"We have ruled these lands for many generations now. The Barrier hides us from the Enemy but our children have never seen the stars and probably never will. Few are those who remember where to find the old Gates, let alone how to activate them. Our powers have made us rulers and conquerors but we must never forget. The Congregation will never stop searching. We must keep it safe."
Written by award-winning authors, this brand-new game will provide you with the following key elements:
- A fantasy campaign setting describing the world of Ceres, its numerous kingdoms and their rulers.
- Realm management rules explaining how to expand your realm, forge new alliances and manage mass army battles.
- A web application that allows you to play online with players from all around the world and to keep track of all the actions and events of your campaign.
The Kickstarter campaign will focus on the fantasy setting and the realm management rules. You will be able to unlock the web application, the modern age and science-fiction settings with stretch goals. SOW is a 200-page digital or hardcover book that describes the campaign setting and the realm management rules.
Thousands of years ago, a galactic war erupted between the mighty terrestrial civilization of Vareene and an invading alien force over a powerful technological secret that would grant its wielder dominion over the galaxy: the Catalyst. For all their valor and skill, the Vareene were vanquished, most of their people and planetary holdings wiped away in a terrible apocalypse, and the rest fighting a losing battle. To ensure their survival, the last bastion of the Vareene chose a remote, primitive planet named Ceres and sent their survivors there.
With their vastly superior technology and advanced learning, the Vareene refugees quickly rose as leaders among the native population. Many of the technological wonders they brought were initially intended as a means of striking back against the invaders who had destroyed their empire. On Ceres, they built several star-gates so they might one day travel across the galaxy as part of a coordinated strike.
Unfortunately, such would never come to pass. Now called the Congregation, the alien invaders combed over the ashes of the Vareene throneworld, searching for clues as to where they might have secreted the Catalyst. A handful of survivors managed to retreat through a star-gate to Ceres, where they warned the fledgling colony of the threat. Afraid that they would find the hidden planet, the last of the Vareene decided, in a desperate move, to activate a powerful cloaking device that would shroud the planet in an energy barrier, hiding it from Congregation probes but also preventing the use of the star-gates. Thus Ceres became a haven, but also a prison.
Isolated for thousands of years, the Vareene slowly forgot their origin. The technological devices they brought became magical artifacts, the useless star-gates abandoned ruins, the force field became known as the “Barrier.” The truth was forgotten, or else evolved over the generations into a kind of religion. The Catalyst that the Vareene came from the stars to hide and protect has become an object of veneration, but no one can say precisely what it does or how it might be awakened once more.
A few millennia later, the survivors still rule the countries of Ceres, only partly understanding the cataclysm that looms in their future. The force field is losing power and will soon disappear, revealing the planet once more. Over so many centuries, the Congregation has consolidated its power over the galaxy, where it deals with pesky rulers of rebel worlds, galactic traders and smugglers, technological geniuses and preachers of alien gods, all of whom will stand no match against the awesome power of the Catalyst…
In Seeds of Wars, characters will spend most of their time ruling their Realm in a political and economical simulation game.
Each player will control one of the five different types of Realm:
- Order - You are the ruler of a kingdom and you will try to expand your influence through diplomacy and war.
- Faith - You are the spiritual leader of a widespread religion and you will try to spread the influence of your god through propaganda and proselytizing.
- Trade - you are the owner of a successful trading network and you will try to increase your wealth through espionage and bargaining.
- Magic - you have mastered the forces of Nature and you will try to use its energy to alter reality and cast spells affecting vast territories.
- Culture – you are one of the great artists of your time and you will try to promote your Art and contribute to the cultural heritage of your contemporaries.
Will you try to increase the influence of your Realm by forging new alliances with your neighbours through cunning diplomacy, or by destroying your competitors using military strategy?
Unlike actions in traditional RPGs that take place over a number of turns and rounds (minutes or seconds), the actions in SOW spread over months and years.
Resources are also measured on a different scale. By collecting taxes and fees, Rulers will increase the wealth of their Realm. They will also earn influence based on their actions, their weight in the balance of the many Kingdoms of Ceres and the attitude of the people towards them. Every action undertaken by the ruler will cost wealth and/or influence.
Geographically, the world of Ceres is divided into Kingdoms and each Kingdom is divided into Counties. There are many actions to choose from. Some of them will only affect a county while others will affect an entire Kingdom.
Likewise, Mage and Priest rulers are capable of casting realm spells that will affect large areas or battle spells that will affect entire units on the battlefield.
Because yes, there will be battles. Every ruler will be able to muster an army and use strategic and tactical warfare, gather military intelligence, move troops across the land and occupy the enemy’s lands.
Beware, though, of alliances and treaties. You know with whom you start a war, but you never know who you might meet on the battlefield in the end.
When characters are not sitting on their throne, planning their next move on the diplomatic chessboard, they may join and go on adventure, just like in traditional RPG’s. When you switch to the Adventure mode, you can just use the rules system of your favourite RPG... and hope your Realm will still be yours when you come home!
