Death is not the end.
You learned that firsthand when you died, and in the darkness you made a deal that brought you back — but not alone. Now, bound inextricably to a geist — a shade, a monster, a tragic, broken soul — you stand between the world of the living and the world of the dead. You stand between the dead and the hungry dark that would devour them. You give a voice to the voiceless and tear down cosmic systems of oppression. You will make a better world, and if you die trying... well, you came back once, and you can do it again.
In Geist: The Sin-Eaters, you play a person who died with a powerful burden on their soul — something they didn't accomplish in life, or something they never found. On the other side of the veil, they made a bargain with a powerful being called a geist, which returned them to the world of the living and to their own body, at the cost of a permanent bond between them and the geist. Now your character stands as a medium, with one foot in the world of the living and one in the world of the dead. Will you bend your efforts toward the cosmic injustice of the Underworld, that consumes all who become trapped in its inky depths? Will you turn your wrath on the necromancers, the ghost-eaters, the two-bit frauds who exploit dead and living alike for their own enrichment? Will you reach out to the strange shade bound to you, to try to find the person beneath the inchoate fury and bring them peace? Will you bring a new faith to the masses and teach the living to welcome the dead into their lives? Or will you use all your newfound supernatural might to accomplish what you could not in life?
Originally released in 2009, Geist: The Sin-Eaters was a sleeper hit for the Chronicles of Darkness, finally bringing “life” to the realm of ghosts and death. And now this game of second chances gets a second edition, with Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition, offering a revised and updated rules system and an expanded setting.
This Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition Kickstarter is designed to enable us to create a prestige hardcover edition designed to match the look and feel of our other Chronicles of Darkness core rulebooks such as Vampire: The Requiem, Werewolf: The Forsaken, or Mage: The Awakening...
We want to create an 8.5" x 11" hardcover with a beautifully designed, symbolic cover image printed on a metallic under layer, and featuring an emboss/deboss of the logo. We estimate the book to be more than 280+ pages, with a two-color interior and endpapers on high quality paper stock.
Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition includes all the rules you need to play as one of the Bound: Five Burdens reflecting the cause that pulled you back from the grave, five krewe Archetypes for building your own mystery religion, and the Haunts, Keys, and Ceremonies that provide the Bound with their macabre powers.
It also includes the Chronicle of the Dead, featuring the Sin-Eaters’ struggle against the all-consuming Underworld and a variety of terrifying threats. In addition, for the first time in the Chronicles of Darkness line, ghosts are presented as playable characters.
- The Quick and the Dead: the five Burdens (the reason a Sin-Eater comes back from the dead and what draws a particular geist to them) and krewe Archetypes (the common cause that draws a krewe of Sin-Eaters together).
- The Road Back: On death and coming back, and why Bound make the Bargain, including possible consequences.
- One Foot in the Grave: Character creation, with sections on both geist and krewe creation, Anchors, Merits, Synergy, Plasm, Abilities, Haunts, Keys, Ceremonies, and Mementos.
- Old Laws: the core Chronicles of Darkness rules, with special rules for playing Sin-Eaters, as well as information on subsystems for krewes, ghosts, and the Underworld, including Avernian Gates.
- Antagonists: villains for your Geist chronicle, including Reapers, Eaters of the Dead, necromancers, enemy Bound, and Kerberoi.
- The Quiet Places: Setting information and story hooks for playing your Geist chronicle in specific times and places in history., from 16th-century Brazil to modern-day Edinburgh, Scotland to Mobile, Alabama in 1910, as well as information on Dominions.
- Ghost Stories: Storyteller advice and information for running a Geist chronicle, including designing Remembrances, how to set theme and mood, story seeds, and various ways to play out the end of a game.
- Appendix: The Absent: This Appendix details the Absent, playable ghosts, including Memories, new Merits, and a collection of possible ghost characters to expand on and use in your chronicle.
- Appendix: Conditions and Tilts: Geist-specific Conditions and Tilts, including ephemeral Influence Conditions and Manifestation Conditions for ghosts, as well as Haunt Conditions and Tilts.
Throughout this Kickstarter campaign, we will be posting complete previews of the Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition manuscript as backer-only updates.
The primary goal of this Kickstarter campaign is to create the best version of Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition 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 Geist, expanding into rules companions and other Storyteller and player tools and accessories. The greater our funding for this project, the more resources we are able to explore this (Under)world.
