About this project
Seco Creek Vigilance Committee is an Old West RPG about justice, law, revenge, and the discrepancy between what is right and what is good. It's designed for intense, one-shot play with a non-random resolution system that emphasizes choices and their consequences.
Seco Creek is a game for five players and one Judge (the GM role). It plays in-between three to four hours in a single session. It requires access to the rules, character sheets, and four colors of poker chips.
You play one of the five members of the posse that has captured the three outlaws. You decide if you want to do what the law says, what the people want, or what your gut thinks is right. You make choices and deal with their consequences. You determine what kind of world you want to live in - or die for.
Seco Creek was designed to emphasize these choices. We’re not concerned with if a character can do something, but rather with what they’re willing to endure in order to see it done.
When a player character takes an action that’s plausible in the fiction, the Judge will determine the world’s reaction. If the player accepts these consequences, the action occurs. The Judge determines the world’s reaction based on the established fiction, and the character’s Favor with the four Factions in the game - Townsfolk, Politicians, Businessmen and Outlaws.
Favor is an indicator of how well-respected, heeded, adored, or tolerated a player’s character is by a particular Faction. Favor is represented by different colors of poker chips for each Faction. Player actions during the game will cause them to earn as well as lose Favor with these Factions. The higher a player’s Favor, the more likely it is that members of the Faction will react positively to them. A character trying to quell an angry crowd of Townsfolk will have a much different reaction with two chips of Favor than with five.
As important as Favor is, it only applies to interactions with non-player characters. When player characters act upon each other, they engage the Negotiation mechanic. Much like with Favor, a player takes an action and is told the consequences necessary to make it true. In this case, rather than the Judge, it is the acted-upon player who determines the consequences. The acting player may accept, refuse, or continue to negotiate. Everything in the game, fictional and mechanical, is open to Negotiation and the acted-upon player should say what they truly want in order to allow the action to happen. This may be a little or a lot. It may be more than the acting player wants to give. The two players should try in earnest to find an agreed upon price, but if none can be found then the Judge takes over and narrates what happens - most often to the detriment of both characters. Seco Creek is no place for inaction.
Every backer at every level will immediately get access to the Quickstart PDF. This PDF has everything you need to play but lacks the depth of the full text. Think of it as an appetizer for the meal to come.
The Full PDF will be professionally edited and laid out and feature four full-page woodcut-style illustrations from Clarissa Baut Stetson. It will include more content on the whys and hows of the game, advice, and examples.
The paperback book will have everything from the Full PDF in a 6x9" black-and-white perfect bound softcover. Stretch goals may increase the physical qualities of the book
Shipping for physical levels will be charged separately after the Kickstarter. This does several things. It allows me to charge accurate shipping, it prevents shipping payments from adding to the funding total, and it prevents shipping charges from being subject to Kickstarter fees.
Estimated shipping costs are:
- US, one book: $5
- US, one book plus keys: $12
- Canada/Mexico, one book: $18
- Rest of World, one book: $25*
*That shipping cost sucks so much. I know. I looked into many ways into getting it lower, and I couldn’t find anything that would lower it significantly without blowing up my costs.
$1: Townsfolk - Times are tight, and you ain’t got much dinero laying around, but you’re invested in how all this turns out. $1 gets you the Quickstart rules right away and backer-only updates as we go along. Should you hit a windfall you can upgrade your tier until the campaign closes.
$10: Outlaw - You like to travel light, and this tier lets you do it. Quickstart rules PDF as soon as you back and the Full PDF when it becomes available. Nothing to weigh down your saddle bag.
$20: Politician - You like to have things both ways. This gets you the digital commodities, like the Quickstart rules PDF and Full PDF, but it also gets you the physical paperback book itself. It’ll sure look good on your office shelf, jefe. +shipping charged after the Kickstarter
$35: The Deputy - Everything the Politican gets, but you hold the keys, amigo - literally. This tier comes with a ring of five iron jailer’s keys to replace the “Keys” card in play. It is such a lovely visceral feeling to slam these down in front of someone else and say, “They’re your problem now.” +shipping charged after the Kickstarter
New pledge level!
$160: The Benefactor - The town of Seco Creek hasn't been developing economically as quickly as Mayor Dix would like, so he allowed me to offer this pledge level. You get everything from the Deputy level - including those sold out keys - and you also get a custom digital portrait from our artist Clarissa Baut Stetson. It's yours to do with what you will and will also appear on a special "Benefactors of Seco Creek" page in the book and PDF. Only four of these are available, so grab 'em while you can!
I am using the funds raised to pay for editing, layout, art, and publishing. I want this to be a high-quality production, and I want to compensate professionals at a fair rate for their crafts. The game is already written and extensively playtested. As soon as it funds, Karen and I will begin work on editing. Our projection is about six weeks for that. Then the text will go to Miguel for layout which should take about four weeks. All during this time, Clarissa will be finishing up the art. If all goes well, the PDF should be ready to be sent out before the end of the year. The book will take longer as I’ll have to approve proofs from 360 Digital Printing, and that takes some going back and forth, so I hope to have the order placed in January. 360 has quick turnaround and should have everything printed in two weeks. The pallets will be shipped to our fulfiller, Indie Press Revolution, and then be on their way to you. With some time for the inevitable errors to be corrected, I predict a March 2018 delivery for the physical copies.
If we’re lucky enough to fund, there are several other landmarks ahead of us on the map. The first being that map.
At $3,000 Tony Dowler will draw a custom map of Seco Creek, illustrating all the important locations in town as well as providing room for you to add your own. I find maps like this a great resource to turn to when I’m at a loss for what might happen next. Oh, that’s right, the Sheriff’s office is across from the saloon. “So Mayor Dix thunders into your office and it’s clear he’s been drinking…”
At $3,500 I will commission Clarissa Baut Stetson to create two additional pieces of art for the text. I love the wood block style she’s chosen for this project and I’d really like there to be more of it.
At $4,000 we’ll upgrade the book to natural paper. This warmer tone is more in keeping with the aesthetic of the book and I think will really enhance the effect of the layout and art.
I have ideas for some more Stretch Goals, but we’ll see if you cowpokes can manage to wrangle those three first.
Risks and challenges
Every Kickstarter has risks, and first Kickstarters especially so. I have done a lot of work ahead of time to minimize these risks. Firstly, the game design is finished and thoroughly playtested. The text itself is 95% finished. Much of the art is finished. I am working with contributors who all have experience in their fields. Most importantly, I have consulted with numerous other RPG designers who have run successful Kickstarters in the past.
The biggest stumbling block I’ve seen from RPG Kickstarters has been shipping and fulfillment. That’s why I will be outsourcing this to Indie Press Revolution, who specializes in handling these types of games. I am confident they will do an excellent job.
The biggest risks with this project are that despite my precautions we go over budget or off schedule. I have worked buffers in financially and calendar-wise, but things can still happen. Financially, this may mean paying some contributors out of my own pocket. Calendar-wise, it may mean you waiting longer for your book or PDF. Neither are outcomes I anticipate, but this is the risks and challenges section, so there we are.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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