The Realm management rules are independent from all RPG systems. This means you can create your character with any rules system you like.
The only thing you will have to do is decide which type of Realm your character is most likely to rule:
- Fighter-like characters will naturally tend to Order based realms.
- Cleric-like characters will naturally tend to Faith based realms.
- Rogue-like characters will naturally tend to Trade based realms.
- Mage-like characters will naturally tend to Magic based realms.
- Bard-like characters will naturally tend to Culture based realms.
Characters may choose to manage their Realm or go on an adventure, but their neighbours will not sit idly by. Keeping track of all the events and actions of both the playing characters and the non-playing characters can be a challenge for the Game Master.
Once the stretch goal is unlocked, the web application will not just act as a bookkeeper for the GM but will also offer a lot of tools to help them and the players follow and update the campaign.
The application features:
- A history of all rulers’ actions.
- A history of the important campaign events.
- Tracking relations between the characters and their neighbours.
- An interactive map of the campaign world.
- A strategic interface for full scale battles.
- The possibility to create and join campaigns online.
- Lots of automation (calculation of difficulty checks, resource costs…)
The campaigns will be hosted on our servers, thus guaranteeing that they will be available everywhere, all time. We foresee lots of further improvements to bring new functionalities to the web application, such as communication channels, mobile version and even user-defined campaign settings! We strongly believe this is the way forward for RPG’s in the future.
I started playing RPGs when I was 9 years old. Ten years later, I discovered a new game that let me rule my own kingdom and I fell in love with it. My friends and I played this game for 20 years and it gave me some of my best RPG memories.
Our GM found that it was extremely difficult for him to keep track of everything that was going on during the campaign, and we were spending a lot of time doing repetitive calculations.
In 2011, when I started working as a Software Developer, I decided to build an application that would help our GM. I spent a thousand hours, evening after evening, weekend after weekend, implementing all his requirements.
In 2014, I finally completed his checklist. My work was done. However, spending so much time and effort on creating something that would only be used by one person was frustrating.
As years went by playing the campaign, we came up with a number of house rules and improved the original system. Hence I came up with the idea of creating a new, improved version of the original game and a new, improved version of the application with better usability and design, which would also allow users to play online.
- Blaede -
Our goal is more than just publishing a book and a supporting application. We believe that pen & paper RPGs and digital applications are not incompatible but complementary.
We would like to expand the SOW Universe through a lot of supplements, describing new regions, new realms, new settings, legendary characters, artefacts and spells, creatures and much more.
Regarding the web application, we will continue to add new functionalities based on the user community feedback and we hope that, in time, we will be able to broaden its scope and turn it into a global online RPG platform where players can meet and play their favourite game.
The PDF and the hardcover version of the book should be released together by the end of 2nd quarter of 2019. In the unlikely event that there would be a delay in the printing or shipping of the book, we’ll make sure the PDF version is available on time.
Assuming the web application stretch goal is unlocked, our goal is to deploy our first official release by mid of 3rd quarter of 2019. This will allow us to take into account the early feedback we receive from the backers and implement the necessary changes in the application.
Backers who will have purchased the “Duke/Duchess” (or above) reward will have access to our test environment and will be able to follow the evolution of the application as we go, from the very beginning to the end product. This will also help us test and improve the application thanks to the users’ feedback.
The first stretch goal will unlock the GM screen add-on for purchase. We would be incredibly happy to reach the 45k stretch goal as the web application is an important part of what we would like to achieve!
All the other supplements will be unlocked in PDF version, available for purchase on DriveThroughRPG. Backers who will have purchased the “Count/Countess” (or above) reward will receive all the unlocked PDF for free.
The printed A2 format color map will be shipped for free together with the corebook. The GM screen will be available for pre-order at a discount price for all backers before the book is released and will be shipped together with the corebook at no extra shipping costs.
The team already has all the necessary skills to lead this project. The software development team was at the beginning of this initiative, starting from the prototype of the application created a few years ago.
New members joined this venture such as Flash Raccoon that will lead the crowd funding campaign, design and communication.
Most importantly, we gathered a team of very talented authors and designers who also believe there is a desire for a Realm management RPG on the market.
Shipping within the USA will be free of charge. We can ship anywhere else in the world for an extra charge of $10.
COPYRIGHT & DISCLAIMER
All images are in work in progress, final design may differ from the mockups.
Risks and challenges
We have completed several successful Kickstarter campaigns and have solid experience in the field. We have increased the size of our teams in order to minimize the risk that one of our writers, developers or artists is late on a project, making sure there's always someone to take over in case someone is unable to make a deadline.
The web application will be based on an existing bug-free desktop application and will be hosted by the Swisscom Cloud Foundry, using the best available technology.
That being said, there's always something that can go wrong. It’s possible we’ll miss our dates, but backers who pledge enough get access to the material in PDF form, so even if the book or the application is late, folks will still be able to play the game.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (35 days)