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The wound Voss took from that Ironfang wouldn’t close no matter what we did. He’d lost too much blood and had a fever, so we sent Gabby and Twitch riding to Sweetwater for help. They came back with a gap-toothed old sawbones who’d asked for too much barter but was our only choice. The old doc took a poke at Voss, who was unconscious but still squirming and moaning, and she clucked scornfully with her hands wrist-deep in his wounds.
“It’s not just the blood fever, though that’s likely enough to kill him,” she murmured to us. “He’s lost pieces in here, important ones. This is a dead man.”
The cave we were hiding out in got real quiet, except for the crackling of the fire. Twitch caught my eye and touched the hilt of his knife, but I frowned and shook my head. Voss had saved us all from that ambush back at the Junkyard, and I wasn’t about to let Twitch cut his throat in a filthy cave. I turned to the doctor. “You must be able to do something, make him comfortable at least. Break the fever so we can get him home.”
“Well…there might be something I could do. Dangerous, of course. Expensive, too. You got the scratch?” She opened her big, leather rucksack. Inside, among a scattering of tools, scalpels, and linens, was a clear plastic bag holding something awful. A chunk of purplish, warty flesh all shot through with glowing veins -- or were they wires? The bag was half full of fluid, and the flesh gobbet seemed to be pulsing of its own accord.
Gabby and Twitch recoiled. “Wh-what is THAT?”
“Piece of an old machine that some explorers took down, over by the Fission Factory,” said the doctor. “Reckon it’ll fit right in here. Patch the holes, filter out the toxins from his gut wounds, maybe even break that fever. Maybe, anyway. Can’t promise nothin’.”
Twitch hissed, “You want to put some alien chunk of BUTCHER MEAT into Voss? What the hell, lady!”
“That’s enough, Twitch!” I barked. “If you don’t like it, you can get the hell out.” I pointed at the doctor. “get to work. I’ll pay the price.”
I could see Twitch was mad enough to chew nails. He packed his bags and left. He was gone before the doctor slid that quivering mass into my friend. Before it let out that gleeful squeal and latched onto Voss like a lamprey, wiggling of its own accord to fit itself into the right shape and match its conduits to his innards.
I wish I hadn’t stayed to watch. I still have nightmares about it.
We had to stay there for a couple of days while Voss broke his fever and the wound sealed up. By that time the old sawbones had taken her payment and cleared out. She was long gone when Voss woke up screaming.
Gabby and I were able to pin him down while he woke the rest of the way up - I think he would have just gone running out into the night stark naked, otherwise. Voss’s wound was knit, all right, but his head wasn’t the same after that. He took to only sleeping every few days because of the nightmares. He’d never tell us what they were about, but every once in a while he’d do some talking under his breath that wasn’t in any language I ever heard.
Because of that, I guess, he was flinchy and mean. Hard to deal with. Cost us a couple of jobs. But I tried to help Voss work through it. He needed us more than ever.
Matters got worse a few weeks later, after a bandit ambush on the road back to Chapter. He’d volunteered to move the bodies off into a stand of trees, away from the camp. Gabby caught him out there -- wrist-deep in a body, pulling out gobbets and stuffing them into his mouth.
The traders we were guarding wouldn’t have any of that, and ran him off with arrows and knives. I think he’s still following us, though -- two men have gone missing in the last three days. The second one we heard screaming for a while, out there in the hills, echoing enough that we couldn’t tell where Voss had dragged him exactly.
I’ll get these people into the hands of the Chapter Militia, and then lead a posse back out in the wild to see if I can’t track Voss down. I’m not sure if he’s worth talking to, or if whatever programming was still in that piece of warbot has ruined his mind for all time.
Truth is, I think Twitch might have had the right idea, back in the cave. I’ll bring a sharp knife.
THE AFTER is a setting of savage frontier action (think The Revenant or Jeremiah Johnson) in a sci-fi post-apocalyptic world (think Annihilation or The Quiet Place). It uses the newly retooled Savage Worlds Adventure Edition. The Fast, Fun and Furious vibe of Savage Worlds fits the tone we were looking for in THE AFTER.
THE AFTER is set in the northwestern reaches of the broken North American continent. You play survivors of the shattered human race trying to rebuild their world after nearly a century of alien predation and war. The utterly destructive invasion of Earth, followed by a terrifying war between rival Alien species far more advanced than mankind, has left the Earth a broken version of its former self. Major cities and areas of industrial and military strength have been completely obliterated. Only in the worlds most sparsely populated areas have people survived: areas that were ignored or undervalued by the the rampaging alien forces.
