"Easier than robbing an actual bank, and just as fun." -Cesare T, independent tester
“Simple to pick up, hard to master.” -Reuben Sheppard, independent tester
Toonpunk is a tabletop role-playing game set in a dark and humorous science-fiction future, where cartoons have come to life in the dystopian 24th century. The laws of our world and the madcap pseudo-realities of ink and paper have collided, to create a world that is trapped between complete nightmare and complete joke. Players take on the role of anarchistic super-criminals on a mission to get rich or die trying: retired superheroes, former starlets, cartoon capers, futuristic technology, and more all combine to make a cyberpunk crime game that’s fun for the whole &%@#%^ family.
“This is one of the best manuals I’ve ever read. You just want to keep reading it, and it answers all your questions…” -Andrew Adkins, independent tester
“Rewards both teamwork and critical thinking.” -Gabriel Ochoa, independent tester
Mechanically, Toonpunk is quick as comedy and simple as a song: you roll a d10, you compare the number rolled to your character’s relevant attribute, and if you rolled a number lower than that you succeed; but there's so much more than that. Within the core manual, you will find:
- EVERYTHING you need to play and organize the game. The Toonpunk core manual contains all the mechanics, loot, and instructions for playing and designing scenarios. There are no secondary books needed to begin your own campaign of crime.
- Over 150 carefully-designed weapons, cyborg augmentations, and specialty skills: swords, computers, lasers, rockets, ziplines, squeezeboxes, and more. Each of these serves its own unique role, whether it's opening new routes to the objective, gathering intelligence, disabling enemy augments, or just good old-fashioned decapitation. With a little foresight, you can plan for any eventuality and overcome any enemy.
- A teamwork-oriented system that encourages players to specialize in their skills and rely on their teammates to cover their weaknesses. Medics, field coordinators, weaponsmiths, money launderers, and chemists are all important parts of an operation, and every character can assist in every phase of the heist—when combat starts, hackers, con men, and infiltrators are just as important as they are in the most carefully-controlled circumstances.
- Simple and intuitive rules for computer hacking, sneaking, dueling, and gunfighting—all of which can be used in a single encounter, with no need for extra assets, extra turns, or complex mechanics. Stealth, subterfuge, and intimidation are all valid tactics that can be just as effective as brute force or dexterity.
The Toonpunk system can be used for heist games of all stripes, from the comical to the calamitous. The rules within this manual have been polished to a mirror-shine by three years of beta-testing, from over 60 different independent testers. If you want to know more, you can actually play the game, right now, at no cost. Included here, you will find a basic game manual and a sample scenario that you can play right now. This manual includes several sample character profiles and the basic rules for play. However, it omits the entirety of Toonpunk’s equipment list, which normally stretches for 50 whole pages and includes hundreds of weapons, computers, gadgets, and more.
Toonpunk is, conceptually and mechanically, nearly ready for distribution, but there are several additional measures necessary to fulfill our vision of a completely refined high-quality product. Mostly, this is post-production cost: illustration, playing pieces, and—most importantly—printing. This campaign will serve to fund the final coat of paint on our game, by funding the visual and tactile components that a truly excellent tabletop experience deserves. While the illustration costs are our primary purpose here, our stretch goal highlights include cardboard playing pieces and full-color hardcover books printed on hardy 85lb paper stock.
Let’s get this out of the way right now: unless this campaign is wildly successful, Toonpunk will not be sold in most stores to begin with. One day we will hopefully be able to afford the costs of shipping and large-scale printing; but until then, our primary distribution venue will be digital download, with print-on-demand provided by DriveThruRPG. A digital download of Toonpunk will cost 15 US dollars, while the hardcover version will cost about 30. The price of the hardcover may fluctuate by several dollars, based on the final volume of materials included.
After launch, all of our supplementary materials—maps, character images, and even the expansions detailed below—will be released on DrivethruRPG and on Toonpunkgame.com. These usually detail nothing more complicated than a single weapon, scenario, or other miscellaneous ideas: things that we felt wouldn’t complement the game at basic-level play, but would be appreciated by people who were familiar with the system and wanted a small amount of additional content.
