Ultimum - Tabletop RPG (Canceled)
Ultimum is a Tabletop RPG that pushes the boundaries of the industry with full online and mobile device capability and support.
What is Ultimum?
Ultimum is an idea eighteen years in the making. Ever since I started playing Warcraft on my 486 PC at 9600 baud, I have wondered why tabletop role-playing games could not be played online. Today, with the prolific play of online video game RPGs, there is still no game that simulates a table-top experience. We believe the tabletop role-playing game industry has remained stagnant in the face of fantastic new technologies such as tablets, smartphones and laptops.
At its heart, Ultimum is a role-playing game, and yet so much more. Ultimum is a rich science-fiction story with unique races and characters, many of whom have not been seen in a role-playing game before. It is built on a foundation of dramatic lore, designed to immerse and emotionally connect the player to the setting. Through the course of the the story and setting, players will see humanity at its best, worst and in between and ultimately decide which of those directions the world's sentient races lean. Our cinematic trailer conveys a sense of the scale, tragedy and heroics in the story.
How is Ultimum Played?
There are multiple ways to play Ultimum. First, the player can use the game book to play Ultimum at a table, rolling dice, moving miniatures and playing through a story designed by the storyteller or game master.
Second, players will have Apps available to them for smartphones, tablets and Laptops/PCs to act as game aides for the players and contain a level of polish that evokes immersion to the game and a not distraction.
Three, Ultimum can be taken online and played with people in an MMORPG/Sandbox setting. Unlike traditional MMORPGs that are built on tedious tasks, designed in a world of invisible walls and complex statistical algorithms, Ultimum is the simple, core experience of friends sitting around a table, real or virtual, rolling dice together and playing a game where they don't just build characters, they build worlds...and guns, lots of guns.
The Online setting will consist of a main server list that is user friendly, allowing players to quickly locate the online game they are invited to, or to view a list of games that are looking for more players to join, effectively creating a "Looking for Group" listing. This will help players find a game without having to look at forums posts on websites that are months old. We want everyone who wants to play Ultimum to have access to it. We also have plans to have one of our development team members host an online game for new players to introduce them to the rules and the setting so new players are not intimidated by joining other games without a deeper knowledge of the system. There will also be extensive videos on our Youtube channel explaining how to play.
Paperless Tabletop Gaming
We believe that tabletop role-playing games have been stagnant in how they have been delivered to players. Most games have no support for electronic devices and very few only have character generators and information databases. Ultimum will be seamlessly delivered through books and also Apps for all devices. These Apps will have the ability to give the players an immersive experience in character creation, leveling up, information, item creation and management, dice rolling and even combat.
Imagine a group of players in high school, playing a short session during lunch or a group of friends waiting in line to see a movie. All those players need are their smartphones, tablets or laptops. This small group would connect their devices to the Game Master’s host server and all functions of the game become electronic. The apps utilize an interactive dice roller, character sheet, initiative wheel and combat interface, all designed to be user friendly and keep the game feeling like a game. The Game Master can see what all of the other players are doing and each player can see the dice being rolled and the actions being taken as they are shared through the Game Master’s server. This feature promotes accessibility to players who are new to the genre or maybe don’t have the physical book, character sheets, miniatures or dice available to them. All you need is a tablet, laptop or smartphone and you have all the materials you need.
You Write the Story
When players purchase Ultimum, one of the first steps is to go to the Ultimum website and create an account. With an account, players will be able to upload the results of their tabletop Ultimum games to the website. The account holder will have a survey style questionnaire that gathers information from the player, such as: Where did the group spend their time in the world? What monsters did they kill? Where did they mine minerals? What kinds of items did they create? Which NPCs did they interact with? We pull this data and analyze it. We then trend that data to see where the majority of players are going and what they are doing and build future expansions from their actions.
There will also be modules for account holders to download, as well as special events to take part in at their tabletops or online. These special events may be dungeons or raid-style events, or political role-play style events they can move their players through. How players and groups progress through these events will determine the outcome of these events in the greater story. We are creating a way for players to genuinely contribute to the story they play in, rather than just feeding it to them. This creates an organic progression of the story and setting, driven by the players. To further enhance this experience, characters, settlements and equipment designed by players will have an opportunity to be made permanent in the main story. All of this happens on our main meta-server for which we progress Ultimum’s main story.
Create Your World
All of these ways to play, the book, the computer, the tablet, the phone, they can all be used to make Ultimum your world. We not only want players to have ownership of the Ultimum story, we want players to create it.
We recognize that not all Game Masters or players want to be restricted to a specific set of events or story elements. Therefore, we will also make independent servers from our main meta-server available for players to maintain their own worlds, apart from the main meta-server. Players can invite other game groups or players to play on their servers and help build their own Ultimum worlds. We took heavy inspiration from games such as Minecraft and No Man's Sky in developing this concept.There will even be an option for independent world owners to have their own stories and characters generated in their own hard cover, full color, Expansion books, printed exclusively for them.
Ultimum will be delivered internationally. We want Ultimum to be as accessible as possible, therefore, we will be paying for all International Shipping Fees out of our own pockets. Our Apps will support iTunes, Android and Windows devices. Ultimum's books will be sold in most game stores and book stores. Online account holders will be able to setup special delivery of the books automatically so that whenever a new book is ready for release, it is automatically shipped directly to the account holder.
