Cabal is an RPG that works in reverse to the way tabletop RPGs usually function. Instead of each player creating their own character, you create a single character between you. This character is an organisation with its own secret plan and goals. It might be a conspiracy, a corporation, an activist group, an occult society of magicians or even a collection of hidden alien refugees. The size, influence, resources and pawns of the group depend entirely on what attributes the players choose between them for the organisation.
In most RPGs, the characters go on adventures created by the Gamemaster, and gain improvement points they can use to build their characters. In Cabal, the players decide what aspect of the organisation they want to improve, and work with the Gamemaster to create a project that will improve that attribute if they are successful. These projects require the organisation to use specialty teams to complete the goal. Such teams are created to give each player a character to run for that team’s part of the project. Several teams might be required to complete a project, and compared to the organisation, any of them are expendable.
For instance: you may want to improve your organisation’s scientific knowledge, and create a project to send a team to locate a rare plant you suspect may have properties you can turn into a powerful new product. You might begin with a group of explorers looking for the plant. But when they find it is in the lands of an ancient tribe you might switch to a diplomatic team who can negotiate for access to their sacred lands. Having got hold of the herb, you discover another organisation is looking to steal it from you. So you switch to a military team who can get the herb back to headquarters when your enemies make their move.
Cabal is what you want it to be; a game of corporate greed, activists and hackers taking on the establishment, or even mercenaries working for the highest bidder. The motives, agenda and methods of your Cabal are entirely up to you.
At the Intern level you are one of those lovely people who just want to help out, and who expects nothing in return. You’re awesome. You’ll receive my undying love and respect, but little else, although I will put your name in the book as a thankyou.
£3 Digital Wage Slave
You just want to get the PDF version when it’s ready. You’ll have to wait until all the Stretch Goals are sorted out and added, but we’ll get that to you as soon as we can.
£8 Corporate Raider
You want a little piece of everything. So you’ll get the PDF as soon as it is ready just as above. But you’ll also have the option to buy the final print version at cost from Drivethrurpg. This should be ready to go once the PDF is sorted out.
Not only do you get the final version PDF and Print version, you’ve also decided you can’t wait to see the game. You’ll get all the rewards of the Corporate Raider level, but also an early copy of the PDF. This early copy features the complete game, just without all the Stretch Goals. We’ll send it to you as soon as the Kickstarter has ended.
No one keeps you waiting for anything. You’ll get a PDF copy of the game, and the option to buy a print copy at cost, just as for Corporate Raider. But you’ll also get the Executive bonus of the current PDF as soon as the Kickstarter ends. But thats not all! We’ll also offer you the opportunity to buy a super early print copy of the current game at cost as soon as it’s all over too.
Everyone gets their name in the book as well, no matter what their pledge level.
When I say ‘when the Kickstarter ends’ I mean when all the funds have cleared and any arcane processes they invoke are settled. But I’ll get the early PDFs out as early as possible, even if I have to stay up really, really late.
Also, if there is something you’d like to see as a stretch goal, drop me a line. I’m willing to add more options if Kickstarter will allow me to!
What would a Kickstarter be without Add-ons? As this is my first project I'm keeping it simple and offering a bargain deal on some of my previous work. So if you add £5 to your pledge, I'll send you a PDF copy of two of my other books, 'Dance of the Damned' and 'Hellcats and Hockeysticks'.
Corone Design PDF Bundle £5
A PDF copy of both 'Dance of the Damned' and 'Hellcats and Hockeysticks'
Dance of the Damned is a storytelling game of corruption and horror. Played without a Gamemaster, the players gradually uncover the fate of their characters as they try to escape a deadly plague by sheltering in a castle inhabited by decadent nobility
Hellcats and Hockeysticks is an RPG of anarchic schoolgirl adventure, full of bad behaviour and much silliness. It is a fast paced game designed to let your characters be who they want to be, and give hell to anyone who tries to stop them.
Both books are also available individually on Drivethrurpg.
My name is Andrew Peregrine and I’ve been writing and creating games for over ten years. I’ve worked as a freelancer for Cubicle 7 (Doctor Who/Victoriana), Onyx Path (Vampire 20), Margaret Weis Productions (Leverage/Firefly), Eden Studios (Buffy/Angel) and AEG (7th Sea) among many others. As Corone Design I’ve released my own independent products including the anarchic Hellcats and Hockeysticks, the dark Dance of the Damned and the horrific Pie Shop.
