WHO WE ARE:
We are dedicated gamers who love tweaking and adding to games we play, so now we've decided to take it to the next level: create our own game. We've been toying with this particular project for a number of years, but other obligations and geographical distance have kept us from carrying it out until this year. Now that we're back together, we've been working in earnest to bring our system to a state where we feel comfortable going to the public for support.
WHAT DRAW52 IS:
Draw52 is card-driven tabletop roleplaying system designed for simple and portable play. The rules are intended to be quick and easy to learn while being fun to play. Our core rule set is built in a plug-and-play format so it can be used with multiple different setting options: whether developed by us (which we plan to produce several of) or your own custom setting.
The baseline mechanic is simple: based on your character’s abilities in certain areas, referred to as Aptitudes, you draw a number of cards and select the best one to determine the success or failure of whatever action your character is attempting. The deck of cards generates random results in a way distinctly different from dice: since our system has you go through the entire deck before reshuffling, you’ll encounter both high and low values during a session. This way, a run of bad luck won’t ruin the session like it can with dice. However, you aren't doomed to play every low card; most draws allow you to take multiple cards and choose the best, helping your character avoid poor results.
In addition to the tweaks to probability, the intent behind the card-based system is to improve both portability and playability. The only materials you need to play outside of the rulebook are a notecard to record your character, a pen or pencil, and a deck of cards. This makes it easy to play in all sorts of environments: outside on a nice day, over dinner, even while travelling. The ease of play comes from the fact that, instead of adding extensive modifiers to a die roll and comparing it to success values on a chart, our system is based around a single card value. The chosen card is compared either to another's card in an opposed draw (such as in combat) or placed into one of three categories for an unopposed draw (like opening a locked door): failure, success, and incredible success. This ease of play helps minimize number crunching and keep the focus on the action, story, and roleplaying.
While we're publishing our core rules as a standalone book, we're also designing several settings intended specifically for use with our system. We hope to one day be able to publish all of our settings, but in order to bring our settings to life in the detailed and fully illustrated way we want, our initial goal will only cover the production for one, with others planned as stretch goals for our project. The settings we're working on are varied and exciting. We're currently working on a semi-apocalyptic near-future Earth setting, our own unique interpretation of classic high fantasy roleplaying, an expansive far-future science fiction universe, and a modern-day fantasy noire.
WHAT WE'RE PRODUCING:
Now that we've gotten some basic information about our system and settings out of the way, it's time to get down to the core of the project: the products we hope to see make it into your hands.
The whole draw52 project centers around our standalone basic rulebook. In keeping with the concept of a simple and easy-to-learn system, our basic rulebook is currently planned to be about 50 pages long, printed in a small, easy-to-carry softcover format.
For our setting books, we plan to do something far more expansive: we're shooting for around one hundred pages, full color, illustrated, and packed with information for your gaming sessions. These books will not only contain additional equipment and abilities relevant specifically to the setting, but history, detailed cities and regions of the settings, adventure ideas, and important persons will all appear in the setting books we are able to develop as part of this project.
WHERE WE'RE AT:
Before coming here to Kickstarter, we've been working earnestly to bring our project to a point we felt comfortable taking it to the public for support. We're wrapping up the final tests of our local alpha phase in order to bring the system into the closed beta we intend to present you, our backers, with once our campaign has succeeded. At the same time, we've established the frameworks for our settings and begun to fill in the details and mechanical details so they will be fully ready for play by the beginning of autumn, when we hope to conclude our beta and finalize our system for a mid-autumn release.
Provided our Kickstarter campaign is successful, we’ll soon be moving into a closed beta specifically for you, our backers. We'll continue to flesh out our settings and contract artists to help us bring to life those we managed to successfully fund. Over the course of the beta, we'll continue to process the important feedback we receive from all of our testers and work to shape our system into a release-ready state by the time fall comes around.
Thank you for your interest in our system and we hope you’ll support us in both this and our future endeavors!
Risks and challenges
The challenges we face fall into two categories: production time and artwork. While the core system is well-developed, our settings are still in the early stages of design, in part because we do not know how many settings we'll receive funding for, but also because we're unsure how much time full development will take. However, we have tried to estimate the time it will take as accurately as possible and are hard at work on our first two settings so we have a good head start. We also have experience developing personal settings for other games.
Our other major challenge is finding and affording artists. Although we have some lined up, there is always the chance that they will retract their offers or be consumed by other projects. Good art is also expensive and we want to offer top-of-the line products art affordable prices, so we're having to walk a narrow line to provide detailed artwork that brings our settings to life while also keeping costs to our fans low.
- (30 days)