Thirdly, we want to celebrate the quiet legacy of Geist: The Sin-Eaters by offering an affordable bundle of first edition PDF titles. The Underworld Reflections bundle is a quick-and-easy way to dive into the world of Geist and revisit those ideas and concepts as we move forward with our new edition.
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 giving this game physical form — and like our protagonists, we all become Bound with common purpose. When you back this project, you join our krewe and we journey into the new edition 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 ($50,000), 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 basic 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 stay non-corporeal with the digital PDF version only, or bind yourself to the physical world 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 Doppelgänger and Krewe 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 Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition campaign, we have created a special Reward Tier just for you. Any retailer who pledges at the Retailer Reward Tier level ("Spectre") will get 5 copies of the hardcover book, PDF, and Storyteller's Screen at a retail-specific discount so that they can sell in-store.
ACCESS TO MANUSCRIPT PREVIEW UPDATES – During the course of the campaign, we will be posting the ENTIRE manuscript for Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition. These previews will be shared via Backer-Only updates once per week. You must be a backer of this project to receive these updates.
UNDERWORLD REFLECTIONS (1E PDF BUNDLE) - A bundle of relevant PDFs from the first edition of Geist: The Sin-Eaters, the Underworld Reflections bundle can provide inspiration and ideas for your Geist game. This bundle includes the following titles
- Geist: The Sin-Eaters 1st Edition PDF
- Ready-Made Characters 1E PDF
- Quickstart - Return of Mr. Monster 1E PDF
- Through the Ebon Gate 1E PDF
- World of Darkness: Book of the Dead PDF
- Nightmare on Hill Manor 1E PDF
- Dem Bones 1E PDF
- House Always Wins 1E PDF
- Dark Eras: God’s Own Country 1E PDF
- Dark Eras: Three Kingdoms of Darkness 1E PDF
- Dark Eras: The Wolf and the Raven 1E PDF
- Dark Eras: Foreboding Lands 1E PDF
MEMENTO MORI - A PDF of supplemental rules and extra material for Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition. The contents of this companion will be added via Special Reward tiers and Stretch Goal achievements and the book will grow in size and scope throughout the course of the campaign, possibly adding momentos, expanding information on krewe regalia and ceremonies, and providing details on dominions and other topics. The Memento Mori PDF will be added to the rewards list of all backers currently set to receive a PDF version of Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition as part of their rewards. Currently, Memento Mori includes sections on the following topics:
- Krewe Regalia & Ceremonies
- Haunted Locations & Story Hooks
READY-MADE CHARACTERS - Pre-generated player characters designed for instant use in your Geist: the Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition game. A PDF version of these Ready-Made Characters will be added to the rewards list for all backers receiving the Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition PDF.
JUMPSTART – An introductory scenario designed to launch your Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition chronicle. A PDF version of this Jumpstart will be added to the rewards list for all backers receiving the Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition PDF.
DIGITAL DICE - A Geist: The Sin-Eaters-themed D10 will be created for the Onyx Dice app (iOs/Android). All backers receiving the Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition PDF will be able to unlock this die for free on the app.
FICTION ANTHOLOGY – A PDF version of the forthcoming Geist: The Sin-Eaters fiction anthology will be added to the rewards list for all backers receiving the Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition PDF.
STORYTELLER SCREEN - a sturdy three-panel Geist: The Sin-Eaters2nd Edition screen featuring evocative Geist art on the outer side, and a selection of charts and other info on the inside to make the Storyteller's job a little bit easier.
OPTIONAL "AT COST" PoD VERSION – As noted, all PDF products will be fulfilled through our partners at DriveThruRPG.com, the largest RPG download store. For Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition, 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.
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 release a reward from the Underworld. 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.
At $117,000 in funding - Memento Mori: Translation Guide – A section discussing how to update your 1st Edition characters to the 2nd Edition rules will be written for Memento Mori, the Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition Companion.
At $123,000 in funding - Memento Mori: Chapter Fiction – New frightening prose will be written for each section of Memento Mori, the Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition Companion.
At $129,000 in funding - Memento Mori: Sample Krewes – A section on sample krewes will be written for Memento Mori, the Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition Companion
This is Onyx Path Publishing's 30th 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 Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition 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 last ship-out, for Pugmire, started a month 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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