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There is no winning in Heaven Harbor, a city consumed by corruption, greed... & demons. There is only surviving for as long as you can.
There is no winning in Heaven Harbor, a city consumed by corruption, greed... & demons. There is only surviving for as long as you can.
There is no winning in Heaven Harbor, a city consumed by corruption, greed... & demons. There is only surviving for as long as you can.
303 backers pledged $21,103 to help bring this project to life.

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Hellywood — a noir tabletop RPG

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A Summary of how you can receive the FREE stretch goal rewards is in the latest update.

The simultaneous crowdfunding project by John Doe Editions in France has achieved the stretch goal for a poster map of Heaven Harbor. That means all Kickstarter backers who pledge for a printed Hellywood rulebook ($45+) will now also receive this reward!

You can learn a lot about an RPG simply by looking at the character sheet. Take a look at the English version of the Hellywood character sheet.

Artist Morgan Yon (Heavy Rain) is part of the Hellywood team! He will create a new panoramic for the GM Screen that features scenes that will appear on the standard editions of both the Hellywood core rulebook and the mega-sourcebook Justice of Angels.

 

Primary Hellywood game designer Emmanuel Gharbi declares Hellywood to be his “love cry” to the noir genre. And it shows. The most important character in the game is the city of Heaven Harbor itself. Nicknamed Hellywood, this city is full corruption, greed and violence.

There is no winning in Heaven Harbor. There is only surviving for as long as you can.

Survival is a prospect made even more difficult for inhabitants of Heaven Harbor following the “Day of Ashes” when ashes rained from the sky for an entire day. The city was changed, yet in at its heart remained the same when the “hornheads” emerged. Golem, succubi, seraphim, and the possessed now inhabitant the ghetto known as the Forbidden City, but they also walk the streets of Heaven Harbor. They don’t desires anything as prosaic as souls. Instead, these new inhabitants seek to tap the same appetites that lead so many humans astray in Hellywood: politics, gambling, temptations of the flesh, and more.

 

Originally released in France in 2008 by John Doe Editions, an indie RPG publisher with a catalog full of interesting titles, Hellywood will be available in English (and hardcover!) for the first time with your support for this project. John Doe Editions has a simultaneous crowdfunding project in France to fund the publications of an exciting twelve-part Hellywood campaign, Justice of Angels, as well as an updated edition of the game itself.

Both projects offer Hellywood in a hardcover edition that is significantly longer than the original 224-page rulebook. The new French edition is 328 pages long, and the English edition will be slightly shorter, but likely more than 300.

You can watch the John Doe Editions project video to see some additional artwork from the various Hellywood products!

This Nocturnal Media project seeks to fund the entire line of Hellywood products in English. Premium editions and amazing add-ons are available as well.

Following our successful project to translate the classic Spanish RPG Aquelarre, we have decided to embark on a campaign to introduce English-speaking gamers to other awesome and inspiring European RPGs. Thank you for supporting of our efforts and at the same time encouraging cutting edge game design around the world.

 

A detailed description of the city of Heaven Harbor in 1949 is the heart of Hellywood. Players assumed the role of a tough guy or girl living in the shadows of corruption and violence. These characters are left to fashion their own code for survival, to draw their own lines for moral action.

Despite the presence of the “hornheads”, the setting is all noir. The fantastic elements are added with a light touch in part to allow the stories of Heaven Harbor to tackle difficult topics like racism, bigotry, and addiction. This is to say that Hellywood stories can pack an emotional punch deftly as a hardboiled jab to the jaw.

Your guide to Heaven Harbor is cop and medium Terry Doyle. He describes every neighborhood in the city from Lucky Island to Crescent View and from Russian Hill to the Strangler Fields. Included is information about the district as well the important figures and details about current events.

 

Hellywood features story-oriented game-play and the mechanics are rooted in the traditional dice game Craps. Dice are rolled only when a character attempts an action that isn’t trivial or impossible. The 2d6 are read just as first throw in Craps: the character “wins” on a 7 or 11 and “loses” on a result of 2, 3 or 12. In Hellywood, any other result (which happens quite often!) is a “maybe”, perhaps “it depends” or “let’s see”, and the Voiceover (or VO, the inspired name for the Gamemaster in Hellywood!) decides the consequences of the attempt. As a result, the narrative is substantially expanded.

Of course, this basic die roll has some permutations. Importantly, a character’s skill level grants one or more “+” that increase the chance for a success. Consider this chart from the Hellywood character sheet:

So, a “professional” succeeds on a roll of 6, 7 or 11, while a “virtuoso” not only succeeds on a 6, 7, 8 or 11, but he or she is also allowed to roll 3d6 and keep the two dice that yield the most favorable result.

