There are 3 different kinds of stretch goals that can potentially be unlocked over the course of this campaign. Digital content stretch goals will be made available to all backers who have access to them in the form of PDF supplements. Physical stretch goals will have to be added as add-ons by backers who have access to them. Finally, the sourcebook stretch goals will be included in the Reign of the Accursed sourcebook, meaning that anyone who has pledged for the sourcebook in any form will be getting the content.
* The Masks Fall takes place in Vae-Marnor, a Victorian London inspired city-state. The chronicle is a 100 pages long PDF and will be available for download roughly 2 months after you have received the core sourcebook of the game.
Game Keeper's Screen
Once unlocked, the Game Keeper's screen will be available to backers with access to physical stretch goals as a £5 add-on .
In the late evening hours, the streets are crowded. Aristocrats take a stroll with their ladies, people of the working class return home after a day's hard work, and children run around in worn clothes, making games out of whatever they can find. Then there is you, seemingly alike the rest, elegantly dressed, a wolf in sheep's clothing, yet when you walk down the street most people seem to instinctively avoid you. You are not like them, and deep down they know it.
A slight grin forms on your face as you think of what you are about to do. Tonight is the night. You have worked tirelessly the past few months, converting those of your kind into allies and destroying those who denied you. Now, you are heading towards the baron's manor to end his reign and take his title. Ironic, you think, that even the immortal can die.
Your grin fades as you feel it again. A sense of danger, not imminent but overwhelming, world-ending, like a colossal, dark shadow cast from far beyond. This feeling has been with you for years, you cannot put it into words, yet you know that others like you have felt it too. It is coming, whatever it is...
Welcome to Orbis Aerden: Reign of the Accursed, a horror tabletop roleplaying game set in a fictional Victorian era setting. In this game, you assume the role of an accursed godspawn, a being of dual nature that embodies qualities of both a monster and a man. As an accursed, you will be thrown into a dark and unforgiving underworld, surrounded by monsters far more dreadful than yourself, and you will either kill or be killed.
Reign of the Accursed explores various themes, underscored by its setting and fully supported by its comprehensive, crunchy rule-set. A chronicle may be focused on a central motif, or it may incorporate two or more of the following themes:
- Political Intrigue: Scheme, manipulate, and murder, risk it all to climb to the top of the hierarchy in the dark society you inhabit. Become the baron and rule over a domain, climb even higher and take the title of a count of tenebrae, ruling over multiple baronies. Will you dare to take a chance at the throne of the archduke? You are only limited by the magnitude of your ambition, but remember, the higher you rise, the harder you fall.
- Cold War: Pick your side and partake in the secret war of the accursed that has been raging on for more than a thousand years. As an instrument of your order, you will have significant resources at your disposal, but you will also be brought into the spotlight, making every new night potentially your last. Will you bring your order one step closer to becoming the victor of the war of ages, or will you succumb to the machinations and twisted mind-games of your monstrous adversaries?
- Cosmic/Occult Horror: Look at the big picture, however ill-advised it may be, and set out to investigate the strange occurrences connected to the Sempiternal Archae, horrific cosmic entities beyond any comprehension, and those the accursed call "the perverse ones". You may try your best to hamper their advances towards your world, but only a few survive even the remotest involvement with these enigmatic beings. Lunacy, terror, and despair await you. Will you overcome it?
- Character Drama: You carry inside you the blood of a fallen god, it has changed you, you are no longer human. You now seek your place among the world. Will you struggle against your monstrous nature, or will you embrace it and let it change you? Your preservation depends upon hurting the helpless. Will you indulge your needs and grow your power, or will you stand against your own kind and protect the innocent?
- Survival: From the most powerful accursed to the lowliest mortal, no-one can be safe in a world permeated with ever-present threats. You are a monster, yes, but you are not the only one. In this nightmarish reality you live in, the society of horrors, only the strong survive and you best hide your weaknesses, or you will be hunted as prey.
For a brief look into the origins and history of the accursed godspawns watch the animatic video "Prelude":
You can also download the Kickstarter Preview version of Reign of the Accursed, which contains a brief overview of the basic rule-set and setting of the game, as well as a demo chronicle for 2-4 players:
An accursed godspawn, as its name denotes, is a descendant of the accursed, fallen God. It is a nocturnal, undying creature with the semblance of a man, and one that preys on the lives of others to preserve its own. Some godspawns feed on flesh while others on the fear of their victims, but what most accursed have in common is their desire for blood, or haema as they call it. Typically, the accursed fall under the archetype of the anti-villain, individuals with dark personalities, but with at least some redeeming qualities. However, there are godspawns who have shed every last part of their former human self and morality, and who now believe themselves to be gods on earth. These accursed are paranoid and power-hungry beings, looking to ensure their immortality and exert their dominance over the rest by any means necessary. Individuals such as these are so twisted and malevolent that even the archetype of the villain would fall short in describing them adequately.
