About this project
Noir World is film noir as powered by the Apocalypse. Around your table you'll choose from 20 Roles, create relationships between them, build a City, and maybe solve a Crime, all while trying to create the best Movie possible.
It's powered by the Apocalypse, the same mechanics found in Apocalypse World, Dungeon World, Headspace, and Monsterhearts, but it's different - there's no one single person acting as a GM. Here, everyone will have a chance to be the Director, everyone is the GM.
Aside from stretch goals, art, and an appendix or two, the text is ready to go, so let's make this book happen.
Noir World is your chance to explore hardboiled and crime fiction and film noir using a combination of Apocalypse World stylings and the vocabulary we've all gained by watching television and movies.
Film noir is all about telling stories where characters who don't neatly fit into the binary of good and evil live with the terrible consequences of their emotionally fueled choices. Noir World reflects that throughout the game.
There are 20 Roles to choose from (noir classics like the Fatale, Private Eye, and the Dirty Cop, but also more neo-noir Roles like the Disgraced Doctor and the Attorney). Taking a big step away from the source material, there are no restrictions or gender, race, identity or orientation when it comes to Roles - make them your own, no matter what.
There are 6 types of Crime: Murder, Blackmail, Fraud, Arson, Kidnapping, and Robbery.
There are 10 Decades to play in: starting in the 1920s and proceeding upwards to the Near-Future.
In short: Noir World can be played by anyone anyway they want, in any time they want.
Let's take a look at one of the big parts of Noir World, the Hook system. Every Role has an entire page of Hooks available to them, and instructions to build 2 Hooks among the other Roles at the table.
Here's how a Hook is built:
If we have The Starry Eyed Kid, then we have a Hook called "Golly, you’re pretty sure that if you just spend more time with this Role, they’ll stop doing all that bad stuff." This sounds interesting to them, so they suggest to the Attorney that this is part of their relationship.
The Attorney digs this idea, and looks at their own sheet for a Hook. They choose, "One drunken night, you told this Role your Secret, and you’ve been begging them to stay silent about it." The Starry Eyed Kid thinks that's a great idea, creating a dynamic between them where there's guilt, regret, and likely some annoying earnestness.
That relationship, that Hook, counts as ONE of the Starry Eyed Kid's two Hooks, because the Kid instigated it. The Attorney's response DOES NOT count as one of their Hooks, because it was part of the Kid's relationship.
The Kid then chooses a different Hook and a different Role to have that second relationship with. You can't repeat Hooks between Roles, and you can't Hook the same Role twice.
That's the Hook System.
It's critical to know that this game would forever remain in the abstract without the tireless work and support from an incredibly talented team of creatives.
JOHN ADAMUS wrote Noir World. He worked very hard on it, and is very proud of it. You can follow him on Twitter at @awesome_john
JASON PITRE made the book look very pretty and answered many of John's questions about publishing. He is a game designer and professional ecologist from the wilds of Canada. As the mind behind Genesis of Legend Publishing, he has designed and laid-out many fine roleplaying games for professional publication. You may know him from his cosmopolitan planar fantasy setting of Sig: Manual of the Primes, or his PBTA game of social justice wizards titled Circles of Power. Check him out on twitter @genesisoflegend!
JEREMY MORGAN edited the book and is an experienced RPG editor that's worked on multiple projects from publishers like Galileo Games and Green Hat Designs. He keeps two things in his desk. One's a red pen, and he keeps it loaded. The other's a six-pack of Dr. Pepper, and it keeps him loaded. You can find him on twitter at @TriskalJM
PAULOMI PATRAP made the logo happen and steered John through the sorcerous process of talking to artists as Art Director. Born and raised in Texas, Paulomi loves tabletop games and RPGs almost as much as she loves her dog… or Tex-Mex… or Star Wars… or puns. Oh man, she really loves puns. You can check out some of the other projects she's working on at paulomipratap.com, or get updates on twitter @PaulomiSP
The art in the Kickstarter and on this page is by Rekka Jay, who should draw more things for more people.
The initial goal of $3,000 will give us the funding we need to make this project a reality. As soon as we reach our initial goal, we can reveal all of the other awesome goals for the campaign.
FUNDED!! STRETCH GOAL 1 -- At $10,000, City/NPC Expansion Toolbox. Add lists of City Locations and Persons into your stories, giving you some extra flavor and creative fuel.