You’ll note that it’s possible to more than “++” yet that list tops out at “virtuoso”. That because it’s possible to cheat! Look for a future update to go into this along with more detail about the mechanics of the game.

 

The information of the main rulebook is further brought to life in a number of scenarios for Hellywood that we hope to unlock as stretch goals and add to your rewards, but included in the project from launch is the brand-new supplement, Justice of Angels. This sourcebook is the primary purpose of the crowdfunding project by John Doe Editions.

Justice of Angels will be an enormous 300+ page hardcover book. The French edition is estimated at between 320-350 pages, and the English will likely be a bit shorter. The sourcebook details a twelve-story campaign featuring three interconnected stories:

  • The possible return of terrible serial killer, le Hachoir, who preyed on the young women of Heaven Harbor in 1931.
  • Streets that are cleaned of drugs except for a new one, Voodoo, that seems connected to the realm where the horn heads originated.
  • The campaign for a new mayor to supplant the current one, Harold Palmer, who is crippled by scandals of corruption and criminal activity.

 

Artist Morgan Yon is now on the Hellywood team! He will create a new panoramic for the GM Screen that features scenes that will appear on the standard editions of both the Hellywood core rulebook and the mega-sourcebook Justice of Angels. Here's are two sample of his awesome concept artwork for the award-winning Heavy Rain (both images copyright Quantic Dream and used with permission):

 

 

 

There are a lot of pledge level options, but hopefully the choice makes it easier to see what you're getting for your support and makes it easier to include add-ons like dice or cards. The rewards are hopefully somewhat self-explanatory, but here are some images to make it clear what's included in the higher level pledges. Remember, in Hellywood, the GM is called the Voiceover!

 

 

 

 

 

Hellywood Original Pledge Level

The pledge at the very bottom of the list is a special case and it's limited to only 20 backers. Those who back at this level are actually doing ALL backers (at pledge level $25+) the favor of a new sourcebook called The Hellywoodians. Backers at this level receive an original wash illustration of themselves (or someone for whose permission you have to include) drawn by Hellywood artist John Grümph. Twenty of these are available as part of this project and 20 more are available in John Doe Editions' crowdfunding campaign in France. These up to 40 characters will be collected and given stats and background by John Doe Editions to create a book of ready NPCs for any Hellywood game. Each original is about 7x9" and the pledge reward includes the original drawing plus a PDF of Hellywood. Simply add the pledge amount of any other pledge level to your $150 pledge to add those rewards. For instance, if you want to go all out, then pledge $300 to this reward level to get the original illustration plus everything included in the HELLYWOOD VIRTUOSO VOICEOVER pledge level.

John Grümph's illustration of Hellywood designer Emmanuel Gharbi.
John Grümph's illustration of Hellywood designer Emmanuel Gharbi.

 

 

Each of the pledge levels indicates an additional pledge amount you may add in order to add extra items to your rewards. Note that you may need to look at a higher pledge level to find the combination of items that you would like. For instance, if you want the custom 5d6, but only want a PDF of the rulebook and not a printed version, then consider the $35 HELLYWOOD GAMBLER pledge level.

If there is a combination of items you want that is not represented by a pledge level (or you just don’t know which one is the best to choose for what you do want), then please send a message and we’ll help you, even if that means adding a new pledge option!

Here are pre-production images of the cards (both the Hellywood poker deck and the new deck of Storypath Cards, Path of Shadows) and dice available in addition to the books! Please add $10 to your pledge for each these add-ons, e.g. add $30 for both decks of cards and the dice.

Custom 5d6 with the Hellywood pentagram replacing the "1" pip.
Custom 5d6 with the Hellywood pentagram replacing the "1" pip.

 

54-card Hellywood poker deck with art deco styling circa 1945.
54-card Hellywood poker deck with art deco styling circa 1945.

 

Cards in the Path of Shadows deck grant the players agency in the narrative of any RPG.
Cards in the Path of Shadows deck grant the players agency in the narrative of any RPG.

 

Path of Shadows is a new deck of Storypath Cards. These cards are distributed to players at the start of a game session and they may be used to affect or add to the narrative. Each deck is 34 tarot-sized cards. For more information about Storypath Cards, please see at our Kickstarter project from earlier this year.

 

Once we pass the initial funding required to move forward this project, we’ll add extra items to your rewards by way of “stretch goals”! There’s nothing more you need to do to collect these goals, but by spreading the news about this project to your friends and in your social circles, you’ll expose the project to others and perhaps create new backers. This in turn allows us to afford these extra rewards for backers at pledge levels $45+.

