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About this project

 

 

Age Past is a classless, sandbox fantasy role playing game that will allow a player to design any type of character they want from Primitive to Victorian-like eras. Character design is supported through a vast array of Powers, Spells, Factions, Crafting, Pet and Companion Design.

Since Age Past uses an open design system, complex or simple characters can be created.  This helps a players tailor the game experience they want.

In-game story and character motivation is driven by a unique game mechanic called "Design."  Every character follows their design which puts pressure on a world at the brink of change.

The characters played, are known through the annals of history to have caused a dramatic impact on the world.  This means that every player character is destined to mark the world.  A character's Design causes them to adventure, seek glory, find vengeance, or save their people.  Their Design has unforeseen consequences on the world.

During your adventures, will your hero burn a village to save a love?  Will he help to defeat one army, allowing another to conquer?  Will he sacrifice a civilization to kill a nemesis.

Would this stop you from achieving your goal?

Game Books

Both game books are nearly entirely complete. They are fully written and laid out, just lacking some final editing and art for completion.  But don't take my word for it, below you can find both full books in their current state as samples.

The Incian Sphere Hardback: The Incian Sphere is over 400 pages long and comprises of over 270 thousand words.  It is core rule book for Age Past with the rules for making characters, social and combat mechanics.

The Incian Sphere Revised:  400 page book

Sand & Woe Companion Hardback:  Sand & Woe is a shorter companion book that focuses on the Southern desert region of Incia.  It includes supplementary rules including new weapons, Powers, and spells.  As well as additional game aids and optional rules.

Sand & Woe Companion:  112 page book

Care was taken in formatting to ensure that every page was filled with material: art, stories, and rules.  Rules rarely fall off a page and charts have been embedded into the text - so no need to go searching pages away for the proper chart.  As you read, you will come across in game fiction that helps impress the feel of the world and mechanics.  The formatting is user focused and user friendly.

Age Past Character Sheet PDF

Age Past Game Tools

Go on, D/L the PC sheet and make a truly unique character.

 

Tell us About it

The Incian Sphere is a realm of magic. Those of the Sphere, unlike others, have never forsaken the gods. Over time, they learned how to harness the mana flowing from the High God's Heartstone which forms the core of the planet. Here, great nations are assailed by the horrors and trials of the world. Great forces summon armies, subvert evil, and alien threats. The Incian Sphere is held together by the will of its great nations. Incia produces the world's most powerful magic based warriors and spell casters. It houses many tribes that keep to the old ways more so than other other place. Her animals grow large and wild, and her trees grow tall and burn cold.

Magic can be a savior, but it can also crush a civilization. A Castle Balancing on a Needle

Player Characters start in the world's year of 1817. Age Past describes the world, but the time-line is roughly equal to our own history. At this time the Incian Sphere is stable, but hangs on to its tentative peace by a thread. Your character has a Design, a purpose, and must see it through. His actions and ambition could cause an imbalance in the Incian Sphere. A hero who defends a village would allow friendly military troops to be re-positioned, helping elsewhere. The new influx of troops could help overrun a native tribe's village caught in a crossfire. At some point, history will remember the hero for making this mark on the world.

 

What is "Sand & Woe?"

Sand & Woe is a Companion book for The Incian Sphere. It focuses on the Southern Desert Regions of Incia. It expands the history of three different people, as well as describes more monsters, magic items, weapons, and crafting options.

Pulp Rules:  Sand & Woe provides a modification to the existing mechanical rules called pulp rules. Pulp rules speed up game play by using more a more streamlined rule set. All the comprehensive character build options stay in place, allowing for the typical millions of unique combination.

Noquesse Zenith:  This is the capital of the Noquin Caste people found in Sand & Woe.

 

 

Sandbox You Say?

Options:   Age Past offers innumerable options that a character can be built with over his career. This allows a player to make a simple caster or melee beast, or create vastly complex Archetypes.

In Age Past you don't just create a "Warrior", you create an "Elven Ghost Warrior, Defender of the Crown." The character's concept fuses with how he acts, what he knows, and what he wants to achieve in the world.

Any fantasy character concept, ranging from Primitive times to Victorian-like can be made. While typical Western/ European style characters can be made, so can any other type of character. This includes psionic samurai, fire breathing pirates, and wuxia cat people.

There are also Factions that the character can join and level ranks in. These special guilds hold special political power in the Sphere. Characters can gain titles of nobility or of Professorship. These options add to the complexity of play and help support the broad nature of PC build options.

It's not just player characters; Pet Companions can also be built and level with the character. Do you want to make a large war-cat you ride into battle? Sure do it. Do you want to make a spell casting and talking Owl Companion? The rules for that are on the same page. A mini dragon? Yup that too.

