On the first day of fighting at the Somme something happened which thinned the veil between this world and the world of the Others. Soon after came the Whispers. From just behind a soldier’s ear voices told them how they could win. Some resisted, and the Others drove them mad. Some accepted their instructions and sold their humanity for arcane powers. Strange enemies now stalk the battlefield and many soldiers have become twisted parodies of their past selves.
Inspired by the World War Occult art of Charles Ferguson-Avery, Wet Ink Games is ready to bring you into the horror-haunted trenches and march you through the terror-torn battlefields of the First World War. Create a soldier, choose your Whispers, join your fellow survivors, fight for your lives, and protect your humanity as long as you can. You are never going home...
August 2nd, 1916
We’ve made it back to the trenches, but we still have a long way to march before we’re at the front again. It’s worse this time, going back. We don’t know what we’re headed for. I’d almost be thankful if I was gunned down by the German machine gunners. The officers have started to come in the night, choosing one or two men from the dug outs. We don’t know what happens—none of us has the courage to follow—but we hear the chanting, and we hear the screams. the men come back to us, but they aren’t the same afterward. They are hollow- like Bailey. I can’t help but think of the tower of bones I saw on the way here. How many others might now be set around us as we hide from our own commanders in these holes?
Never Going Home: World War Occult Role Playing is powered by a simple and easy to learn rules set, loosely based on the Compass System used in Wet Ink Games’ previous game. Players roll D6 equal to skill proficiency and may manipulate die results a number of different ways based on attributes in an effort to meet or exceed the difficulty (a number of successes required) per check. A success is considered a 5 or 6 on the die, but each roll can be manipulated a number of times equal to the associated attribute to raise or reroll a die, but also to add dice to a roll, or even to roll a skill you may not have. The higher an attribute is, the more a character can manipulate the roll, but considering each attribute is a marker of your health and can be reduced means options and proficiency are also reduced as a character is damaged.
Magic actions known as whispers, or more complex rituals offer players powerful options, but carry large risks. Players are able to add a number of abilities to the whisper each time it is used, but each addition raises the difficulty. Massively powerful abilities can annihilate adversaries and rend armor in half, but if a whisper is too powerful and fails, the mystical forces might be too much for a character to handle. Balancing the risk of corruption versus the reward of magical power can often be too much for the common soldier.
Players also hold their memories of humanity in the form of playing cards. These cards must be sacrificed in order to get the group through missions and may be sacrificed to power rituals or avoid injury. These cards also serve as the experience system of the game, being traded to new skills, additional dice, and dark powers from the realm of the Others. Players must balance the goal of personal survival with the goal of group success.
Our goal is to fund a softcover edition, a limited number of hardcover editions, the custom "The Rot" dice, the Journey Cards, and a very limited number of the hand-crafted collector’s editions. We’ve planned several stretch goals which will increase page count, add more art, and add more terrifying adventures.
$10 Never Going Home PDF
The complete role playing game in PDF format generated from the same files sent to the printer. Covers included as well as full table of contents. Fulfillment through DriveThruRPG.
- If you want to add an extra PDF copy of Never Going Home, you can increase your pledge by $10 USD.
$20 Never Going Home Softcover
The complete role playing game. The full color book will be 7 x 10 in dimensions. The book will be approximately 100 pages, but certain stretch goals will affect this page count. Will include character creation, the PLUS1 rule set, blank character sheet and guidelines for building missions. Shipping costs to be collected after the campaign.
- If you want to add an extra softcover of Never Going Home, you can increase your pledge by $20 USD.
$20 Once More Unto the Breach Softcover
The compiled Mission Folios from the entire campaign. The full color book will be 7 x 10 in dimensions. Shipping costs to be collected after the campaign.
- If you want to add an extra softcover of Once More Unto the Breach, you can increase your pledge by $20 USD.
$40 Limited Edition Never Going Home Hardcover
The same full color, 7 x 10, approximately 100 page book, just printed in hardcover. The LIMITED EDITION hardcover of Never Going Home will only be available through this Kickstarter and through Wet Ink Games at conventions. Shipping costs to be collected after the campaign.
- If you want to add an extra LIMITED EDITION hardcover, you can increase your pledge by $40 USD
$15 World War Occult Art Book
The collection of art by Charles Ferguson-Avery with text by Brian Ferguson-Avery which originally inspired Never Going Home is being made available through this campaign. This reprinting of the book will be 7 x 10 in dimensions. Perfect for completionists, art collectors and those who missed the original release of World War Occult. Shipping costs to be collected after the campaign.
