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What happens when you combine the flexibility of a role-playing game with the portability of a card game? Compact Heroes! Read more

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This project was successfully funded on June 10, 2011.

What happens when you combine the flexibility of a role-playing game with the portability of a card game? Compact Heroes!

About this project

Many moons ago, when I was in the military, a large number of us enjoyed playing traditional role-playing games.  The only problem was that when we got deployed (which was often), we did not have the room to carry full size books and bags of dice with us.  For a soldier in the field, portable games were king.  It was one of the reason games like Magic The Gathering became so popular in the military.

Based on my anecdotal observations (6 years deployed overseas), card games were king when we were deployed but full sized role-playing games were king when we were on base.  We simply couldn't enjoy our role-playing games when we were deployed.

The solution to this is Compact Heroes.  I designed CH to be a fully functional role-playing game that includes all the core elements of traditional role-playing games (non-linear, character choices on advancement, never ending story, etc) that could fit in a pocket.

Everything a person needs to play the game is included in the starter deck with the exception of a pen or pencil and one six-sided dice.  Bags of dice, notebooks, 8.5"x11" books--none of that is needed.

During initial playtesting, it was discovered that this format was also very positively received among students, who were also limited on space during lunch periods or other short gaming sessions.

How this is accomplished is done the following way:

*Players of characters keep all of their character information in a hand, just like a hand of cards in poker or any other card game.  These cards include core attributes, skill cards, and item cards that the character has collected on his or her adventures.  When a player advances or learns a new skill, they simply add that card to their hand.  These "hands" define the character, and can be used in game after game.

*The game master has the adventure, monster, and treasure cards.  He or she essentially runs the game like a game master in any other role-playing game.  The GM is the story teller, of sorts, and there are cards that depict maps, adventure hooks, encounters, etc.  As the players proceed in the adventure, the GM will reference the maps and monster cards, playing the game like a typical rpg.  When treasure is found, the cards are handed out.

The game itself is near completion.  However, as you can imagine, each card requires a unique image.  The vast majority of the funds raised will go directly towards paying those freelance artists who will complete this artwork.  A small percentage would go towards establishing print set up and distribution set up.  So by supporting this project, you are also supporting the freelance artist community directly.

Thank you so much for your time and interest in this project.


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  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    0 backers

    You have my very gracious thanks for helping support the project.

  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    13 backers

    My many thanks, and a pdf copy of all of the cards to be included in the deck.

  • You selected
    Pledge $35 or more

    47 backers

    The above, plus a physical starter deck mailed to you. Orders outside the US please add $5 for shipping.

  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    33 backers

    Based on request, this reward level is created to give a pdf copy, and two copies of the starter deck. Outside of the US, please add an addition $5 for shipping. Thanks!

  • You selected
    Pledge $125 or more

    5 backers

    All of the above, plus you get to design a card of your choice to be included in the next expansion deck. You will also be specifically named in the thanks portion of the deck itself.

  • You selected
    Pledge $200 or more

    2 backers

    In addition to the three limited edition cards, a personal call out in the deck, and your inclusion to personally design a card in the next expansion, you will also receive a letter of personal thanks and five starter decks each signed by me.

Funding period

- (30 days)