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The InKarnate RPG Toolset is a web application that makes running tabletop RPG games faster, easier, and more fun.

UPDATE #1: After feedback from Gencon we've decided PF RPG will be the next rule set we support. Also, we're going to offer up the Character Creator, Map Builder, Adventure Editor, and Campaign Tracker as components that are purchased for a one-time fee (each sold separately) instead of making it only accessible via subscription. Check below for more details...

UPDATE #2: Here are a couple of videos showing more detailed walkthroughs of both the Character Creator and Map Builder:

Not that long ago, the three of us (Alex, Glenn, and Marc) decided to return to tabletop gaming after years away from the hobby. When we sat down to play, we were stunned by how difficult it was just to create characters and prepare adventures. All of our time was taken looking up rules and trying to use a myriad of tools on the computer to lay the groundwork before we ever started actually playing. This terrible experience (and if it was difficult for us, former players that also play a ton of computer RPGs and MMOs, how tough must it be for real newbies?) led us to begin work on InKarnate—a fully-integrated, broad-featured application to help tabletop gamers play their favorite games. Read on to learn more about how we are going to approach this project and—even if you don't donate—please contact us and tell us what you think would make InKarnate the best it can be.

InKarnate is a video-game-like interface for playing the world's most popular fantasy RPG. This fully-integrated web application frees GMs and players from tedious number-crunching and stat-tracking, so more time is spent weaving epic tales of saving the world and exploring dark, deadly dungeons. InKarnate also helps you visualize your adventures with character portraits, item portraits in an equip screen, custom made maps, and more. With InKarnate, our goal is to make it easier and more fun for you and your friends to sit around a table and role-play. Here are the key features we are currently building for our launch product:

  • CREATE AND RUN CHARACTERS--Roll characters in minutes. Pick a portrait, select skills, and equip your PC with illustrated items. Then run your character with the playable character sheet while the rules are calculated under the hood.

  • BUILD INTERACTIVE MAPS--Create world, wilderness, city, and dungeon maps. Then link them all together to quickly and easily navigate through your entire campaign.

  • LIVE EPIC CAMPAIGNS--Run your games in a shared, virtual space around a physical table or over the internet. Roll dice (or input physical rolls if you prefer), place character tokens, and more.

The $100,000 funding goal will allow us to deliver the features above with a target date of August, 2013. If we can raise additional money, estimated at $200,000, then we will also deliver:

  • WRITE GRAND ADVENTURES-Writing and organizing simple encounters or epic dungeon crawls has never been easier. You'll be able to bring in and edit encounters, monsters, treasure, and NPCs, write descriptive text, and link encounter keys digitally to your maps for easy navigation.
  • UPGRADED VIRTUAL GAMESPACE-- Put a party together and run your game virtually. Reward treasure, reveal maps slowly as they are explored, tie into the adventure editor to easily scan and run encounters, and much more.
  • ADDITIONAL RULE SETS AND CONTENT--This one is self-explanatory. The more funding we receive, the more cool features, new rule sets, and art we can add to make the app even better.

We already have the first of these components--the Character Creator--up and running and so we can share some specifics on its features:

  • InKarnate currently supports the 3.5 rule set of the original medieval fantasy role playing game. The next rule set we are going to add will be PF RPG.

  • As a web app, InKarnate will run on all major browsers and platforms: Safari, Chrome, Firefox, etc., and will work on PCs, Macs, iPads, and Android Tablets. InKarnate has not yet been optimized for smartphones, although this is a feature we are currently working on.

  • The Character Creator allows you to roll up heroes from any of the core classes and races in a quick and intuitive manner.  Choose a portrait and equip illustrated items as you prepare to slay dragons and dungeon delve.

  • With the flexible, Playable Character Sheet, keep track of every bit of information related to your character.  Roll initiative, skill checks, damage, etc., while rules are calculated for you.  Memorize and access spell information from your spellbook.  Buy new items and goods and add them to your inventory.

The Team at GenCon.
The Team at GenCon.