Two frighteningly powerful rival species fought and used the Earth as their battleground. The flesh harvesting Butchers, masters of Genetics and bio-manipulation warred against their mortal enemy The Ghosts, eerie, dimensional travelling beings of energy.
The Invaders left as quickly as they arrived, their sudden disappearance a mystery to those who survived the war. But those survivors found the Earth to be changed, altered by bizarre dimensional breaches and populated by creatures warped through alien genetics and bio-mechanical experimentation. Survivors also discovered that they were no longer alone in the World, although the warring Alien species no longer plagued the Earth, other beings from the stars remain. Slaves and outcasts left to find a place for themselves in an unforgiving world.
Many survivors and their children have also been changed. Mutagenic compounds altered the DNA of some, causing strange mutations, while others have been touched by dimensional anomalies, opening their minds to potent abilities and strange powers, A gift that is often viewed with awe and fear by others.
It is now a world of great change but also great opportunity; a strange world to explore and to forge a new home in. With the collapse of modern civilization, survivors must return to the old ways, find inspiration and knowledge utilized by frontiersman and native people who lived and prospered in North America centuries before.
New bonds must be formed, new settlements require aid and protection and the war ravaged ruins of Pre-Harvest Earth need to be explored for their knowledge and resources.
The war is over. The Enemy has gone. Reclaim the Earth.
“This game references the Savage Worlds game system, available from Pinnacle Entertainment Group at www.peginc.com. Savage Worlds and all associated logos and trademarks are copyrights of Pinnacle Entertainment Group. Used with permission. Pinnacle makes no representation or warranty as to the quality, viability, or suitability for purpose of this product.”
THE AFTER will be a full-color, 150+ page book with detailed, provocative artwork by Jon Gibbons. The book will feature new playable races, new Arcane Backgrounds, new Edges and Hindrances, additional rules to evoke the unique feeling of the setting - including scavenging, item decay and deterioration, a Bestiary of foes and an extensive Gazetteer of the Wind River region of Modern Wyoming, where the setting takes place. In addition, THE AFTER has its own sort of unearthly items - Remnants - left behind by the alien races who used Earth as a battleground. These unique and powerful items are sought out by survivors to give both themselves and their communities a fighting chance to make a better life.
THE AFTER includes the following sections:
Chapter One: Welcome to The After This chapter will introduce you to the changed Earth of THE AFTER, with details of the initial invasion and the following war between the Butchers and their mortal enemy The Ghosts. These epic conflicts known as the Harvest and The Fall sundered the Earth and changed it forever. Chapter One includes a timeline of world events from the world before The Harvest up to the current day. A section on new setting rules is also listed with a number of changes to be made to the standard SWADE rule-set that adds additional flavor to THE AFTER.
Chapter Two: Making Heroes This section contains all the information you will need to create a character to explore the new world. It will include character backgrounds and new playable races such as the Alien Helot, Skav and the Mutated survivors known as The Changed. It includes extensive lists of mutated abilities and anomalies for players wishing to create a Changed hero. The chapter also features new edges such as the Augment Master - A bearer of Inhuman powers, revered among other post-humans, and The Breach Explorer - a member of the Scouts’ Guild, trained extensively to explore Breach zones in the Wind River region. The last part of Chapter two discusses factions within Wind River, groups and organisations that operate within the region that can be selected by starting characters.
Chapter Three: The Boon This chapter introduces players to powerful mind-altering Breach energy left behind by the extra dimensional technology of the Ghosts. The remaining energy was particularly pervasive upon both the physical world and the minds of some survivors and their offspring. A small percentage of the population are known as "Gifted", possessing strange and unique powers of mind and space. New Arcane backgrounds are detailed including the Breachrunner, Fleshcrafter and Mindbender.
Chapter Four: Gear In this chapter, we look at equipment that your heroes may discover, including the rules on salvage and trading of any found goods. This chapter also contains details on equipment availability, as well as rules on dealing with traders in Wind Rivers limited settlements. In addition, this section includes new item stress rules, to highlight age and misuse effects on the Pre-Harvest items that can be discovered in the ruins of the past.