Crafting: There's an entire section related to crafting and rules for crafting any item that can be found in the game. Are there rules for castles? Yes. Are there rules to build submarines? Yes. Are there rules to build underwater castles? Not exactly, but there are enough guidelines to help a player and GM though the process. Through crafting, a weaker PC can use his brain to to build himself exo-armor with lighting cannons.

How is this Driven?

There are no standard rules to create special Cinematics in Age Past. There are cinematic optional rules in the Sand & Woe Companion. However, the nature of combat and options during combat allow it to be natural cinematic. Mechanics and Rolling

Elegant10: The Age Past game system is powered by the Elegant10 rolling system. Elegant10 uses only d10 type dice rolled as a pool. The player reviews his total skill total and rolls that many d10. He then chooses the highest value rolled for his score. However, there are several ways for this result to be modified. Additionally, natural occurrences of 10 add +2 to the result. Also the entire pool does not need to be rolled, some dice can be held with each granting a +1 to the highest value rolled. In combat, when rolling to penetrate armor, extra natural 10's cause additional damage.

Example: The pool total is tallied at 6. The player rolls 3d10 and holds 3 dice. He rolls a 10, 10, and a 3. His final result is a 15. In the same scenario, if he were to roll a 1, 2, and an 8, his total score would be an 11.

This rolling system places a soft cap of rolling at 6 for very easy tasks and about 20 for very difficult ones. This keeps a rational check on challenge scaling as characters level.

Conditions and Powers can handcuff how a player rolls. Certain Powers force a player to roll only one die, thus creating an exciting risk vs reward scenario. Others force all the dice in a pool to be rolled without any being held, thus leaving the total score to pure chance.

Combat Overview: Every character's combat turn is broken into actions. A player will usually have 3 actions at lower levels and 6 at higher levels. Each action allows the character to do something and they can be taken in any order. For each action he can: move, offensive attack, reload, defensive attack, and search. Movement is held to two actions and attacks after the first add +1 action cumulatively. Reloading and drawing weapons can be done as part of a move action or on their own.

With 4 actions a hero could move, attack, move, and make a defensive attack. He could also, move and attack twice. There are certain penalties for running out of actions, so it's always a good idea to leave one unused action each round.

Attacking and defending happen interactively in an opposed manner. Characters choose to dodge or parry, depending on their skill and the situation. If an attacked doubles a defender's score, then a critical hit occurs. This means that applied penalties and conditions make it easier to cause critical hits to happen, due to lowering a target's defenses. Critical hits cause additional damage and an optional d100 chart can be used to determine a specific effect - like dismemberment.

Therefore, as the combat develops, it displays the dynamic action you are likely to find in movie, comic, or TV show. This is achieved through finding a balance between replicating what is actually happening and abstracting the intent of what is happening.

Campaign Game Play Session:  Here is a session from an ongoing campaign being run.  Some of the group are experienced players and others are newer.  Overall this provides a good idea for how the game helps player integrate their characters into the game world.

Game Features

Races:  The Incian Sphere features 11 races and Sand & Woe includes two more.  Each race has a historic and semantic overview.  Political overviews are also included to help ratchet up tension.  Each also gains special Powers or abilities.  In a 6 player game, its common to have 6 different races represented.  Each is unique and fun to play.

Artwork:  Alex's artwork in The Incian Sphere and Sand & Woe is remarkable. The artwork is striking and there is a lot of it!  In the Incian Sphere there are over 70 pages of art work, which is great if you like amazing art.  That's not 70 pages that contain artwork.  If you cover all the pages with artwork you will have 70 complete pages of art.

Powers: There are over 140 individual Powers in The Incian Sphere. Most Powers can be chosen 3 to 4 times over a character's adventures. This means there are literally millions of combinations that can be made. Generally, two fighter type characters will share very few similar Powers. An adventuring party of 6 may only share one or two non-standard Powers. Each Power is designed to grow if taken more than once, but a player can also choose to take new and different Powers to become better rounded.

Monsters:  There are over 75 completely developed monsters in The Incian Sphere.  There are also tons of rules to help a GM create new monsters, along with monster cards that can printed out to help with game play.  Age Past also offers tons of optional rules that can speed up, or provide more details to monsters and combat.

Spells:  Age Past has over 150 spells that are broken down into 14 Schools.  When a character learns to cast spells, he knows all the spells in a School up to his casting level.  This allows for massive casting options.

Equipment:  Age Past has a ton of great gear options and rules for tracking and sorting gear.  Many groups choose not to track gear and that's okay too.  Weapon choices are dynamic and a character can build his fighting style around weapon and shield combinations.

