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A 40th anniversary expansion for the world's first sci-fi RPG!
A 40th anniversary expansion for the world's first sci-fi RPG!
619 backers pledged $50,254 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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September 1: Thanks to everyone who helped support Epsilon City! What started as a hardcover is now a boxed hardcover with a ton foe extra content. Plus free dice, and special bonus items for the gold foil and leather-bound editions. Thanks for all the support!

If you missed the Kickstarter, make sure to pre-order from the Goodman Games online store!

The tiny speck of the first colonization starship moved sluggishly through the cold depths of space. There was much mankind didn’t know about the stars, and one of those mysterious effects slashed into the starship Warden 300 years ago. Now the ship drifts through the darkness, lost and in trouble. While many intelligences move about its decks, none of them work to help the starship find its way.

Generations later, you are a native on the starship Warden. As a true human, mutant, or robot, you fight to survive, unaware that the radiation-saturated world around you is in fact a starship, one of mankind’s greatest achievements. Can you uncover the secrets of the starship Warden and steer it back on course, or will you simply try to live another day?

In 1976, TSR published Metamorphosis Alpha, the very first sci-fi RPG!

In 2014, Goodman Games re-released Metamorphosis Alpha in a deluxe hardcover edition!

And now, for publication in 2016, Goodman Games brings you Epsilon City, the most significant expansion to Metamorphosis Alpha since its debut 40 years ago!

Somewhere, On The Starship Warden...

On a spaceship 50 miles long that launched with more than a million colonists, Epsilon City was the single largest habitation. It was filled with entertainment centers, apartments, and offices for all the people moving about the ship during the long voyage. The city was designed to be maintained by its own artificial intelligence (A.I.) and a special series of robots able to maintain areas of the city when breakdowns happened.

Epsilon City wasn’t even half full three hundred years ago, when the interstellar radiation cloud destroyed the people of the ship and turned 99% of them into piles of white ash. The city was wiped out. Now, three hundred years later things are vastly different in the city. The A.I. is insane and has an aggressive personality. The special robots have had to change or be destroyed, and have mutated much like the rest of the life on the ship. Wolfoid packs now inhabit many sections of the city and consider this metropolis their lair. And many more dangers lurk, hidden and waiting to be explored...

A Book 40 Years In The Making

2016 marks the 40th anniversary of Metamorphosis Alpha! In honor of this milestone, creator James M. Ward has authorized Goodman Games to publish Metamorphosis Alpha: Epsilon City. This huge expansion for the starship Warden is the biggest expansion for the original 1976 edition ever published!

Format: Epsilon City will be published as a deluxe hardcover. And, if we achieve enough stretch goals, this will be expanded into a boxed set!

The hardcover will utilize a traditional 8.5”x11” page size, and use a unique hidden spiral binding. This special format is uncommon in game publications and allows the book’s pages to lie flat even when completely opened. This makes the book extremely useful as a tabletop play aid. 

With your support we intend to incorporate several additional special features -- see below!

An example of spiral binding. Durable and stays flat!
An example of spiral binding. Durable and stays flat!

Content: The core content of the Epsilon City hardcover is as follows:

  • The Mutant and Situation Guide: Details on Epsilon City itself. This includes an overview of the city’s geography, random encounter tables, and an illustrated description of key locations, encounters and situations that players can encounter, and new equipment and mutations for players.
  • The Cyborg Archetype: This section is new player material, including the first-ever publication of the Cyborg archetype, an all-new character class for Metamorphosis Alpha players!
  • The City Blocks: The irradiated city blocks have been repopulated by humans, mutants, and worse! This section of the book details the strange factions that now occupy Epsilon City’s urban centers. Each of the vast original apartment complexes was created with a fun historical theme. The ship replicators still supply costumes and equipment suitable for that theme, even though the human residents were turned to ash three hundred years ago. Now, in the pirate-themed section of the city, Wolfoids communicate with the insane A.I. of the city and arm themselves with metal cutlasses and real blunderbuss pistols and rifles! Throughout Epsilon City are other strange mutant civilizations, living in the ship’s simulations of ancient Egypt, ancient Rome, the Vikings, American Indians, Aztecs, and other places. This section of the book describes these bizarre city blocks and their inhabitants.
  • The Maps: What good is a city book without many good maps? The core content will include at least three 11”x17” maps. Depending on stretch goals, we intend to expand the book to include more maps and potentially a large poster map.
  • The adventures: A series of complete, short adventures ready to play.

