Don’t Look Back: Terror is Never Far Behind is a tabletop role-playing game set in a modern world full of supernatural and paranormal horrors, secret government laboratories, alien abductions, and a master conspiracy trying to cover up the truth. If you're a fan of Stranger Things, The X-Files, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, Firestarter, Fringe and other horror stories and shows like I am, you'll be very comfortable playing in the world of Don't Look Back.
I developed Don’t Look Back (DLB) in the early '90s and published two editions of the rulebook and an alien abduction/government coverup supplement called Giant Psychic Insects From Outer Space. We put in a lot of work and it paid off with really good press and some great reviews.
DLB has been out of print for a while, but I'm proud of the fact that I still hear from people who covet their copies of the rulebook. The resurgence of paranormal horror on TV and at the movies, coupled with conspiracy theories on every news channel, makes this feel like a perfect time to bring DLB back. This is not just a reprint – I want to bring out a revised and expanded full-color version of the game with new art and improved gameplay, but I need your help.
By backing this project, you will help support revising and expanding the game with new material, as well as updating the look and feel with new art and graphic design. You can also help shape the direction by providing feedback during and after the campaign. Backers can receive an exclusive Kickstarter Edition of the game, featuring material that will not be in the retail version. I am removing as many barriers as possible to get these games in people's hands. Backers of this Kickstarter edition receive free shipping anywhere in the world, and the Kickstarter prices are at a considerable discount. When the retail versions of the new edition are released they will be considerably more expensive. Everybody who has backed the project by Halloween will get a special treat -- a PDF Quick Start Version of DLB and a scenario you can play with your friends.
All backers at the PDF and print levels will receive all extras added through stretch goals. The paperback and hardcover versions of the Kickstarter editions will include a PDF copy through DriveThruRPG, and will receive a numbered bookplate hand autographed by myself and Lester Smith creator of the D6xD6 rules.
DLB is set in a dark modern world where government laboratories experiment on helpless citizens, aliens plot the downfall of humanity, powerful organizations go to extremes to cover up the truth, and you never know who you can trust. Nothing is what it appears. Truth is dictated by the media, and history is rewritten by the bureaucracy.
Players take the roles of characters who see through the veil of secrets. They could be anything from kids investigating strange lights in the woods, to detectives trying to solve a string of ritualistic murders, to the subjects of mind-altering experiments who escaped from a government lab and are now running for their lives, or even running from the zombie apocalypse. Maybe they are part of a clandestine government agency that investigates the paranormal or maybe they help cover it up.
DLB easily accommodates any modern supernatural and paranormal horror scenario. I like to deviate from the standard tropes to keep it interesting. Seriously, where else are you going to find Giant Psychic Insects From Outer Space and enormous, lactose-intolerant, flesh-eating amoebas?
What even long-time fans don’t know is that the conspiracy was always intended to extend beyond time, space, and realities. Are the puppet masters of Earth merely puppets themselves? With the promise of other dimensions and alien worlds, the adventure possibilities are limitless.
I am rewriting Don’t Look Back to utilize the core D6xD6 rule system, with a few tweaks. The original DLB game mechanics were fast and easy, but they were also isolated. Making the easy shift to the D6xD6 mechanics helps players create characters in 5 minutes or less, and helps the Guide (Game Master) resolve game actions with fewer dice rolls. People who have played DLB before will have no problem making the shift. You can be up and running with minimal preparation, making it an ideal game for fast one-off adventures and convention play even with people who have never played DLB or other RPGs before.
The other reason I chose to use the D6xD6 rules as the base rules is so players can access scenarios and settings that already use the same rules. So far, more than 30 settings written to work with the D6xD6 rules have already been published and there is an existing D6xD6 community that DLB players can join. I am excited that Lester Smith -- Origins award-winning designer, and creator of the D6xD6 system has agreed to have DLB become the first standalone RPG using his system. D6xD6 gamers can also immediately pick up the DLB rulebook and use elements from it in their own games.
All stretch goals include the addition of adventures, chapters, and other material to supplement the core DLB Kickstarter books. All backers slated to receive a PDF, softcover, or hardcover copy of the rulebook will receive all stretch goal benefits! Please tell your friends! The more support we have, the more material you will receive!
UPDATED STRETCH GOALS -- The backers were so supportive we added a stretch goal to reach the funding goal in the first week and they did it! I am so excited so I added a new $5,000 stretch goal and Lester is so excited about writing his adventure we reduced the threshold for it to $7,500.
At the request of a number of backers, we are adding some nostalgia in the form of PDF copies of the previous editions of the rule-book and the supplement Giant Psychic Insects From Outer Space. These have never been available before as PDFs. Anyone who is backing the project at the $12 level or higher is eligible to add on copies of these classics for $5 each or $12 for all three.
To receive one or more of these classics, add the appropriate amount to your pledge. I will contact backers to ask which PDF(s) they would like after the Kickstart ends. These PDFs will be delivered at the same time or earlier than the new edition of Don't Look Back. Please note, these will be high quality scanned copies of the old books. The original files are not accessible to create new PDFs.
Risks and challenges
This is my first Kickstarter, so I have read as much as I can about doing an effective campaign, and I have spoken to friends and received feedback about the way I planned to do this one. Still, I'm sure I have much to learn. Please let me know how I'm doing in terms of setting up the campaign and communicating with you as a backer.
I created the DLB game and wrote both previous editions of the rulebook as well as handled art direction, layout, and graphic design, so I know I have the background and skills to create the new edition. I have already rewritten significant sections of the rulebook.
Migrating to the D6xD6 rule system will be a new challenge. I spent a significant amount of time on the D6xD6 system, and have spoken at length with the developer to be sure I understand all the nuances as well as what kinds of tweaks will be needed to reflect the essence of DLB. Happily, Lester is a big fan of DLB and has agreed to review those adjustments.
Another challenge is updating the look and feel while keeping a style that matches the mood of the original game. The shift to full-color provides an amazing number of stylistic choices to be considered. I am already sketching out some possible options, and I have started getting referrals for good artists.
Production is always a challenge. But, I already know where I will have the books printed, and I have experience with this company and their technical requirements. Popcorn Press will be publishing DLB after the Kickstarter and they have been very gracious in terms of advice and smoothing the way to prepare for getting the PDF copies out. Still, this is not my first rodeo and I know all too well that there are always unforeseen issues, so I padded the delivery date by a couple months just to be sure.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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