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An auction-based, single-session tabletop game based on genre films. Play as the actors in a fictional film of your own creation.
234 backers pledged $6,275 to help bring this project to life.

About

$6,275

234

From the author of Fellowship and Panic at the Dojo.

Final Bid is a cooperative, auction-based tabletop game where you play as the actors in a film. A fictional film.

Not fictional as in "the events portrayed are not real." I mean this film doesn't exist yet.

You're about to make it.

Final Bid is a game for 3-6 players and takes about 2-4 hours to play. In Final Bid, players must auction off parts of their character in order to take control of the story. The one who is willing to put the most on the line will win the right to decide what happens next in the film.

Gamble it all to make tomorrow yours.

Cover mockup (not final)
Cover mockup (not final)

History

Final Bid is an updated and expanded second edition of Law's Out, a game I wrote 4 years ago over a weekend. Law's Out is a game about playing as the actors in a spaghetti western style film. The rules are very similar, so for the duration of this Kickstarter, you'll be able to get Law's Out in PDF for free!

Final Bid expands from there to include four other films. Law's Out is still included in the book, but you can also play out these film genres:

Xenohunter: A sci fi horror picture, like Alien or The Thing. Roles include the Captain, the Hunter, and the Beast.

The Havoc Engine: A cyberpunk dystopia movie, like Hunger Games or The Matrix. Roles include the Cog, the Glitter, and the Machine.

Worth Their Salt: A noir mystery flick, like Who Framed Roger Rabbit or The Maltese Falcon. Roles include the Detective, the Don, and the Fatale.

Dramatis Personally: A spy thriller film, like GoldenEye or Kingsman: The Secret Service. Roles include the Ace, the Mastermind, and the Shadow.

Law's Out Role Portraits. Art by Cataegory.
Law's Out Role Portraits. Art by Cataegory.

Actual Play

Final Bid has been played by Six Feats Under! Once as Law's Out, many years ago, once with The Havoc Engine, played in 2018, and a third time, during a live stream on June 22nd.

It has also been played by Roll to Breathe! You can find that here.

If you would like to actually play Final Bid yourself, a preview copy of the rules is available! All backers can find a downloadable preview PDF containing all the game's rules, Law's Out, and The Havoc Engine in Backer Update #1.

Back this project, check that update, and download the preview! If you don't like what you see, you can feel free to cancel your pledge at any time.

An excerpt from the core rules
An excerpt from the core rules

Reward Tiers

$1: Viewers Like You. This tier gets you access to the backers only updates, which include things like preview builds of the game. It also gets you my thanks. I appreciate your support!

$10: Play The Part. This tier gets you the PDF of Final Bid upon its completion, as well as access to all in-progress drafts. You'll get a direct download link to the PDF, as well as a coupon to get it for free through Drivethru RPG.

$20: Place Your Bets. This tier will get you everything in the $10 tier, and you will also get an at-cost printing coupon to order the hardcover print edition of Final Bid through Drivethru RPG. The book will have an estimated cost of $15.80, plus shipping and handling. Additional films will each add roughly $1 to that base cost.

MSRP upon release will be $50, so this tier will save you just at least $10 off of buying it later.

$90: Call The Shots. You get everything in the $10 tier, and I will sign a copy of the hardcover book and mail it directly to you, anywhere in the world. Shipping is covered in the cost of this tier.

$1000: The Winning Bid. You get everything in Call The Shots, twice. But even more than that, you get to add a film to the book directly! Give me a genre and a name for it, and I'll work with you to fill out the Roles your film will have and put it in the book. I'll also ask for a couple of films from the genre you specifically want to emulate, so I can check those out for inspiration.

I reserve the right to reject your submission if it is particularly unsavory (racist, sexist, adult, and so on). Final Bid is intended for all audiences.

Funding Breakdown

So where does your $5000 go?

$1200 is going to art. I want a full movie poster for each film, at $200 each, and then a cover for the book at the same price. This is the main reason for this kickstarter - I do not have an art budget without it!

$1000 is going to shipping Panic at the Dojo. I underfunded that project and do not have the money to ship it. If this Kickstarter project fails, I will take out a loan to fulfill that previous project, but this project's funding will mean I do not need to do that.

$1000 is going to shipping Final Bid, for all $90+ backers. This is probably an overestimation, but with shipping as expensive as it is these days, I would rather overestimate than underestimate.

