Infinity's Edge: A LitRPG-Inspired Tabletop Roleplaying Game
A fantasy role-playing game inspired by the LitRPG fiction genre, bringing aspects of MMO gaming to the tabletop for the first time!
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Wed, May 8 2019 8:06 PM UTC +00:00.
Infinity's Edge is a fantasy role-playing game based on the LitRPG genre of fiction. What does that mean? It means that players take on the role of fantasy heroes that are avatars in a virtual reality massively-multiplayer role-playing game. Their characters are aware that they are characters, and they have advantages that normal RPG characters don't have. For instance, if they die in battle, they can respawn at their most recent bind point. Death is no longer the end! It's become a tactical option. But there's always a price, and in Infinity's Edge death means a loss of XP and having to go find your body to get most of your equipment back.
It also means that the NPCs in your fantasy game just became a completely new level of meta! They can discuss levels and classes with your characters, tell them where to find trainers, help them locate the best areas for their level and tell them what kind of loot different creatures drop. Higher level NPCs can tell characters about the abilities that they gain when they increase in level, and they can offer quests to anyone high enough level to qualify for them. Parties, guilds, and factions have mechanical effects including long-distance communication with one another through raid channels.
One of the most significant aspects of this kind of game is that all the chatter around the table about game mechanics just went from out-of-character to in-character. Your characters can benefit from modern world knowledge and use as much regular slang or pop culture references as they want without breaking character (although NPCs may become a little tired of not understanding what they're talking about!). Characters will be offered quests, allowing them to choose their path knowing full well its difficulty and reward. And perhaps most importantly, from the time of character creation, they can take part in events that will shape the (virtual) world they inhabit!
Infinity's Edge uses a unique system designed from the ground up to work with conventional gaming dice but to emulate the mechanics in a modern MMO. At its core, the game works on a percentile system, with a fixed difficulty, or Threshold, for any given task. Characters have seven Attributes and gain Skills, both of which affect a character's chance for success on any given task that uses that particular combination. The default Threshold for success on any given roll is 60, meaning that a character will succeed on that roll if they get a 60 or less on a d100 roll. The higher a character's Attributes and Skills, the higher the Threshold goes, making it easier to succeed on the roll.
The most important aspects of a character in Infinity's Edge are the three Meters: Health, Stamina, and Mana. Health is used to measure how much damage a character has taken, Stamina is spent to take actions, and Mana is used to fuel magic or supernatural effects.
One of the aspects of the game designed to emulate an MMO is the process of Skill acquisition. In Infinity's Edge, characters gain Skills through use. The first time a character attempts and successfully executes a Skill, they gain that Skill at rank 1. After that, they increase in rank through using it successfully. Five successful uses achieves rank 2, then ten successful uses grants rank 3, and so on. For those who prefer less bookkeeping in their games, we included a couple of alternative Skill progression methods suggested by our playtesters so you can customize to suit your preferences! One is based on overcoming challenges (such as battles), while the other is a straight experience point expenditure system.
Characters in Infinity's Edge begin at level 1 and gain levels regularly through experience up to a maximum of level 50. At levels 1-9, the characters are Novices, during which time they develop their Attributes and Skills, and determine what their preferred playstyle is. At level 10, a character chooses their first class. Basic Classes, including the core concepts of Warrior, Rogue, Priest, and Wizard, are available to all characters, and there are six Hybrid Classes that mix two Basic Classes together. A combination of Priest and Warrior is a Paladin, for example, while a combination of Rogue and Wizard is called a Shadowmage. And there are Specialist Classes as well, which can be unlocked via play or by finding a trainer.
When a character chooses their first class, they choose three of six powerful, thematic abilities that establish the class's theme. A priest can focus on healing or buffs, for example. Every five levels after 10, a character may choose one additional ability, completing all of the class's default options by level 25 unless substitute abilities are offered through quest unlocks. Then, at level 30, the character chooses their Advanced Class, and an entirely new level of play is unlocked! The core rules of Infinity's Edge focus on the first 30 levels, but Advanced Classes are already in playtest!
Finally, although the LitRPG genre as well as numerous anime series (which were a strong secondary source of inspiration) tend to have protagonists who cannot log out of the game, in Infinity's Edge that option is still on the table if you want it for your games. Have the real world impact the game world by incorporating interpersonal conflicts between gamers, corporate politics surrounding game releases, and anything else you can think of! It's all in there!
