Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Solve the mystery, survive the terror: a Lovecraftian, tabletop, roleplaying game with immersive, scene-specific, mood-enhancing audio
77 backers pledged $2,967 to help bring this project to life.

About

An Unwelcome Guest: a 1930s mystery horror adventure RPG project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

$2,967

77

(composition by Jason Warner directly above)

****  Please see below these boxes for info about NEW Free Rewards, as well as one Final Stretch Goal  ****

The above boxes supersede anything below. 

*** Thank you for your support! ***

A Note about Posters

U.S. Supporters: Any Reward levels with both a printed book and posters ship with the book and poster together - with the posters folded once. If you would like to have any number of posters shipped separately in a tube please add $3.

INTERNATIONAL CONTRIBUTORS - The increasing number of possibilities caused me to have to pay close attention to International shipping costs - however this became muddied as well.  So to clarify this, I will simplify it: 

*** If you have any one item to ship add $7 to your total - for every other single item you need shipped, add $1 each (2 dice count as 1, and 2 Posters count as 1).  So if you have just 2 posters, add $7.  If you have a book, 3 posters and a die, add $10.  If you have a shirt and a book, add $8).  Or you can message me with what you want to do, and I will reply with the shipping cost. ***

*** Additionally.  If you order a Softcover and Posters, the Posters will ship folded once. If you wish the poster(s) to be shipped separately in a tube, please add $7 more.

Regarding the GIBBERING contribution level: I, for one, am aware that there exists a tremendous amount of latent talent (of all kinds) out there - often simply known only by a few individuals, mostly family. If you believe you have what it takes, I am truly eager to see what another brain can create that contributes meaningfully to An Unwelcome Guest. Of course, one cannot simply be creative - so bring your writing chops, your organizational chops, your rpg chops, and your focus if you intend on accepting this role. I will be in touch with you to discuss your creation! (I'll need you to sign a non-disclosure aggrement b/c you will be privy, and get access to significant parts of An Unwelcome Guest.)

****************************************************************************************

I don't know about you, but I love dice. (I think its natural with RPGers).

I will have 30 white dice made with the following image etched on the 6-pip side (so there are no 6 pips).  Contributions are listed in the Pledge/Contribution Summary boxes above - check your Level, because the contribution goes down at higher levels (even to Free!)

Looks like I can mix and match, so you can just tell me which color you want

*************************************************************************************

I agree to use 5% of any profits (probably won't be much however) to support other Kickstarter projects through Kicking It Forward at http://kickingitforward.org

*************************************************************************************

IF YOU WISH TO HAVE AN EXTRA BOOK READ THIS.  if your Contribution Level already includes a book, but you are interested in more of them (as gifts etc), add a total of $17 for each additional copy.  AND, if your contribution includes an 8x10 of your face as an NPC, but you wish to have more of them, please add $7 for each.  You do this by "editing" you Pledge after you already made it the first time]

*************************************************************************************

I create some maps solely for the purpose of helping our artist Cornelius Taylor as he creates his artwork.  These are so he understands my vision (such as from what perspective do I wish a particular scene drawn, or what would be visible in that scene).  One that I created for for him, I also thought would make a cool little insider-behind-the-scenes-backer-only reward.  I have now made it "pretty" and am making it AVAILABLE TO ANYONE WHO DONATES ANY EXTRA AMOUNT (even $1) beyond a normal Contributor level, OR IT IS FREE FOR ANY WHO INCREASE THEIR PLEDGE TO ANOTHER LEVEL Or it is FREE at certain Pledge levels.  I will email it to you right away (please message me with your email).  It is unlikely to make it separately into the adventure (at least in the form it is in), BUT provides some extra detail for the Director (GM), AND could even make a great handout (removed of my writing/instructions) for your Players.  This is what it looks like (poor quality here only):

************************************************************************************

[Edit  - Our Founder has been identified! - - see below

****************************************************************************************

Looking over my PDF Contributors, I believe a goodly number of them are not in the U.S. - - and extra shipping charges can be a REAL turn-off.  Sooooo, I am introducing PDF only options as Add-Ons.  Now it is not quite as shiny as the real thing, but it is a it cheaper and no shipping charges apply - so it is a decent work-around.  These will all be Add-Ons, which means you choose a normal Contributory Level there on the right, complete that payment process, then go back and click to "edit" your payment and add in the extra $ you wish to contribute for the rewards.

