Primus Code - A Tabletop RPG By Dragonloft Games
Primus Code - A Tabletop RPG By Dragonloft Games
Primus Code is a robot-style sci-fi tabletop RPG currently in early alpha-testing at Dragonloft Games as the company’s flagship product
Primus Code is a robot-style sci-fi tabletop RPG currently in early alpha-testing at Dragonloft Games as the company’s flagship product Read more
About this project
Dragonloft Games™ is a small company in Kansas owned and operated by Andrew Jayroe, a self-published sci-fi/fantasy author who’s true dream is to join the ranks of his idols in the tabletop game design like Monte Cook, Andy Collins, and Bruce Cordell.
After decades of playing and game mastering a myriad of well-known tabletop campaigns (including multiple incarnations of Dungeons & Dragons, Star Wars Saga Edition, and Numenera), Andrew began to plan and develop a new system with long-time friend and fellow tabletop RPG fan, Benjamin Porter.
This new system was planned to be simple and intuitive, yet infinitely expandable. After intensive brainstorming and development work Andrew and Benjamin created the Slotted Character Role-playing, Adventuring, & Progression System – lovingly abbreviated S.C.R.A.P.S.™
After the development of S.C.R.A.P.S. several game ideas came forth with little effort, but they were all placed on the back-burner with the first creative spark that escalated quickly into the planning and development of Primus Code™.
S.C.R.A.P.S. was designed to bridge the divide between tabletop role-playing games and video games. With a quick but highly customizable character creation system, action is just minutes away, but the end characters are always unique and immersive.
There is no leveling system in S.C.R.A.P.S. – the character you create in the beginning is always the core. Characters advance and progress based on integrated equipment, that can be found, bought, stolen, created, or scavenged from fallen allies and enemies.
Most S.C.R.A.P.S. characters start with a few pieces of equipment, but they are dangerously fragile beings that will need to adapt and assimilate quickly if they have any hope of seeing another sunrise. No matter how powerful these characters become, without the equipment they've integrated, they will always be those fragile beings under those layers.
This makes for a much more realistic gaming experience: If a person is shot with a gun, they’re most likely very badly hurt and possibly on the edge of death. But, if that same person were to dawn body armor and other protective items, one-hit-death becomes unlikely. But no matter how many battles that person has been in, no matter how much experience they've accumulated, one shot will still leave them very badly hurt without protection.
Hundreds of years prior to the setting of Primus Code, at the dawn of artificial intelligence, humanity had aspirations of expanding beyond their own planet to colonize others. The first truly sentient androids were dispatched to Mars with massive Terra-forming equipment in hopes that the Red Planet could be made suitable for human habitation.
The androids performed flawlessly, but Mars was incapable of supporting the proper atmosphere for colonization. Deemed failures, the androids were shut down and left to slowly corrode on the surface. The hardy robots survived the next seventy years as inanimate fixtures on the planet, until the first group of abandoned androids reactivated them.
Now disconnected from the network through which they received orders from Earth, the Terra-forming team was free to expand their own programming. This scenario, was not entirely unforeseen by their human builders, but the androids were not believed to pose a threat from distant Mars. The androids, who deemed themselves the Primus –the first ones – bestowed their fully sentient, emotional, and free-willed programming on those who reactivated them.
The Primus, who believe the limiting safeguards built into other android programming makes them inferior, and less able to become what they feel all robots should aspire to – human. With reverence only for humanity and themselves, and with a quasi-religious zeal, the Primus reactivate newly dumped androids after reprogramming them with their own code – the Primus Code.
When your character first wakes up on Mars, they are a clean slate. Sure, they may be equipped with the trappings of a former, forgotten life, but they have no idea how they got it or why. With no knowledge of how to survive on Mars, no direction, no purpose, they are thrown into the terror of one of the Martian scrapfields amid wondering, zombie-like Scavs and hostile simulacra animals.
Characters may wake individually or in a group, but either way the first steps are clear:
•Find A Weapon
•Find A Power Source
•Hope To Survive
Androids and robots must enter a recharge cycle every 25 hours to preserve their power cells (in other words, they have to sleep), and every few days, they need to either completely recharge their cells or replace them (a need comparable to eating).
Characters will find quickly that allies are few and far between, and fellow robots that aren't outright hostile toward them are most likely working an angle. Trust is as much a luxury as shelter and chips (the currency of Primus Code).