InKarnate Entertainment is a team of three people: Glenn Rane, Alex Gagen, and Marc Hutcheson. Among us we have over 30 years combined experience in the video game and tech industries:


Glenn Rane

Glenn, aka Raneman, is an artist/illustrator who has worked in the video game industry for over a decade. As an artist at Blizzard Entertainment, Glenn has created concept art and Illustrations for the popular World of Warcraft online roleplaying game, including work for the World of Warcraft trading card game, novels, and other "WoW" products. Glenn has also created art for the Starcraft and Diablo game franchises.

Alex Gagen

Alex has programmed in a variety of industries, getting his start working with real-time embedded operating systems, and later moving on to web programming. He has spent the last three years at Grockit doing full-stack web development, and native iOS development. He studied computer engineering at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo where he graduated first in his class.

Marc Hutcheson

Marc has spent the last ten years in marketing at Blizzard Entertainment. He also loves fantasy fiction (has written a few short tales in the genre) and loves to equip his paladin with a Holy Avenger (ok Glenn, I’ll stop begging you to draw one now).

Our goal is for InKarnate to usher in the next generation of gaming—to build a video-game-like interface that helps new players get into tabletop RPGs more quickly and streamlines everything for veterans. This is a lofty goal if done right, and that's why we need your help. Many tools already exist that attempt to help gamers, but they are not broad enough in functionality, integrated, or well-designed. To build the tools that really will make a difference is not that different in scope from a video game development. In order to fund this project properly, and make sure we have the resources to complete it on time, we are asking for $100,000 to deliver a character creator, map builder, and shared virtual tabletop.

With additional funds--$200,000--we will add the Adventure Editor, expand greatly on the Shared Gamespace, and add more art, rule sets, and features. We have a lot of plans for how to deepen the features of InKarnate and given the virtually limitless directions RPGs can go, we can expand on the base functionality almost indefinitely.

We have many exclusive digital rewards and real world collectibles that can only be found through this Kickstarter donation program. Here's a description of what we have in store (keep scrolling down to see visuals of the rewards as well):

Beta Test and Future App Time

The initial beta will feature the 3.5e character creator component. Everyone signed up for the beta will be included in all future component testing that occurs prior to our retail launch. InKarnate will require a subscription for use of the virtual tabletop as well as content packs, and donors all will receive InKarnate time without additional charge (amount varies depending on donation level).

Character Creator, Map Builder, Adventure Creator, & Campaign Tracker

In addition to the subscription time, all donors will receive the following components of InKarnate based on donation level:

  • $15--A copy of the 3.5e or PF RPG Character Creator/Playable Character Sheet
  • $25--Copies of the 3.5e and PF RPG Character Creators/Playable Character Sheets
  • All levels $60 and above--A copy of each component as it becomes available (3.5e and PF Character Creators, Map Builder, Adventure Creator/Campaign Tracker)

Digital Content

Several reward tiers feature exclusive items designed and illustrated by fantasy artist Glenn Rane. Within the app, you can assign these illustrations to any item in the character sheet. So, for example, if you decided you wanted a Long Sword +3 to look like the INKARNATE LONG SWORD, just assign that image to it in the app and place it on your character. These items will only ever be available to Kickstarter founders through this program. Also, depending on your level of donation, you will receive a DRAGON HONOR BADGE that will be displayed within the app and will commemorate your part in making InKarnate a reality.

Exclusive 7in Dragon Sculpt by Sculptor Brian Fay

This collectible, sculpted bust of a dragon's head was designed by Glenn Rane and sculpted by Brian Fay. Made from grey urethane, this piece can only be found through this Kickstarter program. 

Exclusive Class Icon T-shirts

Represent your favorite class with these T-shirts featuring the class icon designs created by Glenn Rane and appearing in the app. You can select from any of the eleven core classes in the base D20 rule set. These high-quality shirts come in a wide range of sizes for both men and women.

11x17in Signed Prints by Glenn Rane: Succubus and Heroes

These two art pieces by fantasy artist Glenn Rane are exclusive to the InKarnate project. The first is featured on the app itself--Heroes, an image of a party facing a terrible menace deep in a deadly dungeon. The second, Succubus, pictures one of the more iconic demons from gaming, as she waits in her sanctum.

Custom Digital or Oil Portrait

Have your favorite character painted and placed inside the game.  At the $500 digital level, you will receive an 8.5x11in original pencil sketch of your character, and an 8.5x11in signed print of the painted character.  At the $2500 Oil level, you will receive the original 15x20in oil painting of your character.  Glenn will work directly with you to achieve your characters likeness so, when it comes time to play, your hero (or villain) will be well represented.