$1800 will pay my rent while I get this book finished and wait on art. The core rules are entirely complete, and three of the films are fully written as well (Law's Out, Havoc Engine, and Xenohunter). The remaining two films' roles will not take me long to complete. Now that I have finished Panic at the Dojo, I can turn my full focus to Final Bid while I wait on art and this Kickstarter project.

Additional funding will help me eat food and continue to live in my apartment, which are things I like doing. It will also unlock Stretch Goals.

We have hit 200 Retweets on THIS TWEET, so I will be adding the Glenbrook film setting to the lineup! Glenbrook is written by Grant, who has this to say about it:

Glenbrook is a teen drama. Teen dramas are HEARTFELT, EMOTIONAL, and MELODRAMATIC. They are about people forced to deal with adult problems even though they’re treated like children.

Other Final Bid movies are action-oriented. They will all have bullets flying. Glenbrook may or may not. Glenbrook might end with a stack of corpses as a town loses its innocence, or a crisis over who goes to prom with whom. Both have the potential to be equally devastating.

We've hit $5250, so I will replace the Law's Out movie poster I drew 4 years ago with one drawn by a much more talented artist! All art in the book will be entirely new art, commissioned just for this new edition!

Its okay but I drew this a long long time ago
Its okay but I drew this a long long time ago

 Every $2000 beyond our initial funding ($7,000, $9,000, $11,000) will let me add another film to the book, with 4-8 new Roles to match it. Each of the current films in the book have a full set of 8 Unique Roles, but not every film genre may be able to support that many new Roles, and some overlap between genres is expected.

Like Fellowship's playbook stretch goals, the new films will be determined by vote. I will be polling the backers to decide on what kind of film genres they'd like to see, and add in a few genres I feel I could competently manage. Then, there will be a run-off vote, where the top so many films will be added to the book.

Example film genres I am considering adding:

Superhero Action (Avengers, The Dark Knight)

Zombie Dread (Dawn of the Dead, 28 Days Later)

Pulp Horror (The Mummy, Jaws)

And more! I am open to suggestions.

Risks and challenges

Literally nothing ever goes as quickly as you'd hope, so I think the biggest risk is that this project will end up late. Even as close to done as it is, that hasn't stopped my previous projects from nearly all releasing roughly a year later than expected, and they were nearly complete also. Final Bid is the closest yet to a finished written project, but also has none of the artwork, which will absolutely take time.

To try and prevent this, I will be hiring a different artist for each movie's poster. Using different artists means the art will have an inconsistent style, which is normally something I want to avoid, but when I want each art piece to represent a unique genre, that problem becomes a benefit instead.

Additionally, to repeat this from the funding breakdown above, part of the funding from this project is going to go towards finishing my previous project, Panic at the Dojo. At the time of writing, Panic has been completed, but I no longer have the money I need to ship it out to the backers of the previous project. This campaign will be funding shipping for both PatD and Final Bid.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1.00

    Viewers Like You

    Do you just want to take a peek at the sample rules, or give only a little bit? I don't mind, you go right ahead. Every bit counts, and I appreciate it!

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    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Play The Part

    You get the PDF of Final Bid, with all 5 films, and all stretch goals, with a backup copy available on Drivethru RPG. Thanks!

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 20 or more About US$ 20

    Place Your Bets

    You get the PDF and hardcover book* of Final Bid, with all 5 films, and all stretch goals, with a backup copy available on Drivethru RPG.

    *You will pay shipping and printing costs for the book when it is available. Printing cost will be roughly 15.80 USD, shipping will vary by location. Each additional film added by a stretch goal will add roughly 0.99 USD to the printing cost of the book.

    MSRP after the kickstarter will be 45 USD.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    Call The Shots

    You get the PDF and hardcover book of Final Bid, with all 5 films, and all stretch goals, with a backup copy available on Drivethru RPG.

    I will personally sign your book myself, and mail it to anywhere in the world you want it.

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  5. Select this reward

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

    The Winning Bid

    You get two signed books, just like the Call The Shots backer tier, and I will mail them anywhere in the world you want them.

    But more importantly, you get to name a film genre you want me to put into the book, and I'll add it in! I'll write up a full film with its own special rules and unique set of Roles, and it will be available in everyone's copy of the game.

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Funding period

- (30 days)