*** For $5 I will send you a high-resolution PDF of the 11x17 poster of the front cover (with no writing or title on it at all if you so wish) ***

*** For $5 I will send you a high-resolution PDF of the second 11x17 poster of Cornelius' artwork of a disturbing scene from the adventure body itself (the art in the book and PDF will be cropped to the essential aspect of the scene in order to fit on the 8x11 page of a book (and in that dimension) - the POSTER of this scene will be the complete piece of artwork Cornelius creates for it - so only those that get the 11x17 poster (PDF or Print) will see what the whole scene looks like) ***

*** For $5 I will send you a high-resolution PDF of the 11x17 poster of the town MAP (if we reach it) ***

*** For $5 I will send you a high-resolution PDF of the 11x17 poster of the Island MAP (if we reach it) ***

(The summary boxes above have these factored in)

You can pick and choose - regardless, you get high-quality PDFs of one-of-a-kind artwork suitable for desktop wallpaper, virtual gaming (showing electronically to players), resizing for smaller printing at home, or paying some local business to print out a real 11x17 poster.

Please help us reach our Stretch Goals!

*************************************************************************************

NOW, about those t-shirts. . . . My brother-in-law does t-shirts - that's Jason Warner, also my music composer (a man of many talents).  He already made these for me to wear as a walking advertisement for my Project.  They are two-sided - the red shows the front and the black the back - both are large.  Yours are different though.  You can choose red, black, or white - in small, medium, or large.

Yours would have the same fronts, but without the "Kickstarter" stuff,  the back would have the "woman" again but maybe something like this:

Or this:

BUT, I can put anything on it you like!  And not just words, even if you prefer another section of the cover to show as a close-up. . . I can do that.  AND for those that have a Contribution Level that has our artist create YOUR FACE as an NPC, I can even put YOUR FACE here (but it would be a bit smaller b/c of sizing and resolution issues).  However, this customization is time consuming (for both me and Jason) so I can only do this for the FIRST 15 that want Customization, and ADD . . .

*** Contributions for the shirts are listed in the Pledge/Contribution Summary boxes above ***

****************************************************************************************

An Unwelcome Guest in Kildare Cove is the first installment of a multi-part series of planned adventures called The Dark History of Broke Moon Island.  An Unwelcome Guest takes place in the 1930s when the 200 year old island town of Kildare Cove, Maine is overcome by mysterious and terrible events.  The Players must succeed in preventing a final and catastrophic incident - with potentially horrific consequences for humanity.  Success or no, the adventure continues in the second installment.  However, like An Unwelcome Guest, each forthcoming adventure in The Dark History of Broke Moon Island is stand-alone.  So if you have no further interest in preventing a Dark God's unfathomable and insidious machinations to dominate or destroy Earth, you do not have to.

The complete series involves a number of horrors introduced, or created, when a comet fragment impacted 20,000 years ago off of what is now the Maine coast.  The continuing story arc has the players face these malevolent threats at particular  points in history between then and now.  This first, as stated, is faced in the 1930s.  The second, being released next year, has the Players in A.D. 1002, as they face a loathsome threat uncovered on the island by Norse Vikings.

You may have noticed the audio bar several inches below the top-most pic.  If you did, excellent work, because it shows you are perceptive - and being perceptive is not only critical for solving mysteries, but also for keeping you alive - this is true in real life, and even more so in An Unwelcome Guest.  It was composed by, and thanks goes to, Jason Warner - Composer Extraordinaire.  It is placed here not only to enhance the presentation of this project, but to set a proper mood (I hope you like it's lively, upbeat jingle).

I believe mood and emotion are particularly important in horror and mystery role-playing.  And sound is a superb method of introducing and maintaining these.  Therefore, I have inserted this symbol -

- at numerous locations throughout An Unwelcome Guest.  These will be followed by a number.  This number corresponds to an audio mp3 file at Audaxgames.com (website in development) that I have collected (and will be).  These sounds are all attributed or free from license.  I suggest that you play these sounds from a decent speaker (not a laptop) when you see the symbol above.  Some are very specifically "mood" or background sounds that you would play for a certain period of time (possibly looping), and some are designed to “spring” on Players (so they never know when to expect one).  Of course, you do not have to use any of them if you so wish.

It would be unfortunate to endanger the mystery and excitement by revealing too much detail of An Unwelcome Guest.However, one such as you, dear Kickstartian, must also be convinced of its worthiness, and your interest in it. Therefore, I shall reveal some segments of the story, as well as some of the incredible artwork as it is created by Cornelius Taylor.

