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A gothic fairy tale in the form of a theatrical-experience game.  Doomed nobles seek redemption through True Love at a midnight ball.
A gothic fairy tale in the form of a theatrical-experience game. Doomed nobles seek redemption through True Love at a midnight ball.
75 backers pledged $5,029 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$5,029

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Once upon a time...

This game tells the tale of six beautiful Ladies who came to the court of the Queen of Ice for a midnight ball, and there danced with seven noble Lords, all in pursuit of the True Love that could heal their hearts.

The conclusion of that tale is up to you.

The Dance and the Dawn is a theatrical experience for 15 players and an Orchestrator.  

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Special Project Update

Due to the astonishing rate of contribution, we are setting up an additional funding milestone:

  • $4000 (200% of the initial goal) -- All backers will receive a Kickstarter-exclusive tabletop RPG adventure, compatible with Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition, set in the world of The Dance and the Dawn.  The adventure will be written by Dev Purkayastha, who created the initial The Dance and the Dawn tabletop roleplaying game.  See the update log for more details.

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About the Medium

A theatrical experience -- also known as “interactive literature” or as “live-action roleplay” -- is essentially a play without a script or an audience. It is a chance to live out a story, guided by the game rules but ultimately directed only by one's own thoughts and actions. 

About the Game

The players take on the roles of nobles in a gothic fairy-tale realm, convened for a great ritual dance, who have one night to find love and redemption.  Six players become the Ladies of Ash, who have come to the midnight ball in hopes of healing their heartbreak; seven become the cold, proud Lords of Ice who are there waiting for them, and who struggle with tragedies of their own; and the other two become the Queen of Ice and the Duke of Ash, the enigmatic figures who have arranged the whole affair.  The game is an event that lasts about four hours, which will be taken up with dancing and dueling and courtly intrigue...and, of course, with the eternal hope of romance and joy. 

About the Contents

The Dance and the Dawn is a hefty product; we've made sure that it contains everything that you might need to run a satisfying and enchanting Midnight Ball.  Game materials include:

  • Two complete rulesheets -- one for the Ladies of Ash, one for the Lords of Ice.
  • Fourteen extensive character sheets, detailing the history, personality, and special abilities of the nobles present at the midnight ball.  (The Queen and the Duke share a character sheet.)  
  • An Orchestrator's Guide, explaining the hidden machinery of the game and providing tips for keeping it running smoothly.
  • An additional play guide for the Queen and the Duke, expanding on their tasks as the ball's masters-of-ceremonies. 

...it's a darned good value for $10. 

What do I get for my money?

  • $1: A PDF copy of an tabletop RPG adventure module, compatible with Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition, set in the world of The Dance and the Dawn.  The module will be composed by Dev Purkayastha, the author of the original Dance and the Dawn tabletop game.  This prize is a bonus offering, available because the project successfully passed the 200% funding milestone.  Many thanks!
  • $10: A PDF copy of the game.  This is, almost certainly, substantially less than it will cost at market value.
  • $25: At this level you also get the exclusive Dreams of Ice and Ash supplement, which may not be available elsewhere.  See the FAQ for more details.
  • $50: The game requires props representing the favors of the six Ladies of Ash.  Each backer at this level will be provided with a set of satin ribbon-rose brooches to serve that function.  As a reward for helping us reach our 150% funding milestone, backers at this level and above will also receive an additional set of six ribbon-roses to serve as the favors of the Ladies included with the supplement.
  • $75: The game requires a prop to represent the favor of the Queen of Ice.  Furthermore, one of the characters -- the Prince of Ice -- has to be able to display to seven favors at once.  Each backer at this level will be additionally provided with a crystal brooch for the Queen's favor, as well as a sash for the Prince so that he can gracefully display a whole bunch of brooches at once.
  • $150: Each backer at this level will receive a custom character (either a Lady or a Lord), created in consultation with the game's author around his specifications, as well as a character of the other type to serve as the custom character's True Love.  These additional characters will have complete character sheets and will be fully playable.  They will be included in the Dreams of Ice and Ash supplement.
  • $500: If you donate this much, the author will come out to you and run the game.  You won't need to worry about Orchestration.  Note that, in addition to the donation, this reward may require reimbursement of travel expenses (depending on where you are and other factors). 

Where's the money going?

The Dance and the Dawn is a fully-written, fully-edited game; it's been run many times, on several continents, carried around the world by people who love it.  But now we want to turn it into a product worthy of public consumption, and for that we need art and layout design and printing and distribution, and those things are expensive for a project of this size -- especially given that we're not willing to cut corners on quality. 

It's worth noting that, while our $2000 project goal represents the amount we'll need to turn The Dance and the Dawn into a saleable item, money beyond that limit will not be wasted in terms of helping this project grow.  It's possible to make the game look good with a relatively minimal amount of art, but the more pieces we can pay for, the lusher and more beautiful the end product will be.  Money funneled into marketing and publicity power will help us get the game -- and the whole theatrical-experience medium -- to a wider audience.  And there are more games coming down the pipeline...

What's the bigger picture?

Paracelsus Games was founded to promote and popularize interactive literature.  Theatrical experience gaming is very much a niche phenomenon right now, but there are a lot of people out there looking for a fundamentally social form of structured entertainment, and it is our goal to introduce them to the medium that can provide exactly that.  The Dance and the Dawn is our first product; its success will open a great many doors for future theatrical experiences.  For those who want a sneak peek into the future, various games in development include:

  • The Song and the Sunrise, a mechanical and spiritual successor to The Dance and the Dawn -- a wuxia-themed story of swords and sorrow in a China that never was
  • The Soul of the World  -- a tale of humans, given the power of gods by the strength of their desires, seeking to remake creation according to their own philosophies
  • An as-yet-unnamed Miskatonic University Faculty Conference Game

And the waltz plays on, and on, and on...

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    A PDF copy of a special tabletop roleplaying adventure, compatible with Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition, set in the world of The Dance and the Dawn. The adventure module will be authored by Dev Purkayastha, the designer of the original Dance and the Dawn tabletop game. This prize is also included with all higher-level rewards.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    You get a PDF copy of The Dance and the Dawn.

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    15 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    All the above, plus:
    You get a PDF copy of the exclusive Dreams of Ice and Ash supplement, containing additional characters and other bonus material.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    All the above, plus:
    You get a set of six satin ribbon-rose brooches to serve as props representing the favors of the six Ladies of Ash from the base game.

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    1 backer
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    All of the above, plus:
    You get a crystal brooch to serve as a prop representing the favor of the Queen of Ice. Also you'll receive a sash for the Prince of Ice, so that he can gracefully wear up to seven favors.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    All of the above, plus:
    The author will write you a custom bonus character to be included in the Dreams of Ice and Ash supplement. You'll provide a few keywords and perhaps a basic overall idea, and he will use those concepts to create a Lady or a Lord (your choice) whose history and emotional arc fit within the framework of the game. He will also create a corresponding character of the other type to serve as your custom character's True Love.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    All of the above, plus:
    You get the Deluxe Event Experience -- the author will show up and orchestrate a run of The Dance and the Dawn for you. No work, just magic!
    (NOTE: In addition to the listed donation, this reward may require a reimbursement of travel expenses, depending on your location and other logistical factors.)

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Funding period

- (30 days)