As well as my playtesting team, I’ve had some great help from many awesome people. Not least of which are Andrew O’Hara who has been my layout lifesaver and the incredible Jon Hodgson who put together my chilling introduction videos.
To make full use of the benefits of Kickstarter, I've convinced a crowd of talented writers and artists to help me create this project. If we pass the funding goal, the book will be expanded to include new art and a series of example organisations by some of the RPG industry's most amazing writers and artists. To get the ball rolling, here are the first few to whet your appetite:
UNLOCKED Cam Banks brings us a global catastrophic rescue organisation dedicated to the safety of world citizens and constantly dogged by ruthless enemies and a growing climate crisis. Cam is best known for his work on Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, Dragonlance, and many other licensed roleplaying games. He is currently RPG director at Atlas Games by day, and a feverish game designer by night. Check out his Patreon at patreon.com/cambanks.
UNLOCKED David F. Chapman brings us a secret organisation that aims to build its influence by manipulating the unconscious minds of those in power. Dave has previously been responsible for the Vortex system that powers the Doctor Who RPG by Cubicle 7, and the resurrection of Conspiracy X for Eden Studios. He is currently working on Star Trek Adventures for Modiphius, and his own creation - WILD - a roleplaying game of dreamshare.
UNLOCKED Luca A. Volpino will introduce you to an organisation whose members believe themselves heirs to the Inquisition. Luca has been working in the games industry for a few dozen years, and he's the author of a string of RPGs mostly published in Italy, so he's sort of big in Japan. He blames the fall of the Roman Empire on Andrew.
UNLOCKED Jason Durall will be covering an organisation of renegade inventors, engineers, and scientists who've been working in secrecy for thousands of years on... something. Pieces of it have escaped into the world. The Antikythera mechanism is theirs, and fortunately no one's yet figured out how to use it, or what it's for. Jason has worked with Cubicle 7, Chaosium, Decipher, and others, and is now frantically overworked as the line developer for Modiphius' new Conan game line, and editor for the new RuneQuest coming from Chaosium.
UNLOCKED Gillian Pearce will be adding more art to the book. Gill has been illustrating professionally both as an artist and cartographer for approximately 18 years now and has numerous publishing credits for roleplaying game companies including Savage Mojo, Chaosium, Cubicle 7, Moon Design and Pelgrane Press as well as fiction credits in publications by companies that include Mercia Books. Her website is www.hellionsart.com and she can be found at conventions such as UK Games Expo dressed as a pirate. Always as a pirate!
UNLOCKED Darren W. Pearce brings us a hidden society of techno-mages, masters of magic and technology who have existed since machines were first invented. Darren has worked on the Doctor Who RPG, and helped resurrect the Nocturne setting for 13th Age. Darren currently works as the lead writer on Shaintar for Savage Mojo and has a few more irons in the fire yet to be unveiled.
UNLOCKED Linda M. Jones brings her art to the book. Linda has been a professional artist for going on eight years. Her art has graced garments, giftware, aeroplanes and army patches, and much more. Within the games industry she has worked with Cubicle 7, Mongoose Publishing, Triple Ace Games, Postmortem Studios and Chaosium, to name just a few. You can see more of her art at www.sheblackdragon.com and catch her at a few choice conventions through the year.
UNLOCKED Nimrod Jones invites you to sell your soul to an ancient order of demonologists secretly manipulating the world's politics and economy for power, wealth and all those other things demons offer. At a price! Nimrod wrote about demons in Liber Magika for Cubicle 7's Victoriana and is running up to launching his own Kickstarter for a card game about demons (www.talkingskull.co.uk/faustus). Oddly, Nimrod is yet to gain power, wealth and all those other things demons offer. But you never know.
UNLOCKED Mark Hiblen will be adding more art to Cabal. Mark is a self-taught illustrator, heavily influenced by a love of 70's & 80's horror and pop culture. He has created vampires and werewolves for a popular Facebook app and works mainly in watercolour, acrylics, inks, Photoshop, illustrator and any other media he can get his hands on (budget allowing). He has worked for several independent publications as well as a couple of well-known ones, Facebook apps and Carte Blanche re-imaging for game producers (Assassins Creed). Slither/Super director James Gunn, who follows his work, kindly used it to commemorate the first anniversary of the release of Guardians of the Galaxy.
UNLOCKED Chad Bowser will pen a tale of gothic horror where the shadowy masters of the ancient art of bookbinding fight not only for their relevance, but to put down what once they called up. Chad Bowser might be remembered as the co-author of Cthulhu Invictus and Cthulhu Dark Ages 2e, writer for Victoriana, and creator of the fun-in-the sun Cold Harvest.
