Good Society is a collaborative roleplaying game that seeks to capture the heart, and the countenance, of Jane Austen's work. It is a game of balls, estates, sly glances, and turns about the garden. At least on the surface. Underneath this, just as in Austen's own novels, it is a game of social ambition, family obligation and breathtaking, heart-stopping longing.
In this game, you play the type of characters that captured your imagination in Austen's books - from a wealthy heir who falls in love with the aloof new arrival, to a charming socialite bent on ruining the reputation of their rivals. Exploit your advantages, connections, and family influence to achieve your secret desire - all while jealously guarding your good name.
Not only that, players in Good Society hold the power to control the story itself, and change it in their favour. Take control of influential connections, create rumour and scandal, and spend tokens to orchestrate balls, carriage accidents, and even marriages.
It is the elegance of Austen's world, the sharpness of her wit, and the beauty of her passion that inspired us to create this system. But it is the deep and complex struggle between desire, expectation, and position that has guided its development - and we hope you will enjoy both elements.
Desire to see Good Society in action? Watch an actual play of the game on Geek Space TV!
In Good Society, you will play a character that could very well have stepped out of the pages of Austen's work.
You will build you character from four components: your character role, your family background, your relationship and of course your secret desire.
You could for instance, play a socialite in the militia, with the secret desire to come into substantial wealth - while also being childhood rivals with another player (Wickham perhaps?)
Or, you could play a wealthy heiress from old money, with a secret desire to marry off two of your closest acquaintances - while also dealing with a long-term uncertain romance of your own (um, Emma?)
Whatever you choose, drama, romance, and tense ballroom scenes are sure to follow.
Good Society comes with nine character roles to chose from, as well as seven different family backgrounds, to capture the full range of regency gentry.
Good Society will be a full colour hardcover book, packed with over 150 pages of thematic material and beautiful art. Our aim is to create a beautiful book worthy of even Pemberley's library.
The game comes with 20 Secret Desire and Relationship cards to keep Good Society replayable and customisable. It also includes all the rules you need to create original desires and relationships of your own.
Plus, 16 additional cards have already been unlocked from stretch goals.
On top of all this, thanks to stretch goal unlocks, backers at All the PDFs and above will also receive a PDF LARP VERSION of the game, perfect for play on a single occasion - and of course, in regency dress.
And, if you were thinking to yourself that the regency era would be better if it was just a little magical, backers have also unlocked a PDF re-theme of the game, Pride, Prejudice, and Practical Magics, that is included in every tier containing the stretch goals. You can read more about this expansion in our update here.
In Good Society, supporting characters hold tremendous influence over the lives, situations, and hearts of the protagonists. Not only that, but players actually take on the role of such characters during the game, to inject more drama (and romance!) into the story.
To help you create vivid supporting characters quickly and easily, we've created the Deck of Non-Player Gentry. Each (double-sided) card contains two different intriguing regency characters, along with vital information such as their wealth, marital status, and less importantly, their personality.
There are now 30 cards in the deck, which will be fully illustrated by Aviv Or (avivor.com). Thanks to a stretch goal unlock we were able to add 10 more cards!
There is now also an additional Expansion Deck of Re-theme cards, containing20 unique NPGs, 10 Secret Desire Cards, and 10 Relationship Cards, created especially for Pride, Prejudice, and Practical Magics and Sense, Sensibility and Swordsmanship. You can add a physical version of this deck to your pledge for $25aud.
Want your regency character immortalised in the deck? Back at the Gentry of Note, or Gentry of Consequence level and work with us to create a member of the regency gentry for inclusion in all copies of the deck of NPGs.
Your character will be illustrated in full colour by Aviv. This illustration can be based on a written description, or inspired by your likeness, or the likeness of someone you love (with permission!)
We don't make any extra profit on the Gentry of Note tier - all additional funds go directly to the artist. We just want to fill our game with beautiful art.