During this campaign, we will also be attempting to fund the production of actual 1.5mm cardboard playing pieces, for use with physical printouts of the game. These, if they are funded, will be printed and warehoused by Printninja, the Kickstarter-friendly offset printing company.
When we release Toonpunk, it will be a completed product capable of delivering our estimation of the complete cartoon cyberpunk heist-em-up experience. However, like many other role-playing games, it has room to grow. Two volumes of supplementary material are already in a state of semi-completion, but were not developed further, due to their large scale and the way they radically altered the base game. These two supplements, entitled “Pursuit” and “Lockdown”, respectively add in-depth mechanics for dynamically-unfolding car chases and for constructing and fortifying large criminal empires. Following the release of Toonpunk, they will be put to production in due course; but if our stretch goals are met, we will be able to begin production much more quickly.
Aside from these, most regularly-provided Toonpunk supplements will be pre-made maps, playing pieces, and scenarios, which will be available on our website for anywhere between free and 3 dollars, depending on the scope and quality of the content provided.
It’s not just enough to have a good book. We want a good-looking book: one you can crack open, show to your friends, and pore over for inspiration or even just for fun. We want striking illustrations and well-composed assets that players can use on their own: character sheets, tokens, avatars, and more. We will be using your contributions to fund:
- A full-color 11x8.5 inch cover illustration from the talented and imaginative Vincentius Matthew. Previously, Matthew has worked on Pilgrims of Rao and Tide of Blood. At time of writing, we have already finalized the concept he will be bringing to life and worked out terms and conditions. All that remains is to fund it and we’ll have a cover that leaps off the page and grabs your attention.
- Interior illustrations, from a hand-picked gang of modern-day cartoonists: items, archetypes, and adventures will all brought to life with the unique sensibilities of almost a dozen talented artists.
- 30 original headshots of strange and dangerous characters, for use as playing pieces in Roll20, Maptools, or other digital tabletop environments. These tokens will be hosted as high-resolution image files, free for everyone to use, on Toonpunkgame.com. More than that, though, they’ll be used as the basis for our 9k stretch goal—a series of 1.5mm cardboard tokens, for use in real-life flesh-and-blood role-playing games.
Like any worthwhile outfit, we've got friends in high places—and at this level, one of them will be coming to lend a hand. At 4000 dollars, we'll be able to team up with Richard Cobbett, a man of particular talent: formerly a journalist and currently a writer, Cobbett has worked on Fallen London and its sister game Sunless Sea, and he was the lead writer behind The Long Journey Home. The remarkable Mr. Cobbett will work with our team to create a new Toonpunk scenario—one that makes the most of his particular comedic stylings and taste for odd events. This short book will come complete with custom-made maps developed by the rest of our team, to create a uniquely off-beat adventure into the surreal world of the 24th century. After its completion, this book will be released for free on Toonpunkgame.com for everyone to enjoy.
Now we get into the truly ambitious things. Once we reach the multi-thousand dollar range, we’ll be able to start large-scale, real-world printing. We would begin with a limited run of 500 sets of the commissioned tokens, which will be available for order from our website. These tokens will be printed on 1.5mm cardboard, with a durable varnish coating to prevent wear and tear over time.
So after we have our printed pieces, our guest writer, and our big release, what else could we possibly ask for? A head-start on our next big release! At this funding tier, we'll have enough money to begin the production of our planned expansions, Lockdown and Pursuit. This includes writing, testing, and art for everything contained within: dynamically unfolding car chases with hundreds of randomly-generated possibilities, exhaustively detailed custom-made secret lairs, armies of criminal henchmen, and more are waiting to be added to the Toonpunk experience; and with this but with this money we'll be able to produce it in a matter of months instead of years.
All featured artwork in this presentation was used with the permission of its respective owners.
Risks and challenges
The majority of this campaign's funds will be spent on our illustrators. While each one of them is a vetted professional who has already done work on the draft version of the book, life can be tumultuous and inspiration can be fleeting. The delays which can arise from this are the biggest obstacle facing Toonpunk, and these can apply equally to book artwork or the scenario maps we produce after the core book.
Fortunately, we have several artists kept in reserve. If it happens that one of our artists runs more than a week late, for whatever reason, we will transfer their assignment to another member of our team and do our best to make up for lost time. At the absolute most, we will be facing a delay of between one and two weeks.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)