Infinity's Edge is a full-color rulebook that is estimated at roughly 75-80 pages in length. Choosing to back this Kickstarter entitles you to either a digital copy of the game in the form of a PDF or a print-on-demand physical copy created via DriveThruRPG. If you're reading this, you probably already know how good their products are.
Infinity's Edge has already been written. It's currently undergoing edits as we speak, and a portion of the art is already finished, with more in development right now. The funds from the Kickstarter will enable us to finish up the rest of the art rather than having to do it over a long period of time and begin layout immediately upon receipt of the art. But, to reiterate, the longest and most arduous part of the process, the writing and playtesting, was completed before this campaign went live. No additional content will be added to the core rules as a result of this Kickstarter, ensuring that delays will be kept to an absolute minimum.
$10 Infinity's Edge PDF - At this basic pledge level, you will receive a PDF of the full-color Infinity's Edge Role-playing Game. In addition, while the art and layout are being finalized, we'll generate a text-only PDF of the rules that will only be available to backers! You can start playing as soon as the campaign is over and payments have been processed.
$15 Infinity's Edge PDF + Print-on-Demand - In addition to the two PDFs available at the previous level, this pledge will get you an at-cost print copy of our full-color core rulebook. This will allow you to purchase the book for only the cost of printing, which tends to be at or around $5 for a book of this size (although printing costs change over time and we can't predict that). This still allows you to get the PDF/PoD combination for less than it will retail for once it is released to the general public. Because we love you.
$20 Infinity's Edge Digital Addict - Everything in digital, all the time! You get the two PDFs and the hard copy of the core rulebook as previously described, but you also get a PDF of every unlocked stretch goal. Based on the pricing structure we have in place, this is a cost effective method of getting the stretch goals as soon as the first one is unlocked!
$40 Infinity's Edge Hard Copy Addict - We're all bibliophiles here, no judgment. This gets your everything from the previous level, plus when we make the stretch goal items available in print-on-demand format, you get at-cost copies of those as well. In the interest of full disclosure, at the retail pricing that we currently have in mind, this particular pledge level becomes cost effective for you when the second stretch goal is unlocked. We don't want anyone to feel as if they aren't getting a great value!
$150 Immortal Artwork - This is the big one! You get everything else in all the other pledge levels, but in addition, you can submit a picture of yourself (or of someone else, we aren't picky) and tell us what your character's name and class are. We'll commission a piece of art featuring your character! We've done this a few times already. Here's an example of a fan who wanted a "scholarly rogue type", and this is the art we had made for him. You can enjoy the same benefits!
We'll be delighted just to have the game funded, but we have other ideas we want to explore in this game line, and here's what we're already planning on working on. Again, achieving these funding goals will allow us to accelerate the process significantly, rather than waiting on it to fund via sales after the release of the core book.
Depending upon the complexity of the material and the art density, we expect these books to be somewhere between 16 and 24 pages (but we can't promise that they won't blow up to be much larger if and when inspiration strikes... that's how this entire game was created, after all). Pledge levels allow you to gain access to these in PDF or print-on-demand form, or both. We've included what we hope are very conservative estimates on delivery, just to be sure that we don't run overly late. Hopefully these are later than the actual releases!
