Jinkies! is a tabletop roleplaying game based on the mystery-adventure cartoons of the 1970s, like Scooby Doo, Jabberjaw, or Josie and the Pussycats. In this Powered by the Apocalypse (PbtA) game, the players will explore fantastic locations and meet strange people in their pursuit of adventure, mystery, and laughs.
Jinkies! is a tabletop roleplaying game that uses PbtA mechanics. Gameplay is simple. All you need is a copy of the game, 2 six-sided dice (2d6), some blank paper, some pencils, and a few of your friends. One person will be "The Animator"--they are in charge of all suspects, the bad guy, and the setting. The rest will be members of "The Gang," creating colorful characters whose goal is to unmask the bad guy.
One of the core principles of all PbtA games is "playing to find out," and Jinkies! is no exception. There is no "man behind the curtain"--the Gang and the Animator will collaboratively create the story, the mystery, and the adventure. Jinkies! is not a "whodunnit," but a comic adventure through a goofy cartoon world.
Like all 1970s mystery-adventure cartoons, Jinkies! is also high on comedy, but lacking in combat. Instead of swords and guns, you'll fight crime with your wits and cleverness. . . and maybe a few wise-cracks on the way!
The adventures in Jinkies! are set in America, 1975. They'll take you from a mountain town in Oregon, through the American gothic midwest, and into Philadelphia, PA.
But that doesn't mean Jinkies! can't take place in a different setting. Bad guys have used trickery and subterfuge to get away with their misdeeds in every age and in every place. And in every time and place, there have been meddling kids to stop them!
Roleplaying games traditionally have a hard time telling mysteries. That's why Jinkies! does it differently. Like in any PbtA game, the players and the Animator in Jinkies! "play to find out." This means that no one--not even the Animator--knows who did it until the big reveal. This approach shifts the focus from the mystery to the adventure, and from the culprit to interesting suspects. The result is a mystery-adventure that's unpredictable and exciting every time.
Does it play well with children?
Absolutely! Jinkies! closely follows the feel of family-friendly TV shows like Scooby Doo, Where Are You! and Jabberjaw. These classics were clean and appropriate for children in 1975, and this homage is clean and appropriate for children today. The Quick Start material available to all backers immediately contains two playbooks: one that is for adults and one that is kid friendly. Expect the final product to be thoughtfully and intentionally designed with children in mind.
Does it play well with adults?
Absolutely! Jinkies! contains a set of variant rules, called "Behind the Music," which allow older players to tint their nostalgia with adult themes and language. People enjoy classic Hanna-Barbera cartoons on different levels, and one of the design goals of Jinkies! is to allow players to enjoy them on these levels too.
Backers get early access to the no-art Quick Start rules to get you started, posted in Update #1 for you to access and start playing. The rules aren't fully edited, but they are a playable draft, and include the playbooks, basic moves, and an introductory scenario that you can play with your group right away!
Throughout development, you'll also get updated editions of the full rules as they go through editing and changes in response to your feedback. Although the game text is complete, there is still a chance to get your voice heard as I edit and revise the game.
Print copies of Jinkies! will be fulfilled via DriveThruRPG. When the project is complete, backers at the "Groovy Snack" pledge level will get an at-cost code to buy Jinkies! from DriveThruRPG at the cost of printing, plus shipping. That means you'll be paying a small amount to get your copy of the book. The low price on the printed reward tiers reflects the fact that you'll need to pay a little more in about a year or so.
Backers at the Signed Copy and "Dude, We're With the Band" levels will not need an at-cost code, since their copies will be printed and shipped to Toby for signing before being shipped to you.
We estimate the cost of the book to backers will be about $4 per book, plus $5 shipping (in the US). However, printing costs and shipping costs can and do go up. Our goal is to finish production quickly, in hopes that the costs don't rise before we fulfill orders.
PDF copies of Jinkies! will be fulfilled via DriveThruRPG, and either a Dropbox link or email, depending on which method makes the most sense at the time.
The "Dude, We're With the Band" level will be fulfilled similarly to the Signed Copy level. Toby will run the game either online. If you and your friends will be at a convention he's attending or are local to Las Vegas, he will run the game in person for you.
This Kickstarter will deliver a game for all ages about 1970s cartoon-antics! Jinkies! is written for all ages and experience levels--brand new gamers and veterans of tabletop will have a blast playing as their favorite cartoon characters.
All backers get:
- Early access to the zero-art beta rules during the Kickstarter
- Credit in the book as a Kickstarter backer
- My personal gratitude and thanks!
In addition, if you back for $10 or more, here are the exciting rewards we're offering:
$10: The "Zoinks!" Package
Jinkies! in PDF!
$15: The "Groovy Snack" Package
Jinkies! in PDF & a paperbound copy of Jinkies!
$40: Signed Copy of Jinkies! in Softcover
Jinkies! in PDF & an autographed paperbound copy of Jinkies!
$200: Dude, We're with the Band
Jinkies! in PDF, an autographed copy of Jinkies!, and the author will personally run the game for you and your friends online or at a convention he's attending!
$5000 - Banana Chan's Excellent Adventure/Setting
At $5k, Banana Chan from Game and a Curry will write an awesome and weird setting for Jinkies!
Toby Strauss (author and designer) is a special educator by day, geek by night. When he isn't writing roleplaying games about cartoons, Toby enjoys playing guitar, dancing, and laughing at the lighter side of life.
Stephanie Bryant (project manager) is a scrum master and project manager. For fun, she writes tabletop games, plays bass in a band, and makes cool stuff with string.
Lil Chan (illustrator) is an Illustrator and Concept Artist for games who loves creating art for novel and narrative-driven game experiences. She enjoys deep conversations and unearthing the mysteries of a rotisserie chicken's skeleton.
Vivian Abraham (editor) has been writing, running, and playing games for almost forty years. In her day job she is an attorney and legal editor. To remain sane in law school, Vivian mapped out, square for square, every location in Ultima IV. Twice. She also ran over 100 hours of Third Edition D&D. In her spare time, Vivian enjoys painting miniatures, making buildings out of paper, catching Pokemon, and cooking with her husband in Iron Chef competitions.
Banana Chan (adventure author) is a role playing game (tabletop and larp) designer, as well as the owner of the board game publishing company, Game and a Curry. Banana has written for TTRPGs such as 7th Sea: Khitai, Kids on Bikes, and The North Sea Epilogues. Her larp work includes They’re Onto Me (winner of the 2016 Golden Cobra Challenge for Best Pervasive Larp).
Risks and challenges
The first draft of Jinkies! has already been written and playtested, minimizing risks. That said, there are always risks to any project:
People: A collaborator might delay the project. Before publication, Jinkies! will need a general editor, a layout editor, stretch goal collaborators, and art. Sometimes life happens and people are delayed in submitting work. The risk here is not that the project won't finish, but that it might be delayed.
I am in good health and am financially stable, but I can't guarantee that will always be the case. A badly timed emergency could delay my ability to complete the project. Again, the question isn't whether the project can finish, but that it might be delayed.
Cost: Costs might change. This risk is minimal for fulfillment since the hard copies will be fulfilled via at-cost DriveThruRPG codes. However, the funding goals assume the costs of production (art, editing, etc.) will remain more or less unchanged between now and fulfillment. If there is a substantial change in one of these costs, it could delay the project.
Scope: With each stretch goal, we'll be adding a small amount of scope to the project, which changes the costs and deliverable timeframe. When planning this project, we've built in a very generous safety margin to address those timelines.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (32 days)