Game Tools:  There are tons of games tools included that any GM would find helpful.  This includes and adventure builder, a starter adventure, a GM Screen, Initiative Cards for PC's and Monsters, and even a name generator based on race.

Optional Rules:  There are many options rules in the game that can help a  group tailor the elements and complexity to the experience they want to have.

Balance:  In Age Past, Balance occurs naturally.  Everything a character gains costs build points.  Every time a character levels he gains more build points and his level also unlocks more options.  The BP costs vary based on the strength of a Power.  Weaker Powers cost less and therefore a character can have more of them.  Also, better Powers have a longer level gap between when they can be purchased.  At later levels, a player must choose what higher level Powers he wants to end his character with.  Also, many powers have mana costs, the stronger a Power the more mana it costs to invoke.  These three aspects allow a cushion that helps to ensure balance.

 

You are helping to pay for the majority of illustration work for "Sand & Woe", editing for both books, and printing.  Cost breakdowns are listed below in the "Troubles" area.

All backers will get their names in the forward section of the book for contributors as well on the website: Age Past Contributors.  The size of the names will be based on the reward level selected.

  • Hardbacks:  "The Incian Sphere" and "Sand & Woe" will be POD printed as 8.5"x11", case laminate, hardback books.  The interior paper will be 70 lb matte.  The printing will be completed by IngramSpark, which is Lighting Source's POD service.  Lighting Source is well known in the RPG world as a quality vendor.
  • Digital:  Both books will be available in PDF format.  The images in the PDF will be downgraded to 144 dpi, which provides for enhanced quality over typical illustrated PDF's.  The PDF's will contain bookmarks.
  • Power Cards:  Every single Power in Age Past will be created as a poker-sized card.  The cards will be POD printed by The Game Crafter, who provides quality work.  Once editing has been completed, the cards will be created and go into production.
  • Custom Laser Cut Cover:  The book sleeve is made of 1/8" thick, high quality, baltic birch, and each will be cut individually by DAFT Concepts.
  • Leather Incia Map - 14" x 9":  This laser cut map is made from 5-6 oz leather.
  • Templates:  The templates are cut from 1/8" colored acrylic by DAFT Concepts and can be used to help with game play.  These are optional, as copies of the templates can be found at the back of "The Incian Sphere."
  • Offset Printing:  Offset printing is the high quality professional printing that we all deserve.  It's very expensive, as to bring the price down per book to POD pricing between 750 and 1000 books need to be purchased.  Also, we want to do this for both the Core and Companion books.  Offset printing has been slated as a stretch goal which means if the amount it met, EVERYONE who orders a book gets theirs upgraded to the higher quality.
  • Shipping:  Domestic shipping on everything is included in the price.  International shipping is available, and pricing is as low as possible but I know it can be very expensive.  I have tried my best to set fair pricing for shipping.

 

"This game is fantastic giving a true feeling of heroics and full of choices. I am a game designer myself and find the system to be elegant and simple. The d10 system of this game keeps the success high and the defeat devastating. I currently play a rifleman archetype named Rengu with a pet pig named Wilbur. I can shoot webs spin bullets and use boom sticks and am a noble; and its just so much fun! I would give this System a 9/10 with the exclusion of one point the system being a little sticky to learn for new comers." - Aaron Justin Bryant, Head Designer of Table Knights Entertainment - USA

"Age Past is a great game because player agency is put into focus with almost everything you do - Elegant10 lets you roll your dice with intent and the classless character builder allows for creative, imaginative builds. The game is all about player choice, freedom, and fun."  - Simon Iversen, Web Developer / Sweden

"Age Past is a game where your fantasy take you on endless journey. To a new player the book looks intimidating, however as you following the guide you will find its simplistic nature. The hardest part will be deciding which of the massive list of powers to choose. I mean seriously I want them all."  -  Mike Hamilton, Hardware & Software Engineer / USA

"Age Past is a fantastic fantasy game.  Gameplay is simple and easy to follow, combat is lethal and sleek.  However the real star of the show for this game is the sheer amount of customization in making a character.  The options are staggering and no two characters will come out the same, even if they're archetypal the same." - Steven Noll, Tabletop RPG Blogger and Developer / USA

"One of the things I like about Age Past is the options that it gives players. There are enough options for you to make the character you want, but not enough to overwhelm the player. It's also a nice change of pace from other tabletop role playing games because it doesn't really restrict what your character can do. I also like how the dice mechanics work. The Elegant 10 system does a great job of resolving conflicts and determining outcomes without slowing down game play too much. The game setting itself is also refreshingly different, but still has enough traditional elements to make players feel familiar. All of these elements have contributed to a campaign that I know I'll never forget, having been given a chance to try this game out firsthand. I'd definitely recommend it for anyone looking for a change of pace from standard fantasy RPGs or for those who are looking to get started in the hobby." - Michelle Pauley, Playtester / USA