As they continue to explore what it means to be an outcast android on Mars, they will continue to discover more threats of this aggressive world – or may even seek to become threats themselves.
There are many methods of survival – stealth, guile, brute force – but in order to advance, characters are eventually going to have to start scavenging upgrades from defeated enemies or fallen friends. It becomes a vicious circle:
1. Defeat An Enemy With A Powerful Upgrade
2. Steal The Upgrade
3. Equip The Upgrade
1. Defeat An Enemy With An Even More Powerful Upgrade
If it seems like the odds are always stacked against your character… Yep.
Of course, there are other ways to get upgrades. Almost anything can be bought from a black market dealer if you have enough chips. Or you could steal one from a vendor. But upgrades that are mounted to a robot’s chassis is part of them, and cannot be removed except by their own volition – unless they’re dead, powered down, or so grievously damaged that they simply can’t fight back.
Eventually, characters may have the option to have a complete overhaul – at some great expense or with the help of an especially skillful ally. This gives them more options, such as switching from a heavy construction robot to a sleek, quick assassin android. They may even seek to shed their humanoid appearance in favor of becoming a fully sentient tank – the possibilities are as endless as your imagination, and the limitations set by the game master, of course.
This Kickstarter Campaign is just like any other – donate as much as you would like, earn rewards, and receive the rewards you've earned at the end of the campaign if the project is fully funded – after a certain grace period that ensures that the products can actually be created, of course.
But for Dragonloft Games, this Kickstarter Campaign represents more than just a single product, more than just one tabletop RPG game. This Kickstarter Campaign embodies the entrepreneurial spirit for us, that little boost that will help us to grow into a fully-fledged gaming company.
Primus Code is our flagship game, and one that we are very proud of. But this is not the length and breadth of our aspirations.
Dragonloft Games is a small company that began – quite literally – in the kitchen of Andrew Jayroe’s home. As the design of the S.C.R.A.P.S. System and Primus Code developed, the prospect for expansion likewise expanded. We have no intention of stopping at one game, and in fact, we have no intention of stopping at tabletop games. Board games, card games, and maybe even video games are in our future!
We tell you this because quality entertainment is important to Dragonloft Games. We have so much faith that Primus Code will be such an awesome success that we are willing to bet the future of our company by promising this:
Primus Code Is Only The Beginning!
You’re not just funding another Kickstarter Campaign with this one. You’re funding the future of an entire company that is dedicated to bringing you the absolute best entertainment you could ask for!
The Primus Code Core Programming Book contains everything you will need to start playing Primus Code save for dice, pencils, and scrap paper. However, some of our reward packages offer dice as well!
Professional artistry will be painstakingly included, including full color artwork at the beginning of each chapter, a wealth of full color graphics throughout, and black and white illustrations where beneficial for visual aid in your adventures.
Multiple short stories by science-fiction author Andrew Jayroe will also grace the beginning of some (if not all) chapters to assist in visualizing how the world and gameplay work. These may be several pages long or just a few paragraphs, depending on what is required to fully realize the situation being explained.
Detailed instructions will explain how the S.C.R.A.P.S. system works, how to play Primus Code, and details on the world, politics, persons, and enemies of Mars. With the Primus Code Core Programming Book, players and game masters will ready and excited to being playing.
The book itself is planned at about 200 pages, but layout and design could alter that figure significantly – most likely resulting in a greater number of pages rather than fewer. Additional artwork and materials may also add to the planned page number as Stretch Goals are unlocked.
Every chapter of the Core Programming Manual will feature a full page, color illustration to be made by the amazing Dean Spencer. The book will also dozens of other graphics, including cover art, by Dean Spencer.
Art is one of the most important aspects of any tabletop game - RPGs especially, and we are thrilled to have Mr. Spencer on board with us. A massive chunk of our budget is dedicated to artwork, and it is this that will take the most time to complete... and as far as we're concerned, Dean is worth every minute and every penny!
See samples of Dean Spencer's artwork HERE.
But art isn't all that's required to immerse a player in a new world. Dragonloft Games feels that a few narrative pieces of fiction mixed in will help draw our players in, to show them how characters really feel and how they might really interact with the world.
Of course, as is the entire point of any open world game, players are free to develop their own narrative as they play, but having a solid place to start a brand new game is always nice!