The majority of the accursed are members of secret orders founded by the Primordials, the first godspawns who also fathered all of the major accursed bloodlines. The Primordials created these orders to manipulate their descendants into fighting their war for them. Each order's ultimate goal is to subjugate the rest and then ascend as the sole ruler of the Aerden. However, the accursed do not fight an open war, at least not presently, and so they resort to political games and cold war tactics. All orders are mainly comprised of a single bloodline and in most cases the accursed remain within the order in which they were delivered to. Furthermore, every order is a home to various factions which operate under different ideologies, structures, and beliefs. Thus, each order presents a different agenda that is often the result of the combination of its factions' goals.
Keep an eye out for our upcoming updates where we will be providing an in-depth look for each order/ bloodline separately.
Orbis Aerden is a fictional world with a Gothic Victorian backdrop. Along with the standard elements that were present in the real Victorian era, such as the gothic aesthetics and the overall state of the civilization, this setting incorporates medieval tropes. Armor and swords are still heavily employed, and electricity, as well as the steam engine, are still in embryonic levels of research as their advancement is hindered by dark forces whose interests lie against such inventions. As such, horses, carriages, and ships are the main means of transportation, and lighting depends mostly on oil and gas lamps. Gunpowder and firearms are also a recent invention, with guns being a somewhat uncommon sight due to their still experimental state and expensive price. Nevertheless, scientific fields like medicine, psychiatry, architecture, and engineering have evolved normally, some even further than one would expect for this “dark age”.
The Aerden is vast and richly detailed with a timeline of over 2500 years of history. The world's civilized parts are populated by many diverse city-states which form a worldwide economy. Differences between the states' cultures, religions, and polities (such as democracy, oligarchy, tyranny, etc.) create a volatile geopolitical landscape where differences are seldom resolved through diplomacy. War is indeed an all too common occurrence in this world.
But the Aerden is also a home to different kinds of supernatural creatures. Despite their existence and involvement with the human society, these entities remain mostly unseen to the eyes of men.
Society of Horrors
The accursed, being forced to live in obscurity, have formed their own secret society which exists and operates "beneath" the world of humanity. The accursed society, aptly characterised by its members as "the society of horrors", is governed by rules, laws meant to restrain the demonic urges of the accursed so that they can coexist, at least at some level, without resorting to bloodshed over the most trivial of differences and grudges.
The accursed divide each city-state into a number of baronies, domains which are ruled individually by barons. A baron is the absolute authority within his own domain and is accountable only to his count, a godspawn who is the ruler of multiple baronies. The orders of the accursed, while prohibited from interfering with the baronies directly, use their vast resources to help their members climb the hierarchy of the society of horrors, thus expanding their control and through it, achieving supremacy over the rest.
Despite the seemingly sound structure and strict laws of the accursed society, it remains an environment inhabited by monsters prone to greed and brutality. Thus, the majority of godspawns does not take survival in the society of horrors for granted, and rightly so, since a single misstep can cause any accursed his immortality.
Reign of the Accursed features a comprehensive rule-set that focuses its attention to the description of the character. Depending on how deep you want to go, and your chosen themes for your chronicle, the system provides options that describe and emphasize different sides of a character's nature, personality, and life. The game is also tooled to provide Game Keepers with the freedom to create any type of chronicle they may wish, theme park, sandbox, or a combination of the two.
Sandbox tools include:
- An extensive, structured list that describes the aspects of a character's life, including his potential affiliation to factions, and his specialty, if any.
- A city lore mechanic, that determines how well player characters know their city-state and other important characters in it.
- A drive mechanic which determines the character's goals, accompanied by a scheming system that provides the means for players to pursue their characters' goals.
Using these mechanics, players can navigate the gameworld with little to no assistance from the Game Keeper, allowing him to focus on bringing to life the NPC's personalities and schemes.
CharactersReign of the Accursed employs an extensive and thorough character creation system that aims at producing consistent and multidimensional personalities.
Characters in Reign of the Accursed are subject to a number of Conditions that serve to represent their physical and mental state at any given point. These conditions come in the spotlight when running chronicles that explore the themes of survival and character drama as they provide details that help players role-play their characters' ailments. Conditions detail confidence, fear, and insanity levels as well as bleeding, fracturing, etc.
