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We stand on someone else’s dirt. Every day we search, we scrape, we scavenge, and we fight for an opportunity to maintain our lives. Humans were never meant for this world, and I often wonder why we even exist. This world was designed for the Titans — the massive, mythical beasts that roam the land... their land.
Reach of Titan is a tabletop role playing game designed to emulate fantasy style battles with giant creatures. Players take on the roll of Titan Hunters, special members of their tribe who are responsible for the safety and growth of the community. These hunters are tasked to go out and fight the giant creatures that roam the land, to feed their families, and protect what they have built. The world is dangerous, the Titans are an incomprehensible threat, but those with the will to survive, can use their talents and skills to eek out an existence.
Reach of Titan will have a familiar feel for anyone who has played Shadow of the Colossus, Monster Hunter, or watched the Attack on Titan anime. The battles are designed to be half-puzzle, half-combat, where players must use more than their die rolls to bring down these behemoths. Encounters are challenging, as you must solve the puzzle of killing the Titan, while also working with the resource management system of traditional RPG combat. This combination of systems will provide play groups with a very unique game experience.
Reach of Titan is a tabletop role playing game that has been in development for over 3 years. The original idea of the game came when Jim McClure wanted to have interesting, giant creature battles, but he could not find a system that really supported this kind of play experience. So Jim starting working on his own game!
The initial play tests were very promising and showed that this unique play style, combined with the custom system designed to support it, were a hit. Over time the game expanded with each new series of play tests. Just fighting Titans, while a deeply engaging experience, was not a complete game. Jim added in game elements of settlement building, cultural creation, hunting, and world exploration to flush out the original concept into a complete RPG experience.
Reach of Titan is designed to be a modern game that incorporates the various ways people currently engage with RPGs. The game fully supports both long term campaign play and quick one-shot adventures. During this traditional style of play, the characters will increase their skills and abilities, they will establish and grow a settlement, and they will explore the world while hopefully unlocking the secrets of the Titans. The game will provide everything you would expect and more from a long term campaign experience.
Additionally, the game can easily be played in a more episodic fashion. If your group is looking for a quick couple of hours of fun, the game master can pick up the book, choose a Titan encounter, and within a few minutes have everything they need for a night of Titan hunting. The book and the encounters are designed to do all the heavy lifting for the GM, so for those that want a minimal prep game, Reach of Titan will perfectly satisfy this need.
The game book itself will be a 300-400 page (depending on stretch goals) full-size, full-color, illustrated Hardcover. The first half of the book will contain the rules of play, character classes, character advancement, settlement building, item inventories, culture growth, and Titan hunting. The second half of the book is a bestiary filled will all the known Titan's that roam the land. This bestiary includes information about the history of each Titan, all the stats needed for the GM to run an encounter, information about how they fight, and their weak spots. In addition a full illustration for each Titan is presented in the book which can be used as a battle map for the encounters. Our hope is that through the funding of stretch goals we will be able to make a considerable expansion to this Bestiary, by including new Titans from our contributing writers.
In addition to the hardcover book, the game will also be offered as a traditional PDF, and on the Roll20 marketplace. The Roll20 format is discussed in more detail below.
Reach of Titan has its own mechanical system designed by Jim McClure that is specifically made to emulate Colossal style fantasy combat. The interesting design challenge for this game came from the imbalance between player characters and the Titans that they will fight. Unlike many RPGs, the player characters and the Titans they are fighting are so different that the mechanical nature of both sides needed to be asymmetrical.
Mechanically, the Titans themselves consist of multiple parts. Arms, legs, body, head, tail, wings, etc. Each part of the Titan will have its own stats, health, and abilities. As the players fight a Titan they will climb the creature, attacking the various parts in an attempt to kill it. How each Titan is killed is unique to that creature, and the players will have to discover the win condition through game play. The Titan will react to the player’s movements and the battle will change as sections of the Titan are damaged.
The core mechanic for the players is every character has a pool of 6 d6’s that are used to complete their actions. These dice move between two zones on the character sheet: Available and Exhausted. Players can use any dice they have in the “available” zone to make actions, and once the dice have been used, they are then moved to the exhausted zone. Each round of combat all the players dice are moved back to the Available zone. When a player takes an action, they can spend any number of available dice on what they want to accomplish. The dice are rolled and the result is summed against a target number as determined by the Titan’s stats. Players can take a number of actions each turn, based on the amount of dice they have available and how they choose to spend them.
The concept of this mechanic is to put all the power of success and failure in the hands of the players. If a player wants to guarantee their success in a turn they could spend all their dice on a single action. However, the more they want to try and accomplish in a turn, thus optimizing their actions, the greater risk there is for failure. While play testing Reach of Titan, this core mechanic has resulted in fantastic game play because failure in this system is not a result of swingy dice rolls or characters not having good enough stats, failure is a direct result of players choices.
While fighting giant creatures is a core part of the experience of Reach of Titan, the game also incorporates settlement building and hunting as key aspects of the game. You are members of a small village that is trying to survive in the harsh world. If you are successful, you will be able to watch your village grow and prosper. Failures will result in watching your settlement dwindle. Every Titan hunt comes with risks and rewards that must be weighed, and the results of these encounters will shape your community.
Human settlements are small villages scattered across the land, appearing in places where shelter could be found from the Titans. You will find villages in deep forests, caves, mountain hideaways, anyplace that will keep unwanted giants from roaming in and destroying what people have worked so hard to make. Most settlements are very small, and few ever see a population above several hundred people. To grow a settlement, it requires a tremendous amount of effort and danger on the part of the inhabitants.
