Graphic RPG is a modern fantasy roleplaying game designed by filmmakers for a gritty, realistic, and bloody gaming experience.
The game is a break away from Lovecraftian Tropes with a return to a more traditional view of monsters, chaos, and horror. That said, there will likely be a deep one sighting or two as the game progresses with publications of source materials and adventures.
As filmmakers, we like our roleplaying to be very visual. We have noticed that using ounces of blood as our source of hit points greatly helps with that visualization. Demons dripping ichor and cultists oozing blood in documented quantities helps set the stage for the gore that the violence of combat produces.
We love the "clean" games of fantasy realms, too, but with modern fantasy, the Graphic approach is just better.
The rulebook contains a description of 15 character classes including the street warrior, the agent, and the magician shown in the video above.
Each class has both fields of expertise and powers. Fields of expertise provide bonus to skill checks and powers can be used through the expenditure of power points.
Once a character exhausts their power points, they too become exhausted.
The powers are useful but not overpowered. They also are designed for realism and role play.
Take the detect magic power of the Witchfinder class for instance:
Power cost - 1 power point
Name - Detect Magic
Description - A witchfinder will taste burning hot metal in his/her mouth when magic is within 30 ft. Sensing magic more than three times in a day will cause 1 ounce of injury to the tongue and gums. Each additional detection will then cause another ounce. When 5 ounces are reached roll a toughness save to avoid a permanent loss of both taste and the ability to cast this spell.
Key component: A pinch of salt on the tongue.
The damage and taste would make any witchfinder have an aversion to magic being about.
Combat is crunchy with at least 6 modifier tables to adjust a d20 roll with for individual combat. A laminated cheat sheet of these tables is provided with the box set version of the game.
There also is the added detail of hit location rolls. Called shots to specific locations raises the DC of the shot.
The roll itself is a simple d20 roll. Graphic features a unique system for critical fails and successes. A natural 20 is not always a hit and a natural 1 is not always a fail. That said, you can always hit and you can always fail on any roll of the die. Say what?
The way it works is that a 20 forces an additional role of the die and that will either be added to a natural 20 or subtracted from a natural 1. These bonus rolls are added or subtracted to the initial roll. So yes, a natural 100 and a natural sub 100 can be rolled. Brr.
Rules for vehicle combat, underwater combat, high altitude combat, and other challenges are currently being playtested. The results are promising.
The effects of poison, multi-hit location attacks (like explosions, flamethrowers, and vehicle slams), electricity, and other dangers are also being worked on.
There's little magical healing in the game so Graphic is quite deadly, already, and we're wanting to take time to make sure these attacks are handled fairly and realistically without destroying the fun of the game.
Included in the rulebook is information about the World of Graphic, an alternate earth with a history built on the bones of a fantasy world known as the World of Atlas.
This information contains our version of a bestiary called the Adversary List. The Adversary List details both cultists and monsters who are either attempting to proliferate the spread of chaos back into the world or are the chaos itself that is being proliferated.
There also is a description of 12 factions of people who are aware of the magical history of the earth and have different goals related to it.
Like The Chamber - a group dedicated to making sure those tainted by Chaos spend their eternal lives burning in the fires of Hell.
Or The Screen - the people behind the government using its agencies like the police and the army to insure that magic is kept secret and unavailable to the general population.
Or The Bavarians - a group of magic users formally called the "Illuminati" who can trace their lineage back to the Age of Magic and hope to shepherd humanity into a Second Age of Magic.
There are 12 Factions described in the World Book and 8 Cults of Chaos.
Runes and Counter Runes are also described in detail. Runes are the building blocks of the world and magic is the mortar.
Scientists may want to proclaim that it is atomic elements from which matter takes its forms, but they are off base and naive when it comes to the true substances of the universe.
Graphic RPG is designed so that adventures are easy to create, monsters statistics are easy to tabulate, and characters can improvise on the fly.
The flexibility of the system comes from a lack of rigidity in the definition of a skill coupled with fields of expertise.
Abilities are not the same old strength, intelligence, and dexterity variants.
The abilities of Graphic are Handy, Tough, Rune Sensitive, Learned, Fortunate, and Alert.
Skills for an ability are generic like for Handy one of the skills is Use Something and another is Fix Something.
Fields of study are specialized given a class. Fields can be technology, media, mechanical, military, etc.
So a mercenary who is handy is at Use Helicopter, but is not as good at Use Computer, where a whiz is exactly the opposite.
Graphic adventures are easy to create. Feats, skill choices, and the like are unnecessary preparation for the Graphic Master. Everything can be handled by a stat block, fields of expertise, and a list of powers. These are uniform across monsters and classes. So zombie 1 is just like zombie 2 and 1st-level mercenary 1 is just like 1st level mercenary 2.
We plan on having two published adventures included in the box set and about 10 one shot adventures available for free at Paizo and DrivethruRPG.
An adventure path is in the works, but there is no timetable set for its completion.
Hal "Lichhunter" Burdick - Game Designer
Lich is a writer, producer, and director of independent films including Voidfinder, Lights Out Rowan, The Drow Ballet, and Neptune and Me.
He has also written Atlas Kings, an easy to read, easy to play RPG for young players who have yet to develop their reading skills at a level to read typical source books for RPG games.
Lich's day job was as an educational researcher in the fields of reading comprehension, writing, and mathematics. He uses the knowledge he learned in education to make the playing of games easier to learn.
James "Gideon Ravenwood" Filanowski - Producer
Gideon is an avid gamer with 10 years in the Haunted House industry. His diabolical creations have terrified people all along the eastern seaboard. He's an adept cinematographer and writes and directs his own films when not aiding Lich on his projects.
Gideon is also a board game designer and is currently finishing an impressive game based around digging for Captain Kidd's Treasure on Oak Island. Look for announcement about that game soon.
Rowan "Ro Sho" Jaynes - Producer
Ro Sho is a producer, actress, and highly organized individual who keeps the flighty two people mentioned above organized and on task.
She will be in charge of fulfilling the rewards and making sure they are shipped to the right places. Your game copies could not be in better hands.
Savannah "Wolfie" Goodson - Artist, Graphic Design
Savannah is an actress, graphic designer, and talented illustrator who designed the cover for Graphic RPG and will oversee the layout of the final publication.
She also has experience in the Haunted House industry and her creepy artwork is some of the most terrifying I've ever seen in an RPG adventure. Why is it that the innocent ones are always the ones to look out for.
Joel Rose - Artist
Joel Rose is lead artist for most of Invader FIlms projects. His art is featured on both adventures shown in the boxed set.
He has also illustrated Blue Popcorn Magazine, Atlas Kings, Book Covers for Lights Out Rowan and Rowan to the Rescue, and many other projects too numerous to list here.
Risks and challenges
The team is being conservative with the December, 2017 release date.
We hope to be done by October for the Halloween Horror Gaming Season.
Playtesting upper levels is the biggest challenge facing the project, but with the decades of gaming experience in the Graphic RPG team be too much of a problem.
We're in between films at the moment and have plenty of time to work out the kinks for the rules and develop a series of published adventures to satisfy a like-minded gaming group for years to come.
Why 8,888 as the goal?
Because "Chaos comes in eights." (Common saying attributed to Tomwise the Sage during the Age of Runes)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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