UNLOCKED Alrissa Sia will be adding more of her art to Cabal. Alrissa has been drawing since she moved to the UK at the age of 14 and has pursued her passion through a course in BA Games and Art Design at Norwich University of the Arts. She has been commissioned recently to illustrate a comic short titled Gone Fishing. To see more of her work, you can visit her gallery at http://alrissa.wixsite.com/portfolio
UNLOCKED Andi Newton will introduce us to a group that researches the stories of people whose headstones have been worn away by time so they can recruit their spirits in the fight against evil. Andi is a horror and urban fantasy author who has written and published poetry, short stories, and -- of course -- RPG books. She is best known for her work in the Victoriana and Call of Cthulhu role-playing games, especially Cthulhu Invictus and Cthulhu Dark Ages 2e. Andi is currently working on a novel set in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.
UNLOCKED Monica Valentinelli will create a cabal hidden in plain sight that seeks to bring back the gods and goddesses of ancient times--real and imagined. Monica writes stories, games, essays, and comics for media/tie-in properties and her original works from her studio in the Midwest. She’s a former musician of 20+ years and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Creative Writing program who now writes full-time. Monica is the developer for Hunter: the Vigil Second Edition, and was the lead developer/writer for the Firefly RPG books based on the Firefly TV show by Joss Whedon. Her new book The Gorramn Shiniest Dictionary and Language Guide in the ‘Verse recently debuted from Titan Books. Her sanity is kept by her two cats, water frog, and her long-time partner. When she’s not obsessing about deadlines, she designs jewelry and dabbles in other artistic endeavours. For more about Monica, visit www.booksofm.com and www.theonyxpath.com
UNLOCKED Kristian A. Bjørkelo will bring you a secretive foundation who has decided to take a more proactive approach to fighting human rights abuse, and can serve as both enemy or ally to your Cabal. Kristian got his feet wet writing scenarios for the Victoriana RPG. He went on to become a somewhat popular writer and speaker in Norway. His interest includes extremism, sexual history and secret societies, and his latest book is a primer on extremism. He is currently doing a PhD-project on Games & Transgressive Aesthetics.
UNLOCKED Evgeni Maloshenkov will bring more art to the book. Evgeni has been working as a concept artist and character designer for InSomnia, a story driven dieselpunk RPG influenced by classics like Fallout and Planescape Torment, which will be out early next year. He also worked on Barkley 2 doing some additional art for them. Mostly he creates illustrations for board and card games having worked for Kobold Press, Petersen Games, Catalyst Game labs, Helmgast (Kult: Divinity Lost), and a few other independent projects. His works can be seen at http://emaloshenkov.carbonmade.com
UNLOCKED Chris Hartford is setting aside his familiar Big Stompy Robots (BattleTech, Heavy Gear), the undead (Dark Ages: Vampire, Orpheus) and things Victorian (Victoriana, Victorian Age Vampire) to brings us something infinitely more twisted and dangerous: the deadly struggles of high school clubs!
UNLOCKED Angus Abranson explores an unusual group of blackmailers and hitmen whose identities are always hidden by the furry outfits they wear to both society meetings as well as when 'on the job'. Custom hits a speciality so if you want to destroy your business partners marriage, get him investigated by the police before finally send him over the edge with a custom designed 'suicide' - we've got the ideal rabbit for the job. Angus was the co-founder of Cubicle 7 and founder of Chronicle City. He was also one of the owners of Nightfall Games (SLA Industries), spent over 20 years working at Leisure Games (a specialist game store in London UK) and part of the launch team for the classic British games magazine, Valkyrie. He's currently the Business Manager for EN Publishing, where he's also writing a weekly crowdfunding column for EN World. The last time he was a 'stretch goal' the book was nominated for an ENnie... he has been seen planting giant lightning rods around Mr. Peregrine's house whilst trying to invoke Thor...
UNLOCKED Jon Hodgson will be adding his art to the book. Jon is Cubicle 7 Entertainment's Creative Director and a successful freelance artist for over a decade and a half. He has worked for a host of games, including D&D 3e, 4e and 5e, Pathfinder, The One Ring, WFRP 1e and 2e, Pugmire, Runequest and Glorantha, as well as for more mainstream interests like video games, beer bottle labels, TV and film. Jon is based in Scotland. His favourite colour is brown. You can see his work at www.jonhodgson.com
(Jon is also currently running his own Kickstarter project with his son Rory called The Forest Dragon check it out!)