Chapter Five: Remants This section looks at the leftover fragments from the Butcher invasion force or the armies of the Ghosts. These artifacts are often still imbued with a portion of the Nanotech or dimensional powers utilized by the Alien forces. They offer a great temptation and, despite their dangers, command a very high price among the people of Wind River. Full descriptions and rulings for over forty of these unique and bizarre devices is included in the chapter.
Chapter Six: The Town of Chapter The largest settlement within the Wind River region and the ideal starting point for any new characters within THE AFTER. Key NPCs, Maps of the town, points of interest, Law and order, plot points and a one sheet adventure are extensively written up for a Savage Worlds Gamesmaster to utilize.
Chapter Seven: Wind River Gazetteer The campaign setting takes place in and around the Wind River region of modern day Wyoming. The gazetteer section of the book features a full color map of the region detailing places of interest to visit and explore, including settlements such as Blackgold Trading, Sweetwater and Daniel. Breach zones such as the Verdant, the Town of Shadow and The Ice Plains plus the ruins of old towns and cities including The Rustyard and Thermopolis. Each location features plot hooks, encounters and key NPCs.
Chapter Eight: Adversaries of The After What's a settings book without a section of foes for your heroes to encounter? The last chapter of the book features a bestiary of adversaries featuring over twenty fully SWADE compliant creatures, It also contains detailed information on Ferals, dangerous, human-like creatures that scavenge the lands of the After. There are Full rules on creating your own Feral breeds including Rusties, Ghouls and Biters.
More information about THE AFTER can be found by downloading our free Jumpstart It contains background information, a short adventure, art previews and example characters.
Jon Gibbons, creator and artist for THE AFTER was recently interviewed by Happy Monstercast where we chatted about the setting and other geeky stuff! You can listen to the episode, Here
As soon as the book is finished all backers will receive the completed digital PDF. Backers who have selected The Born Survivor pledge level and above will also receive a voucher to print a copy of the book in either softcover or hardcover format at production price. Backers will pay for shipping costs. Art prints and Character prints available at higher pledge levels will be sent in a separate shipping process to the books.
Jon Gibbons, Artist and Creator - Jon is the mastermind of The After, he has been working extensively as an RPG Illustrator and Cartographer for over a decade. He previously teamed up with Fainting Goat Games for The Extreme Earth setting that was also successfully crowdfunded and released for Savage Worlds. Jon runs Jade Monkey Studios, an RPG graphic design studio that provides illustration, concept design and layout services for the RPG industry. You can find more of his artwork on Artstation Jon Gibbons
Sean Nokes, Author - Sean is the lead writer behind THE AFTER and our Savage Worlds rules Wizard. He has worked with Fainting Goat Games on a number of successful writing projects.
Mike Lafferty, Publisher - Mike has been running Fainting Goat Games for 7 years and has successfully delivered on the Improbable Tales, Stark City, Extreme Earth and Super Villain Handbook Kickstarters. You can find more of Fainting Goats products at DriveThruRPG Fainting Goat Games
Craig Williams, Layout Designer - Craig is the layout guru behind The After, he previously teamed up with Fainting Goat games to layout The Extreme Earth setting. Craig is a team member of Jade Monkey Studios and has worked as a layout designer for RPG publishers such as legendary games.
A.P. Klosky, Editor - A.P. is the owner of Blackfall Press LLC and is the lead designer of Cold Steel Wardens: Roleplaying in the Iron Age of Comics. He has worked as a freelance writer and editor with companies such as Cubicle 7 Entertainment, Fantasy Flight Games, GameWick Games, Fainting Goat Games, and Gun Metal Games.
All print versions of THE AFTER will be fulfilled by DriveThruRPG! They offer a fantastic service to small press publishers. Fainting Goat Games have used their services on multiple successful Kickstarters.
Risks and challenges
The book is 75% written and fully compliant for Savage Worlds Adventure Edition. Much of our artwork is complete and hopefully, with the funds gained from this Kickstarter Campaign, we can increase both the word count and artwork in the book.
We are confident of getting the book completed by our distribution date. Our publisher Fainting Goat Games has extensive experience in successful Kickstarter fulfillment.
RPG production has many obstacles. We believe our schedule is realistic - but it's worth noting that sometimes Print on Demand configuration with OBS can be a protracted process.
We hope you will love the setting and have as much fun playing within the world as our team has during the creation process.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)