"People don't need a reason to be awful to each other. They just need to survive. But people don't need a reason to survive, either. They just need each other. Figure that one out, you've got a shot of understanding why we're all still here."
- Tribeca Rockaway, sniper of the Dead Heroes gang
No one knows how long it's been since the world was blasted with nuclear radiation and became infected with the undead. Major cities were all but destroyed; transit is reduced to animals, wagons, and the occasional iron horse. The survivors of the Fall were the first strain of deviation from the human condition and were able to make it through the rapidly spreading epidemic.
Humanity has just started to rebuild, but large sections of the world are still irradiated or completely overrun by the undead. Small communities come together in a world where the concepts such as "democracy," "freedom," and "government" are newly reborn. Finding a community of decent size in this world is rare; finding one that has any concept of equality or morality is rarer still.
Oh, and people have the unnerving ability to come back from the dead, regrown from the very virus that destroyed the world.
This is dystopia. The world is broken. It is up to you to pick up the pieces and make a new world from the remains of the old.
Dystopia Rising: Evolution is the latest edition of the Dystopia Rising post-apocalyptic tabletop roleplaying game, which quickly grew into a live-action sensation, and now comes full-circle back to it's tabletop roots. Onyx Path is pleased to update the earlier edition and incorporate elements from the live-action setting with Dystopia Rising: Evolution, a tabletop roleplaying game that presents a fresh and exciting take on the post-apocalypse genre.
The Dystopia Rising: Evolution Kickstarter campaign is designed to enable us to create a hardcover core rulebook that will introduce the world, as well as setting up room for expansion and further exploration of the setting. We also want to get at least one print run into traditional distribution and available for sale at game and hobby stores.
We want to create an 8.5" x 11" hardcover with a beautifully designed, evocative cover image, and full-color interior art. We estimate the book to be more than 250+ pages, and will be traditionally printed on high quality paper stock.
Dystopia Rising: Evolution will be powered by Onyx Path's Storypath system, and includes all the rules you need to play as a survivor in the post-apocalypse, including rules for creating characters for up to 24 different Strains, variations on humanity that survived the Fall. It also has details on the powers of faith and psionics, along with advice on running action-adventure stories, webs of personal intrigue, or procedural investigations. And, finally, dozens of antagonists, including a variety of zombies and raiders to use in your series.
- Chapter One — A New Age: A look at the background of Dystopia Rising: Evolution, including some insight into the people that live in this post-apocalyptic world.
- Chapter Two — Your Brothers and Sisters: The survivors of the Fall can be categorized into eight Lineages, which each have a handful of Strains that fight to reclaim the world that was destroyed.
- Chapter Three — Knitting the Flesh: How to make a character for Dystopia Rising: Evolution.
- Chapter Four — Rolling the Bones: The core rules of Dystopia Rising: Evolution, which stem from Onyx Path’s Storypath system.
- Chapter Five — Acts of Violence: How to hurt people, and avoid being hurt.
- Chapter Six — Wild Wild Wastes: How to survive the variety of environmental dangers in Dystopia Rising, as well as rules for salvaging and scavenging items and gear.
- Chapter Seven — Birds of a Feather: You can’t survive without making friends, and several factions and groups have popped up all over the wastes.
- Chapter Eight — What You Believe: Faith in a higher power, or in something else entirely, helps many survivors get through the harsh days and long nights.
- Chapter Nine — Brain Bleed: The Fall of humanity lead to a few benefits, including the discovery and cultivation of psychic potential.
- Chapter Ten — Campfire Stories: The Storyguide is the person who helps the players experience the world of Dystopia Rising.
- Chapter Eleven — Threats of the Wastes: Living in the wasteland is no picnic. If the weather and the lack of supplies won’t kill you, the zombies and raiders will.
- Chapter Twelve — The Wasteland: No one is quite sure how things got to bad. But at least the new settlement of Philly del Phia offers a new chance for people to start fresh.
- Chapter Thirteen — Let the Dead Lie: Every story has a beginning. This might be yours.
Throughout this Kickstarter campaign, we will be posting complete previews of the Dystopia Rising: Evolution playtestmanuscript as backer-only updates.
The Storypath systemis Onyx Path's rules set designed specifically to allow the sort of rules scaling necessary to seamlessly enable players to play ordinary people as well as characters with psi powers, and everything in between.