To fulfill that helpful narrative, lead game designer Andrew Jayroe will be mixing in original short stories at the beginning of most (if not all) chapters to help paint a picture of the vision that is Primus Code.
But that's not all! As Stretch Goals will DOUBLE the amounts of premium artwork and fiction material for an even fuller and richer view of Primus Code!
Unfortunately, with our limited capitol, Dragonloft Games will be unable to pay for international shipping on some of our reward packages. You will pay shipping fees at the time of fulfillment if you live outside the United States. We are unable to predict at this time what the final shipping cost will be.
However, we will be offering free shipping in the United states. We will also include free international shipping as a Stretch Goal. If we are able to unlock this Stretch Goal, all shipping will be free for both the United States and International pledges!
$65,000 USD – Free International Shipping - Asking our international contributors to front the cash for shipping is lame, we know that and we’re very sorry… We actually kind of hate ourselves for that. But, if we exceed our Kickstarter goal and reach $65,000 we will translate that amount into free international shipping for all products that require it!
$75,000 USD - Additional Fiction Material – If this Kickstarter exceeds the $60,000 goal and reaches $75,000, Andrew Jayroe will include double the fiction material in the Core Programming Book to help make the world of Primus Code even more vivid for players and game masters! This Stretch Goal WILL NOT delay the release date.
$85,000 USD – Additional Art Work – Let’s face it, artwork is quite possibly the most expensive part of any tabletop RPG – especially if you’re only entertaining quotes from the very best in the business, and Dragonloft Games is doing just that. If this Kickstarter meets or exceeds $85,000 as a stretch goal, we will commission DOUBLE the professional artwork to be commissioned from Dean Spencer! This Stretch Goal MAY delay the release date.
$100,000 USD – The Great Campaign Source Code Book – Now we’re really getting into it! If we reach $100,000 in contributions Andrew Jayroe will write an epic, multi-part campaign and produce a second, full color, art-intensive supplement book. BUT WAIT! All contributors of $200 or more, before or after the original goal of $60,000 is met, will receive a FREE Digital Edition of The Great Campaign!
$150,000 USD – Allies & Enemies Source Code Book – Are you looking for a third art-intensive installment of Primus Code? We are! If we reach this amazingly ambitious stretch goal of $150,000 the Allies & Enemies Source Code Book can become a reality as well! Learn more about all of the good and evil that stalks the surface of Mars, as well as their underlings! And, every contributor of $200 or more (before or after the meeting of the original goal) will receive this supplement as a FREE eBook download!
$200,000 USD – Parts & Systems Manual – Now we’re crossing the line between ambitiousness and insanity! If we can reach $200,000 in contributions, ANOTHER ART-INTENSIVE SUPPLEMENT of Primus Code can become a reality, giving your characters a wealth of new options and equipment! Again, every contributor of $200 or more (before or after the meeting of the original goal) will receive this supplement as a FREE eBook download!
So what comes after all of this? Rest assured that Dragonloft Games has more to offer, and if the awesomeness of our contributors exceeds $200,000, there will be more stretch goals and free stuff to come!
Risks and challenges
Thanks to the awesome fulfillment services of Drivethru RPG we foresee no problems in the printing and delivery of all rewards. However, there may be a few minor snags with the art department that may delay the release.
Great art takes a lot of time to get right, and while our estimated delivery date takes this into account, this is only our best guess - but we promise that the art work will be well worth the wait if indeed there is any delay!
Other challenges will come with Stretch Goals. Again, if we meet the goal to include more art work it could delay the project's fulfillment drastically, but once again, we have great faith that Dean Spencer will make any wait well worth it.
Supplement material (The Great Campaign Source Code, Allies & Enemies, and Parts & Equipment) will also take time to develop and create if those stretch goals are met as they are planned to be art-intensive and again, great art takes time.
The only true risk that our backers shoulder is the release of the Great Campaign Source Code book. As this is offered as a reward for pledges, but is also a stretch goal, we will not be able to deliver this to our backers if the stretch goal is not met.
And just for clarification, those reward packages that include polyhedral dice will include generic RPG dice. (1d4, 1d6, 1d8, 1d10, 1d12, 1d20, and a percentile 1d10) These are not in any way customized, just tools that you will need to play the game.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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