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A science fantasy RPG inspired by Dune and Jodorowsky's Metabarons
A science fantasy RPG inspired by Dune and Jodorowsky's Metabarons
334 backers pledged £9,324 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Emissary is a science-fantasy roleplaying game where players take on the role of Emissaries, physically and spiritually the most powerful warriors in the known galaxy. Emissaries are forever pledged to maintain the political and economic balance of the Third Golden Empire and support the perpetual rule of the Divine Imperial Majesty. Their missions and adventures will take them across a rich galaxy, full of mystery, strife and political intrigue, forcing them to confront monumental tests of might, wisdom and cunning along the way.

Thematically, Emissary is very heavily influenced by Alejandro Jodorowsky's The Incal and Metabarons graphic novels, as well as Frank Herbert's Dune and Tsutomu Nihei's Blame and Biomega. However, inspiration is also taken from a wide range of cyberpunk, science fiction and fantasy settings, including the works of China Mieville, Iain M. Banks and Richard Morgan.

Emissary is set in a rich and varied galaxy, populated by exotic races and enigmatic factions, each with their own motivations and backstories. Within the world of Emissary, players will face a host of challenges, such as unifying warring tribes, exploring ancient alien relics and battling biomechanical monstrosities. Players will have ample opportunities to shape the fates of whole worlds and carve out legends for themselves with their exploits across the galaxy.

Players may initially choose between one of five different playable races, Avians, Humans, Insectoids, Mechanoids and Reptilians, each with three unique sub-types. A wide selection of skills, traits and special abilities allows players to further customise their characters, so that no two Emissaries are the same. As Emissaries progress and gain experience, they gain access to an increasing array of unique abilities, allowing them to perform such feats as creating new life, moving at superhuman speeds, locking opponents in stasis or raising the dead.

Emissary is a fully stand alone title that contains all of the rules and mechanics needed to play it, along with some optional rules, advice and guidance for GMs and players. Emissary uses a modified version of the Shrike roleplaying game system, which will be available separately as a free digital download from our website at a later date. The system is easy to pick up and learn and should feel familiar to experienced players of existing RPG products. The system is level-less and class-less and is focused around fast paced action and lethal combat.

The final product will be available as both a digital PDF and a colour hardback that we intend to sell through DriveThruRPG. The current project is approximately 260 pages in length, but will grow with the addition of covers, additional artwork, contents, index and appendices. We estimate that the completed book will likely fall somewhere between 280 and 300 pages in length. See the preview below.

Preview:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B76oaWYgy98uVkw2N090akJZdjA/view?usp=sharing

Apart from fulfilling delivery of backer rewards, money raised is to be spent on additional artwork for the book. Currently the following parts of the book are fully or partially illustrated:

  • Introduction and character creation
  • Mechanics and powers
  • Items and augments
  • Setting and locations
  • Factions of the galaxy
  • Scenarios (partially)

The following parts of the book are currently lacking illustrations or contain only placeholder illustrations by the developers:

  • Vehicles (placeholder art)
  • Bestiary and adversaries (none)

We would like to bring the partially illustrated and placeholder parts up to the same high quality standard as the rest of the book. Additionally, we would also like to at least partially illustrate the bestiary, filling it with professional artwork that matches the vivid descriptions of the creatures and brings them to life. However, to do this we need your help!

Full colour illustrations of the quality required cost anywhere from $100 to $600 to commission, depending on complexity and size of the final image. We estimate that around £2800 (after fees and reward expenditures) would be the minimum required for us to cross this final hurdle and deliver the quality product that we envisage. Any additional funds raised will be first placed into additional artwork, then additional content (so long as it does not delay our publication process). 

Risks and challenges

We see Emissary as a relatively low risk proposition for backers. As all of the base content for the book is written, tested and much of the artwork is already completed, we only need to raise funds for the final artwork to complete the project.

We already have contacts with a variety of highly talented professional artists who have assisted us on this project and, ideally, we would like to make further use of them for the art we are raising money for. However, as these are freelance artists, we have to work around their own work schedules as well as our own. It is possible that the artists we would most like to use will be unavailable in the projected window. This could potentially lead to delays as we wait for them to become available or seek alternative artists to complete the work. However, we will not allow this to compromise the quality of the final product or prevent its release. Backers will be notified with updates if any delays are caused because of this possibility.

Additionally, as this is our first physical publication, there may be unforeseen delays related to preparing the book for print. Although we have taken care to layout and format content correctly, with publication in mind, changes may still be required and we will not know for sure until we have a proof copy printed. As before, we will notify backers of any delays caused by such an occurrence.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £5 or more About $7

    HELPER
    Our deepest thanks and your name included in the credits as a backer
    A digital art book

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    Pledge £10 or more About $14

    DIGITAL BACKER
    One copy of the Emissary rulebook as a .PDF and your name included in the credits as a backer
    A digital art book

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    Pledge £30 or more About $43

    PHYSICAL BACKER
    One copy of the Emissary rulebook as a .PDF
    One physical colour copy of the Emissary rulebook
    Your name included in the credits as a backer
    A digital art book

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    Pledge £50 or more About $72

    PREMIUM BACKER
    One copy of the Emissary rulebook as a .PDF
    One premium hardback copy of the Emissary rulebook
    Your name included in the credits as a backer
    A digital art book

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    Pledge £100 or more About $143

    EMISSARY
    One copy of the Emissary rulebook as a .PDF
    One premium hardback copy of the Emissary rulebook
    Your name included in the credits as a backer
    A character, item or vehicle named after you
    A digital art book

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £250 or more About $358

    LEGEND
    One copy of the Emissary rulebook as a .PDF
    One premium hardback copy of the Emissary rulebook
    Your name included in the credits as a backer
    A character named after you with personalised art of choice
    A digital art book

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    Limited 4 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)