The basics of the Storypath system should be familiar to anyone who has played many other Onyx Path games of survival or personal horror, as it is a 10-sided dice pool system, where in order to resolve an action you basically roll a number of dice equal to the character's Skill + Attribute and must roll an 8 or better a certain number of times in order to succeed in the action.
That is the very basic resolution system, but we expand on that to further enhance how your gaming group can build their stories. Failing to hit your number of successes, or having more successes than your required amount, are built-in options in the rules. Here is a handy graphic that illustrates what we mean:
To further explain the basics of the Storypath system, here is a small PDF download that goes into more detail: SYSTEM PREVIEW PDF.
The primary goal of this Kickstarter campaign is to create the best version of Dystopia Rising: Evolution that is possible. Your support allows us to fund the best production, use the most appropriate components, and possibly even contract more art for the core book. We hope to not only deliver a beautiful hardcover book to all of our backers, but also fund at least one print run to be sold through distribution and into book and hobby stores that are so vital to our community.
Beyond that primary goal, we hope to gain additional funding to explore more of the world of Dystopia Rising: Evolution, possibly expanding into supplements or other accessories, as well as possibly building a portal for more community development. The greater our funding for this project, the more resources we are able to explore this shattered world.
Thirdly, we want to celebrate and build on the existing Dystopia Rising fan base, further exploring and developing the world that they've built and forging a shared and strong community. We'll have opportunities for some crossover and integration as we move forward by presenting special Reward Tiers and Stretch Goals.
Beyond all of those campaign-specific goals, we hope to do what our games have always done — open a path to a new world; a setting for our community to build new stories and entwine imaginations. Every person who participates in this campaign is joining with the goal of bringing this game into the world — and like our protagonists, this creed binds us with with common purpose. When you back this project, you join our burgeoning society and we evolve and grow together.
All participants who would like to make this project happen can pledge their support and add to the overall campaign total. If the campaign meets the funding target ($20,000), then we will have funded the project and it will become a reality. Your pledge will only be collected if we achieve our funding target.
In thanks for your support, we offer rewards based on your level of funding pledged. The Reward Tiers down the right side of the page outline the various rewards reflecting various levels of support pledged. Please note that rewards may automatically add additional charges to cover shipping expenses.
To help simplify matters, the Reward Chart lists the core reward and then combinations with each of the additional rewards offered as part of this campaign (see Reward Descriptions, below).
Key Decision: do you save some shelf space and go digital-only with the PDF version, or go all in with the Hardcover + PDF reward? Please note that physical rewards may automatically add additional charges to cover shipping expenses.
Backers looking to receive multiple copies should also note the DIGGER and TOY BOX Reward Tiers, which offer 2 or 5 copies respectively as part of the rewards (and may save on shipping per unit!)
Finally, we love retailers, but modern publishing methods don’t always make it easy for them to get books into their stores. With this Dystopia Rising: Evolution campaign, we have created a special Reward Tier just for you. Any retailer who pledges at the Retailer Reward Tier level ("MASS GRAVE") will get 5 copies of the hardcover book, PDF, and Reference Screen at a retail-specific discount so that they can sell in-store.
Several Reward Tiers offer special limited or premium rewards in addition to the basics, including everything from a Creed symbol enamel pin to an opportunity to own a one-of-a-kind Dystopia Rising artifact. We also have tiers with BOOK PLATE Stickers which will be signed by as many of the creative team as we can wrangle, an option to act as a ART MODEL (either as a human survivor or a decaying zombie), as well as a chance to NAME an NPC included in the Dystopia Rising: Evolution core book or a possible supplement. Finally, a limited number of premium slots to play in a tabletop rpg session with the Onyx Path creative team at Gen Con 2019, or with Michael Pucci at 2019 Midwinter Convention in an event that will bridge the continuity between the LARP and Dystopia Rising: Evolution timeline. Check each of the Reward Tier descriptions for more details.
ACCESS TO MANUSCRIPT PREVIEW UPDATES – During the course of the campaign, we will be posting the ENTIRE manuscript for Dystopia Rising: Evolution. These previews will be shared via Backer-Only updates once per week. You must be a backer of this project to receive these updates.
