Jacob was locked in the barn, and the barn was off-limits.
We all understood that, but in the end it didn't matter. I had to go into town to pick up the packages before godsdamn Kevan got any ideas over there in that general store of his, so I guess it’s fair to say I was distracted by duty and didn't give it much thought. If we'd known what was going to happen next, I swear Pa would have taken Jacob for a long walk with the shotgun: two out, one back... just like an old dog.
But of course we didn't know, and so it goes. Jacob got loose.
Lucky for me, we've got a big family and my cousins up-deep in Vermont took me in and raised me as one of their own. But I got to stare in the face the cold fact that there's a price to pay, a downside to the bounties we Outsiders enjoy. They say it's held me in good stead. They might be right, but I ain’t ever gonna be able to forget what happened to my Pa, or to godsdamn Kevan in his general store.
But at least now I know why it happened. It happened to show me what I need to do, what I need to become. When I'm in charge of the family, I must be strong enough to keep all the moving parts under control. I must know that I can serve, can be of use, can keep me and mine safe.
And as to the rest? Well, if they are the price I must pay, I pay it gladly.
Unspeakable: Sigil & Sign is a roleplaying game that challenges some of the more traditional conventions of the hobby. In this RPG you assume the role of the cultist, servant, cast-off, or misbegotten child of the Old Ones. In this game you are of the Mythos.
In Sigil & Sign, you are not the all-too-ordinary human. You are the Outsider.
From Great Cthulhu to the King in Yellow, from the Crawling Chaos to the Black Goat, they are the Old Ones... and they are no myth. They were here on Earth long before the rise of civilized Man, and some — maybe even all, depending who you ask — never left at all. Something keeps the Old Ones’ interest tethered to our planet, and for those people who simply want left to live their ordinary lives in peace, the baleful aims of such entities can only portend doom.
You are not one of those people.
As an Outsider, you are caught between two worlds: the mundane world of humankind and the dark and alien world of the Mythos.
You might have been truly human once, but no longer. Or perhaps you’ve never known what it means to be human, as many Outsiders are now some generations removed from their homo sapiens origins.
Unspeakable: Sigil & Sign challenges Narrator and player alike to inhabit the protagonists of that secret world; people whose personas, conflicts, themes, views, and philosophies might well stand in stark contrast to those held by the players depicting them. You’ll face stark choices and challenges as you attempt to navigate your way through the twin minefields of mundane human existence and cult life.
You might be a true loyalist, a member of what your people call the Oathbound. You might serve in an active capacity, and be called upon to perform strange tasks or investigate even stranger places, all in the pursuit of the greater glory of your otherworldly patron.
Your character might instead be one of the Outcaste, a group of Outsiders who forsake the suffocating structure of their central cult to follow their own path in the dire service of their Old One.
Whatever your personal, spiritual, or philosophical bent, you are an Outsider, and with that inescapable reality comes the dark Primogeniture of the Mythos. With it comes being marked of the Great Sigils: Change, Chaos, Darkness, Death, Madness, Ruin, or Silence.
To be Outsider is to be burdened with difference and with increasingly horrid Aberration. But it also signifies that you are truly gifted of the Old Ones and of their eldritch power, capable of wielding some small portion of that power, able to call upon unearthly Bequests and perform rituals so dark that none dares conduct them in the light.
Rivalries run deep, and the cults often work at cross purposes with one another, so the capacity for mystery, intrigue, and explosive violence waits around every corner.
Come… the Convergence is upon you. There is no time to lose.
And your god is waiting.
The Unspeakable setting is a partnership between Cubicle 7 and MBG, the game company founded by Mark Rein-Hagen, creator of Vampire: The Masquerade and the World of Darkness.
Created by award-winning RPG developer C.A. Suleiman, Unspeakable brings the talents of the MBG creative team together with the proven vision of the Cubicle 7 team to deliver some truly exciting game products.
As you’ll see below, we believe so much in what we’re doing together that we’ll be offering backers the chance not just to pledge for the core set of materials for Sigil & Sign with this project, but also for the first four supplements we have in store for the line!
If things go well, we also have a cool slate of stretch goals, which include not only deluxe upgrades to the core set, but some entirely new products and expanded setting content, as well.
Friends, the stars are coming round right again. Won’t you join us for the ride?
The Sigil & Sign Core Set is a deluxe slipcase containing a core setting book and play kit.
Core Setting Book: Sigil & Sign divides the “in-world” material — character and setting information — from the game rule information. The former becomes a lavishly written, designed, and art-directed corebook that is full of vital information and essentially system-free, making it appealing to gamers and non-gamers alike.
The Sigil & Sign setting tome will be at least 272 pages of glorious, full-colour cosmic horror goodness, with the potential to be fattened in size via stretch goal content.
Led by creator-developer C.A. Suleiman, the writing team on this book boasts some of the best talent in Mythos, horror, and weird fantasy gaming, including Dennis Detwiller (Delta Green), Greg Stolze (Unknown Armies), Lucya Szachnowski (Strange Aeons), Jesse Heinig (Fallout), Malcolm Sheppard (Mummy: The Curse), and Tim Dedopulos (Cthulhu Lives!).