"Age Past is a pretty interesting role playing format where it's still the same at most but also has it's own unique twist to it. Where with other games you have classes that your character specializes in. Age Past allows you to create your own class to play as without needing to worry about default classes to start with. While combat, some things can seem a bit clunky at first, but it turns into something more fluid and versatile, like the game wants to be. It's a role playing game that anyone cant start with, only knowing the bare basics of role playing." - Hailey Eskridge - RPG Adept / USA

"Age Past is a fun and unique RPG experience. It's a well thought out and balanced game system with an amazing character creation process that enables players to have exactly what they want. A must have for any serious role play game enthusiast." - Jeff Lyons / RPG Veteran / USA

"Having played Pathfinder for years I always found low level characters to be uninteresting and bereft of options. The character creation system for Age Past will give you some of the most dynamic and fun first-level characters you've ever played." - Alan M. Berlett / RPG Gamer and GM

Jeff Mechlinski

The owner of SMG and the main author of Age Past.  He went to Auburn University and obtained a degree in Industrial Design.  he started writing Age Past in 2006 and launched the original project in 2011.  Jeff is an active participant at GenCon where he runs several Age Past RPG games every year.  Jeff is the author, designer, and creator of the Age Past game and several other games in process.

A.P. Klosky

The owner of Blackfall Press LLC and is the author of Cold Steel Wardens: Roleplaying in the Iron Age of Comics. He has worked as a writer, designer, and editor for numerous companies in the hobby game industry, including Cubicle 7 Entertainment, Pinnacle Entertainment Group, GameWick Games, Gun Metal Games, Myrmidon Design Bureau, Fainting Goat Games and more. Klosky is a founder and active member of the Wittenberg Role-Playing Guild, a gaming group based in Springfield, Ohio, which regularly features gaming sessions throughout the Ohio Valley.  Andy is tasked with the editing of both the Incian Sphere and Sand & Woe.

Alex Nanitchkov

Alex, in his artsy-broody way, refused to provide a bio.  That's okay; I made this one for him.  Alex has a vast resume of wonderful art projects, including for for Paizo and many video game companies.  He also supplied all the art for the Incian Sphere and will supply most of the part for Sand & Woe.  Alex is also an accomplished fantasy cartographer and an all around excellent person who loves beer.  Help Alex buy more beer.

 

Risks and challenges

There is little risk involved with this project. Here's why:
1. No part of this project will be fabricated overseas (China). Alex lives in Bulgaria, but all of this work can be electronically transmitted.
2. This is my second KS involving printed materials. I have a strong knowledge relating to the production, setup, and preparation of the product. I am controlling everything so there is no middleman to drop the ball or take the money and run.
3. The books are already written. The Incian Sphere Revised is 99% complete. It needs about 4 additional art pieces and editing and the book is ready for printing. Sand & Woe needs an extensive amount of art and editing, however, it's cover is completed (the big one) as are the maps and one page of magic items.
4. I am using trusted partners. Everyone involved, including POD printers, Offset printers, my illustrator, laser cutters, card makers, and editor are all well known in the game industry.

Funding Breakdown - Shipping added in.
- Art: $6000 ($1200 already seeded)
- Editing: $600
- POD printing: $21 Incian Sphere
- POD printing: $11 Sand & Woe
- Card Printing: $23
- Laser Cut Box: $25

- Total Incian Sphere books needed to sell to fund: 150 ($3150)
- Total cost to make 150 books: (3150+600+6000) + 10% fees = $10725

For Stretch Goal Offset Printing, produced by Taylor/ Balfour
- 750 copies of Sand & Woe: $4,700.42
- 750 copies of Incian Sphere: $12,112.19
- Shipping: $1,000.00 (on palate)
- plus art and editing: $6600
- plus 10% for fees and factor of safety

- Total: $28,000

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    - Dust Devil -

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    - Age Past Templates -

    Get the following templates, laser cut from 1/8" colored acrylic.
    - Cone: 50' and 25' cones in 1 template
    - Blast: 10' and 15' radius in 1 template
    - Line: 10' wide, with range increments

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    You get a leather, laser cut map of the Incian Sphere. The leather is 5 to 6 oz weight.

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    You get the custom laser cut, Baltic birch sleeve that holds both hardback books.

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Funding period

- (30 days)