- $4,500 - The Next Level: Dramatically expanding the rules in the core book, Next Level adds Advanced Classes for play above level 30 as well as advanced rules for settlements, large-scale battles, factional domains, and LOTS of new races, along with all other sorts of stuff. Imagine this is the first major DLC that makes your game even cooler, and you're starting to get the right picture. Estimated Delivery: October 2019
- $6,000 - Knights of the Edge: This sourcebook will present an assortment of knightly orders to serve as a framework for your campaign, as protagonists, or perhaps even antagonists if you like to run scoundrels! Written by guest designer Alan Bahr of Gallant Knight Games, one of the most gifted designers and writers in the industry! We are very excited to have him contributing! Estimated Delivery: November 2019
- $7,500 - The Shorefall Campaign: The playtest campaigns for this game centered around the Shorefall zone and the major events that happened there during the beta-testing of the Infinity's Edge MMO (in-game, of course... there's not really an MMO, just in case you're confused). Get everything you need to run the game here, including characters, NPCs, factions, maps, and of course the epic adventure itself. Estimated Delivery: December 2019
- $9,000 - Digital Grimoire: The Infinity's Edge core rulebook includes the basic magic system of the world and rules for designing your own spells and Magic Skills, but there's always room for more! This includes more Magic Skills than you can shake a wand at, and dozens of pre-made spells to save you time! Estimated Delivery: March 2020
- $10,500 - Need vs. Greed: What's better than more equipment? We're talking about loot! Treasure! Epic drops! Rarities, levels, and scalable items! Everything you can imagine, up to and including an optional system to have characters roll to see who gets a loot drop if they want that extra level of reality in the tabletop version of the game! Estimated Delivery: May 2020
- $11,000 - The Shorefall Chronicles: As a recovering fiction writer, the lead designer for the game fictionalized the events of his playtest campaign in what was intended to be a few short stories but what turned into a novel-length LitRPG saga in its own right. Every backer gets a copy in e-book form! Estimated Delivery: January 2020
Infinity's Edge is the second brand to be released by Kyoudai Games since the company first came into existence back in 2013. In that time, we've released dozens of supplements for our flagship game, Thunderscape: the World of Aden. Thunderscape is available for both the first edition of Pathfinder (PF) as well as Savage Worlds (SW). And if you want PDFs, you'll never get them cheaper than as add-ons for this Kickstarter!
- Thunderscape Core PDF (PF or SW): $10
- Thunderscape Core Book (PF only): $15 with free shipping)
- Thunderscape Class Guide PDF (PF only): $8
- Thunderscape Adventure Path PDF, volume 1, 2, or 3 (PF only): $10
- Thunderscape Worlds PDF Series, volumes 1-8 (PF only): $10
- Aden Gazette PDF Series, volume 1-22 (PF or SW): $18
Shawn Carman is the lead writer for this game. Having discovered LitRPG during the summer of 2018, he has consumed a truly disturbing number of novels since that time, created a game to play with his friends, then ended up writing an entire rulebook about it and finding artists that could create it with him. Shawn is the former head writer for Legend of the Five Rings at Alderac Entertainment Group (for well over a decade, we might add) as well as the creative director and chief writer for Thunderscape, the flagship RPG of Kyoudai Games for the past six years.
Chris Camarata is an audiobook enthusiast and a fellow LitRPG junkie who got very excited when he heard what Shawn was working on. He has been an invaluable sounding board and system designer for Infinity's Edge, with a particular emphasis on the races and the settlement building rules.
Mike Brodu is the graphic design master for Kyoudai Games, and always the wisest man in the room when it comes down to how things look on the page. He knows exactly what kind of margins there have to be and exactly how big the logo can (and must!) be on the front. He's a dark wizard of pictures and we both love and fear him for his powerful magics.
Kim Wong Lim is the single most prolific artist working on the project and has single-handedly helped determine how this game was going to look. He is both a gentleman and a scholar whose artistic talents cannot be overstated. You can check out more of his amazing work right here!
Risks and challenges
Question: Can Kyoudai Games handle this Kickstarter?
This is not our first Kickstarter. We learned a lot from the first two, unfortunately most of it being what we shouldn't do. This Kickstarter has no shipped products (except maybe some add-ons that are already in hand and shippable), and limits our stretch goals to avoid over-promising. The book is written (and nothing will be added to the core book through this Kickstarter, which can cause delays), roughly half the art is already complete, and contracts are lined up for the rest as well as for layout. This project is as close to complete as we can make it with our currently available resources.
Question: What if the text / art / layout isn't finished?
The text is finished. The art is 50% complete and we have arrangements for the rest. We have someone lined up for layout, and if that falls through, we have someone else who can take on the project in the event of an emergency. There is a secondary and tertiary project manager in place with copies of all the assets who can take over if something happens to Shawn. Our failsafes have failsafes.
Question: What about printing / shipping issues?
Our printing and shipping partners at DriveThruRPG operate worldwide and are well known for getting products into the hands of fans at extremely affordable rates and with minimal fuss. Our faith in them is boundless!
- All gone!