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£1,631 pledged of £2,500 goal
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By Stephen Fleetwood
£1,631 pledged of £2,500 goal
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About this project

What is the Road to Heaven?

Road to Heaven is a tabletop rpg focused on heroes in a fantastic bronze age attempting to become gods. 

It is set on the fantasy world of Adnatu, a world created from the broken remains of an old reality. The world was built by the first god, who destroyed his own reality to make this one. To make a reality where every human had the potential of divinity.

Adnatu is in its bronze age, and your heroes could be standing atop one of the temple-ziggurats in the great city Medeen, or they could be at one of the encampments of the hill people out in the hills and forests beyond civilisation.

The world is a world of magic, where every human is able to access the most basic powers of their profession. A farmer will know a charm which drives the crows from his land, and a bandit might know a dance which means she can carry any animal she can get on her back. Every human is an inheritor and practitioner of magic.

Those who focus on mystic power can gain more powerful magic of this sort, or they can dedicate their power to some other beings. Those who seek power outside the human magics might petition the otherwoldly beings of Adnatu. These range from the gods who empower their priests with miracles, or the spirits who gift power to shamans and the outsiders lend their strength to sorcerers.

This is a game where the characters are beings of great power, and will advance further as they approach the heights of godhood. Being people of importance and might, the world will be forced to adapt to them and around them. On their great road, as the path to heaven is called, each hero will need to change the world around them. Heaven will not accept one into its ranks who has not even changed the earth below, after all. 

Powered by Fate

Those of us that buy a lot of rpgs probably have all done it before; we've got a new game and the setting looks interesting, but the system is so awful you can't imagine playing it. I wanted to both avoid this and the fear of it, so the game runs in Fate core, with some minor adaptations. 

Why did I choose Fate? First, I love the narrative power that fate gives, and that who you are can be important, not just what you can do. I love that the system works, works reliably and does not get in the way. I also love how much information it gives a GM about what the players want.

Why modify fate? I have modded fate because in the many fate games I have run to try and convert people to it, I mainly came across the problem that people wanted a little bit more bite to the mechanics. 

Why Road to Heaven?

Why is this a fun game to play? Why would you back us? 

First, there is not a lot of bronze age gaming around, and I think that is a shame. There are a lot of adventures to be had in this sort of technology. It is a place where the players could become the next heroes of Troy, or be remembered in the same tones as Gilgamesh. 

Second, it is a high power game. You will create heroes who will, soon be standing against armies and defeating terrible monsters. Your characters are on the path to divinity, and will be doing epic deeds and changing the face of the world. 

Third, it is a game where you can immerse yourself in a world of magic. The setting is one where magic is absolutely ubiquitous, where everyone is a magic user and societies are influenced by the power of their members. The types of magic are intentionally different complexities in play, allowing people to engage mechanically at the level they are comfortable with, while still being effective.

Fourth, it is a world teeming with opportunities for adventure. The empires are starting to tear parts of themselves apart. Chaos monsters exist in the wilderness and in the cities. The cabal plots in the shadows against the world itself, and the gods contend against each other for power. The people of the world fight and strive for power and security, prestige and honour. 

Finally, knowing that the game is run in Fate, but with mechanical adjustments to allow you to play at the epic scale and high magic levels of the setting, you know the game will work. 

What is in Road to Heaven?

Road to heaven will contain:

  • An introduction to Adnatu, including an overview of the history of the world, and details of each of the major cultures.
  • The powers of Adnatu, with a look at the Gods, Spirits and Outsiders who can influence the world and the characters.
  • All of the Fate core ruleset needed to run the game
  • A detailed look at the spells and powers system that provides more choices and mechanical depth for conflicts, contests, and areas of specialisation for PCs.
  • The great works system, which discusses how characters can make large changes to the setting or wield larger than usual influence and magics.
  • Rules for advancement for a characters on their way to becoming gods.
  • Character generation, complete with details for each culture and worked examples.
  • Rules for making your own powers, spells and stunts and a large number of example spells and stunts for ease of use.
  • Detailed examples of play
  • A GM section, which includes advice for how to run interesting challenges and conflicts.
  • Advice for how to run fun games in a bronze age world, and especially in Adnatu.
  • Advice and some worked examples of a campaign structure to take PCs from heroes to gods.
  • Advice on each of the major stresses and threats in Adnatu, and how to run them.
  • A list of adventure seeds for each of the cultures, regions and many of the major professions.

Why Kickstarter?

The kickstarter is to get the money together to fund the art and editing for the game, as the text is finished, except for some tweaks to adapt the fate core style into the main book. As such, a absolutely no frill version will be available for every backer as a pdf in the very near future, with zero art or editing, so you can get an idea of what you are getting and start giving us feedback.

For the game to end up looking nice and being clear to read, however, I need to get some professionals on side. For that I need money, and as you will see on the stretch goals, the money I get will largely be paid into getting more people to work on making a nicer product.

Why Drivethru RPG?

I have chosen to use drivethru rpg for fulfillment because they know what they are doing on the logistic end of making a kickstarter work. I know that if I fulfill through them, then  you will all get your products delivered properly. All backers at Digital copy level and above will get a coupon for an at cost print-on-demand copy from Drivethru Rpg. The cost of printing will probably be in the region of £5-10, for those who prefer the game in hardcopy.

 Stretch goals

£3000 Professional layout

While I will have the time and opportunity to do lay out if we don't reach this level, if we hit this stretch goal, I will hire a professional layout artist to make the best possible looking book.

£4000 Better art

If we reach this level, then I will use the money to commission  more art for the interior of the book, meaning it can be a richer, more beautiful looking book.

Risks and challenges

This is my first time of publishing an rpg. There will be problems on the road I will almost certainly hit. However, I have done my research, and made sure that the game is basically complete before doing the kickstarter. The main problems for rpgs I have seen are:

Art and artists

I do foresee this being my major stumbling block. I have never worked with artists before or got art for a game. I have been reading the online guides that many people are kind enough to write, and am happy for any advice on this front.

Shipping and distribution

Yeah, I know this is a colossal problem for a lot of games, and so I have decided to use Drivethru rpg. Since they are based in both Europe and the US, backers will be able to download a copy of the pdf, and thenuse a coupon for an at cost print on demand copy.

Stretch goals: Nothing in the stretch goals will require me to work into shipping or fulfillment. Sorry, no t shirts, badges or anything that I can't get delivered through drivethru rpg. This is because i know sometimes the cause of a project failing is it succeeding too well at the stage of funding and promising something outside of the creator's expertise.

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    Give me a pound to be kept up to date and receive the updates on the project. Also receive my thanks and have your name put in the backers section of the book.

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    Digital copy and download code

    If you pledge £8, You will get one copy of the pdf of the game from drivethru rpg.

    You will also get the word version of the artless, unedited text as soon as the kickstarter ends to start playtesting and give us your feedback.

    Since we will be fulfilling through Drive thru, if you purchase this we will also send you a code to get a print on demand at cost from Drive thru rpg.

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    Get a digital reward level, and help us by naming and working with me to write one of the setting's gods.

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    Get a digital copy, and code for a download through drivethru rpg, and we will work with you to help us design a character as a sample character in the book. You will also be listed as a hero in the book.

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    Legend Builders

    Get up to 4 copies of the game on digital download and I will run a game in the setting for you and your group over the internet. You will also get vouchers for the print on demand version of the game at cost.

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Funding period

- (36 days)