Play Kit: Separate from our system-free corebook are all the components that make up the crunchier “game” part of the game, and these we will gather together in a product called the Sigil & Sign Play Kit.
The kit comprises a rules booklet (in this case, Axiom Cthulhu) and two decks of Axiom System cards (108 cards total). Also central to the system are dice and tokens, so a set of eight custom-made dice and 30 tokens will also be slotted into each copy of the Play Kit, along with any other additions that might arise thanks to stretch goals.
In addition to the corebook and play kit, we’re also offering four supplements from the get-go:
The Madness of Providence is a Sigil & Sign Scenario that introduces the game and its themes; it can be used as a stand-alone adventure or as the start of a campaign.
The Oathbound Hall is a “who’s who” of the Outsider world, showcasing Mark Kelly’s beautiful portraiture as the writing reveals the secret histories and lies of some of the setting’s most important figures.
Houses of the Unholy goes into detail about the workings of the Old One cults, with an especial focus on the day-to-day workings of a particular localized cell (often called “chapterhouses”) of a given cult.
Sigil & Sign Player’s Guide offers some practical advice on how to play, mixed in with our usual pieces of creepy, in-world flavor and design. This sourcebook will also offer new rules, including new Bequests and new Axioms.
The games of the Unspeakable setting will be designed and published first under the latest evolution of the Axiom System, the engine Make Believe Games uses for all its original RPGs. Axiom does away with the traditional character sheet in favor of hands of cards. (No pencils or paper required!)
You can make an Axiom System character in minutes. Each persona is as compelling and as different from another as you want it to be, with the same cards having the potential to represent different things narratively from character to character.
Axiom games are not only the ultimate pick-up games for roleplaying, but also robust venues for experimentation and improvisation with the hobby itself. The Axiom System allows a group to pick and choose which Axioms (rules) everyone wants to play with.
You can learn more about the Axiom System here.
Choose exactly how deep you’d like to get into the world of Unspeakable: Sigil & Sign:
Kinsman: The Digital Core Set – The core set in PDF! In addition to our deep gratitude, you'll receive the complete digital core set for Sigil & Sign: includes full-color corebook, rules booklet, two decks of cards, printable tokens, and all upgrades and bonus material added to the Digital Core Set through unlocked stretch goals.
Accomplice: The Retailer Package – Verified retailers! Get copies to sell in your store before general release! This pledge level is your deposit, and we will take your order when the game is about to hit the warehouse. Your order will be fulfilled at the same time as all backer rewards!
Cultist: The Print Package – The physical core set! You'll receive the complete core set for Sigil & Sign: a gorgeous slipcase containing the full-color hardback corebook and the Play Kit (rules booklet, two decks of cards, eight custom-made dice, 30 tokens), and all upgrades and bonus material added to the core set through unlocked stretch goals. You'll also get the PDF version of the core set as a bonus!
Eldritch Kinsman: Digital Complete – Everything in PDF! You'll receive the complete digital core set for Sigil & Sign (including full-color corebook, rules booklet, two decks of cards, printable tokens, and all material unlocked as stretch goals), as well as the first four supplements for the line! (See "The Core Set" for more.)
Outsider: Print Complete – You'll receive the complete core set for Sigil & Sign: a gorgeous slipcase containing the full-color hardback corebook and the Play Kit (rules booklet, two decks of cards, eight custom-made dice, 30 tokens), and all upgrades and bonus material added to the core set through unlocked stretch goals. You'll also get the digital core set in PDF. In addition, you'll get both physical and digital versions of all four supplements detailed in the project!
Model Outsider: The Art Package – We will use your likeness as the basis for a piece of character art in the core set for Sigil & Sign! See yourself done up as an old-timey pulp character! (We'll get in touch after the campaign ends.)
You'll receive the complete core set for Sigil & Sign: a gorgeous slipcase containing the full-color hardback corebook and the Play Kit (rules booklet, two decks of cards, eight custom-made dice, 30 tokens), and all upgrades and bonus material added to the core set through unlocked stretch goals. You'll also get the digital core set in PDF. In addition, you'll get the physical and PDF versions of the four supplements detailed in the project!
Eldritch Outsider: The Story Package – We will work with you to create an Outsider character that we will include in the game! Your contribution will be canonical within the setting, and future supplements might use or reference your character! (We'll hash it out together after the campaign ends.)
You'll receive the complete core set for Sigil & Sign: a gorgeous slipcase containing the full-color hardback corebook and the Play Kit (rules booklet, two decks of cards, eight custom-made dice, 30 tokens), and all upgrades and bonus material added to the core set through unlocked stretch goals. You'll also get the digital core set in PDF. In addition you'll get the physical and PDF versions of the four supplements detailed in the project!
To add individual additional rewards to your pledge, increase the amount you are pledging by the following amounts. Shipping will be charged at cost using a pledge management system, after the project closes (see Shipping below).