Speaking of Cornelius - that is his creation there at the top of course (as well as the rest of these close-ups).  Web viewing is such a poor platform for such a work (its level of detail could have it expanded to a 24x36 poster! - sorry, none of those are planned however).  It is destined for the front cover of the PDF and printed edition. Cornelius is still working on it (color coming soon) and may be somewhat modified from its present iteration.  With a successful funding of this project, Cornelius will be creating numerous scene and NPC illustrations within the adventure proper for us (some half pages, quarter pages, etc).  My intention is for a number of these to be quarter-page illustrations of important NPCs - some of which may, strangely, look like some of you! (See Contributor levels to the right).  If we reach our third stretch goal of $2500, I will have him color ALL of those interior illustrations.

A number of you, I am sure, may have noticed this work has a Lovecraftian and Cthulhian theme - that is not an accident - for the latter is one of the best RPGs that exists in the cosmos, and the former is it's authoritative inspiration.  However, I have created An Unwelcome Guest to be compatible with any role-playing game system you care to play.  Why?  Well, for several reasons.  We are not pigeon-holed into a certain rule-set - giving it a wider audience.  We can focus on narrative detail and not mechanical detail.  We are not under another authority to edit, determine its content, direction, or in-house art contracts (meaning you would not have seen Cornelius' genius).  We avoid copyright issues.  We avoid most printing cues or delays.  And the series stays in our hands.  Now you may also be thinking (but were too polite to say) that perhaps it is b/c it sucks and wouldn't be able to be published.  Well all I can say to that is. . . them's fightin' words!  No.  But I believe  An Unwelcome Guest  compares beautifully to most any published RPG work out there (and much better than many I've (and I'm sure you've) seen).

As stated, this adventure takes place in Maine of the 1930s.  A little time and modification on your part could easily transport these disturbing events to even modern day England.  Being system-neutral it, depending on your style, could have you do some prior footwork to allow it to fit better with your rule-set.  Of course, any GM worth a 6-sider is able to do either of these without great trepidation.

If any of you are familiar with these types of projects, you may know they are true labors-of-love.  There is no possibility one could get out what one puts into something like this (time being the foremost - not that we can get any of that back anyway, sadly).  You may also be aware that quality artwork, for one, is time-consuming and costly to create.  If we can meet our goal, I will be able to have An Unwelcome Guest completed, edited, laid out with tons of interior artwork and a beautiful, wrap-around, full-color cover, have a PDF created, have softcover copies and posters produced, packaged, and shipped, and pay the Kickstarter and Amazon fees.

First of all. . . THANK YOU!

We have some great ideas (and hope you agree) if we can be so lucky as to do this.

     * At $1900 I will offer an 11x17 POSTER MAP (suitable as a handout for your Players) of the town, in COLOR, as an add-on for backers (International backers are in parentheses) for $9 ($13), OR for $7 ($11) if you are a Contributor at least at the Mouldering or Amorphous ($29) level  OR IT WILL BE FREE FOR ANY CONTRIBUTOR AT $39 or higher.  It will automatically be included within the adventure itself, of course, but probably half the size, and as part of the printed page but for the Director's (GMs) reference, and in b&w (unless we reach the color stretch goal).

     * At $2300 I will offer an 11x17 POSTER MAP of the whole island (also suitable as a handout for your Players), in COLOR, as an add-on for backers (International backers are in parentheses) for $9 ($13), OR for $7 ($11) if you are a Contributor at least at the Mouldering or Amorphous ($29) level  OR IT WILL BE FREE FOR ANY CONTRIBUTOR AT $59 or higher.  It will NOT be included within the pages of the adventure itself (not directly relevant for "An Unwelcome Guest").  It will also have some "references" to the further adventures in "The Dark History of Broke Moon Island" series.

     * At $2500 I can have Cornelius do ALL art in COLOR - which of course will be included in all contribution levels for the PDF, Softcover AND Posters.

     * Another possibility are Color insert handouts of important scenes and/or NPCs.

     * ???

**************************************************************************************

Here's the colored version of the front cover (without the Title and other writing)

If you are a potential player and/or prefer the thrill of the unknown (or if you have just heard enough - positive or negative), you may wish to consider skipping this section.

". . . This long-lived and fungal-like organism was able to cast its spores free of its lifeless planet - black and malevolent little copies of itself piercing into the depths of the universe.  Fortuitous encounters with space-faring ice and rock enabled the spores to continue their journey through space.  These comets were its initial vectors in its mindless search for immortality. 