- If you want to add a copy of the art book, you can increase your pledge by $15 USD.
$15 Custom "The Rot" Dice
Each set includes 5D6 featuring “The Rot” design by Charles Ferguson-Avery. These laser-etched dice show flies for pips on faces 1-5 and a skull-like mask on face 6. Shipping costs to be collected after the campaign.
- If you want to add an extra set of dice (they come as sets of five), you can increase your pledge by $15 USD.
$15 Custom "Occult" Dice (EXCLUSIVE)
Each set includes 5D6 featuring “Occult” design by Charles Ferguson-Avery, and are an EXCLUSIVE. These laser-etched dice show various occult runes and symbols. The design is in progress, and will hopefully be revealed before the end of the campaign. These will only be available through this Kickstarter and through Wet Ink Games at conventions.Shipping costs to be collected after the campaign.
- If you want to add an extra set of dice (they come as sets of five), you can increase your pledge by $15 USD.
$15 Journey Cards
The Journey Cards are used during game play, but can be used as a normal deck of playing cards. This item contains one deck of 52 cards with 2 jokers, and 6 player aid cards in a deck box. The deck contains all new art by Charles Ferguson-Avery and will be produced through DriveThruCards. Shipping costs to be collected after the campaign.
- If you want to add an extra deck of Journey Cards, you can increase your pledge by $15 USD.
$6 or $15 Character/Campaign Journal
This is a 48 page notebook insert similar to the "Field Notes" books found on Amazon and other book retailers. This book will be 5"x 8" and will include 6 character sheets, each followed by campaign notes pages so you can document your adventures. One copy of this book will be included in every Deluxe pledge.
- If you want to add an extra copy of the Character/Campaign journal, you can increase your pledge by $6 USD, or $15 for a set of three (3).
$10 Gamemaster Screen
This is a trifold Gamemaster screen featuring the stunning art by Charles-Ferguson Avery full of tables and reference chart to assist with streamlined game play.
- If you want to add a copy of the screen, you can increase your pledge by $10 USD.
$10 Armistice Day Art Print
The Armistice Day art print was unlocked by all of the dedicated fans following this project. This high quality art print commemorates the 100th anniversary of the end of fighting for the Great War, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month . It will only be available through this campaign, and from the creators at conventions. Shipping costs to be collected after the campaign.
- If you want to add a copy of the Armistice Day art print, you can increase your pledge by $10 USD.
Leather Campaign Book Edition
Limited to 20 copies for those who pledge at the Collector’s Level. A softcover copy of the book will be provided to a local bookbinder who will add a hand-stitched and imprint leather cover to create a copy of the game which looks like a military campaign journal of the war period. Each backer at this level will get to choose from brown, black, red, blue or green covers. Since manufacture of this item cannot begin until the book is complete and printed, fulfillment of this premium collector’s item will take place after the rest of fulfillment. Shipping costs to be collected after the campaign.
- This item is only available by pledging as a Collector.
The writing for the digital adventures and settings is being done by a collected team of some of the best industry talent in gaming. For every stretch goal reached during the campaign, a different writer will be creating a Mission Folio to threaten the survival of your soldiers. Each Folio will be a digital release and will present a specific set of challenges to overcome including required cards for the Journey, unique monsters, or different locations. At a certain level, all Folios will also be collected in a separate volume,"Once More Unto the Breach" to be added to all Deluxe pledge levels.
Additionally, each of the goals unlock more content for the core book, add physical content to the Deluxe pledge levels and allow us to offer more Add-Ons to all pledge levels.
...and so much more!!!
Brandon K. Aten is a writer and game designer from Louisville, KY, where he lives with his wife and three children. He has been writing professionally since 2004 and has worked with a number of mainstays in the gaming industry. For Palladium Books he has worked on their flagship game line, RIFTS and has plans to greatly expand the Splicers property. He worked on a team for Third Eye Games which was awarded an Ennie Judge’s Selection prize for the development of Ninja Crusade, 2nd Edition. Most recently, Wet Ink Games released the first expansion in the Wild Skies game line, Wild Skies: Liberating Strife. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities from the University of Louisville and a Masters of Theological Studies from Drew Theological School.
