Six Games in Six Months. Right?
So here's my plan. I am writing or have written all these great games. And I want to get them out to you as fast as I can, so I can make some great stuff in 2014. So. While you're waiting for my cool new fantasy gaming world or my science fiction action extravaganza, you can be playing these short, GMless roleplaying games.
I won't lie. These games are not your standard hack and slash adventuring fare. I've designed six games that all deal with different kinds of protagonist drama and pathos.
I like playing them all. The playtesters love playing them. And I want you to experience them as well.
These are NOT mini games. While each is designed to be played in one evening the books are at 50 least page pages each and in some cases may reach 100 pages. With hand out and cards and PDFs, the total will get very high.
My last four written books were 256, 312, 400, and 840 pages long.
While these are still be written and put into a readable format, I can assure you, they will not be 12-page pamphlets.
(Though I will design one of those for $50.)
Your contributions ensure that there is art inside these books and that they get done on time.
This is also the only way to ever get Hardback versions of the books and the special soft cover editions. Exclusive stuff. Includes +1 hit points and a wand of wonder.
So here is what you can get:
Roleplaying children in a post-apocolyptic future. This game was first released in 2005 without any marketing. Everyone who played it loved it. This improved edition includes more advice for play, a new interior design, and rules for building your own post-apoc world.
George's Children is a GMless roleplaying game played over the course of one day in the life of the children. The game is also zero-prep, so you can start playing within minutes of cracking the PDF. Described as Mad-Max + Lord of the Flies.
George's Children mixes desolation, fear, anxiety, and hope into a simple and elegant game system that plays out in a few hours.
For more information on this 60+ page game:
Art by Jon Hodgson.
Purposely misspelled, Dying Memoryes is another zero-prep and GMless roleplaying game. This time, players take on the roles of crewmembers trapped in cryogenic stasis aboard a ship lost in deep space. The spaceship has gone adrift, heading into the orbit of a wayward planet (or a star… or a nebula). As the ship’s unavoidable and tragic descent to the inhospitable world continues, the crewmen suffer traumatic episodes of fragmented memories from their past, in an attempt to rebuild their account of the past — their final moments spent trying to formulate who they were and what is happening.
Art by jim pinto.
“In the remote town of Northern Falls, Rebecca Ashwick has been murdered. But no one seems too keen on solving the murder, not even the residents…”
Set in the fictional town of Northern Falls, Forget-Me-Not allows players to take on the roles of various key figures in town — the Sheriff, the Town Drunk, the Reporter, etc. — but no one owns any of the characters. Each scene is played different from the last, as we explore the confusing and weird behaviors of the people unaffected by Rebecca Ashwick’s death.
Inspired by the weird storytelling methods of directors like Lynch, Soldenz, the Polish Brothers, and others, this game takes players into the surreal world of small town heiresses and business owners long-since removed from the fast-paced world miles from their doorstep.
The Sheriff enjoys AM radio and lipstick to give you a sense of the game environment.
The game comes with 12 NPCs and 12 Distractions/Locations, which are vital to play. Stretch goals include more of each. Here is a sample character card: front/back.
Roberta is just one of several quirky people living in Northern Falls. The game plays weird, because it's supposed to feel weird. This game definitely qualifies as experimental.
A printed deck of cards unlocks as a stretch goal and can be used to play instead of the PDF sheet. It is not necessary to play the game, but it makes things run smoother.
Art by jim pinto and Jeff Wright.
King Ulfstater is dead.
Tomorrow we set his body ablaze and send the boat out upon the river Volstag.
Tonight. We feast.
We recall all the great things of Ulfstater.
And we avoid squabbling for his throne while the body is still warm.
The Death of Ulfstater is a roleplaying game set in a fictional village on the edge of Viking Lands. Ulfstater, the King, has passed away and the PCs are his loyal vassals, all saddened by their lord’s passing, but vying for power nonetheless.
Devoid of a gamemaster, The Death of Ulfstater mixes intrigue, intimidation, viking honor, and bloodshed into a unique game system that plays out in a few hours.
The Norns have cut the thread of Ulfstater’s life — will they cut yours, or will they spin it into the golden life-thread of a king?
