About this project
Steampunk Roleplaying in a Victorian World of Gothic Horror
In the Clockwork: Empire Roleplaying Game, players take the role of exceptional individuals within the British Empire of 1896 as it strives to maintain tradition in the face of scientific advancement, powerful mystical practices, and the threat of the Pontus – the primordial chaos which is slowly reclaiming creation. Reality itself is crumbling while debutantes vie for social currency, bureaucrats backstab one another, pirates plunder the seas and skies, and a few honorable men and women fight back against the chaos that is consuming the world.
The Mechanics: Something New
Clockwork: Empire uses a completely original set of mechanics. Skill resolution utilizes a 100-card play deck that all players share. It combines randomness with resource management and allows us to do some phenomenal things.
- No round robin initiative system! We've use a surprisingly simple non-linear system where any player can act at any time. No more getting up from the table to go get snacks during the long wait for your next turn.
- Conflict doesn't have to be about killing or incapacitating your opponent, it can be about besting them. Our game favors creativity and treats conflict as goal oriented problem solving rather than "roll-stab-repeat."
- Clockwork’s social conflict system enables characters to have the equally satisfying options of solving their disputes with words or guns. The system allows for social conflict to flow into physical conflict, and even back again if the characters are good negotiators or intimidators. Hence, strong social characters are just as valuable to the game, even in physical conflict.
"With an emphasis on dynamic social conflict instead of endless rounds of 'roll-stab-repeat' gameplay, Clockwork: Empire is not only a palate cleanser, but an invigoratingly fresh approach to the medium. This is a game every fan of the genre NEEDS to experience.
- Dirk Manning, writer of Nightmare World, Tales of Mr. Rhee, and Love Stories (to die for)
The Clockwork World: Something Old
Clockwork: Empire takes place in an alternate version of the British Empire of 1896. It is a highly researched world that is strikingly similar to our own history.
- Socially, we bring some lesser known facts to the center stage and extend the lifespan of some political and religious movements.
- Technologically, we take curiosities that were unique and make them ubiquitous, and pull the designs from sketchbooks of real inventors to make them rare curiosities out in the world.
- Spiritually, we take what was belief or superstition and make it reality.
Very few liberties were taken, and every truth of the Clockwork world hangs on a fact from our own real history. We use that history to ground our stories in something real, creating a believable unbelievable world full of strange curiosities, mysteries, politics, injustice, and credulous motivations. It's the perfect stage for "punk" drama.
"The world is rich and full, and the system allows for PCs to guide the story the way they wish."
- Lori, Geeks Playing Games News & Review
How Far We've Come
We have a staff of writers including Ennie award nominated author Nathaniel Dean (known for his work on Eclipse Phase) and Doug Hagler (known for his work with Parsec and Jolly Roger Games). Our rules have been, and continue to be, thoroughly play-tested by pilot groups and at cons. Over 2000 players have already downloaded our Quick Start Rules! We have retained industry veteran artists such as Raven Mimura and Jasmin Darnell. We are excited to include new fiction by Dirk Manning. The core rule book is nearly finished and progress continues to unfold.
We're almost there, and with your support, we can deliver something amazing.
What You Can Get
A Full-Color Hardback Core Rule Book
We're estimating it to be about 325+ pages in length. It will contain the most interesting portions of the Clockwork world, a complete rules system, lots of fiction and artwork to help immerse you in the game! Some pledge levels offer this book in a PDF format or as a deluxe printed copy.
A proprietary deck of cards is necessary to play Clockwork: Empire, but there are many ways to get them. An artless version of print-and-play cards is available for free as a part of our Quick-Start Rules. High quality, full-art printed Clockwork Cards are available from DriveThruRPG.com, and a PDF version of these cards is available with every pledge level of **IMPERIAL EMIGRE** or higher.
We'll also be producing a Kickstarter exclusive play deck, which will only be available from this kickstart or by special promotion. Every pledge at the **CITIZEN OF THE EMPIRE** level and all pledges at the **GENTRY** level or higher receives a printed copy of this exclusive deck in addition to the PDF of the print-and-play standard deck. The PDF of our Kickstarter exclusive deck will never be released, and once the order has been exhausted they will never be available again.
Clockwork: Empire Art Book
If you want to support the project because you love the Steampunk genre and the way our world interprets it, but you are not a gamer... well, we're going to produce a PDF Art Book full of sketches, paintings, and other artwork from the game along with notes and commentary from the creators describing the process of building our believable unbelievable world. You can pledge at the **PATRON OF THE ARTS** level to receive this PDF, and we'll throw in the Art Book for free for anyone who pledges at the **WITCHFINDER** level or higher.
What follows is a complete list of add-ons that will be available to everyone who pledges at the IMPERIAL EMIGRE ($20) level or higher. To add anything from this list to your order, simply add the stated amount to your pledge. The backer survey that we send you at the end of the campaign will ask you to detail what your extra pledge money is for. You can add up to five (5) of each add-on item to your pledge.
- ART BOOK - $10: Anyone who isn't already receiving an ART BOOK may add a digital ART BOOK to their pledge for $10.
- ADDITIONAL EXCLUSIVE CARDS - $20: You can add an additional 100-card deck of Exclusive Kickstarter Campaign cards to your pledge for $20. Remember that these cards (made unique by the artwork that will appear on their backs) will ONLY be available through this Kickstarter campaign and by special promotion.
- ADDITIONAL CORE RULE BOOK - $42: You can add an additional standard Core Rule Book to your order for $42. Deluxe Core Rule Books will not be available as add-ons.
Be careful in calculating your pledge amounts, as you will be unable to change your pledge total after the campaign has ended. Be especially careful to include international shipping if this applies to you. Remember that packages shipped to Brazil require an additional shipping cost of $20 per book (this is in addition to standard international shipping costs - see below).
What We're Spending Your Money On
If you are familiar with the independent gaming industry at all, you know this is a labor of love. None of your money goes to us. ALL of the money we receive will go into this book and its stretch goals! Specifically, we'll be funding artwork, layout, printing, and shipping. If any money is left over, we may actually pay the writers who volunteered their time and skill... and then they will likely use that money to finance the next book in the Clockwork line.
We want to make the Clockwork: Empire Roleplaying Game epic. We'll use all the money you give us to ensure that it turns out that way.
IMPORTANT! International Shipping Info
Reliquary Game Studios cannot be responsible for additional taxes or tariffs that individual countries may charge on foreign shipments.
Also, with some regret, we must ask all backers from the country of BRAZIL to add an additional $20 USD per book to their pledge (this is in addition to the standard $20 charge for international shipping - for a total of $30 to $40 depending on backer level). Simply add this addition to the value of your pledge when entering its amount. Shipping costs from the US to BRAZIL are higher than other international markets and thus we must do this. You have our apologies, but we must work within this constraint.
Risks and challenges
Half of our staff members have worked elsewhere in the independent gaming industry. We have the experience of those who have done this before. Even with experience, though, there are always the possibility of timing issues which are not completely within our control.
The upside of bringing so many talented people together is an amazing finished product, but the downside is working through the schedules of all of those people. There is always the possibility for delays in printing, shipping and acquiring artwork. We've done our best to use our knowledge of the industry to make a delivery date we believe will account for these delays.
Our hope is that our backers never have to worry about the work we're doing in the background to get our product to them on time. We will be relentless in providing updates so that everyone knows the status of the project and when to expect their package in the mail.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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