About this project
Breakfast Cult is a tabletop roleplaying game which combines elements of cosmic horror with anime-style mystery, horror and action-adventure. It takes inspiration from multiple sources: cosmic horror RPGs and board games, Danganronpa, Megami Tensei, Soul Eater, and more!
You play students of a near-future occult high school as they’re thrust into the middle of a mystery that threatens to destroy everything. To survive, you’ll have to discover which of your classmates is to blame and stop the awakening of an Ancient One before it’s too late—all while advancing your own secret agenda.
For fans of cosmic horror, the setting of Breakfast Cult offers a new take on the concept. Its tools can be taken and used to build new cosmic horror settings, if this one doesn’t do it for you; if you’re a Lovecraft fan, Breakfast Cult’s tools can be used to run other Cthulhu Mythos games, and stretch goals will do most of the work for you!
Breakfast Cult is powered by the Fate Accelerated roleplaying system—character creation takes minutes, and the rules are simple and easy to understand. If you’re a Fate veteran, the game offers you new stuff to spice things up, from new character mechanics to new kinds of enemies!
What Breakfast Cult needs is some professional art and layout. That’s where you come in—the goal of this Kickstarter is to get it published looking as awesome as possible.
Breakfast Cult is set in Occultar Academy, an affiliated high school of Miskatonic University that takes only the best, brighest and richest. Students with occult potential are “encouraged” to enroll in special schools like this one, where they can learn magic out of the public eye.
Behind the scenes, Occultar is also a research facility. In the basement of the school library lie the Forbidden Sections, where only Miskatonic professors may tread. The tomes and relics down there contain tantalising knowledge and apocalyptic dangers, and only an idiot would mess around there.
Last night, some idiot did. When a Breakfast Cult adventure starts, players are thrown into detention with some other characters until one of you confesses to the Headmaster. If you want out, you’re going to have to break out and unravel the mystery.
Two problems: One, half of you have your own hidden agendas which could interfere with the investigation. You might be one of them! Two, the culprit’s tampering has set off a chain of events that will lead to an Ancient One awakening and ending you.
If you want to survive long enough to worry about your university exams, you'll have to work together to find clues, face the things lurking in the shadows, save the school, and figure out which of your classmates you can trust, all before it's too late.
The final product will be released in PDF and Print On Demand format. With your help it’ll come with a nice layout and full-color artwork, as fun to read as it is to play.
This project is being assisted by:
• Jacob Randolph (Inverse World, a whole lot of Dungeon World playbooks) is helping out with publishing expertise, Kickstarter experience, and a fantastic sense of style and flair.
• Artwork will be provided by Kaitlynn Peavler (Conquering Corsairs, Deck of Legends) and obfuscobble (Inverse World). More artists will be recruited as necessary to help handle stretch goals and keep workloads manageable.
• Layout will be handled by Chris Lee (100 Deluxe Dungeons). I am told he also bakes a mean casserole but they can’t fit it in the post, so layout it is.
Print On Demand copies will be self-service: You’ll get a discount code to buy a print copy from DriveThruRPG/RPGNow at cost, and they’ll ship it out to you. This means you save on the retail price and shipping, and you’ll have a professional outfit handle printing and shipping for you. Details can be found in the FAQ.
So what do you get? The game comes with:
Rules. We’ve taken the Fate Accelerated system as a base and built upon it, adding new mechanics for players, new rules for monsters and the Ancient Ones, and new ways to run cosmic horror and mystery games.
Setting. The world of Occultar Academy is presented in enough detail to help you make characters and adventures, but open-ended enough to let you do what you want in it. What lies outside the walls of Occultar and what brings you to the school is up to your group!
Characters. To flesh out the world of Occultar and help you put together a mystery without having to start from scratch, 20+ characters will be provided for you. They can be dropped in as NPCs as needed, or adapted into player characters for a quick-start game.
Ancient Ones. The very influence of these strange gods plagues the players, and sets each mystery in motion. They come in different Avatars, which change the nature of the adventures they star in. Each one gets some fancy art and a sample adventure for you to run!
Monsters. The Ancient Ones can’t fight you directly, but they’ll have plenty of agents to do their dark work for them. You’ll get stats, writeups and art for a bunch of monsters to face off against. Monsters come with unique rules that can be stolen for use in other Fate horror games, too.
Tools. The above tools, advice for running mystery games in the Fate system, sample adventures and some tables for randomly generating your own mysteries will help any group get started in the world of Breakfast Cult, or make their own cosmic horror game.
Breakfast Cult is an original setting, but it’s partly inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft. You might have picked up a few subtle hints and homages.
Our first priority is an original setting. Dozens of Mythos-themed games have come and gone already, and stapling the setting to a new system and announcing we’ve got a sanity mechanic (hint: it’s a stress track) just isn’t as rewarding as coming up with something entirely new.