Art by "TBA."
The Witch is a zero-prep, GM-less roleplaying story game. The players take on the roles of soldiers, clergy, and fanatics tasked with delivering a suspected witch to a religious order for trial. One of these players plays the role of the witch.
As the game progresses, the players are forced to make important decisions about the guilt or innocence of the witch… and whether or not the witch can be trusted. Tension mounts as the game reaches a climatic conclusion of life or death for the witch.
The game includes rules for suspicion, trust, and even the witch's innocence, determined by the actions of the players.
Art by Eric Lofgren.
The Code of Bushido weaves its ways through the sagas and stories of ancient Japan. Monogatari is a GMless roleplaying game about samurai in conflict with this code, struggling to avoid dishonor… or worse, seppuku.
Not only does Monogatari include an introductory scenario, but it also includes a printable sheet of 49 cards. The game also includes an "honor wheel" so players can impact the micro and macro levels of play.
A printed deck of quality cards unlocks as a stretch goal. It is not necessary to play the game, but it makes things run smoother.
Art by "TBA."
Each stretch goal reached reveals new (secret) stretch goals and unlocks additional reward levels as well.
Everyone backing at $100 or more receives a free copy of Mjolnir, the 18-page PDF of the fabled hammer of Thor.
Preview of a 7th Game (to be released in 2014).
Preview of a supernatural sandbox-adventure PDF (A Buried Past).
Everyone backing at $100 or more receives a personalized PDF character sheet for George's Children.
Everyone backing at $75 or more receives a free copy of Mjolnir, the 18-pages PDF of the fabled hammer of Thor.
Everyone backing at $100 or more receives a free copy of the forthcoming PDF Soap Opera LARP rules.
In addition, Monogatari will include cards with a Shakespearean theme, along with a 2+ page write-up on using the game in this context rather than Feudal Japan.
Anyone backing all six games receives a free deck of cards for each game that requires a deck of cards. That's Forget-Me-Not, The Witch, and Monogataru. A $20 value! $25 if you include shipping. If you're overseas, you just need to add $20 to get these free decks (shipping to Europe and Oz has gotten out of hand).
In addition, anyone backing at $100 or more gets a free PDF of NM 156, a GMless game about hunters and the value of life.
Everyone backing at $75 or more receives a free copy of the forthcoming PDF Soap Opera LARP rules.
Everyone backing at $100 or more receives a preview PDF of the forthcoming RPG Carbon Skies.
Everyone backing at $100 or more receives a free PDF of the forthcoming GMless roleplaying game, Power Stations.
Everyone backing at $75 or more receives a preview PDF of the forthcoming RPG Carbon Skies.
Everyone backing at $100 or more receives a free copy of the Solomon Guild PDF.
For a few more dollars, you can have…
For $50, I'll add a new character class to the Witch, with your input and including a new piece of art. Your name appears in the credits as co-producer.
This is a softcover copy, signed, and shipped to anywhere in the US. Contact me privately if you're in another country.
This is a softcover copy, shipped to anywhere in the US. Contact me privately if you're in another country.
This is one copy of the basic Toolcards deck, shipped to anywhere in the US. Contact me privately if you're in another country.
Some games utilize card decks. These decks vary in size and none are required to play, but they are easier to shift than printing out and cutting the cards in the PDF.
Monogatari uses a 49-card deck, Forget-Me-Not uses a 40+ card deck, and the Witch may include a deck if a certain stretch goal is reached.
Final prices for these decks has not been determined yet, but the minimum cost will be $15 (with shipping).
A set of five dice with the Toolcard Gear symbol.
Risks and challenges
jim pinto is a 15-year veteran of the gaming industry, having written roleplaying, board game, card game, and comic book material. He's even won awards for screenplay writing, graphic design, art direction, and one dog show. His career includes roles in art, design, production, publishing, and writing, covering nearly every aspect of game design.
I'm getting better at gauging these Kickstarter projects, and have set an entirely reasonable timeline. Three of these games are completed and the rest should ship on time. Worst case, they'll be no more than a month late.
Backers will also have a chance to playtest the games and offer feedback before final pdfs are made.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (27 days)