Please note, these pledges do not include a physical version of the Expansion Deck of Re-theme Cards. If you would like a physical copy of the deck, simply add $25aud to your pledge (physical tiers only).
Good Society is a collaborative tabletop roleplaying game, where you and your friends take on the role of regency characters, AND the forces that complicate their lives, to create a truly Austen story. One person takes on the role of the Facilitator, who helps the players to create the game's fiction, and plays supporting characters as needed.
The game is quick to teach and easy to learn, whether or not you've played a roleplaying game before.
New to roleplaying? Not a problem. The New To Roleplaying Guide has already been unlocked in our stretch goals, so if you want to give roleplaying a go for the first time, now is your chance!
To create a game that plays like an Austen novel, we've created a completely original system, with game mechanics that mirror the actual mechanics of Austen's world.
Reputation, family background, rumour and scandal, and of course, the writing of letters, are all important rules of the game. These mechanics are all geared towards narrative and collaborative play, allowing players to work together to shape the story they want to tell.
At the core of Good Society is the trade of resolve tokens that grant story shaping powers to players and the Facilitator alike. These tokens let players take actions as diverse as:
- Causing an event, conversation, or circumstance to occur
- Manipulating or changing a character's feelings
- Procuring favours or discovering secrets
- Creating details about the past, or even flashbacks
To mirror the ebb and flow of an Austen novel, Good Society is played in five phases.
To learn more about how the game works, back the game and grab the Quickstart, or view one of the actual plays below.
GeekSpace TV - recommended!
A minor caution - the end of this Actual Play reveals some of the Secret Desires which appear in the Quickstart (spoilers!)
As part of this campaign, backers unlocked and voted for a re-theme of Good Society. The winner was Pride, Prejudice and Practical Magics, inspired by fiction such as Jonathon Strange and Mr Norrell, Shades of Milk and Honey, and Sorcery and Cecelia.
This re-theme will be included as a PDF for backers of "All the PDFs" and above. In it, characters will take on new roles, desires, and relationships as they struggle with prophecies, glamour and incantations, all while maintaining an impeccable reputation, and finding a suitable match.
We've now unlocked a second re-theme of Good Society, Sense, Sensibility and Swordsmanship, inspired by the high number of votes we received for the Scarlet Pimpernel. This re-theme also pays homage to works such as Zorro, and Sovay.
The key focus of the theme is on double lives – with each character having their regular Good Society play materials and concerns, as well as additional play materials that represent their secret bad-ass persona.
Materials from Good Society and both re-themes are completely compatible, which means, if you want sword fighting AND magic AND advantageous marriages now you can!
We are NOT using a pledge manager for this campaign. Should you be after the Expansion Deck of Re-theme Cards, or additional copies of one of the fine products below, please adjust your Kickstarter pledge by the appropriate amount.
Add-ons are only available for physical reward tiers. If you have pledged at All the PDFs and you would like the physical cards, there is now a tier for that, All the PDFs + Physical Cards.
Storybrewers Roleplaying is made up of Hayley Gordon (twitter: @storybrewers), and Vee Hendro (twitter: @rocketeer_vee). We are two Australians with a passion for roleplaying and also tea (preferably together).
Our previous game Alas for the Awful Sea was successfully Kickstarted, and fulfilled in August last year.
We have been working on Good Society since 2016, and are so excited to finally be able to share it with you! You can check out some of our other work on the Storybrewers' website.
Risks and challenges
This isn't our first time delivering a roleplaying game through Kickstarter. Our previous game Alas for the Awful Sea successfully fulfilled by the Kickstarter estimated delivery date.
Much of Good Society has already been written, and the game has been extensively playtested over two years. However, now you have the Quickstart in your hands, we are planning to improve and expand the game based on your feedback - that's one of the most exciting opportunities a Kickstarter can offer! We'll involve you in the process every step of the way.
Our team includes a professional copywriter, two professional artists and a lawyer, so we’re all experienced in meeting deadlines and working late nights! We’ll keep you updated and informed throughout, from stretch goals to fulfilment.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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