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By James R. Smith
$50.00 pledged of $10,000 goal
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All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

About

Note: Any graphics are placeholders until true artwork is commissioned.

Havenlore is a tabletop RPG system that is set in an immersive, original world with detailed histories, organizations, cities, religions, cultures, and more, developed over a long period of time. The system is intended to create a different roleplaying experience and simplify concepts that cause a gaming session to drag on, allowing more time for players to focus on roleplay, character development, and the adventure itself. It also eliminates levels and provides the opportunity to level up your character on any die roll, making each attempt more exciting than ever before. 

Here are some features of the Havenlore system, including an explanation for ideas which are different from a standard tabletop RPG:

-- You can start right away if you want, without having to develop complex skill sets and stats. Instead, you can focus on character background and roleplay style. There are no attributes to determine, such as strength, dexterity, etc. and you can either choose a set amount of skill points to distribute in the beginning, or can just jump in and learn your skills based on what your character uses. It's a very flexible system based on what your group wants to do. 

-- There are no levels. Your strength is determined by how many skill points your characters possess, and this is used to determine monster and encounter difficulty as well.

-Skills level up as you use them. Any roll of the die can improve your character! A natural 20 on a die roll always gives your character a point in whichever skill he or she was attempting, showing that they learned something from the effectiveness of their attempt. However, you don't always have to roll a natural 20 to "level up" -- check out the next section!

-- There are three skill aptitudes: Tenacity, Sagacity, and Virtuosity. These aptitudes encompass all skills your characters can learn. For example, skills which, in a typical RPG, are related to strength and endurance can be found in Havenlore's Tenacity category. Intelligence and wisdom are within Sagacity, and charisma/dexterity are Virtuosity. This is important because during character creation, you are allowed to distribute three aptitude points among those three categories. Each aptitude point lowers the required natural score on the die you need to roll to increase in a skill. For example, if you put all three points in Virtuosity, that means you would need to roll a natural 18-20 to level up in that category, but a natural 20 to level up in the other two aptitudes. One point across the board means you level up in any skill on a natural 19 or 20. 

-- Instead of experience points, you earn bonus rolls! This is a way you can either develop your preferred skills further, or develop the skills that you might not use as often in game, but are still important to your character development. If your GM (Game Master) has awarded you bonus rolls for exceptional roleplay, winning a monster encounter, solving a puzzle, or overcoming a challenge in some other way, you have two options. You can take the safe path by banking the bonus rolls, or you can take a little gamble to get more out of your bonus rolls. If you bank them, you can convert 20 rolls into one skill point, that you can eventually distribute that to any skill that you want. Or, you can roll one time for each bonus roll you have. If you get a natural 20, you get a skill point to distribute. So maybe you get two or three extra skill points if you are lucky by beating the statistical odds. Or maybe you get nothing! Choose wisely.

Okay, those are the more complex ideas, so don't be alarmed if you're a bit confused. The actual game manual has much more examples and explanations. Here are some more fun features from Havenlore!

-- A magic system that has a built in chart to allow for magic users (elementalists) to develop their own spells in addition to the established codex of spells. There are three incantation words for each spell for players who would like to use them to enhance gameplay. A drain check allows an elementalist to try to avoid losing magic points (MP) when casting a spell. Elementalists can spend all of their magic points for a super spell attack of vicious power, but at the risk of falling unconscious or other complications on a bad drain check. Trust me, it's fun.   

-- Low HP for creatures, PCs, and NPCs to speed along combat and keep it interesting. New and interesting creatures exist in the game world, such as a winged, clawed reptilian monster named a Quasiroth, or the bulbous white Albadox spider, which can fire poisoned stingers from its abdomen. 

-- More unusual races in development, such as ratmen, lizardmen, snow elves, nymphs, large walking tribes of tortoises, etc to go along with the standard fare, which might be a little bit different than you remember in this game world. 