Here are the first four stretch goals for this project:

Here is a description of each of these:

The Glass Prison: Aldo Marsella has just been freed from the Santa Esperanza prison. Don Michael Marsella, Aldo’s brother, "gently asks" the characters to pay his brother a visit and make sure that he has no plans to disturb the family business.

Dead End: The young brother of one of the characters is involved in the strange overdose of a young lady from the high society. Can he be saved from the manhunt organized by the good people of Mullberry Hills? (This is first appearance of the new drug "Voodoo" that's central to a storyline in Justice of Angels.)

The Jade Serpent: A failed invocation has opened a passage way in Chinatown and something came through…

Hellywood Silk Bookmark: A sewn-in bookmark to mark your place in style! This is added to both editions of the rulebook.

 

At the same time we’re running this Kickstarter project, the French publisher of the original Hellywood is crowdfunding Justice of Angels. They are offering a number of stretch goals in their project, and many of those goals have a direct impact on great extras you may receive too! If John Doe Editions meets a funding goal to unlock any of these these items, then you’ll receive the translated version free of charge!

Here is a description of each of these:

Wall Map of Heaven Harbor: A detailed maps of the districts and locations of the city on an approximately 2’x3’ fold-out map.

The map will be included FREE with any printed copy of the Hellywood rulebook.

Leo Bruiser’s File: This is a very exciting supplement to Justice of Angels! These are 64 pages of props like autopsy reports, HHPD reports, scrawled notes and more that have been assembled by Leo Bruiser, an alcoholic cop the players encounter during this campaign. The information contained on these sheets is summarized in Justice of Angels, but this stretch goal transforms these notes into actual props to give to the players.

The PDF of this File is included FREE for anyone who purchases the PDF of Justice of Angels, while a printed version of the File accompanies all printed copies of the sourcebook.

New Scenarios: Road Kill and Under Surveillance.

The PDFs of these are included FREE for everyone who pledges at the $45 level or higher. If the printed scenario book is unlocked in the Kickstarter project, then these scenarios will be included there too.

NPC “Easels”: These are folded bookmarks meant to be hooked over the GM Screen. The player side features the illustration of an NPC from Justice of Angels while the VO side contains thumbnail information about the NPOC, including the page number in the sourcebook where you can find more information about the character.

A PDF of these cards is included FREE for everyone who pledges at the $45 level or higher. The printed version is FREE for everyone who pledges at the $100 level or higher.

 

All shipping charges for pledge rewards is added to your pledge amount. This is a flat amount per pledge level. Any add-ons or extra items due to stretch goals are included at no additional cost to you. So, there are no extra surprise expenses later!

Risks and challenges

The English-language edition of Hellywood is effectively a collaboration of two established companies, Nocturnal Media and John Doe Editions. Nocturnal Media is operated by Stewart Wieck, founder of White Wolf Publishing and well-known in gaming circles since 1986. John Doe Editions has published many different games in France since December 2006.

Hellywood RPG, the Justice of Angels sourcebook and the GM Screen, plus some of the stretch goals scenarios already exist... in French. Even so, Nocturnal Media is not dependent on the material being *created*, merely *translated*, a process that has already started in preparation for this project. Translation is not ever a "merely", but while only John Doe Editions can *create* Hellywood, I can always seek another translator if the current very reliable veteran of many RPGs for other companies for some reason cannot complete the work.

We think you’re in good hands here, and would not be posting this project if we were anything other than 100% certain that you will receive your pledge rewards!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    HORNHEAD —

    Keep an eye on things from the safety of the Forbidden City! Receive notice of project updates and be imbued with an irresistible desire to play Hellywood.

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    PDF OF SHADOWS —

    A PDF of the new deck of tarot-sized Storypath Cards that encourage and empower gamers to add to the narrative of any roleplaying game. The mood of this deck is especially appropriate for a noir setting, but any dark medieval or dystopian SF works well too!

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    CRAPS 5d6 —

    A set of custom Hellywood d6. Receive 5d6, the number they hand you at the Craps table from which you choose the 2d6 you wish to roll. (The Hellywood game system is based on a Craps roll of 2d6.)

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    NOIR POKER —

    Gambling is a fact of life in Heaven Harbor. Play in Hellywood style with a custom deck of 52 poker cards featuring the Hellywood logo, art deco styling, and face cards featuring characters from the game.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    PATH OF SHADOWS —

    A new deck of tarot-sized Storypath Cards that encourage and empower gamers to add to the narrative of any roleplaying game. The mood of this deck is especially appropriate for a noir setting, but any dark medieval or dystopian SF works well too!

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    Pledge $18 or more About $18

    GAMBLER —

    Both the Hellywood custom 5d6 and the Noir Poker Deck!