In a game sense, settlements are the homes of the Titan Hunters. It is where the players will have most of their interaction and role play. When characters are not hunting Titans they will oversee the settlement working to improve it, expand the culture, and make connections with their tribe.
The settlement will start off very small and weak. However, players can actively work to build and grown the settlement into a proper village, town, or with enough work, a city. Each Titan that is killed will provide materials used to make new buildings, establish defenses, improve farming, and make the settlement a better place to live. Players will have to manage the precious resources they collect to help grow the town.
When more resources are needed, or if the settlement is in danger, the Titans Hunters will need to go out into the world. Hunting a Titan is a very risky prospect as the world is dangerous, the lands are uncharted, and the characters never know what they will find in the wild.
When players go into the "Titan Hunt phase" they will have to risk aspects of the settlement or something personal to them. The longer the hunt takes, the more things are risked and the higher the danger grows. Ultimately, if the hunt fails the things what has been wagered will be lost.
When a Titan is finally confronted, combat will ensue. Players will use all their knowledge, skills, and resources to kill the beast. If they are successful, they will be rewarded with a number of resources they can take back with them. If they fail they must return empty handed, and face their settlement.
The Lore of this world, and the reason humans came to exist in the land of giants, is presented in a very specific way in Reach of Titan. There is not a lore chapter to read through with a chronological timeline about past events, instead the details about the true nature of the world, are spread throughout each Titan description.
Humans have little to no understanding of why they are here or how the existence of Titans came to be. The game will let the players discover this for themselves by having the history and truth of their existence be wrapped up in puzzle that needs to be solved. For those that want to unlock the full mystery, which is present in the game, it will take time and research to find the truth.
When running a game of Reach of Titan this scattering of the lore concept serves as a player aid. After a successful Titan hunt, the players can bring back a piece of the Titan to their settlement's Seer. The Seer will then reveal to them the lore of that Titan. As players encounter more and more Titans, they will be able to start to piece together an understanding about the world they inhabit.
There are secret aspects to the world's Lore that will be known by only a few people. For those that back the Kickstarter at the "Settlement Leader" or the "Seer's Story" levels, you will receive a unique piece of the worlds lore that is presented to you alone. It is up to you to unlock the history and discover how the Titans came to be.
If you are interested in seeing more of what Reach of Titan is about, you can check out the play-test document of the game. It includes 36 pages of rules, 4 sample characters, 3 Titan encounters, and everything you need to play the game. The document has been out since December of 2018 and is getting rave reviews.
There are two places you can download this document, on the Third Act Publishing Website, and on DriveThruRPG, both links are provided below.
Reach of Titan is going to be released in the traditional formats of PDF and hardcover, however we are also working in conjunction with Roll20 on this project. Roll20 is the world largest Virtual Tabletop with over 3 million users. Virtual tabletops are an ever increasing part of the RPG community with millions of people that have their game experience solely on these platforms.
Third Act Publishing intends to be at the forefront of this style of gaming and Reach of Titan is our first game that will have complete incorporation into the Roll20 platform. This includes Roll20 specific character sheets, in-platform rules compendium, and Reach of Titan campaign laid out with graphics for ease of use. The Roll20 version will be a seamless digital product that will provide the best possible online play experience for Reach of Titan.
For the duration of this Kickstarter we have the play test version of Reach of Titan on Roll20 for FREE! If you are a Pro or Plus subscriber you can go to Roll20 right now and see what the experience is like. We have all the play test information already laid out in the format and working character sheets for players and Titans. If you are a Roll20 subscriber, head on over, and check it out now.
Jim McClure is the lead writer and designer on Reach of Titan. He is the President of Third Act Publishing and through the company has designed several RPGs including Reflections, Satanic Panic, The Tearable RPG, and Tiny Guardian. Jim is also a lead designer for Roll20 and designed their first game, Burn Bryte. On top of his game design work, Jim is also the host of the Talking TableTop podcast on the One Shot podcast network. You can interact with him @GMJimMcClure
Emily Reinhart is a member of Third Act Publishing who last year designed and published her very first RPG, Domina Magica. Emily has been an avid tabletop RPG gamer her entire life and has a newly budding passion for design work. She is co-writer, co-editor, and play tester for Reach of Titan. You can interact with her @kickassemily
Lauran Stump is a brilliant graphic designer and layout artist. All of the wonderful graphics you see on this page where her design. She is a great talent that is the art director for this project, and will be handling graphic designs and layout.
The stretch Goals for this project are designed with one specific concept in mind: giving you more content. We have structured them so that each stretch goal would provide backers with more amazing Titans to fight and thus more lore for the world. We have assembled 14 contributing writers that will be making unique Titan encounters for the game.
As we hit these stretch goals we will be slowing climbing up the Great Titan below. If we manage to get all the way to the top, a special prize will be added to the game. What rests at the top of the Titan? We have to get there to find out.
Risks and challenges
We at Third Act Publishing have produced and completed several kickstarter projects at this point and have helped managed projects for many other creators. There are always risks and challenges anytime we are doing a project of this scale.
The big lessons learned from past projects are the need to have the production components of the project sorted out long before the kickstarter. For the Reach of Titan project, we have taken some big steps to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
All the book text has been written, with the exception of a few Titan encounters and the stretch goals, to ensure there are no delays from the design process. The artists, editors, and layout designers have been contracted and are ready to start work. The printer has been chosen and is ready as soon as the PDF is complete.
All of the production pieces have been lined up, the printers are ready, and we are confident this will be delivered on time and to the standards you would expect.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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