UNLOCKED Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan will detail the Chipping Caldron Tidy Towns Committee, one of the combatants in a viciously polite struggle for occult power and influence around an ancient earthwork. Gareth is a writer and game designer whose recent projects include the award-winning Dracula Dossier campaign, the award-winning Darkening of Mirkwood campaign, and the not-technically-award-winning-but-still-awesome Eyes of the Stone Thief.
UNLOCKED Walt Ciechanowski details the most enigmatic cabal of all – even its own members don’t know why their lives are linked together. They have managed to find each other and secretly investigate why they’re all missing memories from particular times in their lives. Walt has worked in the RPG industry for over a decade and is currently a staff writer for Cubicle 7 Entertainment. He’s worked on such lines as Dungeons & Dragons, The Doctor Who Roleplaying Game, DC Adventures, Mutants & Masterminds, Victoriana, Witch Hunter, and World War Cthulhu. He was also a founding member of the Gnome Stew Gamemastering Blog and co-author of several system-neutral RPG books for Engine Publishing. In his free time he is also a budding fiction author and spends most of his daylight hours ensuring that his own ‘cabal’ gets to school and their extra-curricular activities on time!
UNLOCKED Aaron Aurelio Acevedo will add more art to the book. Aaron is a full-time artist, art director, and game designer living in New York. He is most widely known for his work in the tabletop games industry. He's currently art director for Pinnacle Entertainment Group, an illustrator for Savage Mojo, and he owns and operates an art production studio, Sigil Entertainment Group. Aaron has worked on some well known properties, including: A Song of Ice & Fire, Babylon 5, Call of Cthulhu, Deadlands, Legend of the Five Rings, Rifts, Solomon Kane, Suzerain, Torg, Unknown Armies, Wheel of Time, and World of Darkness, among others, and produces art and design for bands, comics, films, games, and concept work. You can find more of his work at www.aaronace.com.
UNLOCKED Jennifer Brozek will bring you a secretive society of older, wiser, and meaner "seamstresses" and "tailors." With a minimum age of sixty, these skilled assassins have taken on the duty of making retired bad guys pay. Just because a criminal has gone straight doesn't mean they don't have sins to atone for. Jennifer is a Hugo Award nominated editor and a Bram Stoker nominated author. Winner of the Scribe, Origins, and the ENnie awards, her contributions to RPG sourcebooks include Dragonlance, Colonial Gothic, Shadowrun, Serenity, Savage Worlds, and White Wolf SAS. Jennifer is the author of the award winning YA Battletech novel, The Nellus Academy Incident, and Shadowrun novella, Doc Wagon 19. She has also written for the AAA MMO, Aion, and the award winning videogame, Shadowrun Returns. When she is not writing her heart out, she is gallivanting around the Pacific Northwest in its wonderfully mercurial weather. Read more about her at www.jenniferbrozek.com or follow her on Twitter at @JenniferBrozek.
UNLOCKED Ben Allen will be adding more art. Ben is a freelance animator and illustrator from Norwich, Norfolk. Ben uses a blend of traditional and digital media for his cartooning. He is currently working on a science fiction webcomic titled Schism, which will be available to read in 2017. Ben is also working on an (unnamed) all-ages horror comic. To see examples of his work, you can click here: www.behance.net/benecilin
UNLOCKED Stuart Boon will introduce the Gant-Myers-Shotoku conglomerate, a mysterious multinational responsible for recent ground-breaking advances in genetic engineering and whose shadowy operations extend into regions far darker than anyone might expect. Stuart is an author, editor, and game designer, best known for the multi-award winning 'Shadows Over Scotland' setting for the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game. He continues to write for Chaosium, Cubicle 7, Golden Goblin Press, Sixtystone Press, and others. In addition to writing for games, Stuart is currently writing a novel blending historical fiction and cosmic horror set in 1920s Glasgow.
UNLOCKED Lynne Hardy will reveal a society of crafty (and crafting) nanas hiding in plain sight and determined to save the world one stitch at a time. Lynne is a writer and editor who has worked on a wide variety of games, including her own Cogs, Cakes & Swordsticks, the multi-award winning Achtung! Cthulhu, Victoriana 3e, 13th Age, Blue Rose 2e, the Seven Wonders anthology and Dying Earth. She also occasionally writes short stories and is now busily creating the Children of Fear campaign for Chaosium's Call of Cthulhu (as well as a host of other things she could tell you about, but she'd have to kill you if she did...).
