for production, design and costs to make sure like our core rulebook we deliver quality products to you. Because good people deserve good games.
If we reach 125% funding ($4687.50), we will begin production on our first run of unique Mechanika Chessex dice sets. They will feature a Victorian style plus and minus side, as well as the Mechanika "Pentagear" logo for the blank side. Each set will have four fudge dice and one set of percentile dice. They will come in three colors: Old One Green, Rusted Metal, and Blazing Inferno. Stay tuned!
Here is the mock-up for our dice designs. This is just in white of course for the purpose of showcasing the look. We can't do the color swirls justice with the mock-up so we aren't showing those but as soon as they arrive from production we will take shots of them and add them to our site to check out.
Finish writing, clean-up, editing and page layout for "It Started at Innsmouth" Serial to be ready at game launch. Everyone who pledges at the 35$ rank or higher will receive a PDF copy of "It Started at Innsmouth" in addition to the ones already included.
Finish writing, clean-up, editing and page layout for "Enter Jack the Reaper" Serial to be ready at game launch. Everyone who pledges at the 35$ rank or higher will receive a PDF copy of "Enter Jack the Reaper" in addition to the ones already included.
Reaching 200% funded will move us into more promotion and exposure but more importantly more chances to connect with you. At the 200% mark being unlocked we will put in our registration orders to PAX Prime 2014 & GenCon 2014. We love getting to show off our work in person and run demos whenever we can; this is another chance to share what we created with you.
This stretch goal is a pretty fancy one if you ask us, and a manual labor of love. We have been making a new fancy set of GM screens to release into the wild. None of that cardboard stuff; rust, metal, expandable pouches, chalkboard panels, and best of all modular. More details in the updates section but suffice to say this stretch goal will let us pick up some machining tools to help speed up the production and save some skin on our hands.
Our final stretch goal will take you deep into the mysterious land of Bohemia. Once the three separate countries of Germany, Austria, and Poland, Bohemia, and its sturdy, but distrustful people wage an endless war against the undead armies of the Eclipse empire. With this stretch goal reached we will begin the development of the first "Gazetteer" from the world of Mechanika. "The Lands of Bohemia" This Gazetteer will offer 10 new perks, five additional flaws, one aberrant school, five unique artifice functions, and 20 powerful new spell effects. This is it Kickstarters, and thank you!
Risks and challenges
Please join us and help us bring this world to print. The kickstarter goal we have listed will help us finish and print the Mechanika core rule book, and get our virtual store and products up and running. We also intend to have a bi-monthly magazine and serial adventure available if we can get help from fans like you. Later days, and thank you for your pledge and/or feedback!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
Pledge $5 or more
Get your name in the credits of our core rule book as a contributer. Every pledge helps Mechanika get one step closer to reality.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $10 or more
Get a digital pre-release copy of the Mechanika: Empire of Blood and Steam core rule book a full 30 days before it is released to the general public and at a $5 savings.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $20 or more
A custom USB drive with the Mechanika logo containing a copy of Mechanika: Empire of Blood and Steam. (Shipping to addresses outside of the USA may require shipping fees)Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $25 or more
A digital copy of Mechanika: Empire of Blood and Steam, and a Mechanika t-shirt of your choice.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $35 or more
Receive a physical copy of Mechanika: Empire of Blood and Steam, signed by the authors and artist.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $45 or more
Receive one physical copy of Mechanika: Empires of Blood and Steam, signed by the authors and artist. As well as one .PDF copy of each of the adventure serials (The Search for Spring Heel Jack, and Enter the City of Spires), and one .PDF copy of the book to enjoy while you wait.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $50 or more
Get a physical copy of Mechanika: Empire of Blood and steam, signed by the authors and artist, and a Mechanika t-shirt of your choice.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $70 or more
15 backers All gone!
Recieve a hardcover copy of the Mechanika core rulebook. This will be a Victorian style hardback book, with a cloth hardcover binding. This is a limited edition hardback run, with only 25 being made. We will also send you one .PDF copy of each of the adventure serials (The Search for Spring Heel Jack, and Enter the City of Spires), and one .PDF copy of the book to enjoy while you wait. Please note, this is NOT a special edition copy.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $100 or more
Get a physical copy of Mechanika: Empire of Blood and Steam, signed by the authors and artist, a Mechanika t-shirt of your choice, and 4 Digital copies of Mechanika: Empire of Blood and Steam to share. You will also get both adventure serials: The Search for Spring Heeled Jack, and Enter the City of Spires, in digital form.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $150 or more
5 backers All gone!
Get a special edition physical copy of Mechanika: Empire of Blood and Steam, bound in a leather and gear cover and signed by the authors and artist,as well as a Mechanika t-shirt of your choiceEstimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $200 or more
3 backers All gone!
Back by popular demand! At this level you will recieve a special edition copy of the Mechanika core rulebook. This will be a handcrafted tome written on parchment style paper, signed by the authors and artist, and featuring a leather cover inlaid with gears. This edition does not include the named & numbered faceplate that the original 5 contain. You will also receive a Mechanika t-shirt. Due to the labor involved, these are the final three we will be able to offer. Hurry and pick up your special edition now because these will be going fast!Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $250 or more
2 backers Limited (8 left of 10)
Get a Hardback edition physical copy of Mechanika: Empire of Blood and Steam, and 4 standard physical copies of Mechanika: Empire of Blood and Steam, signed by the authors and artist,. You will also get both adventure serials: The Search for Spring Heeled Jack, and Enter the City of Spires, in digital form on the custom USB drive and 5 Mechanika t-shirts of your choice.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
- (40 days)