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$4,523 pledged of $20,000 goal
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About this project

The One Sentence Summary:

The Coriolis Defect is a roleplaying game where characters have the ability to rewind time, allowing them to re-load the story from a "save point" earlier in the narrative.

Interesting... Tell Me More 

The Coriolis Defect is focused on thematic, narratively-driven gameplay, stories of "re-history in the making." The characters share a rare genetic anomaly, dubbed the Coriolis Defect. This anomaly allows them to briefly rewind history, offering a limited means to travel back a few moments in time.  

How does this Coriolis Defect anomaly work? At its core, it is similar to lucid dreaming, in which people can actively control and direct their dreams. But much about the Coriolis Defect remains unknown. Prominent scientists assert that the anomaly prevents the brain from making the distinction between this reality and all the other potential realities that unfold from significant decision points during a person's life. 

Without that distinction, someone is able to view their personal timeline almost like a slideshow. They can focus on a previous section of the slideshow and re-continue from there. With enough discipline and practice, a person with the Coriolis Defect could learn to rewind or “loop” accurately enough to go back to a specific moment in time and start again. Like loading a previous save game from their experience.

Such a powerful ability is seen as a blessing by some, a curse by others. But there are governments, military organizations, and wealthy individuals who would stop at almost nothing to unravel the Coriolis Defect's secrets.

How Does the Game Work?

The Coriolis Defect roleplaying game uses six-sided (d6) and ten-sided (d10) dice to resolve tasks. A character assembles a pool of multiple dice based on several different factors, such as their raw abilities and special aptitudes... and any additional risks they are willing to take.

After adjusting for the difficulty of a task, the player has to decide whether or not to trigger his character's Coriolis Defect. To trigger the defect, the character must commit a certain amount of focus and energy to the task. Rewinding further back in time requires more of the character's energy.

The character may even be willing to risk looping back through re-history multiple times to dramatically increase his odds for success. The more a character relies on his Coriolis Defect, the more significant the upgrade to a task's dice pool. Fail at picking a lock? Rewind and try again. And again. And again -- until you succeed or exhaust yourself. 

Tampering with time can be dangerous, however. The further back someone jumps, or the more loops they are willing to apply during a task attempt, the greater the potential toll on the character. To reflect this, when a character uses his Coriolis Defect, he risks slowly draining his abilities over the course of play. 

Both time and health become resources that must be carefully managed in order to remain mentally and physically intact. There are other risks, as well. For example, after triggering his Coriolis Defect, a character may experience some... quirks along the way.

Quirks? What are Those?

Ah yes... Quirks are the unexpected complications or oddities that may occur when tampering with the laws of time and space. The harder a character pushes his defect, the more likely a Quirk will occur. Quirks can occur whether a task succeeds or fails. 

Let's take a look at an example during play. 

A character is trying to sneak into a secure facility, but is barred entry by an electronic lock with a 4-digit keypad code. He can just punch in any four digits he wants and hope he gets lucky. And if he fails, he can trigger his Defect to rewind three or four seconds and try again, and again... potentially going through each possible combination until he finds the right one. 

Relooping history in this sort of example is easily represented within a single task check. The more energy committed up front, the more likely the character is to succeed. 

Here is where Quirks can come into play. Whenever you trigger your Coriolis Defect, any 0s rolled on the ten-sided dice result in a Quirk. The more 0s rolled, the more significant the Quirk. And the harder you push yourself, the more ten-sided dice you roll, increasing the odds of both succeeding at a task and encountering a Quirk. 

Success can be a vicious cycle.

In the example above, the character may have pushed himself enough to guarantee that eventually he would uncover the right four digit code. If he rolled a single 0 during the check, when he steps back into the present to rejoin the current timeline, he may experience a minor Quirk -- he now has blue eyes instead of brown. Or maybe he's an inch taller than he was before.

Roll several 0s on the check? Maybe he's now left-handed instead of right-handed. Or colorblind. The more 0s, the more significant and impactful the Quirk. And if the entire dice pool comes up 0s? Well, that will be a truly memorable game session.

Re-Loading a Save Point? 

Over the course of a tabletop roleplaying session, you can think of your groups' progress through a story like progress in a computer or console roleplaying game. Before casting that dangerous spell, before checking to see if the door is booby-trapped, before the big boss battle, you might save the game -- just in case. 

It's like that. Only you don't have to choose ahead of time where to save your progress. By applying the defect, a character can simply choose to reload a previous point and try again. Go back and see what happens if you get into that car. Go back and open the door on the left instead of the door on the right. Go back and talk to the cute blonde at the bar. 

It's a game with built-in do-overs. 