Remaining dormant, the spores could pass through the cold void of space for millennia.  On occasion, the vagaries of fate would have it collide with a planet.  More rarely, one of these may have a suitable environment and food source - an abundance carbon-based molecules.  Often this was in the form of living matter.  When this occurs, the spore awakens and begins to “feed.”  And thus begins ultimate growth into its adult fungoid form.

Earth was one such unfortunate place.  Specifically beneath what is now the town of Kildare Cove, on Broke Moon Island off the coast of Maine - placed there by chance 20 thousand years ago when a comet fragment carrying a spore collided with our planet. 

As perhaps chance, or the intervention of some malevolent and unfathomable cosmic god would allow, that spore was not the only malignancy introduced to Broke Moon Island that grim day millenia ago. . . . But these horrors, and the dark and terrible events caused by them, are better spoken another day.

And so the fungal spore, buried deep beneath the ground, began what it was designed to do.  The ice age stunted its slow, yet inexorable growth; as did the happenings that damaged it at the Seward farm in 1861.  However, it recovered enough since to continue its development, and is now days away from completing the final and terrible adult stage of its life cycle.

Its quickly burgeoning size has once again greatly increased its metabolic need for nutrients, which is no longer satisfied by the bacterial life-energy far beneath the surface - as copious and regenerative as they are.  Its radially exploring underground fruiting bodies have extended to their limits.  Their filaments and thicker tendrils, reaching upwards, are to complete its work, pulling the required nutrients in to its large, central body.  

As its fungal body and its need for energy grows, it can move beyond simply growing its micchorizal-like tendrils into relatively static living tissues and use them in short bursts as rapidly-moving “tentacles” to snare a more elusive nutrient source. Regardless, the result is similar to endemic, Earthly fungi – the “food” is digested and left in a thoroughly decomposed state – its elemental nutrients returned to the ecosystem.  However, this alien’s system digests in a matter of seconds – with nothing left visible but a layer of carbon.  Very few of the victims nutrients are recycled back into the environment – they are used by the fungoid beast.

Another, more insidious and terrible method to obtain its food is to extend and detach microscopic filaments into the nervous and muscular tissues of mobile victims.  When ultraviolet light is at is minimal, i.e. at night, these filaments become most active.  They “control,” in a rudimentary sense, the host to serve the fungus’s primary instinctive function – getting the most nutrients to its growing fungal body by whatever means possible.  The host’s own knowledge and intelligence, although quite diminished during this time, fulfills this need. . . ."

" . . . Work it out so the PCs arrive in Rockland in time to be on the Friday 3pm ferry (your group may be together anyway).  The ferry departure times are listed clearly.  A one way journey takes approximately three and a half hours.

                   Rockland                 Kildare Cove

Monday        11am                       7am and 3pm

Wednesday   9am                        1pm

Friday           7am and 3pm           11am

As you can see, the ferry stays in Kildare Cove for the weekend after its last trip from Rockland at 3pm.  This is important because, if the PCs are not successful in stopping the fungoid breach of the earth’s surface, its explosion destroys the ferry (and most boats in the harbor).

When the PCs have gathered on the ferry, read or paraphrase the following:

The small, six-car ferry pulls away from the dock smoothly, its engines a muffled roar.  The smell of salt water, wet rock, and decaying seaweed mix with diesel fumes.  The air is crisp, even here in early-summer, and you can sense the water is still cold from the past winter’s lingering influence.

Numerous other passengers line the railings or sit in the passenger cabin.  Most are silent, only the enormity of the sea capable of suppressing one of our most ever-present human abilities.

Your boat cruises out of the harbor, gently rising and descending on the oceans swells below you.  Above you, seagulls glide in the air currents, heads twisting, eyes ever vigilant for any morsel mauled into strings of flesh by the engine’s propellers, and left floating in its wake.

As if crossing some invisible barrier, they cease to follow.  Their shrill calls fade as you settle in for the long ride to your destination - the town of Kildare Cove on Broke Moon Island - somewhere out here among the thousands of other lonely pockets of rocky land scattered in this part of the fathomless ocean. . . ."

Here is the second sample of an early section of the adventure (again, unedited - and potentially still subject to change)

If you are interested in further information or have other questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.  Thanks for checking it out and I hope you find it worthwhile!