That said, if you want a new take on the Mythos, we can help! Most of Breakfast Cult can be integrated into the Mythos with minimal work, and if we meet our stretch goals, we’ll do it for you anyway, with writeups of Mythos beings as Ancient Ones and some new spins on popular Mythos monsters.
So if you’re after a new cosmic horror setting, come on in. If you want to live your ordinary high school life in the shadow of Yog-Sothoth, come in too! We’ve got you covered.
Print tiers are self-service POD. This means that backing gets you a code coupon to buy your physical copy from DriveThruRPG/RPGNow at cost, and you'll pay them reduced shipping/printing costs. You save money, and you’ll have a professional outfit handling printing and shipping for you. It also means you don’t add shipping here. Details in the FAQ.
With these stretch goals, we’re aiming to offer some cool things without tanking the whole project under unreasonable extras that don’t directly translate to more Breakfast Cult content. Each goal will also unlock some extra Art Tiers.
More questions will be added as they come up. If you’ve got one, send it in!
Self Service: What’s up with that?
Here’s how self-service works:
1) When you back for a physical copy, you get it via OneBookShelf (DriveThruRPG/RPGNow).
2) Backing gets you a coupon, which gives you a discount for the product down to the printing costs.
3) You pay OneBookShelf for printing plus shipping.
4) They ship you your book.
Why self-serve? Here’s why:
• Cheaper for you: OneBookShelf’s international print centers mean that in addition to the discount on the retail price you get for backing, you get a reduced rate on shipping, and you get more freedom of choice in how it’s shipped. International buyers also have to jump through less Kickstarter hoops to get their book.
• Cheaper for me: I don’t have to deal with a pile of books sprawling across my floor and coiling their shipping-problem tentacles around my Kickstarter like a giant paper shoggoth.
• Faster for everyone: You'll get the PDF immediately as soon as it's available, and you don't have to wait for me to tangle with the shipping shoggoth.
• Professional shipping: Making it OneBookShelf’s problem means you’re relying on experts who get paid to deal with it, like a publishing Delta Green. You can also be sure Kickstarter fees and other costs won’t eat your shipping and printing money, because it stays in your pocket until you order your book.
What are the print costs?
The print costs will depend on the size of the final book. Costs are based on OneBookShelf’s prices at the time this was posted. We’re going for Standard Color, Large size.
The final page count will depend on the art, and we’ll let you know in advance. For now, generously assume the book will end up at 150 pages—it’s a nice round number to estimate with, and the difference shouldn’t be more than a few cents.
For example, if you back at the Softcover Tier and the book comes out to 150 pages, you’d pay an additional $6.10 to OneBookShelf for printing, plus whatever shipping method you choose.
See OneBookShelf's Estimated Shipping Costs for shipping details for your country. Prices subject to change, currency fluctuation, etc.
What happens if your computer dies?
I think we can all agree that hard drive failure is one of the major causes of sanity loss in the modern era. We’ve made sure to keep multiple backups, so there’s no chance computer failure will erase everything.
I would like to contact the author!
Right now I can be reached in the following ways:
• In the comments of this very Kickstarter!
• Email: ettin.productions at gmail
• I post on the RPGnet forums as Ettin
• I have a business tumblr, found here
With permission, further frequently asked questions will also be posted here.
Risks and challenges
Every kickstarter has risks, and we’ve identified a few that needed to be addressed. Here’s what we’ve got:
Art: Artists can have real-life problems, schedule conflicts, etc. Whatever happens, we’ll try to work with them, but the product could still be delayed. If something happens, we’ll let you know. Pickman’s/Gimmick Tier backers will be contacted once the Kickstarter ends and given time to make their requests, but keep in mind there will be a hard deadline. If you back an art tier, work out what you want before the Kickstarter closes.
Writing: Most of the writing is done, but some backer tiers and stretch goals will add more writing work, so there’s a chance this could cause delays too. If that happens, you’ll be kept posted.
Delivery: With self-service POD eliminating the big risk with delivery, the next risk is that a future accident could prevent me from delivering. I’ve made arrangements for others to take over in that case, though it would probably cause delays. To reduce the risk I will refrain from running with scissors, rolling down stairs, or sticking parts of my body in electrical sockets.
Printing: Our printers are solid, but we can’t control what happens—supply shortages, industry events, human error, meteor strikes, and other unexpected problems could still happen. This shouldn’t delay shipping much unless it’s the meteor, and either way we’ll keep you updated. If you get a defective product, we’ll send a replacement at no cost to you.
Shipping: Shipping errors happen. If your package gets lost, we’ll arrange a replacement. To help reduce the load, backers will get a few days to order their print copy before it’s released to the public.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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