Charles Ferguson-Avery is an illustrator, art director, and concept artist based in rural Pennsylvania, best known for Kickstarting World War Occult in 2017. In addition to creating World War Occult he continues to do work for several companies in the role-playing and video game industries, while also pursuing personal projects including comics, zines, and RPG material. A majority of his work can be found on Instagram (@charlie_fergusonavery) and Artstation.
Irvin Jackson is a freelance writer and the managing editor of a legal news website. His role-playing game credits include Palladium Books' Robotech: The New Generation, Robotech: Genesis Pits, Robotech: Expeditionary Marines, and co-author of The Nightbane Survival Guide. He is also an artist who has done RPG art, book covers, collectible card game art and has worked in the video game industry, and is a career journalist who has covered U.S. Congress and the Supreme Court. A native Detroiter by birth, he currently resides in Baltimore.
Matthew Orr has been a freelance writer since 2010 and co-founded Wet Ink Games, LLC in 2015. Recent role playing credits include Rifts World Book 36: Sovietski from Palladium Books and CAPERS from NerdBurger Games. In 2018 he served as a reader during the 200 Word RPG Challenge. He earned degrees in history, art and education from University of Louisville.
Sarah Orr Aten is a history nerd, birth doula, and mother of 3 who lives in Louisville KY with her husband, Wet Ink Games co-owner Brandon K. Aten. Sarah attended the University of Louisville and holds degrees in English and Spanish. She is forever writing a novel of her own, and hopes to finally bring her dream of being a published author into fruition in 2019. Studying World War I is a favorite pastime, so when the opportunity to work on this project came up, she quickly raised her hand and asked to be included. Sarah loves games and gaming because of the rich worlds that game designers create. World War Occult will be her first project.
Wet Ink Games – Who We Are
Wet Ink Games believes pen and paper role-playing games should be a collective storytelling experience for the enjoyment of all involved. We are dedicated to creating unique systems and dynamic settings to foster and grow your storytelling potential. The company was created in 2015 by Brandon K. Aten and Matthew Orr who have over a decade of experience in the gaming industry working on projects together and separately for prominent companies including Palladium Books (Rifts and Splicers), Third Eye Games (Part Time Gods, Ninja Crusade 2nd Ed. and Amp: Year One), and NerdBurgerGames (CAPERS).
Our first game, Wild Skies, was released in 2017 and offers diesel-punk adventure in an anthropomorphic version of the 1930s. The first sourcebook, featuring America, is forthcoming. Wet Ink Games strives to bring fresh ideas to your tabletop before the ink dries.
Risks and challenges
Q: Can Wet Ink Games handle this project?
A: This is our third Kickstarter, after two previous successful projects. With each one we have learned more about the industry and best practices. We are entering the fulfillment period for our second project so soon we will be moving Never Going Home to our main focus. This is the first time we have given ourselves a firm fulfillment date (GenCon 2019), but with this book being smallest and most focused game yet, we are confident we can handle.
Q: How much of the book is already finished?
A: The draft of all the game rules already exists. A set of fictional journal entries from a soldier is already written. Forty pieces of art have already been produced. This is solid body of material to work from. There will be further development of the rules throughout this year as we nail down exactly how we want the game to function. We will likely commission a few more pieces of art as well. The text potentially added by stretch goals is not written yet, but the first five writers have submitted pitches, and we have an extensive team of people signed up as collaborators.
Q: Will all the art be by just one artist?
A: We are starting this project with 40 pieces by Charles Ferguson-Avery already complete. We may need a few more to fully represent aspects of role playing or the setting and we expect Charles will be able to complete these additional pieces. If not, we have other artists we can call upon to assist in the work load.
Q: Have you produced all these items before?
A: Honestly, part of this project is a deliberate stretch for us. We have had books printed and we have offered custom dice in the past. We will be using manufacturers we are familiar with for this project. If things go so well we need to make a lot of dice we are willing to change to a larger manufacturer to get the job done in a reasonable amount of time. We have not had cards printed before, but we know people who have used DriveThruCards in the past. We are ready to learn to do something new and there may be bumps along the way, but we are connected with industry peers who can advise us at every step. The leather campaign books are the most unusual item being offered as part of this project and something we have more done before. We have seen the work of the bookbinding artisan we have chosen to work with in person so we know it is quality and we are keeping the number offered low so we believe we can deliver that item in a reasonable amount of time as well.
Q: What if shipping costs increase?
A: Shipping costs are well beyond our control. We’ve made our best projections and those shipping fees will be collected through Backer Kit. Once that money is in hand, we’ll send the items, even it we end up eating a cost increase.
- (34 days)