Even when faced with failure after rolling their dice pools, players have the ability to re-roll virtually any check or rewind the story to an earlier point. If they are willing to trigger their Coriolis Defect... and all the risks that go along with it.

Where is the Game Set? 

The main setting presented in the rulebook is contemporary, modern day with a slight sci-fi twist. Life with a light layer of the Twilight Zone applied. Only a few powerful, select people even know about the Coriolis Defect, and people with the anomaly are highly prized -- or pursued -- for research and more. It is a setting of intrigue, conspiracy, and uncertainty. 

In addition to this setting, the GM is presented with a wide number of other gameplay options for the players. This allows the concept of the Coriolis Defect to work like a toolbox, being added to a variety of other settings. Here are just a few examples:

  • The characters begin their story as small time grifters and thieves. But as they learn the extent of their new powers, they develop a thriving criminal enterprise -- until their actions draw the attention of a government agency aware of the defect. 
  • The Coriolis Defect is a side effect of exposure to powerful radiation. Now armed with this amazing but unpredictable power, the game thrusts the characters into a role of a new breed of super hero. 
  • Perhaps the adventure is set in the Victorian era, where the players dabble in arcane research and face horrors from beyond the stars. Along their journeys, they discover a powerful artifact -- H.G. Well's pocketwatch, which bestows upon them the power of the Coriolis Defect.  

Who is Working on it?

The Coriolis Defect is the first roleplaying game from Painted Thumb Publishing LLC, a publishing company founded by game designer Jay Little. 

Jay has assembled a team of seasoned and experienced roleplaying writers and developers dedicated to making The Coriolis Defect an exciting, memorable game. 

In addition to Jay, this talented team includes notable roleplaying contributors such as Sterling Hershey, Jason Marker, Rob Wieland, DM Daniels, Dave Allen, Dylan Owen, Matt Goetz and more. Their work can be seen in a wide variety of roleplaying games and hundreds of products for lines such as Star Wars, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, Rogue Trader, Deathwatch, Dungeons & Dragons, Shadowrun... and more!

A look at some of the games and titles the writers of The Coriolis Defect have worked on. All copyrights, trademarks, or other licenses for these images remains the property of the original creators.
A look at some of the games and titles the writers of The Coriolis Defect have worked on. All copyrights, trademarks, or other licenses for these images remains the property of the original creators.

Give it to Me Straight

Okay. Here's the nitty gritty, down-low on The Coriolis Defect RPG

  • 6" x 9 " (Royal Format)
  • Perfect bound softcover
  • Full color cover, black & white interior 
  • 176 pages, and if certain milestones are met, the book will be expanded by a 16-page signature -- up to 192, 208, or 224 pages
  • Original, poster-worthy cover art by noted fantasy artist
  • Interior art will be mix of royalty free and purchased stock art as well as commissioned new art. The more we raise, the more new art!

The margins are slim, but at $20,000 this project has a chance to break even, despite the higher per-unit costs on smaller print runs. But I'm not creating The Coriolis Defect expecting to make a living off this campaign... I design other games for that.

This project is personal. My expectations are simple: I want to create a damn good roleplaying game with some neat mechanics. I am going to make the kind of game I want to play with my friends.

Hopefully it's the kind of game you will want to play with your friends, too.

Initial Stretch Goals

I hope people get as excited about this project as I am and that we'll have no problem meeting -- and exceeding -- our initial goal of $20,000... So what lies ahead? Here are the first few stretch goals and milestones planned:

$30,000 More great writing, more new art, allowing me to expand the book to a more robust 192 pages.

$40,000 A second original adventure included to showcase how the Coriolis Defect can be applied to multiple settings, book expanded to 208 pages

$50,000 Commission an original short story fiction piece for the introduction to the book, book expanded to 224 pages.

...and much more is planned. Including the potential to bring in an Award-Winning, New York Times Best-Selling team to create a spec--Well, I guess you'll have to back the project to find out!

What Else Can We Expect?

  • More Awesome Stretch Goals. As the funding continues to grow, there are a number of stretch goals that include some amazing milestones, such as bonus material to increase the size of the book, commissioning free supplemental content for download, and a commitment to Kickforward 5% of all net proceeds after covering our costs (if we hit the magic number). As we get closer to the current goal, the next milestone will be revealed.
  • Extra Stuff for Backers. As the campaign progresses, we'll be able to provide access to more and more "stuff" ... Desktop backgrounds, a sneak peek at the art during various stages of development, mock layouts -- as well as potentially more physical items to pack with orders... things like bookmarks, bumper stickers, etc.
  • Regular Updates. We'll post progress reports both on this campaign page and The Coriolis Defect Website, where Jay will feature regular blog posts, game insights, and sneak peeks at the development process.
  • Dedicated Forums. The sooner we hit our starting goal, the sooner I can flip the switch on The Coriolis Defect forums, where you can discuss its development, share setting ideas, and learn more about the game. 
  • So What's With the $100k Milestone? You'll notice some of the reward levels refer to a $100k milestone. I think it's a big deal... And if we hit that milestone, everyone who backs Coriolis Defect with $100 or more will get their very own personal copy of this currently mysterious reward. For free. And it's pretty awesome.
  • What Is It? To find out, help us reach our stretch goals! As the project reaches new milestones, I will reveal more stretch goals to aim for. Once the project hits a certain threshold the mystery will be revealed. But just between you and me, it involves an Award-Winning, New York Times Best-Selling team.
  • Stay tuned to learn more!