UNLOCKED Ken Spencer offers a fanatical group that listens to the prophecies spoken by a voice inside the hull of a sunken ship. They seek to bring these about, yet they do not know the source of these predictions nor what they are leading towards, just that they should be allowed to come to pass. Ken is a freelance writer best known for the ENnie Award winning RPG Rocket Age. He has worked for Cubicle 7, Chaosium, Frog God Games, Steve Jackson Games, and Alephtar Games, as well as secretive cabals dedicated to producing RPGs and fiction. Ken certainly does not base any of his writing on his misbegotten youth as an adventuring archaeologist.
UNLOCKED Nick Robinson shows us that while knowledge is power, misinformation trumps knowledge. The Conspirators are a shadowy group that peddle lies and conspiracy theories in order to undermine their political and business rivals and to promote their own agendas. Nick has worked for Mongoose Publishing, Cubicle 7 and EN Publishing. A fan of all things Judge Dredd he also wrote the digital gamebook Judge Dredd: Countdown Sector 106 for Tin Man Games.
...and that's it, they are all done!
Now we come to the tricky bit, getting the product to you after the Kickstarter!
To make this as simple as possible, I'm going to be using Drivethrurpg's fulfilment process. The advantage of doing this is that it puts all the shipping and packaging into the hands of professionals with a worldwide network. This means the game can ship to anywhere in the world, but you will have to add shipping costs when you order your rewards.
There are a few ways to use Drivethrurpg's fulfilment process, and I've opted for the simplest as this is my first.
So the process will work like this:
- All PDF rewards will be sent out in the form of a token for a free download of the PDF from Drivethru's site.
- PDFs obviously have no shipping costs, but you will need a Drivethrurpg account to get hold of your digital book.
- Print copies have to be ordered as if you had my publisher access. This means you have to pay the print cost for each copy. I'd like to offer the copies for free and take the hit as part of the Kickstarter, but that entails me delivering and shipping them myself which will get very messy. The additional costs of ordering have been taken into account in the pledge levels (as much as possible given the fluctuating status of the pound!).
- You will have to add the shipping costs to any physical reward as part of your order. You can do this when you order the product itself from Drivethrurpg so you do not need to add anything to your Kickstarter pledge for shipping.
After the Kickstarter has been completed and fulfiled Cabal will be opened for general release on Drivethrurpg and through my own site.
As I already have Cabal written and ready to go, I am offering a couple of pledge levels to get Cabal to you as soon as possible. As it will obviously take some time after the Kickstarter to create and collate the stretch goals I am offering the option to get hold of the current version as soon as the Kickstarter is all settled.
The final version of Cabal will include the completed stretch goals and possibly a few tweaks. When that work is complete you will then get the final version of Cabal as well.
So, the things you need to know are:
- Cabal will be an A5 size softcover book with a colour cover and black and white interior. The current page count is 75, but that will grow with stretch goals!
- The planned Retail price for the game will be $15 in print and $6 in pdf
- If the page count gets a lot bigger the retail cost may increase but the Kickstarter costs will not. Those are now locked in.
- Shipping costs will be extra, you can see more about Drivethrurpg's charges in this regard here.
- There will be a small extra charge (the base printing cost) for each print reward. But you will still not be paying any more than the retail value in total. This cost should be $2.82 or thereabouts.
- All reward pledge levels include (either digital or in print) the final version of Cabal. The higher tiers allow you to get an early release copy that will never be available outside the Kickstarter (as the final version will be much better!)
By the way, everyone who backs Cabal gets their name in the book. Everyone. Without you there is no game, so credit where its due!
Risks and challenges
Cabal itself is fully written and edited, and includes a few pieces of stock art and a cover. I could release it in this basic form tomorrow. So this Kickstarter is designed to get the funds to make it look better, and (as this is my first Kickstarter) for me to learn how the process works.
This whole project mainly running so that I can figure out how the Kickstarter process functions. As such, I’ve picked an easy project to fund and create so I can focus on the process itself. This is all in preparation for another Kickstarter I’ll be running later for ‘Manners and Monstrosities’ a game of Decorum and Decapitation that mixes the Regency of Jane Austen with some deadly supernatural foes.
I hope to amend any mistakes I’ve made with this Kickstarter as we go, but I’m keeping things simple to avoid as many problems as possible. As such I honestly welcome any advice and suggestions you may have to improve this project for you, the backer.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)