-- A parry and evade system that allows the user to make a set amount of rolls during a round based on their skill to try to deflect or dodge an attacking dice roll that lands, and possibly counter that attack! This makes combat much more than just roll and hit or miss. It adds strategy and a more hands on element since you have some control over how your character attempts to defend him or herself. 

-- Multiple turn opportunities in a round based on initiative score. 

-- Weapons have a static damage number, such as 3 damage. Additions to that are based on your character's skill with that type of weapon, instead of random chance. Weapons can also be customized in a variety of ways. Add serration to that blade to add a chance for bleeding, for example. There are slashing, bludgeoning, and piercing weapons. 

-- Special weapons called Avatar Weapons (for now) actually "LEVEL UP" WITH YOU, and have different abilities to be unlocked depending on the weapon itself, its category, and other factors. There are also armor and items that can do the same!

-- Armor provides damage reduction, not an increase to armor class. Piercing weapons really like that. 

-- Having a shield adds to your AC, and anything that would hit those extra AC points, you blocked! 

-- Alchemy is being developed to be a fun and interesting skill, allowing scavenging of parts of monsters or plants for ingredients and creating neat abilities. 

-- Having a specific amount of points in an aptitude (such as Virtuosity) allows you to take a talent in that category, which is like a feat in some roleplaying games. Also, improving a skill along three different tiers provides you with talents as well, related specifically to that skill. Get your use rope skill up enough, you can learn how to lasso, for example. The higher the tier, the better the skills you can choose from! 

-- There are no classes. You can take whatever talents you choose and use whatever skills, or if you prefer classes, you can have it your way, too. Classes such as bard, knight, elementalist, etc. are developed so you can use these templates to play a more traditional class. It's up to you and your group's play style.

-- A Runecrafter class, which is one of the few ways to create magical items. 

. . . and much, much more. Updates with new tidbits will be ongoing.

Items in development: (First as .pdf, then later as bound copies)

Havenlore Game Manual (explanations how to play)

Adventure Modules (Module 1 - Eyes of Kuluk)

Monster Codex

Spell Codex

World and Cities Guide (Detailed Game World explanations and maps)

Weapon and Armor crafting guide

Alchemical Guide

Secrets of Runecrafting

A series of novels called The Havenlore Chronicles

Some of these are stretch goals, forthcoming modules and supplements will also be added as stretch goals. Rewards may be updated in the event of a physical release of the manuals, or cool ideas from our backers! 

Note: The temporary display image for this kickstarter was created using www.logomakr.com. 

Continent of Lorewynn original concept art
Continent of Lorewynn original concept art

 

Risks and challenges

I feel like this endeavor is easily accomplished as far as the writing and planning and organizing. I have plenty of free time and I always have ideas; I've spent a considerable amount of time over the last decade building this world and system; I've used the system and honestly, have not gone back to any other system since I did because I love it so much. Since a majority of my rewards are providing product as I go, I feel like backers can feel confident about what they are receiving, and can address any confusing elements or concerns with me with plenty of time before the final release of the First Edition.

My biggest risk factor has to do with the publication of physical copies because as a former bookstore owner, I have some knowledge of publication and I've watched many authors settle for bum deals from publishers. I expect to provide high quality copies of my work, which involves finding the right artwork and publisher, and those things are up in the air and will depend largely on how well the funding goes for the backers. I'd really love to provide the highest tier with physical copies and will be working to make that a reality. I'm laid back, but new to kickstarter, so I am definitely willing to listen to reasonable updates to the rewards. My main goal is to get the interested parties into the process and put what I have in their hands, because, as the players and GMs, I want feedback on what would make the system better. Admittedly, not every suggestion will be taken -- this is my baby, and I love this system. Enough to put a heck of a lot of time into making it the best it can be. I think you want that, too. We are passionate people, gamers!

I am also happy to listen to ideas about reasonable physical rewards as well, so just talk to me.

Let's ride this dragon, shall we?

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