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    Pledge $18 or more About $18

    CARD COLLECTOR —

    Both the Hellywood Noir Poker Deck and the new deck of Storypath Cards, Path of Shadows.

    ** Want the dice too? Please add $10 to your pledge amount. (No additional shipping.)

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    HELLYWOOD PDF —

    A PDF of the newly translated Hellywood RPG.

    (The PDF is also included with physical copy rewards and will still delivery before you receive your physical copy.)

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    HELLYWOOD GAMBLER —

    A PDF of the newly translated Hellywood RPG, plus the Hellywood custom 5d6 shipped to you.

    ** Want the poker deck or Path of Shadows too? Please add $10 each to your pledge amount. (No additional shipping.)

    ** Want the other Hellywood products too? Please add $25 to your pledge total if you would also like PDF copies of Justice of Angels and the GM Screen.

    (PDF delivers in October 2016.)

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    *************************************
    HELLYWOOD RULEBOOK —
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    A printed edition of the newly translated Hellywood RPG (PDF copy is included).

    ** Want the dice, poker deck Path of Shadows or a pad of color character sheets too? Please add $10 for each item to your pledge amount. (No additional shipping.)

    ** Want PDFs of the other Hellywood products too? Please add $25 to your pledge total if you would also like PDF copies of Justice of Angels and the GM Screen.

    (PDF delivers in October 2016.)

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    HELLYWOOD MICROFICHE —

    PDF copies of all the core products:
    • newly translated Hellywood RPG
    • Justice of Angels sourcebook
    • GM Screen

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    HELLYWOOD AMATEUR VO —

    Printed editions of the newly translated Hellywood RPG and a copy of the GM Screen (PDF copies are included).

    ** Want the dice, poker deck Path of Shadows or a pad of color character sheets too? Please add $10 for each item to your pledge amount. (No additional shipping.)

    (PDFs deliver in October 2016.)

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    *************************************
    PREMIUM HELLYWOOD —
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    A premium leatherette & foil edition of the newly translated Hellywood RPG (PDF copy is included).

    ** Want the dice, poker deck Path of Shadows or a pad of color character sheets too? Please add $10 for each item to your pledge amount. (No additional shipping.)

    ** Want PDFs of the other Hellywood products too? Please add $25 to your pledge total if you would also like PDF copies of Justice of Angels and the GM Screen.

    (PDF delivers in October 2016.)

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    HELLYWOOD RECORDS & ROLLERS —

    PDF copies of all the core products:
    • newly translated Hellywood RPG
    • Justice of Angels sourcebook
    • GM Screen

    PLUS the Hellywood custom 5d6 shipped to you.

    ** Want the poker deck or Path of Shadows too? Please add $10 each to your pledge amount. (No additional shipping.)

    ** Want the other Hellywood products too? Please add $25 to your pledge total if you would also like PDF copies of Justice of Angels and the GM Screen.

    (PDFs deliver in October 2016.)

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    HELLYWOOD PROFESSIONAL VO —

    Printed editions of the three newly translated products: Hellywood RPG, GM Screen and Justice of Angels (PDF copies are included).

    ** Want the dice, poker deck Path of Shadows or a pad of color character sheets too? Please add $10 for each item to your pledge amount. (No additional shipping.)

    (PDFs deliver in October 2016.)

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    HELLYWOOD EXPERT VO —

    A premium leatherette & foil edition of the newly translated Hellywood RPG. Plus, printed editions of the GM Screen and Justice of Angels (PDF copies are included).

    ** Want the dice, poker deck Path of Shadows or a pad of color character sheets too? Please add $10 for each item to your pledge amount. (No additional shipping.)

    (PDFs deliver in October 2016.)

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    HELLYWOOD VIRTUOSO VO —

    Premium leatherette & foil editions of both the newly translated Hellywood RPG and Justice of Angels. Plus, a printed GM Screen. (PDF copies are included). Stretch goal Scenario Book will also be leatherette & foil!

    Also included are 5d6 custom dice, the Hellywood poker deck, the new Path of Shadows and a pad of color character sheets.

    (PDFs deliver in October 2016.)

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    HELLYWOOD ORIGINAL —

    Receive an original illustration of yourself in noir style by Hellywood artist John Grümph! Illustration is approximately 7x9. See project text for details. PDF copies of Hellywood and The Hellywoodians also included.

    Please add an amount to this pledge equivalent to any other pledge level you would like to include in your rewards. For example, if you would like the rewards included in HELLYWOOD PROFESSIONAL, then add $100 to your pledge. Original art may ship separately.

    (PDFs deliver in October 2016.)

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Funding period

- (23 days)