“[Deadball] captures the spirit and feel of the sport. . . . A compelling baseball substitute during the long winter months, the lonely evenings, or any time in between.” —Bryan Grosnick, Baseball Prospectus
Deadball: Year II is an expansion to the bestselling Deadball: Baseball With Dice. Featuring new rules, a franchise generator, hundreds of fictional players and a new game mode—Nine Game Pennant—that drops you into the thick of a title chase, it makes the simplest baseball game on the market even easier to play.
ATTENTION NEW BACKERS: Once you've made your pledge, check out the first backer update to get your preview of the updated rules.
What Is Deadball?
Deadball is a fast-paced baseball dice game for one or two players that uses real statistics to bring the ballpark to your tabletop. Its elegantly simple rules are intuitive to die-hards and casual fans alike, allowing you to simulate a game between real or imaginary teams in about twenty minutes.
Deadball: Year II requires either the original Deadball rulebook or the historical expansion Deadball: 1909 to play. Don't have them? Don't worry! They are available at a massive discount for anyone who backs this Kickstarter for $20 or more.
If you’re not familiar with Deadball, check out our free quick start guide, or watch the video for the original Deadball Kickstarter. Whether you play with real teams or fictional ones, Deadball brings the game alive like never before.
What's New in Year II?
I can honestly say that, aside from the children you’ve seen featured in my Kickstarter videos, I’ve never made anything I’m more proud of than Deadball: Year II. I took everything I learned making the first two Deadball books and put it into this expansion, rewriting the rules, streamlining the layout, and packing it with over 100 pages of lovingly-created new content. Back the game, and gain immediate access to a fully-laid out beta preview, including a look at the introduction and all of the new rules.
Some of the new material is subtle, like tweaks to the player generation system that ensure new players have more realistic statistics. Some are massive, like the addition of On-Base Percentage and the rewritten Hit Table, which updates the game to reflect our new, home run crazy era. And some stuff, like the essays written by some of the best baseball writers in the country, are just because I love this sport and I know you do too.
My favorite new features include:
- New rules for devastating injuries, lights-out relievers, vicious beanballs and benches-clearing brawls
- Nine Game Pennant: A new game mode that launches players into the climax of a classic pennant race
- 16 fully-fleshed out fictional teams, featuring over 300 players and more than 75 detailed write-ups
- A ballclub generator that creates a legendary franchise in minutes
- Essays by renowned baseball writers Will Leitch, Britni de la Cretaz and John Thorn, official historian of Major League Baseball
Every word in this book was put there to make this game easier to pick up and play. Deadball is all about getting straight to the good stuff, and in Year II, we’re getting there even faster.
And the best part?
It's Basically Done.
I've been working on Deadball: Year II since last fall. This 101 page book has been written, playtested, proofread, laid out, tweaked and proofread some more. The art is done, the text is final, and I've gone through two rounds of proofs with DriveThruRPG to make sure everything is perfect.
I know how frustrating it can be to back a Kickstarter project and not get the finished game for a year or more, and that's why I made sure that any delays happened before this project launched, ensuring that you will get your game as fast as possible after the project closes.
So what else does the game need before it's done? You. My favorite thing about the original Deadball book was including players named after our Kickstarter backers and their friends and family, and now I'm giving you the chance to join them, either as players or managers, and shape the destiny of the game.
This book is 99% finished. You are the spark that will bring it to life.
The air is crisp. The days are short. There are nine games left in the season, and a championship is on the line. It’s up to you to seize the pennant.
Nine Game Pennant is something new for Deadball: a campaign mode that gives you the Southern Circuit standings after 145 games and asks you to pick a team to lead to the crown. Choose the team in first and attempt to hang on for the title, or take the club at the fringe of the pennant race and try for a miracle upset.
Designed to provide the agonizing tension of a real pennant race in just two or three evenings of play, Nine Game Pennant focuses Deadball like never before. Pre-filled scorecards are given for each game remaining in every team’s schedule, allowing you to leap straight into the action.
Two different campaigns are included in this book—one for 2018 and one for 1910—and each offers three or more teams with a shot at winning the title, making them endlessly replayable. You can also plug in a real-life team, or one of your own creation, and see if you've got what it takes to beat the Southern Circuit's best.