Learn More 

Visit The Coriolis Defect website for more information about the game system, the talented team of writers and developers working on the project, and to learn the story behind the game's origin from designer Jay Little. 

Follow The Coriolis Defect on Kicktraq!
Follow The Coriolis Defect on Kicktraq!

Thanks for taking the time to learn more about The Coriolis Defect -- I appreciate it!

...

Please Note: For rewards including one or more physical books, an additional charge of $10-30 for shipping outside the USA may be required depending on the number of books. 

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

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    TIME TEASER: All the gratitude listed above plus a 16-24 page pre-press PDF snapshot of various sections of the book in-progress.

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    TIME TINKER: Even greater gratitude. Not only the Time Teaser level, but now you get thanked directly in the book, and you will receive a PDF packet of pre-generated characters to let you dive into re-history right away.

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    TIME TESTER - PDF LEVEL: Not only the Time Tinker level, but now also a full PDF of the final product -- potentially available months before the physical books come back from the printers.

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    TIME TRAVELER - SOFTCOVER LEVEL: Why stop there? You receive the Time Tester rewards, plus a physical copy of the final softcover product! (International Backers - Please Add $10 for S&H)

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    TIME TRACKER: The entire Time Traveler package, plus a second, signed copy of the book. (International Backers - Please Add $10 for S&H)

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    TIME TAKER: The entire Time Tracker package, and now also a limited edition, oversized print of the full color cover! (International Backers - Please Add $10 for S&H)

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    TIME TAMER: Not only the Time Taker package, but a packet of full-size character sheets and a printed set of pre-generated character folios! (International Backers - Please Add $10 for S&H)

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    <+> RETAILER LEVEL <+> Not interested in all the other stuff? Just want the books? Then this is for you. INSTEAD OF the list of rewards up to this point, you receive six copies of the book, two mini-posters, a cover print and a set of full color pre-generated character sheets for your store. (International Backers - Please Add $25 for S&H) * Plus $100,000 Stretch Goal Bonus*

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    DEFECT DABBLER: Everything from the Time Tamer level, plus 1 additional signed copy of the book (for a total of 3 books). And a second print of the cover, this one highlighting the art. (International Backers - Please Add $10 for S&H)

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    DEFECT DILETTANTE: You receive the entire Defect Dabbler package, as well as get to contribute your name or NPC concept as a minor character used in setting or adventure material in the final book. Plus a personal Thank You letter from Jay Little. (International Backers - Please Add $10 for S&H)

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    DEFECT DOMINATOR: The entire Defect Dilettante reward, and now your name or PC concept is upgraded to a significant character -- used as a main, fully illustrated character in fiction or for game examples such as character creation, skill checks, or combat. You will also receive a print featuring your character's concept art and final rendering. Plus your character will be available for download as a pre-generated PC Character Sheet. (International Backers - Please Add $10 for S&H)

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    CORIOLIS CRAFTER - HARDCOVER LEVEL: The entire Defect Dominator package, plus you will also receive one copy of the Limited Edition Hardcover of the book. PLUS a personal thank you in the book foreword. (International Backers - Please Add $20 for S&H)

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    CORIOLIS CONTROLLER: Not only will you receive the hardcover with the entire Coriolis Crafter tier, you will also receive a full color printed spread of your personal Thank You page from the book forward. PLUS, if we reach the necessary stretch goals, you get to choose one project for how a portion of the Kickforward proceeds are disbursed.

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    RULER OF RE-HISTORY: Wow, you really like this game. Thanks for your support! You will receive EVERYTHING above -- including the six extra books and goodies from the Retailer Level. But that's not all. Jay will also personally write an original 24 page adventure for you based on the type of Coriolis Defect game you'd like to play. You will receive two (2) physical copies of the adventure, while other players can download a PDF version -- for free thanks to your generosity. (International Backers - Please Add $40 for S&H) * Plus $100,000 Stretch Goal Bonus*

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Funding period

- (30 days)