FUNDED!! STRETCH GOAL 2 -- At $11,500, The One Shot Narwhal Featurette. 6 fishermen with reasons to distrust and hate each other, 1 leaky old boat that might not make the trip back to port, several angry narwhals out for blood. What's the worst that could happen? Noir meets the deep sea and angry cetaceans in this miniseries taking Noir World in a whole new direction.
FUNDED!! STRETCH GOAL 3 -- At $12,750, The Retro Heroes/Villians Pack. Add The Amazon, The Lone Ranger, The Shadow, The Green Hornet, The Vigilante, The Ripper, and The Phantom to Noir World and expand the type of Movies you can tell.
FUNDED!! STRETCH GOAL 4 -- At $14,000, The Prom Featurette. It's prom weekend. 6 teens have stories to tell before, during, and after the dancing, as well during as the weekend thereafter. This is a different view of noir, as told through drama and youth. This is inspired by Brick, Riverdale, very special episodes of 90210, and any of the CW shows where people end up pouting.
FUNDED!! STRETCH GOAL 5 -- At $15,500, The Toon. Perhaps you're familiar with a case from back in the day, about a certain rabbit who was framed and it was up to a Private Eye to make things right. The Toon in Noir World gives you a chance to bring some rather... animated characters into your Movies.
FUNDED!! STRETCH GOAL 6 -- At $17,000, Cyberpunk. Noir World goes cyberpunk. Mark Richardson, creator of Headspace, will be bringing Noir World The Replicant, as well some expertise on how to give your noir a futuristic edge.
FUNDED!! STRETCH GOAL 7 -- At $18,250, more eras of play. We've already covered the 1920s to the future, so let's go backwards. This stretch goal adds the 1780s, the 1880s, and the 1900s. This is perfect for all your Hamilton, Wild West, and turn-of-the-century Noirs.
FUNDED!! STRETCH GOAL 8 -- At $20,000, Star Noir. Let's suppose you want to check out the final frontier, or travel to galaxies far away long ago. Let's suppose you want red shirts or laser swords mixed in with your hives of scum and villainy or your strange alien worlds. Star Noir is your chance to give your Movies a bit of science fiction noir - gritty stories in environments and situations you wouldn't think of as being so intimately tragic or intense.
FUNDED!! STRETCH GOAL 9 -- At $22,000, the book gets fancier. Let's make the book nicer. Let's make a thing that looks damned good on a shelf. Now there's a Hardcover option, for those interested.
FUNDED!! STRETCH GOAL 10 -- At $25,000, Cthulhu Noir. This Appendix lets you get your Lovecraft and Derleth on within the existing Noir World framework (including notes on how you can change The Citizen into The Librarian).
FUNDED!! STRETCH GOAL 11 -- At $30,000, Hardcovers for everybody & Variant Cover available. We've made the interior of the book fancier, now let's work on the exterior. At this tier, all softcover books are hardcovers, and backing at the Hardcover level will you get the deluxe variant "super" cover - a black fabric, silver embossed Noir World logo (image soon!)
And now we've got social media goals!
ACHIEVED!! The Appendix will have more resources (books, films, TV shows, videos, etc) to add even more noir to your Movies.
ACHIEVED!! When the Noir World Facebook page hits 100 Likes, John will put The Maltese Falcon into the book, breaking down the Movie scene by scene according to the mechanics.
ACHIEVED!! @Noirworldrpg now has 315 followers which means The Third Man gets the same treatment as The Maltese Falcon: scene by scene breakdown, according to the mechanics.
Find out more about Noir World in Actual Plays and Interviews.
Follow Noir World on Twitter @noirworldrpg to stay up-to-date with the Kickstarter.
Follow on Facebook for the Design Diary.
Check out the Google+ Community for more Noir World stuff.
Want some songs? Try the Noir World Spotify Playlist.
Risks and challenges
With this being my first crowdfunding campaign, there are always the unknown dangers of things I wasn't expecting or didn't plan for like shipping delays or price increases. I'll be as transparent and forthright as possible if/when those things happen.
Also, outside of crowdfunding itself, I have serious medical and health issues that can affect the production and distribution timeline. I've delegated tasks and assembled a creative team I have absolute faith in should I be laid up. Rest assured that I'm receiving the best medical care possible, so I am hopeful that won't be a problem, but it's worth disclosing.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Support this project
- (30 days)