- Michael Humphreys

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1.00

    DERANGED: * You're simply not interested in strange things like this for yourself. However you believe that if other people are, they are probably dangerous and should be kept busy and off the streets.
    * AND you will have your name listed as a "Sane Savior of Broke Moon Island" on our website.
    * AND you are also making the whole deranged thing possible. Thank you!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 9 or more About US$ 9

    LOATHSOME:
    * Everyone from this point forward ARE the demented people who ARE interested in projects such as this one, AND recognize they probably SHOULD be kept off the streets. Therefore. . .
    * You will receive a PDF of the completed project * AND you will have your name listed as an "Insane Savior of Broke Moon Island" on our website
    * AND you are also making the whole loathsome thing possible. Thank you!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    27 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 19 or more About US$ 19

    REPUGNANT:
    * Same as Loathsome
    * AND you will receive a signed, kickstarter-exclusive, color 11x17 poster, featuring the front and back cover of the project.
    * AND you will receive a signed, LIMITED, 11x17 poster, featuring disturbing artwork from within the adventure (b&w - color if we meet the stretch goal)
    * AND you are also making the whole repugnant thing possible. Thank you!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    ABHORRENT:
    * Same as Loathsome
    * AND you will receive the printed Softcover edition of "An Unwelcome Guest"
    * AND you will be listed in the book as an "Insane Savior of Broke Moon Island"
    * AND you are also making the whole abhorrent thing possible. Thank you!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    18 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 29 or more About US$ 29

    MOULDERING:
    * Same as Repugnant (PDF & 2 posters)
    * AND a resident of Kildare Cove is given YOUR name (or name of your choice) - (within limits!)
    * AND you are also making the whole mouldering thing possible. Thank you!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 3 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 29 or more About US$ 29

    AMORPHOUS:
    * Same as Abhorrent
    * AND you will receive a signed, kickstarter-exclusive, color 11x17 poster, featuring the front and back cover of the project.
    * You are also making the whole amorphous thing possible. Thank you!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 33 or more About US$ 33

    STAGNANT:
    * Same as Amorphous
    * AND you will receive a signed, LIMITED, 11x17 poster, featuring disturbing artwork from within the adventure (b&w - color if we meet the stretch goal) * AND you are also making the whole stagnant thing possible. Thank you!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 39 or more About US$ 39

    HIDEOUS:
    * Same as Stagnant (Softcover and 2 Posters)
    * AND a resident of Kildare Cove is given your name, or a name of your choice (within limits!)
    * And you are also making the whole hideous thing possible. Thank you!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 12 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 59 or more About US$ 59

    FESTERING: * Same as Mouldering (PDF & 2 Posters)
    * AND the resident of Kildare Cove you name is ALSO GIVEN YOUR LIKENESS by our incredible artist Cornelius Taylor!
    * AND you will receive an 8x10 signed print of your mortifying mug
    * You are also making the whole festering thing possible. Thank you!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 69 or more About US$ 69

    MALIGNANT:
    * Same as Hideous (Softcover and 2 Posters)
    * AND the resident of Kildare Cove you name is ALSO GIVEN YOUR LIKENESS by our incredible artist Cornelius Taylor!
    * AND you will receive an 8x10 signed print of your grotesque mug
    * You are also making the whole malignant thing possible. Thank you!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 89 or more About US$ 89

    UNSPEAKABLE:
    * Same as Malignant
    * AND, in collaboration with me, you provide a paragraph or two about your NPC (with your NAME and FACE!): things like personality traits, mannerisms, desired role or occupation in the community of Kildare Cove in the 1930's, etc - and I will work these details into the adventure
    * AND you tell me whether or not you wish him/her to die a horrible death
    * AND you will be listed as a Contributor in the PDF and on the title page of the softcover
    * You are also making the whole unspeakable thing possible. Thank you!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 3 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Reward no longer available

    Pledge US$ 149 or more About US$ 149

    GIBBERING:
    * Same as Unspeakable
    * Except YOU will use the details of your NPC (that has your NAME, FACE and the details of your desired traits, role, etc - - checked with me), in a SCENE describtion I provide to you. With my direction, consultation, and editing, you will WRITE this 1000 word scene to be INCLUDED and PUBLISHED in the adventure!
    * AND you will be listed as a CONTRIBUTING AUTHOR on the front cover of the softcover and pdf
    * You are also making the whole gibbering thing possible. Thank you!
    *** please read details to the left ***

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 5 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (33 days)