The farther away from the GM's storyline you get, the greater the reward. Improvisation and creativity are the essences of Insight Fantasy.
About me & why
Hi. My name is Even V. Røssland, creator of the Insight RPG System (http://bit.ly/1Oj67Go) and an avid roleplayer and Game Master for almost three decades.
I live in Norway, hence the weird currency (NOK, Norwegian kroner). 1 USD is almost 9 NOK these days. I hope this won’t deter you from backing this project.
The reason I started working with Insight Fantasy was that I wanted to create an RPG with an element that I’ve been missing; the possibility to change the story while playing it. Not like the traditional sandbox RPG’s, where you can solve the same quest in a couple of different ways(, and not like a Narrativist RPG System). I want the players to be able to change the story entirely, both the past and the present by implementing special "story-changing"-rules into the game mechanics. (You can read more here: http://bit.ly/1KlVSiR ).
The initial plan was to create an add-on to the Insight RPG System, but it has become a more comprehensive project than the previous, with both a core rulebook and a GM's compendium (currently at a total of 350 pages). Some work remains (mostly artwork and layout), but with your help, it will be finished by the estimated launch date.
Insight Fantasy is a further development of the Insight RPG System, a universal classless system. The list of Skills has been modified to suit a fantasy setting, and some system functions are changed, but all in all, the core system should be familiar to those who have played the Insight RPG System. You do not need the Insight RPG System Core Rulebook to play Insight Fantasy; it is a stand-alone system.
The system in brief: Everything is determined by your skills. All skills are related to an Ability (Strength, Body Control, Physical Fitness, Reason, Knowledge or Social), and you combine skills when performing actions. Your capabilities to perform Actions (sneaking, fighting, understanding, persuasion, etc.) are determined by your Skills; even your health and weapon damage are modified by the skills you choose.
What the GM knows is not always the truth. Change the story as you play, and complete your quests in a way no one could have predicted.
More than a sandbox: The Game Master creates an adventure for the players. Like any other sandbox game, the players can approach the problems like they want to, but in Insight Fantasy, they can also alter locations, NPCs, creatures and the story that the GM has made. How to create these adventures is described in the GM's Compendium. How to change the story, and the consequences of the changes is described in the Core Rules and the GM's Compendium.
Skills and Actions: Everything you do and every task you perform that require a skill roll is an action. An action is a combination of two Skills; a Main Skill and a Bonus Skill. The number of dice you can roll and the dice values you need depends on the two skills.
The list of Standard Skills is, already at Level 1, long enough to create a distinctive Player Character, but as you level up, special skills will become available. You can unlock Special skills by training the Standard Skills to their maximum, and will make you able to find your very own path and create a unique character. Having a unique Player Character make you more unpredictable, and more likely to be able to change the story (as the GM knows it).
Classless: The skills you choose defines your player character in this system. Choose your path; you can specialize your knowledge and training within one field, or you can become a multitalented person. That is up to you.
As a start, you can select a pre-generated archetype from the Core Rules: fighter, ranger, rogue, barbarian, cleric, wizard, psion, bard, alchemist, savant or w'artisan (the combat skilled artisan); all with their diverse range of skills.
Acquire Insight: Investigate, study, analyze and examine items, creatures, NPCs, buildings, weapons, and armor, and reveal things that even the GM doesn't know anything about. When you acquire insight, the story (that the Game Master has created) will change, and the GM must adhere to the changes.
Secrets: All NPCs can have secrets not known by the GM. The Player Characters can reveal the secrets, and thus, change the story.
Clues: You can find clues that the GM has not made. The clues can provide information regarding persons and items you are looking for, and thus change the story.
Reputation: Insight Fantasy does not use Experience Points (XP) as a reward. Your team is rewarded with reputation points instead. The more you change the story and conclusion of your quest, the more reputation points you get (read more here: http://bit.ly/1JOgFR5 )
Combat: The combat system in Insight Fantasy is dynamic, in the manner that you can utilize your skills in many ways to defeat your opponents. When you attack, your target makes an opposed roll, there are no Armor Class to beat (armor reduces the damage, your skills improve your opposed rolls). To avoid combat can sometimes be a good idea because the consequences of getting injured can be severe. Not all Player Characters are capable of joining a fight and live. Find your opponent's weaknesses, exploit them and defeat your foe without risking your lives. Hack & slash, and counting HP is not the essence of Insight Fantasy. Combat is, of course, an important part of the system, but the ability to avoid conflicts is equally important. As long as you take control over the story, the methods of completing your quests are in your hands.