Nine Game Pennant is something I’ve dreamed of since Deadball was first released, and I guarantee it will change the way you see the game.
The instant you pledge, you'll gain access to the first backer update, which includes a link to a 35 page preview of the new book. If the Kickstarter is funded, everyone who pledges $10 or more will get the PDF of Deadball: Year II, along with all stretch goals and the digital supplements, which include:
- Redesigned scorecards, both blank and with the Southern Circuit rosters already filled in
- An updated quick reference guide reflecting the new rules
- A brief guide to the changes made in Deadball: Year II, allowing you to play the game without constantly referring to the rulebook
- A franchise character sheet for use with the new franchise generator
- Nine Game Pennant schedules and scorecards for 2018 and 1910
Everyone who pledges $13 and more gets the PDF plus a code to buy a copy of the print book from DriveThruRPG at-cost—the cheapest I can make it—which will be $4.31 plus shipping.
Don’t have copies of Deadball: Baseball With Dice or Deadball: 1909? Pledge $20 to get a PDF and at-cost code for one of those books along with Year II, or pledge $25 to get all three. At cost, the first two books each sell for $3.24, making this a $60 value for just over $35. Everyone who backs the project for $25 or more will get this.
Want to be part of the game? Pledge $35 to name one of the new Southern Circuit prospects. The most talented prospects will go first, meaning that the sooner you pledge, the more talented your player will be.
Pledge $40 to get codes for two at-cost copies of Deadball, Deadball: 1909 and Deadball: Year II, plus PDFs of all three games. Including the price of the at-cost books, this is a $120 value that will cost you only $61.58. Everyone who backs the project for $40 or more will get this.
Pledge $50 for a chance to make your mark on the Southern Circuit as a manager. This includes a detailed write-up on the team page and a chance to determine your manager's personality and how he runs the game. Take a look at the page for the Ponchatoula Yellow Stockings of 1910 for an idea of what this will look like.
Want a truly personalized experience? Pledge $75, and I will build a custom roster to your specifications. Make a team based on your favorite TV show, your friends and family, or a lost historical franchise. I've been doing these for the backers on my Patreon, and it is a total blast—here are two examples so you can get an idea of how cool these rosters can be.
As always, the game does not come with dice, but you can buy them here. Don't like those? Any set of RPG dice will contain everything you need.
At $5,000, I’ll compile and release the best user-generated house rules, showcasing the limitless creativity of the Deadball community.
At $7,749, I'll release all star rosters for the 2018 and 1910 Southern Circuit, featuring some of the top prospects named after our $35 backers.
At $10,000, I’ll release a guide to generating your own pennant race, using the same formulas I used to create the Nine Game Pennant campaigns.
At $15,000, I’ll release all the tables and charts you need to create and run your own league in one handy dandy document.
I’m keeping the stretch goals conservative because I don’t want to promise anything I can’t deliver. The most important stretch goal, of course, is that if we make enough money, I’ll be able to set the time aside to start working on Deadball: Year III.
Risks and challenges
Since I started working on Year II last fall, I have done everything possible to minimize the risk to you. This expansion has been written, play-tested, laid out and sent to the printer for proofs. The art is complete, and it is ready to go. The only missing piece is what you will bring to it: the player and manager names provided by our “I’m a Prospect!” and “Skipper” backers. After that, I’ll have to get one more proof from DriveThruRPG, and if all is well, the game will be yours.
If the project is successfully funded, here’s what will happen once the Kickstarter wraps:
May 24: The Kickstarter closes, and I release a watermarked version of the final PDF (without player and manager names) to every backer.
May 25: I enter player and manager names into the book, proofread it again, and send the final PDF to DriveThruRPG.
June 1: They approve the book for printing, and I order a test-proof.
June 7: The Kickstarter paperwork clears. Your credit cards are charged, and I release the final PDF to every backer.
June 8: The test-proof comes back from DriveThruRPG. I check over it one more time. If there are no errors, I approve the book for sale, and send out a code for every print backer to buy as many copies as they are entitled to at-cost. If there are any errors, I correct them and send the book back to the printers for as many test rounds as are required. At worst, I wouldn’t expect this to take more than another month, but I believe in playing things extremely safe, which is why I’ve given July for the expected availability of the print books. Barring catastrophe, the book should be done sooner.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (21 days)