Size: Our goal is for the hardcover to be at least 128 pages. Depending on the success of this Kickstarter, it may be much larger!

Contributors: Mr. James M. Ward is the creator of Metamorphosis Alpha and a 40-year veteran of the gaming industry, with prior creative credits that include Gamma World as well as many D&D products during his time as a creator and Vice President with TSR. Mr. Ward is the lead designer on this project, and has already completed his contributions. Based on his vision of the project, and his completed setting material (for a tribe of wolfoids who dress as pirates!) and rules chapter for cyborg characters on the starship Warden, a team of noted designers is expanding his vision. Michael Curtis, Jim Wampler, Jon Hook, and Jobe Bittman are all contributing to the Epsilon City design. All four writers have previously worked on Metamorphosis Alpha projects with Mr. Ward, and are of course well known for their prior Goodman Games work on the Dungeon Crawl Classics line.

The Epsilon City cyborg archetype!
The Epsilon City cyborg archetype!

The Stretch Goals

We would love to turn the Epsilon City hardcover into an awesome Epsilon City boxed set! We've outlined a series of stretch goals to get us there. The good news is we've already cleared a couple and there are more coming up fast! Here is the breakdown of stretch goals:

  • $13,000, CLEARED: The first additional Epsilon City adventure (approximately 16 pages, PDF form)
  • $17,000, CLEARED: Additional Epsilon City setting material - the “Egyptian apartment complex” – with new maps as appropriate (approximately 16 pages, PDF form)
  • $22,000, CLEARED: The second additional Epsilon City adventure (approximately 16 pages, PDF form)
  • $24,000, CLEARED:Epsilon City will be a boxed set, and the 48 pages of cleared stretch goals will be printed!
  • $27,000, CLEARED: More additional Epsilon City setting material – details TBD – with new maps as appropriate (approximately 16 pages, PDF form)
  • $33,000, CLEARED: The third additional Epsilon City adventure (approximately 16 pages, PDF form)
  • $39,000, CLEARED: Additional Epsilon City setting material – details TBD – with new maps as appropriate (approximately 16 pages, PDF form)
  • $45,000, CLEARED: The additional 48 pages of stretch goal material gets printed and bound!
  • $50,000, CLEARED: New metal bands! Black, gold, sky-blue, and navy! Each backer will get one randomly determined band.

Here's a little more detail on what is in some of these stretch goals:

  • The Mutant Hotel: One of Mr. Ward’s longtime pet projects, this setting sourcebook details a huge hotel filled with mutant groups and interesting challenges. It’s the perfect set-piece encounter to drop into your Epsilon City game. Some of the setting material stretch goal will cover this content.
  • More maps! And geomorphs too! This is what makes a city setting fun – right? And we'd like to print some of these as gatefolds (fold-out pages) or, perhaps, folded maps inside a boxed set, depending on stretch goals.
  • The black military band. Rarely encountered on the starship Warden, but feared because of the sheer firepower of those who wield it, this rare black military band has been seen within the streets of Epsilon City. With sufficient funding we would like to manufacture this band and provide it to backers to complement their existing arm band collection! 
  • It is rumored that some examples of the rare gold programmer’s band have also been seen in Epsilon City -- as well as the sky-blue sciences band and navy administration band. With sufficient funding we may be able to produce these as well. All bands will be usable in Mr. Ward’s convention games, too!
  • And perhaps even more options!

Pledge Items And Add-Ons

There are many ways to support this Kickstarter!

Epsilon City Hardcover: Available in both a traditional hardcover and a specialized gold foil cover. We will also produce a limited number of leather-bound hardcovers, for the discriminating collector.

Softcover Edition of Metamorphosis Alpha Collector's Edition ($25 add-on item): Last year we launched a Kickstarter to produce the deluxe oversized Metamorphosis Alpha Collector's Edition. We've received many requests to also produce a "tabletop play edition," at a smaller more manageable size, suitable for the wear-and-tear of tabletop gaming. With the success of this Kickstarter, we plan to produce an 8.5"x11" version of the Metamorphosis Alpha Collector's Edition. This softcover edition will be approximately 96 pages and will contain most (but not all) of the material in deluxe hardcover, including the original 1976 rules and all of the rules expansion material. 

Add-On Items from Previous Kickstarters: You can add any of the below items to help support the Kickstarter and achieve stretch goals. Read this recent update for more information! Items marked "L/A" have limited availability.