Our rewards on the right hand side will allow you receive exclusive invitations to our book, app and online beta testing. We will also have early access to our products and ability to create characters and story elements for the game and be specially credited in physical materials and on our website. This game is for you and we want those who help make it a reality to have a heavy influence in its release. Finally, we will even have a special, one of kind backpack, designed around the Rapid Fabrication Device, arguably the most important piece of equipment in Ultimum.
We know that this is a bold and ambitious project that hasn’t been done before. We have spent our own money to hire artists and lay the groundwork for our app and web development, but we can’t do this alone. We need your help now, to bring Ultimum to life.
Thank you, deeply, for your donation
How Ultimum Works
Ultimum utilizes every die in the dice bag. The system is so different from other systems, it is difficult to explain it too much detail without showing the Beta Book PDF.
Ability Scores and Skills are represented by a die, not a statistic. When attempting to make a Skill Check, the player rolls the Skill Die and the associated Ability Die against the GM's (Or Opposing Player's) associated Skill and Ability Die. That's it. Just roll two dice, add them together, whoever rolls the highest wins the contest.
Each character gains a certain number of Ability, Skill and Health Points each level and also a Talent. Talents are unique to each Race and Class, giving a truly massive amount of combination possibilities.
Combat uses Skills for attacking and defending, thus using the straight forward resolution system to handle combat. Rather than taking simple turns back and forth, Ultimum opts for a more tactical approach. This tactical approach adds a speed to attacks, talents and movement based on an initial Initiative roll. This speed based combat is built on the realistic concepts taught for centuries in Tempo and Measure. Many of us are HEMA Scholars and combat Veterans and we are bringing that experience to Ultimum.
Equipment and Crafting
The Rapid Fabrication Device or RFD is assigned to one player in the group. The Player with the RFD scans each new environment once per scene (to keep the game flow moving forward) and collects minerals. These base minerals are then used to fabricate weapons, armor, items, etc. in a random fashion. This mechanic works similarly to Borderlands or Diablo. The RFD can also be upgraded to yield higher quality items as the players advance.
Ultimum's setting is a Science-Fiction Western style motif. The major cities have their fair share of politics and intrigue, but outside the cities, the world is unexplored frontier, perfect for sandbox style gameplay driven by a strong narrative.
Ultimum is rule-light, but heavy on individual customization and options. We will be debuting a single, Core Rulebook that will have all aspects of gameplay required, including rules for play, character creation, game mastering, story and setting, a modest bestiary and starter module: everything a player needs in one book. All of this information will also be available in our Applications available for all mobile devices and pc/laptops.
Books: $20,000 (Each Book has a rough cost of $20.00. We plan to print 1,000 books initially. Shipping is included in the cost per book. The Books will be approximately 200-250 pages depending on art.)
Mobile Apps: $15,000 (This includes art, server space, hosting, development and maintenance.)
Website: $35,000 (This includes art, server space, hosting, development and maintenance.)
Kickstarter 5%: $3,500 (This is Kickstarter's fee.)
Amazon 3%: $2,340 (Amazon Payments fee.)
Backer Rewards: $3,160 (Remainder amount for additional backer rewards and unforeseeable events.)
Current Stretch Goals
$90,000 - If we break $90,000, we will purchase our own 3D Printer and hire a 3D Modeller that we have begun negotiations with to begin producing unique, specific miniatures for Ultimum based on the races, classes and monster available. The miniature packages available will be an Essential Pack of the Player Races and Classes and a Monster Pack, adding the various, vicious fauna.
$100,000 - German, French, Spanish and Italian Language support and translation of all materials.
$110,000 - Russian and Eastern European Language support and translation for all materials.
$120,000 - Japanese, Korean and Chinese (Hong Kong, Cantonese and Mandarin) Language support and translation for all materials.
$130,000 - The next top three languages from supporting nations.
Kick it forward: If we make well over and beyond our goal, we will donate proceeds to other Kickstarter campaigns to keep the community kicking!
I am a business consultant by trade and have significant experience in writing process manuals, developing efficient business processes and project management. As we all know, tabletop RPG game books are colorful (and much more entertaining) instruction/process manuals.
Vlad is a talented artist with a solid portfolio of commission work. He can be searched on various site, including Deviantart.
The rest of the team has over a hundred years of tabletop gaming experience in multiple systems and genres. Our "Meet the Developers" video showcases more of our talents.
Risks and challenges
Our team has secured all the avenues of physical production we need to create the book and prepare it for release. Our art design is finished and our artist is drawing furiously. Our story development is near completion, we await our Kickstarter Backers to fill in some gaps!
Our largest obstacle comes from a development point of view for the Apps and Website. We are committed to providing a level of polish and excellence in our App and Website and there may be additional time required to give the finest possible experience for these avenues. However, whatever these delays are, we will be transparent with our Backers and give regular updates on progress and dates for Alpha and Beta testing.
We are set to open negotiations with several Miniature production companies to produce name-brand Miniatures for Ultimum, but we would like to do it ourselves. However, we would require additional funding for our own 3D Printers and Modellers.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (60 days)