CREED SYMBOL ENAMEL PIN - An enamel pin of one of the nine in-game religious affiliations.
REFERENCE SCREEN - a sturdy three-panel Dystopia Rising: Evolution screen featuring evocative art on the outer side, and a selection of charts and other info on the inside to make the Storyguide's job a little bit easier.
REFERENCE CHARTS - a PDF version of the charts from the Reference Screen.
OPTIONAL "AT COST" PoD VERSION – All PDF products will be fulfilled through our partners at DriveThruRPG.com, the largest RPG download store. For Dystopia Rising: Evolution, you will have the option of using DriveThruRPG’s Print-On-Demand service to purchase a physical, printed copy directly from their PoD partners at as close as we can get to the cost of printing and shipping (this cost is not included in your pledge, and you do not need to increase the cost of your pledge to use this option). When the PoD versions are available to order (which will be some time after the hardcover has gone to print), you will receive links to purchase these versions of the book from DriveThruRPG.com. You DO NOT need to take advantage of this PoD offer as it does not affect in any way your pledge rewards.
In addition to the rewards listed in each Reward Tier, backers can increase their overall pledge to add on the following additional rewards. Simply increase your total pledge amount by the value indicated – we will confirm which add on rewards you’ve chosen via BackerKit surveys after the campaign has run.
All PDF rewards will be fulfilled by our partners at DrivethruRPG.com. PDF reward Add Ons can be added to any Reward Tier.
All physical items that will require shipping (additional hardcover books, screens, pins) can only be added to reward tiers that already include a hardcover copy of the Dystopia Rising: Evolution core rules (Reward Tiers of $50+). Your rewards will be sent in a single shipment when the hardcover book becomes available.
As we increase the overall funding and support for the project, we’re able to add additional resources to the project, expand the rewards listed, and add in new offers and opportunities. Each Stretch Goal will have a target that, once reached, will add a project to the reward list. We will continue to build on this list when we achieve these targets during the campaign. Whenever we achieve a stretch goal, the image will be updated to reflect the achievement.
UNLOCKED! - KICKSTARTER BACKER T-SHIRT - hosted on the Redbubble store for a limited time, a Dystopia Rising: Evolution -themed shirt at a steep discount. All backers will be notified when the shirt becomes available.
UNLOCKED! - THREAT GUIDE ALPHA – A section will be added to the Dystopia Rising: Evolution THREAT GUIDE, a first-person guide to the threats of the world (including game mechanics). A PDF version of the THREAT GUIDE will automatically be added to the rewards list of every backer receiving the Dystopia Rising: Evolution core rules PDF.
UNLOCKED! - DIGITAL WALLPAPER – An evocative digital wallpaper for your computer desktop featuring the art of Dystopia Rising: Evolution. This digital file will be added to the rewards list for all backers receiving the Dystopia Rising: Evolution PDF.
UNLOCKED! - THREAT GUIDE BETA - A second section will be added to the Dystopia Rising: Evolution THREAT GUIDE, a first-person guide to the threats of the world (including game mechanics).
UNLOCKED! - COMMUNITY CONTENT PORTAL – A Community Content Portal will be built for DrivethruRPG.com, allowing fans and designers to develop and sell material for use with the Dystopia Rising: Evolution roleplaying game.
UNLOCKED! - JUMPSTART – An introductory scenario designed to launch your Dystopia Rising: Evolution campaign. A PDF version of this Jumpstart will be added to the rewards list for all backers receiving the Dystopia Rising: Evolution PDF.
UNLOCKED - COMMUNITY CONTENT EXPANSION - Using the Community Content program, we'll allow Dystopia Rising LARP franchises to publish their characters and continuity as resources for the Dystopia Rising: Evolution tabletop game. Relive iconic LARP moments with new friends, or mix and match them to create the ultimate "what if" scenario!
UNLOCKED! - FICTION ANTHOLOGY – A PDF version of the forthcoming Dystopia Rising: Evolution fiction anthology will be added to the rewards list for all backers receiving the Dystopia Rising: Evolution PDF.
At $40,000 in funding - ASK ME ANYTHING – Representatives from Dystopia Rising and Onyx Path will host a video AMA (Ask Me Anything) and attempt to answer your burning Dystopia Rising questions!