Color Metal Armbands ($10/each as add-on items): With our previous Metamorphosis Alpha Kickstarter, backers received a randomly determined metal bracelet to simulate the colored armbands in the original game. These make great tabletop props and Mr. Ward allows their use in his convention games. We've received countless requests to make the full selection of bands available for purchase. Mr. Ward has authorized us to release 5 of the 6 bands as add-on items for this Kickstarter. The elusive captain's bands will remain exclusives to the original Kickstarter, as such a band has never been spotted in Epsilon City. But backers of Epsilon City will be able to add on bracelets at a cost of $10 each! Each bracelet is $10: civilian (brown), ecology (green), security (red), engineering (gray), and medical (white) bands.

The original metal bracelets, five of which are now available as add-on items!
The original metal bracelets, five of which are now available as add-on items!

Timeline for Release

The Epsilon City hardcover is scheduled to launch in 2016. This is deliberately timed with the 40th anniversary of Metamorphosis Alpha. Based on the current project scope our target is a March 2016 release date at Gary Con 2016. Many of our previous Kickstarters have expanded significantly in scope as successive stretch goals are cleared. If this project expands significantly with new stretch goals, we will provide an update on release date.

Shipping & Handling

Shipping and handling charges will be invoiced at the end of the Kickstarter. This allows us to add on stretch goals as the project expands. Expected cost of shipping/handling may change if the project evolves from a single hardcover to a larger number of books to, for example, a possible boxed set. If you are unsure how expensive international shipping can be, please ask us for an estimate. 

Risks and challenges

Goodman Games has a strong track record of delivering on our Kickstarters. One risk of this project is Mr. Ward's health, as some readers may have read about his recent illness. Mr. Ward has already completed the majority of his writing for this project, and kicked off the guidance for the other contributors. He'll continue to be involved as the project moves toward completion.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Mutant bait. Pledge at this level to watch Epsilon City from the outside...the unsafe edges, where mutants prowl and strange robots hunt their prey. Want to come in to safety? Then increase your pledge!

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    Pledge $18 or more About $18

    The Metamorphosis Alpha: Epsilon City book, in PDF format, with everything you need to set a campaign in Epsilon City!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    The Metamorphosis Alpha Collector's Edition softcover in print! This 8.5"x11" volume is perfect for tabletop play. Add +$10 for each color band you'd like. (You will be able to specify the exact colors in the survey at the end of the Kickstarter.) Shipping/handling will be additional, to be assessed at the end of the Kickstarter (see main text).

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    The Metamorphosis Alpha: Epsilon City hardcover, in print and PDF, with a full color cover, specialized spiral binding and everything you need to set a campaign in Epsilon City! Add +$25 for a softcover edition of the Metamorphosis Alpha Collector's Edition, and +$10 for each color band you'd like. (You will be able to specify the exact colors in the survey at the end of the Kickstarter.) Shipping/handling will be additional, to be assessed at the end of the Kickstarter (see main text).

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    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    The Metamorphosis Alpha: Epsilon City hardcover, in print and PDF, with a gold foil cover, specialized spiral binding and everything you need to set a campaign in Epsilon City! Add +$25 for a softcover edition of the Metamorphosis Alpha Collector's Edition, +$40 for a color cover edition of Epsilon City, and +$10 for each color band you'd like. (You will be able to specify the exact colors in the survey at the end of the Kickstarter.) Shipping/handling will be additional, to be assessed at the end of the Kickstarter (see main text).

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    The Metamorphosis Alpha: Epsilon City hardcover, in print and PDF, with a LEATHER cover and embossed gold foil cover art image, specialized spiral binding and everything you need to set a campaign in Epsilon City! Add +$25 for a softcover edition of the Metamorphosis Alpha Collector's Edition, +$40 for a color cover edition of Epsilon City, +$70 for a gold foil edition of Epsilon City, and +$10 for each color band you'd like. (You will be able to specify the exact colors in the survey at the end of the Kickstarter.) Shipping/handling will be additional, to be assessed at the end of the Kickstarter (see main text).

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Retailer tier. Verification of retailer status will be required. You'll get a selection of products at 50% retailer terms: 2x Metamorphosis Alpha softcover edition, 2x Epsilon City hardcovers, and 1x Epsilon City gold foil hardcover. Shipping/handling will be additional, to be assessed at the end of the Kickstarter (see main text).

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Funding period

- (36 days)