We will publish updates here at KickStarter for now...

Also, whether you donate or not, we'd love to hear from you on what you think would make a useful and fun app for RPGs--leave us your comments here on Kickstarter. The community's feedback is critical for us to create something that truly will make a difference.

Thanks for all the help,

Alex, Glenn, and Marc

The InKarnate Team

What is InKarnate's business model?

We are still evaluating InKarnate's business model as we develop the app. However, this is our current thinking...

Players:

Players will pay a one-time fee for the Character Creator/Playable Character Sheet. This fee will cover a single rule set.

GMs:

GMs will pay a one-time fee for each of these components (separately):

  • Map Builder

  • Adventure Creator/Campaign Tracker

Then for a sub fee (we are thinking $10/month at present), the GM will receive:

  • Access to the Virtual Tabletop (the GM can allow access to players, so the players do not have to pay a sub fee--there would be one fee per gaming group).

  • Regular content packs (including digital adventures, artwork, and more)

The subscription is to help support ongoing feature development as well as server costs. We will make it very easy to place a sub on hold or cancel it--so if you are heavy up on gaming one month but have nothing going on the next you can just turn it on and off as required.

.Will there be a FREE part of the service? Yes! Our goals are to allow some functionality to be free as well as allow access to content already created even after a subscription expires. We are not set in stone yet on the specifics of this as we want feedback from our beta and internal playtesting to guide these decisions.

Why did you choose 3.5 as the first ruleset? The intentional open source nature of the rules and the number of people that still seem to be playing made this the choice for the first rules we tackled. Update: We have decided to support PF RPG as the next rule set. We also intend to add other popular rule sets over time. We'd love to hear from you on what you'd like to see next.

There've been other RPG tool sets created (and still others in development now). Why is InKarnate different? There are several key differences:

  • We are building InKarnate to make playing around a table easier. Many of the apps we've seen are geared more for online play. While InKarnate could be used for online play as well, it's designed first and foremost to support in-person gaming (which we think is the way most people want to play).
  • InKarnate is integrated. When you build a character or monster, you can pull it into a party or adventure. When you build a map you can link it to encounters. You will no longer have to use multiple programs or have several tools running at the same time to play.

  • We have the background to make this happen. We have the skill sets necessary to build something easy to use and fun to play, with artwork that will help you visualize your characters and adventures. We are confident that GMs will no longer need many hours to draft adventures, and even newbies will be able to create characters in a short time (though learning the nuances of playing will still, of course, take some commitment).

All of the rewards say they'll be delivered August of 2013 or later. Why so long? We expect we'll be able to deliver most, if not all, of the physical rewards well before then (the custom paintings may take a while for Glenn to produce of course). The in-game items must be delivered with the app, though, and we couldn't split the timing up in the rewards listing. We will keep everyone notified on timing, but expect all physical rewards much sooner.

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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    *(1)* KICKSTARTER EXCLUSIVE IN-GAME CHARACTER PORTRAIT. *(2)* TWO MONTHS FULL APP ACCESS. *(3)* COPPER WYRMLING HONOR BADGE. *(4)* BETA ACCESS. *(5)* CREDIT AS A FOUNDING DONOR // Note: Check out the rewards section to the left to learn more!

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    *(1)* PERSONALIZED IN-GAME PORTRAIT OF YOUR CHARACTER. *(2)* ORIGINAL PENCIL SKETCH OF YOUR CHARACTER. *(3)* 8.5x11 SIGNED PRINT OF YOUR CHARACTER. *(4)* InKarnate DRAGON SCULPT. *(5)* CLASS ICON T-SHIRT (CHOOSE FROM ONE OF 11). *(6)* BOTH 11x17 HEROES AND SUCCUBUS SIGNED PRINTS. *(7)* ANCIENT PLATINUM DRAGON HONOR BADGE. *(8)* SIX MONTHS APP ACCESS // Includes Kickstarter Exclusives, Beta Access, and Donor Credit. // Note: Check out the rewards section to the left to learn more! International backers please add $20 to your pledge to cover shipping.

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