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Tavern Tales is a fantasy-themed roleplaying game that empowers you to play the game you always wished you could.
Tavern Tales is a fantasy-themed roleplaying game that empowers you to play the game you always wished you could.
271 backers pledged $19,918 to help bring this project to life.

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"In other table top role-playing games, you're restricted by specifics in items, spells, creatures, and races. Tavern Tales let's you build your own world, and sets you up with true creative freedom." — JR Lynk, Fan

"The best character creation system I have seen to date! Any concept you can think of can be made in Tavern Tales with the right selection of traits and creative use of the Reflavor Rule and still retain the mechanical ability that most rules-lite systems sacrifice." — Mitchell B.

Tavern Tales is an exciting new fantasy-themed roleplaying game that follows these principles:

  • Stay simple, intuitive, and tactical
  • Emphasize customization
  • Enable well-rounded characters
  • Think cinematically, not mathematically
  • Grow with ongoing content updates

Tavern Tales is a player-driven, cinematic game that empowers you to play the way you always wished you could play. Have you ever wanted to ride a fire-breathing dragon, but you couldn't because the rules won't let you? Tavern Tales throws that out the window! You can build virtually any character imaginable. 

Character Building: Rather than using the classic "race+class" combo of other RPGs, Tavern Tales give you access to a huge list of themes like Undeath, Dragon, and Thievery. Each theme has traits, which you can purchase for your character. For example, Undeath traits let you do things like come back to life after you die, or drain a creature's soul. This no-limits freedom gives you the power to build the character you've always wanted to play. Here's a very small sampling of characters you can build at character creation:

  • Any classical archetype like mages, rogues, barbarians, paladins, etc.
  • A flying, fire-breathing dragon.
  • A druidic pirate who sails a living treant-ship.
  • A blacksmith who wears steam-powered golem armor.
  • An intelligent psionic dog who communicates telepathically.
  • An undead lich who can't be killed unless your phylactery is destroyed.

Combat / Exploration / Interaction Split: RPGs aren't only about combat. There's also exploring the world and interacting with NPCs. Each and every theme provides options in all 3 categories. If you play a rank and file soldier, you won't be stuck with only combat options. You'll have just as many exploration options as a ranger, and just as many interaction options as a bard!

The Core Mechanic: Tavern Tales uses a custom system. Whenever you do something risky, you roll 3d20 and take the middle result. Some situations allow you to use the highest d20, and other situations force you to use the lowest d20. Based on your result, you and/or the GM can change the story by telling Tales. It's simple, intuitive, and incredibly flexible.

Focus on Storytelling: The core mechanic in Tavern Tales is called a "Tale," which highlights the game's emphasis on storytelling. Tavern Tales gives the players and the GM the power to shape your story however you want. In fact, some character options even give the players as much power as the GM to create things in the game world!

Cinematics, Not Mathematics: Outside of the dice rolling mechanic, Tavern Tales uses virtually no numbers whatsover. The game focuses on cinematic, exciting effects. Your power comes from your ability to affect the story, rather than from numeric bonuses like "+1 damage."

Visit the website: www.taverntalesrpg.com 

Download the rules*: Tavern Tales Playtest PDF

*Note: This PDF is a rough draft of the rules. The final product will be substantially more polished, and will include much more content. 

"I really like character building in this system. A lot of other games have the cookie-cutter approach to characters — you get a few different shapes to start with and then you decorate them. Tavern Tales gives you the tools to make your own cookie cutters, or skip them and bake a pie instead." — KC Wickart, Playtester

These rewards correspond to the pledges on the right. 

Shipping is FREE for US backers. 

For non US-backers, additional shipping costs can range from $5 - $65 extra depending on factors such as distance, taxes, and duties. Backers are expected to pay their respective shipping costs.

You can use a website like this one to estimate your shipping costs. 

"When creating a character in Tavern Tales, you don't feel constrained by the rules. You can get straight to the point of your character concept, without jumping through hoops. The game's mechanics and the intended narrative function of your hero feel as one." 
 — William H, Fan

Support Tavern Tales to unlock new stretch goals!

"No other system and no other game master facilitated a wise-cracking dog quite like Tavern Tales and Dabney Bailey. This is an RPG that will let you play Mr. Ed without a hint of novelty of mockery. Watching (and occasionally helping) Tavern Tales grow has been a truly unique experience and I can't recommend any game more highly." — H. Danby, Playtester

You can add any of these add-ons to your pledge by clicking "Manage My Pledge." Add the appropriate amount to your pledge. When the campaign ends, you'll be asked which add-ons you purchased.

+$5, Signed Book: Dabney Bailey will sign your book on the front inside cover.

+$20, Tavern Tales T-shirt: Play in style!

+$45, Add 1 book: If your base pledge is $50 or more, you can add $45 as many times as you want to get an additional book at a 10% discount. 

"Tavern Tales is the dynamic consolidation of a community of RPGers creating the game that they would want to play. I feel honoured to be involved." — Daniel Willcocks, Fan

Tavern Tales was released into an open beta about two years ago. Since then, Dabney has been working closely with the community to polish, improve, and expand the game. Feel free to join the conversation at our forums. It will give you an idea of the passion, creativity, and community involvement that has gone into Tavern Tales. We'd love to hear from you!