Weapons: All the 37 weapons described in the book have different stats and features. The damage is calculated based on your skills. In this way, you can choose the weapon that best suits your range of Skills.
Magic: When you select Magic Skills, you can cast a wide variety of spells. You can improve your spells by choosing special Magic Skills. As you level up and improve your Skills, more magic spells will become available. Many Magic Spells are not intended for combat. Being able to utilize your magic skills to change the story, can be more beneficial.
Divinity: By gaining divine favor, you can channelize the powers of the gods by chanting Divine Rites. Many divine casters are worshippers of one of the gods. There are great benefits of staying loyal to your god, but it can be demanding because there is no middle way between good and evil. (Read more here: http://bit.ly/1JiD6y1)
Psionics: By meditating, you can use the hidden powers of your brain to affect your own or others' minds. See through the eyes of your targets, plant fake memories, amplify their weaknesses or control their bodies.
Alchemy: Gather ingredients, mix them together as described in the recipe and create drinkable potions, poisons, and bombs. There is a list of 64 known and frequently used ingredients in the book, but a skilled alchemist can study any possible ingredient and discover alchemical properties that can be used to create new and unique recipes.
Races: You can choose between six different races; human, elf, halfling, gnome, dwarf and orc. They all have about the same initial possibilities, but their differences are in their possibilities defined by maximum Ability values. The different races also have certain Skills that are initially more developed compared to the others.
Character Generation Tool: A tool made in Google Spreadsheet will make player character generation and advancements quicker and much easier. It is also a valuable tool for creating NPCs. The tool is finished and will be available when the book is launched.
Monsters/Creatures: The GM’s Compendium will have a selection of 18 monsters/creatures (dragons, gnolls, goblins, minotaur, undead, etc.). If this project turns out well, the plan is to make a more comprehensive creature compendium soon. The GM’s Compendium will also have a selection of standard NPCs for quick encounters (guards, bandits, etc.)
The World has only one known sea, the Long Sea, which separates the known world in two; West-of-Sea and East-of-Sea. By sail, it takes at least 14 days to cross the Long Sea. The Great Island is the largest of the islands in the Long Sea. The southern parts of the island have a warm climate and the densest population of the known world. The middle regions of the island are scarcely populated, and the northern parts are mainly wilderness; cold in winter and humid summers. About a millennium ago, the Great Island was an uninhabited wilderness. Elves, halflings, and gnomes are originally from West-of-Sea. Humans, dwarves, and orcs have their roots in East-of-Sea. Most orcs still live in East-of-Sea. They are known as the "wild orcs." The orcs living on the Great Island are civilized orcs, mostly ascendants of orcish slaves.
Are you a historical figure?
Maybe you were a great and influential monarch of one of the nations on the Great Island, or perhaps a famous explorer of the wild and dangerous Grouse Island? Some of the pledges allow you to name a kingdom or a grand duchy of the Great Island, or one of the vast (and mostly uncharted) areas of the Grouse Island.
- 100 Backers (REACHED!): All backers who pledged for the GM's Compendium PDF will also get the POD edition of the GM's Compendium (at-cost, shipping not included. Fulfilled by DriveThruRPG).
- 200 Backers (REACHED!): All backers who pledged for the GM's Compendium will also get Insight Fantasy inserts for the DriveThru GM Screen for free (at-cost, shipping not included. Fulfilled by DriveThruRPG). Estimated delivery is not yet determined. (The Game Master Screen is not included, but can be found here: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/129022 )
- 250 Backers or 50.000 kr: 5 additional monsters/creatures in the Game Master's Compendium. There will be a poll with alternatives.
- 500 Backers or 100.000 kr: 3 adventures set to the world of Insight Fantasy (PDF version), free of charge to all backers. (est. delivery August to October 2016).