Beyond the set of products we’re offering from the get-go, as part of reward tier packages, we also have some great stretch goals in mind, should funding get us there.
UNLOCKED!— £39,000: Sigil & Sign Short Story: We’ve reached out to leading Mythos writer NICK MAMATAS to pen a short story set in the Unspeakable world, featuring Outsider protagonists, to be included in the core set!
UNLOCKED! — £44,000: Corebook Expansion: If we reach this level in pledges, we will expand the corebook by a full 16 pages, bringing the total to 272 pages! We'll fatten the book with more creepy setting material, more full-color art, and more mysteries of the Mythos to explore!
UNLOCKED! — £49,000: Play Mat: Surpassing this funding mark allows us to create a 16” x 10” custom-made Axiom System play mat, with discrete spaces for cards, tokens, and dice. Once they're funded, a play mat will be added to every copy of the slipcase edition of the core set!
UNLOCKED! — £55,000: Supplement Expansion: S.T. Joshi Critique: Reaching this level in pledges allows us to do something truly unique in the history of tabletop RPGs: We’ve reached out to S.T. JOSHI, perhaps the world’s foremost living authority on the life and work of H.P. Lovecraft. We’ve asked him to go through the highly unreliable narration of the accounts in The Oathbound Hall and apply to them the pen of his most piercing and erudite critique! Once funded, this critique will be added to that dread tome, fattening its pagecount and deepening its mysteries accordingly. Any backer who pledged to receive The Oathbound Hall in any form will thus receive and enjoy Mr. Joshi’s work at no additional charge.
UNLOCKED! — £59,000: Sigil & Sign Poster Map: If we reach this level in pledges, we’ll create, and slot into every slipcase edition of the core set, a double-sided poster map. On one side will be a period map of Providence, RI circa 1930. On the other side will be a second useful map for the game.
UNLOCKED! — £64,000: Corebook Expansion II: At this mark, we’ll again expand the corebook by a full 16 pages, bringing the total to 288 pages! We'll fatten the book with yet more setting material, more full-color art, and more mysteries of the Mythos to explore!
UNLOCKED! — £70,000 — Supplement Upgrade: Houses of the Unholy: It's not just the corebook that can be improved with stretch goals! If we pass this funding mark, we'll upgrade the first sourcebook, Houses of the Unholy. Pagecount will remain the same, but we will upgrade the interior of the book to full color. In addition, we will increase the art budget for the book, allowing it to more closely mirror the quality of the core.
£76,000 — Dice & Token Pouch: Whether you’re going for additional tokens or dice, or just sticking with the ones that come standard in the Play Kit, you’ll need somewhere to put all your stuff! And that’s where this handy pouch comes in. Once produced, one of these will be added to every copy of the slipcase edition of the core set!
The finished product for Unspeakable: Sigil & Sign will be the result of the hard work of the teams at both Cubicle 7 and MBG, as well as a truly distinguished list of freelance talent. Here’s a look at the two miscreants driving this ship of madness into port: C.A. Suleiman (creator & developer) and Mark Kelly (art director & lead artist).
C.A. SULEIMAN has contributed scores of books to the hobby games industry’s top properities, including Dungeons & Dragons and the World of Darkness. Along with being developer of the award-winning Mummy line, he co-authored the flagship game Vampire: The Requiem and created the Egyptian fantasy world of Hamunaptra. He’s proud to have shepherded development of the world’s first fantasy campaign — Dave Arneson’s Blackmoor — and to have worked alongside its storied creator. These days, he’s got his hands full as Creative Director of MBG and line developer of both the Unspeakable games and The Lost Citadel RPG, coming to Kickstarter in June from Green Ronin Publishing. C.A. lives in the D.C. area, where his band Toll Carom is busy toiling away at its latest concept album.
MARK KELLY is a Scottish-born illustrator and designer currently hiding out in the sun-soaked Golden State. His work gravitates toward the dark, macabre, and melancholic, although deep down he’s all about the fluffy kittens and cuddles. In addition to his own illustration work, he is the Art Director of MBG and was responsible for all art, layout, and design on MBG’s inaugural Axiom System RPG, I Am Zombie.
We're going to handle shipping closer to the date of completion, using Backerkit. This means that you don't have to worry about shipping now, hooray! Shipping will be charged at cost, and should be around £8 for UK and USA, around £14 for Europe, and no more than around £25 for our furthest shipping zones (eg. Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan etc.)
We dispatch from the USA and the UK, so we are EU-friendly for customs clearance.
Risks and challenges
We have lots of experience in producing games, and have worked with the factory we've lined up for 7 years. The creative team headed up by C.A. and Mark is of excellent caliber with a proven record of delivery. This is our fifth Kickstarter, so we've already hit many of the problems in previous campaigns and this one benefits from that hard won experiences! I've had many people approach me at events and tell me that our games are the favourite things they've received from everything they've backed on Kickstarter, which is lovely.
Things can always go wrong, and we will communicate with you throughout the process. We've had issues on previous campaigns, and have maintained regular communication.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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