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Exploding Aces is a multi-genre RPG from 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming, which features a unique mechanic using playing cards instead of dice.
62 backers pledged $4,281 to help bring this project to life.

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What is Exploding Aces?

CJ Ruby's Exploding Aces: A Cinematic RPG is the first original RPG system from 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming. CJ has been a contributor and designer on several of our PFRPG-Compatible products, including our critically praised books Luven Lightfinger's Gear & Treasure Shop and Inkantations: A Sourcebook of Tattoo Magic & Body Art, and now we are proud to produce this original system - Exploding Aces.

Exploding Aces is a unique RPG system where the core mechanic uses playing cards instead of dice to determine success or failure. The flavor of the system is cinematic and we present it without genre, allowing you to use the system to emulate your favorite action-oriented films, TV shows, novels or comics. You can use the system to run survival horror, western, sci-fi, urban fantasy, action hero, or any number of other genres. It's great for one-shots or campaigns as well.

A cinematic system?

EA is a cinematic RPG. Action is fast paced (as demonstrated in the video!), allowing the Director (the person who runs the story) and the Actors (the players) to focus on storytelling. Also, with using a deck of cards and knowing which cards (Aces and Jokers) have not yet turned up in the deck, a level of tension is added to the action as it plays out. Will the Actors succeed wildly by flipping an Ace that explodes (granting an immediate, sometimes Sterling, success) or fail stunningly by turning over a Joker that ends their turn and leads to a botch?

What is the main goal?

Our initial goal is $3000. This will allow us to finish the art and add more artists (we have artists Crimson Vermillion and Kristen M. Collins on board now) to the project, allow us to finish editing and layout, and allow us to produce a soft cover rulebook (in 6" x 9" format). We do have stretch goals in mind, though!

The rulebook will contain not only the rules for creating characters, playing the game, handling combat and running the game, but will also include several ready-to-run adventures so you can get started right away.

Stretch Goals

If the $3000 goal is reached before the end of the Kickstarter campaign, we will introduce a stretch goal of $5000. If the stretch goal is achieved, $25 level and up backers will receive a custom Player's Mat, while $10 backers will receive a PDF of the Player's Mat. The Player's Mat lies on the table in front of each player, and has spots for their deck of cards, spots for flipped cards, and quick reference info for some of the rules.

If we reach the $5000 goal, we’ll introduce a stretch goal of $7500. If that goal is achieved, everyone from the $10 level and up gets a physical copy of the Player's Mat, and everyone from $25 level and up gets a custom deck of cards featuring the Exploding Aces logo on the backs.

If we reach the $7500 goal, we’ll introduce a stretch goal of $10,000. If that goal is achieved, everyone who contributes (even at the $5 level) gets the custom deck of cards, and we’ll add in a Director’s Screen for everyone who contributed at least $50. The Director's Screen will be landscape format and will have quick reference rules and charts for the Director on one side and artwork on the other. Everyone that contributes at least $10 will get a PDF of the Director's Screen.

If we reach the $10,000 goal, we’ll announce a new reward tier for $150 which will be a deluxe boxed set that will include the full color interior rulebook, 3 custom decks of cards, a Director’s Screen, 2 Player’s Mats, and extra adventures not in the rulebook.

And retailers - the stretch goals work for you, too! As we make stretch goals, those new rewards will be included for the special retailer levels.

Video by: Jonathan Crummett
Music: bflat theme by Alastair Cameron (via Free Music Archive)
Gamers: CJ Ruby, Dallas Houser, Jay Peters, Justin Farrington, Pat Greenwell
Artwork ©2011-2012 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming & Crimson Vermillion

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    The Spy - The Spy sits back and watches, and gets their name in a list of special credits in the final book as well as our unending gratitude!

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    The Anti-hero - The Anti-hero is in the right place at the right time, and gets their name in a list of special credits in the final book, a PDF copy of the rulebook, and our unending gratitude!

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    The Adventurer - The Adventurer runs from boulders and recovers lost objects, and gets their name in a list of special credits in the final book, a PDF copy of the rulebook, a black and white interior print copy of the rulebook, and our unending gratitude! Please add $10 for shipping to locations outside the US.

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    The Cop - The Cop saves the hostages in their bare feet, and gets their name in a list of special credits in the final book, a PDF copy of the rulebook, a full color interior print copy of the rulebook (note that this is the only way to get the full color interior version), and our unending gratitude! Please add $10 for shipping to locations outside the US.

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    The Commando - The Commando goes on a rampage to avenge the members of their squad, and gets their name in a list of special credits in the final book, a PDF copy of the rulebook, a full color interior print copy of the rulebook (note that this is the only way to get the full color interior version), a full color print of art used in the book (signed by artist Crimson Vermillion), and our unending gratitude! Please add $10 for shipping to locations outside the US.

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    Special Retailer Level #1 - This reward is specifically for retailers, and retailers only! Retailers that choose this level will receive 6 print copies (black-and-white interior) of the rulebook! I will pay shipping to the US; retailers outside the US should include an extra $25 for shipping.

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    The Epic Leader - The Epic Leader gives a stirring speech before leading his troops into battle, and gets their name in a list of special credits in the final book, a PDF copy of the rulebook, a full color interior print copy of the rulebook (note that this is the only way to get the full color interior version), and gets to work with author/designer CJ Ruby to create two fully-statted NPCs (any genre/setting) which will be included in the book, and our unending gratitude! Please add $10 for shipping to locations outside the US.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Special Retailer Level #2 - This reward is specifically for retailers, and retailers only! Retailers that choose this level will receive 6 print copies (full color interior) of the rulebook! I will pay shipping to the US; retailers outside the US should include an extra $25 for shipping.

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    The Superhero - The Superhero swings from building to building, saving the day and people's lives, and gets their name in a list of special credits in the final book, a PDF copy of the rulebook, a full color interior print copy of the rulebook (note that this is the only way to get the full color interior version), and gets to work with author/designer CJ Ruby to create a short adventure (any genre/setting) which will be included in the book, and our unending gratitude!

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    The Immortal - There can be only one Immortal, and the Immortal gets their name in a list of special credits in the final book, a PDF copy of the rulebook, a full color interior print copy of the rulebook (note that this is the only way to get the full color interior version), gets to work with author/designer CJ Ruby to create two fully-statted NPCs (any genre/setting) which will be included in the book, our unending gratitude, AND CJ Ruby will run an Exploding Aces game just for you and four of your friends at one of the following cons (you pick which con and get yourself to it - we'll get CJ to it): SpoCon (Spokane, WA), RadCon (Pasco, WA), PaizoCon (Redmond, WA), Norwescon (Seattle, WA), MisCon (Missoula, MT) or Great Falls Gaming Rendezvous (Great Falls, MT)!

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Funding period

- (39 days)