At $42,000 in funding - THREAT GUIDE DELTA - A third section will be added to the Dystopia Rising: Evolution THREAT GUIDE, a first-person guide to the threats of the world (including game mechanics).
This is Onyx Path Publishing's 31st Kickstarter, and the company has learned how to maintain focus during a campaign to maintain manageable projects and achievable goals. To read more about the knowledge that has been applied to this project, you can read the FAQ linked here: http://theonyxpath.com/about/faq/kickstarter/
Risks and challenges
Risk: This game isn't created at all even though the goal is reached.
Solution: We have successfully shipped many Kickstarter projects and more are headed to completion as you read this. All those projects have taught us how the various pieces of the process works, and we have increased our ability to judge the various stages of delivery better with each KS. The text for Dystopia Rising: Evolution is finished, initial interior artwork has been contracted, so the development process is well underway.
Risk: Shipping costs soak up pledges that were meant to enable the creation of the book.
Solution: Kickstarter shipping costs have continued to rise this last year, but we are aware of that and were able to find ways to work with shippers to bring down those costs - unfortunately, only to some extent as we have also needed to up the shipping charges- both methods allowing us to be sure that shipping doesn't eat up the pledge money supposed to go to printing.
Risk: The game will take a long time to produce and anger the backers.
Solution: We've learned many, many lessons with our previous Kickstarters and we're becoming much better at estimating the various pitfalls that will delay a KS project. We were able to deliver the PDFs for our last several KS projects several months before the estimate, and our recent campaigns have delivered rewards earlier than estimated.
That being said, backers need to be aware that they are enabling a process, and not a pre-order opportunity, and things do sometimes run slower than we want or anticipate with that process. We've found that an open flow of communication between us and the backer community is vital so once the project funds we will deliver Updates on progress once a month (or more, as needed) via Kickstarter as well as in our regular, weekly, Monday Meeting Notes blog at www.theonyxpath.com
ADDITIONAL TERMS & CONDITIONS
By backing this Kickstarter project, you have agreed to the following additional terms and conditions:
ARTWORK, DESIGN, MATERIAL & CONTENTS SUBJECT TO CHANGE. Onyx Path shares artwork, design, descriptions and manuscript contents with the understanding that changes may occur in the creation of the final product based on further development, available resources and materials, and the nature of the creative process.
REWARDS REQUIRING ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REQUIRE TIMELY RESPONSE. Some rewards, particularly limited Special Rewards such as art model descriptions, character names, and custom design work, require input from the reward backer. For these rewards, the backer must respond within 6 weeks of the information being requested (most likely by BackerKit pledge manager survey, occasionally by direct e-mail) in order to maintain the project development and manufacturing timeline. Onyx Path will make a strong effort to acquire this information, but should the backer not provide it in a timely fashion, all parties agree that Onyx Path can move forward on the project without the information or using an appropriate substitution and the respective backer will consider the reward obligation fulfilled in full for payment or donations pledged and collected on the part of Onyx Path. The simple fact is that we cannot delay the production of the product due to a unresponsive backer, that's just not fair to the others who have supported this project.
ADDRESS CONFIRMATION & DELIVERY OBLIGATIONS. If you confirm your pledge prior to final address confirmation and initiation of distribution notification via email, you agree that our responsibility to you is to ship your order as entered into our pledge manager system, that title and risk passes to you upon delivery to a common carrier for such shipment, and you are responsible for import duties or any other duties that may be payable to the relevant tax authorities, providing correct address information and ensuring this address is deliverable by normal methods. Failure to confirm mailing address prior to final request and distribution notification will be taken as agreement that all obligations have been met and no further action or effort is required on the part of Onyx Path. We will attempt to alert you via the methods provided by Kickstarter and/or BackerKit, primarily e-mail, prior to distribution of rewards to avoid any issue, but once we’ve made all reasonable efforts, we must move on with other business and will be unable to make exceptions.
DIGITAL REWARDS. You will be notified by BackerKit when digital rewards become available to you. Typically, these will be links to load PDF titles into your account library on DriveThruRPG.com. The links from BackerKit must be activated within 90 days to ensure the titles are added to your library, after which the links may expire and Onyx Path may not be able to provide replacements.
If you do not accept these terms, please do not pledge on this project but instead wait for the general release.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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