The accursed possess two different sets of supernatural powers. The first is a set of bloodline specific powers, called Diadem, and the second is a set of powers that all accursed share regardless of bloodline, called Gifts of Haema. Diadem powers play on the strengths of each bloodline and by combining 2 or more of these powers, the accursed can transform into monstrosities, called Horrid Forms.
The gifts of haema represent the accursed's capability to enhance their bodily functions and utilize their deific blood to achieve certain supernatural effects such as moving at an unnatural speed, healing at an impressive rate, disappearing from the sight of others, etc.
CombatThe core of combat in Reign of the Accursed is based upon a rather straightforward mechanic. Each combat round, a character takes a turn and spends action points to perform his desired actions. Depending on his build, a character may have a speed of roughly 5-7 action points per round, with attacks costing 2-3 actions points each, and movement costing 1 action point per meter walked, and 1 action point per 2 meters ran.
Reign of the Accursed Art-book
A pdf containing over 35 full-color, high-resolution illustrations.
Reign of the Accursed PDF Sourcebook
The full-color, digital version of the sourcebook, delivered through DriveThruRPG.
Reign of the Accursed Softcover Sourcebook
The full-color, softcover version of the sourcebook, printed and delivered through DriveThruRPG. The print cost will be around £8 or $10.
Reign of the Accursed Hardcover Sourcebook
The premium-color, hardcover version of the sourcebook, printed on high quality paper throughout.
You will participate in the testing phase of Reign of the Accursed, starting on October 2015. You will be able to download the testing document, try the game with your group and provide your feedback. Throughout the course of these 3-4 months, we will receive your feedback and use it to create new versions of the testing document, along with notes detailing the changes made in each version.
Design a Power
You will choose your favorite bloodline, share your ideas with us, and together we will create a specific Diadem power that will be included in the sourcebook. Once you have pledged at a tier that includes this reward send us a private message to inform us which bloodline you will be choosing and we will let you know if it is still available*. Also, please note that the power must be fitting with both the tone of the game and the concept of the bloodline.
Design a Faction
You will choose your favorite order, share you ideas with us, and together we will create a faction that will be included in the sourcebook. Once you have pledged at a tier that includes this reward send us a private message to inform us which order you will be choosing and we will let you know if it is still available*. Also, please note that the faction must have an ideology, purpose, structure, and should not contradict the order's agenda.
* If you pledge at the Primordial tier you will be able to choose any bloodline and order, regardless if they have been already claimed.
Design a Character
You will use Reign of the Accursed's character creation system to create a character and you will send us a photo of what you want the character to look like. We will create an illustration in the likeness of the photo, which will be added in the sourcebook, and we will incorporate your character in the canon storyline of Reign of the Accursed. If the photo is not of yourself please take permission from the person depicted before sending it. Also, we reserve the right to reject photos that do not fit the tone of the game. In the unlikely event that something like this happens, a new photo will be requested.
Example of a digital portrait from reference photo:
Important: Dead Eyed Shade Games Ltd. does not claim ownership of the photograph to the left. All rights belong to their respective owners.
You will participate in a play-by-post chronicle run by Jordan (RotA creator), after the game has been shipped to you. You will be playing along with other backers who have pledged for the reward, as well as with members of the Dead Eyed Shade Games team. All your character's actions and choices will be written directly in the Reign of the Accursed canon storyline.
Post-Campaign ShippingOnce the campaign is over you will be sent a survey where you will be required to confirm your shipping address. Later, once the production process is finished and it is time to ship your rewards, we will be contacting you to ask how you want yours shipped. We will leave it up to you if you would like a fast and/or trackable method, or if you would prefer a basic one, but obviously the former would be more expensive than the latter.
Music: "Long Note Four" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
Risks and challenges
Dead Eyed Shade Games is a small independent studio. In our quest to produce material that is in line with the game's tone and art direction, we have decided to collaborate with specific artists, designers, and writers from around the world. However, many of them work from their own homes, and are in different countries and time-zones, so sometimes the process takes somewhat longer than originally planned. While we have factored this in our estimated time of delivery, there could still be minor delays.
Play-testing could also take longer than expected, depending on the feedback we will receive from you. This is probably the most important phase during the production of a game, and we do not intend to rush it. If more time is needed, we will take it.
The costs associated with the production of the sourcebook have been researched and calculated thoroughly, so unless there is a case of a lot of pledges being dropped after the campaign is over, everything should go as planned.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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