- 1250 Backers or 250.000 kr: The forthcoming Insight Fantasy Creature Compendium will be free for all backers (free PDF, at-cost POD version, shipping not included). Estimated delivery will be determined at 200.000 kr.
- Is this a Storyteller or Narrativist RPG System?
No. The way you change/alter the story is not based on the individual player’s storytelling abilities, but the player character’s skills and skill rolls. The story-changing-mechanic is an integrated part of the game mechanics just like combat and other interactions and follows a set of rules. Some player characters will become better at changing the story in their favor while some will focus on combat, stealth, crafting, magic, etc., depending on which skills they choose.
- What are the rules for naming a country, area, deity or the island?
You can use parts of your own name, a nickname or a completely different name that you would like to use, and that would fit a fantasy setting. The name cannot be protected by copyrights. The name cannot be a known location or person in either the real world or in a known fictional world. The name must not be offensive by any means (discriminatory, racist or disrespectful names will be rejected). (You can provide additional descriptions and details of your named areas, countries, and deities, but they can be rewritten to fit the rest of the book.) The three existing deities, as of today: Pan'or - Goddess of Life (good), Ghor'wa - God of Domination (evil), Medi'qi - God of Creativity (neutral).
- Any future expansions?
If the Kickstarter turns out well, the plan is to make several expansions; Creature Compendium, Item Compendium, short adventures etc. Stay tuned; the Stretch Goals will unveil some expansions. Expansion proposals are appreciated, and you are free to make your own expansions.
- Why do you use Print on Demand instead of a conventional print shop?
As a small independent developer/publisher, the cost of printing the books traditionally is too high. By using POD, the book is available at any time to any part of the world at a low cost. Maybe someday in the future, Insight RPG book will be printed at conventional print shops.
- What does "at-cost" mean?
When you purchase the hardcover book, you must pay the print cost from DriveThruRPG. This is why the pledge is lower than you would have anticipated. The print cost is about 15-17 USD. You will get a Complimentary Copy link from DriveThruRPG that takes you to the checkout.
If you have questions about the printing cost regarding your pledge, leave a comment, and I'll do my best to find an answer.
- What is the estimated shipping cost for the physical book?
The shipping cost varies, depending on where the book is being printed, and how far away the receiver is (Some examples are listed here).
Recipients in the US (standard shipping): about 6 USD
Recipients in the UK (standard shipping): about 8 USD
Recipients in Europe, not UK (standard shipping): about 14-15 USD
Recipients in Australia (standard shipping): about 21 USD
If you have questions about shipping cost to your country, leave a comment, and I'll do my best to find an answer.
- How does the DriveThruRPG Fulfillment work?
- What do you need the funding for?
There are some expenses when creating this project, not including the time used writing the book. The artwork is a major part of the expenses in addition to software licenses (layout, writing and editing) and other professional help. Some marketing is also necessary. Here is a pie chart showing the project expenses.
- Any reviews?
Insight Fantasy has not yet been reviewed, but the Insight RPG System, which Insight Fantasy is based on has been reviewed. Here are some of them:
Throat Punch Games: “This is a well done system that has more in it than I expected. 92%”; http://bit.ly/1JbUynI
GMS Magazine: “This is an absolute brilliant RPG system”; http://bit.ly/1RZGM95
Jimmy P., DriveThruRPG customer: “… believe it is one of the best new rpg systems I got to read recently”; http://bit.ly/1OZ2Nnn
My daughters (10,11): "... It would look so much better in pink. Can we play Monopoly now?"
Risks and challenges
The project is almost finished. It just needs a final touch and some more artwork. This final process is assumed to be finished by May this year. I have published books prior to this one, and I have also been a major part of a previously successful Kickstarter (but not in my name).
There is, of course, a tiny chance that the project could be delayed if unexpected obstacles are encountered, like a computer crash, car crash or similar crashes, or delayed artwork. In that case, I will keep you updated.
The fulfillment is via DriveThruRPG. This ensures a secure and predictable dispatch of both digital and POD versions of the book(s). Because there are no print expenses, there are no uncertainties relating to the production of the book.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)