"I've had the unique privilege of being with Dabney and Tavern Tales every step of the way. I've seen every iteration and idea and I can say with absolute certainty that this game is unlike any other; it offers you unrivaled creative license to play what you have always wanted to play. It strips away the unnecessary mechanics that muck up systems while emphasizing cinematics and creativity at the same time, allowing you to really get into your character, sit back, and play the game." — Wesley, Playtester

Risks and challenges

The biggest potential roadblock is the artwork. Creating art takes time, so there could be unforeseen delays. Some of the artwork is already done, so I should be on schedule.

Also, I realize that this is my first project, so I lack experience fulfilling Kickstarter campaigns. To overcome this potential weakness, I reached out to other successful RPG Kickstarter developers long ago to develop relationships with them. They have been guiding through many of the steps of the KS process with advice and strategies.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    • Thanks

    Your name will be included in the book as thanks for your support.

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    18 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    • Digital PDF
    • All Digital Stretch Goals
    • Thanks

    Receive a digital PDF of Tavern Tales, complete with gorgeous full page art. The PDF will include all digital stretch goals. Also, your name will be listed in the book as thanks.

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    101 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    • The Book
    • All Stretch Goals
    • Thanks

    Receive a copy of the hardcover book, complete with full page art. You will receive all stretch goals unlocked during the campaign. Also, your name will be listed in the book as thanks.

    FREE shipping in the US!
    For non-US backers, additional shipping costs may apply (sorry!). Refer to the Rewards section.

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    51 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    • The Book
    • All Stretch Goals
    • Digital PDF
    • Thanks

    Receive a beautiful hardcover copy of the Tavern Tales rulebook, a digital PDF, all stretch goals, and your name listed in the book as thanks.

    FREE shipping in the US!
    For non-US backers, additional shipping costs may apply (sorry!). Refer to the Rewards section.

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    67 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    • Source Files
    • The Book
    • All Stretch Goals
    • Digital PDF
    • Thanks

    In addition to the book, PDF, stretch goals, and thanks, you will gain access to ALL original source files (Photoshop art files, Indesign book files, etc). Ideal for homebrewers and tinkerers!

    US Backers: FREE shipping!
    Non-US Backers: Additional shipping costs may apply (sorry!). Refer to the Rewards section.

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    9 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    • Design a Magic Item
    • The Book
    • Source Files
    • All Stretch Goals
    • Digital PDF
    • Thanks

    In addition to the book, PDF, stretch goals, source files, and thanks, you will collaborate with the creator of Tavern Tales to design a unique magic item that will be included in the book! Includes custom art.

    FREE shipping in the US!
    For non-US backers, additional shipping costs may apply (sorry!). Refer to the Rewards section.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 11 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    • Design a Monster, Location, or Event
    • The Book
    • Source Files
    • All Stretch Goals
    • Digital PDF
    • Thanks

    In addition to the book, PDF, stretch goals, source files, and thanks, you will collaborate with the creator of Tavern Tales to design a unique monster, location, or event that will be included in the book! Includes custom art.

    FREE shipping in the US!
    For non-US backers, additional shipping costs may apply (sorry!). Refer to the Rewards section.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 2 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    • Design Help
    • Design a magic item, monster, location, or event
    • The Book
    • Source Files
    • All Stretch Goals
    • Digital PDF
    • Thanks

    In addition to the book, PDF, source files, stretch goals, and thanks, you will collaborate with the creator of Tavern Tales to design a unique magic item, monster, location or event. Also, I've learned a lot about game design. I will dedicate a minimum of 6 hours (possibly longer) to talk to you via Skype about game design. I can advise on anything: mechanics, marketing, where to find artists, etc. Hopefully, I can help you make your game a success! I'll also promote your game through my social media channels.

    FREE shipping in the US!
    For non-US backers, additional shipping costs may apply (sorry!). Refer to the Rewards section.

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    Limited 1 backer
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    • Let's Play
    • The Book
    • Source Files
    • All Stretch Goals
    • Digital PDF
    • Thanks

    You will receive the book, PDF, stretch goals, source files, and thanks. Also, the creator of Tavern Tales will join you online to play a session of an RPG of your choice!

    FREE shipping in the US!
    For non-US backers, additional shipping costs may apply (sorry!). Refer to the Rewards section.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    • Design a Hero
    • The Book
    • Source Files
    • All Stretch Goals
    • Digital PDF
    • Thanks

    You will receive the book, PDF, stretch goals, source files, and thanks. Also, you will collaborate with the creator of Tavern Tales to create a sample character to be included the book. This includes your character's background story, build, and custom professional artwork! Your favorite TT character will inspire players around the world.

    FREE shipping in the US!
    For non-US backers, additional shipping costs may apply (sorry!). Refer to the Rewards section.

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    Limited 4 backers
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  11. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    • Custom Full Page Art
    • The Book
    • Source Files
    • All Stretch Goals
    • Digital PDF
    • Thanks

    You will receive the book, PDF, stretch goals, source files, and thanks. Also, you will collaborate with the creator of Tavern Tales and an artist of his choice to develop full page art that will appear in Tavern Tales. The art can feature whatever you want as long as it's appropriate, unique, and fits Tavern Tales' aesthetic. See your character fighting a dragon! Showcase your adventuring party! Show the world what Tavern Tales means to you!

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    Reward no longer available 3 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)