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Bulletproof Blues is a rules-light, setting-dark superhero RPG. The game is getting new art and an updated layout.
Bulletproof Blues is a rules-light, setting-dark superhero RPG. The game is getting new art and an updated layout.
158 backers pledged $5,277 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Bulletproof Blues is a rules-light, setting-dark superhero roleplaying game from Kalos Comics. All of the art and text has been, and will be, released under a Creative Commons license.

WHAT'S THE DEAL?

We published Bulletproof Blues in February 2013. It is a great game! Here is a sample of the first few pages of the first edition. Here is all of the text from the first edition, which has been released under a Creative Commons license.

We want to make it even better. We have great artists lined up for the cover and interior art, and incredibly talented authors who would like to write adventures and source material, but we need your help to pay them. Bulletproof Blues Second Edition will feature new art, expanded rules, and a much improved layout over the first edition of the game. And it will still be a bargain! Additionally, all of the art and text will be released under a Creative Commons license.

WHY BULLETPROOF BLUES?

Why does Bulletproof Blues exist? That is an excellent question. The simple answer is that we wanted to write the superhero game we wanted to play.

There are dozens of superhero roleplaying games, and at least a dozen more generic games that you can use to run a superhero game. Several of these -- Mutants And Masterminds and Wild Talents, for example -- are outstanding games. So why write yet another?

We wanted a superhero game that was quick to learn, quick to play, and yet reasonably complete. We also wanted a game that lent itself to more serious superhero fiction, like Planetary and the first two years of The Authority. In addition to Mutants And Masterminds and Wild Talents, we tried BASH, Capes, Cowls, And Villains Foul, and Icons. These are all fine games, but not quite what we wanted. We found some games too light, some games too heavy, and some games, well, just weren't what we were looking for. So what's a gamer to do?

If you can't find the game you want to play, as the saying goes, you have to write it yourself. We are pretty happy with the result. It's not perfect, of course. If you have suggestions for improvements, we are happy to listen to them. But we hope you have fun playing, despite any flaws you may find.

Bulletproof Blues is not a carefully balanced simulation of a reality where people can fly, dress up like bats, and shoot energy beams from their jewelry. The rules are here to help you play a fun game and keep things fair, but there's really nothing special about the rules. They are there to serve you, not the other way around. Your first thought when someone tries something new in a Bulletproof Blues game should not be, "Do the rules allow it?", but "Would that be fun?". Of course, what's "fun" varies from group to group. If a tightly plotted political thriller is your bag, that's great. If you prefer nonstop action with giant robots and exploding ninjas, that's great, too. You could use Bulletproof Blues to run either type of game, or anywhere in between. However you want to play, though -- whatever you consider "cool" -- takes precedence over the written rules. If the rules don't make sense in a given context, or if they seem to be getting in the way of the kind of game you want to play, then either change the rules or ignore them.

If it turns out that Bulletproof Blues is not suited to the kind of game you want to play, you might try one of the many other fine superhero games out there, starting with the ones we've mentioned above. Or, as a final resort, you can do what we did, and write your own game.

WHERE DOES THE MONEY GO?

The bulk of the new edition of the game is already written. The funds collected will go to pay the artists who will provide the interior and cover art for Bulletproof Blues Second Edition, and to pay the authors who have agreed to provide stories and adventures set in the world of Kalos Comics.

The more support we receive, the more content we will deliver.

Base Goal (Funded!): New art! Up-and-coming comicbook artist Sean Izaakse will provide all new art for the ten sample characters in Bulletproof Blues Second Edition. High resolution versions of these illustrations will be added to a Bulletproof Blues Character Pack and released under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0 US license.

Look further down the page for more awesome character illustrations by Sean Izaakse!
Look further down the page for more awesome character illustrations by Sean Izaakse!

Stretch goal 1 (Funded!): The Ruins of Atlanta from Jason Tondro!

Doctor Comics himself, Jason Tondro, will provide a supplement set in the ruins of Atlanta, Georgia.
Doctor Comics himself, Jason Tondro, will provide a supplement set in the ruins of Atlanta, Georgia.

Stretch Goal 2 (Funded!): More characters, more art! If this stretch goal is reached, Sean Izaakse will provide new art for four more additional sample characters which will be added to Bulletproof Blues Second Edition. High resolution versions of these illustrations will be added to a Bulletproof Blues Character Pack and released under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0 US license.

Stretch goal 3 (Funded!): Extraterrestrial villainy from Steven S. Long!

Gaming industry veteran Steven S. Long will provide a short adventure involving extraterrestrials.
Gaming industry veteran Steven S. Long will provide a short adventure involving extraterrestrials.

Stretch goal 4 (Funded!): Cosmic adventures from Christopher Helton!

Christopher Helton will develop a larger than life space setting featuring (but not limited to) powerful alien cultures, space-faring law-enforcement agencies, and big, cinematic dangers that need the power of fearless super-beings.
Christopher Helton will develop a larger than life space setting featuring (but not limited to) powerful alien cultures, space-faring law-enforcement agencies, and big, cinematic dangers that need the power of fearless super-beings.

Stretch Goal 5 (Funded!): Even more characters, even more art! If this stretch goal is reached, Sean Izaakse will provide new art for four more additional sample characters which will be added to Bulletproof Blues Second Edition. High resolution versions of these illustrations will be added to a Bulletproof Blues Character Pack and released under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0 US license.

Character illustrations by Sean Izaakse
Character illustrations by Sean Izaakse

Stretch Goal 6 ($6,900): New chapter title art! If this stretch goal is reached, veteran RPG artist Dan Houser will provide new art for the title page of each chapter of Bulletproof Blues Second Edition. High resolution versions of these illustrations will be added to a Bulletproof Blues Art Pack and released under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0 US license.

Chapter art sketch by Dan Houser
Chapter art sketch by Dan Houser

Stretch goal 7 ($8,500): Modern Gods from Sean Patrick Fannon! Gaming industry veteran Sean Patrick Fannon will provide a Bulletproof Blues primer for Modern Gods, his own long-time-coming supers setting.

Stretch Goal 8 ($11,500): New cover art! If this stretch goal is reached, John Zeleznik will paint a gorgeous new cover for Bulletproof Blues Second Edition. A high resolution version of this illustration will be added to a Bulletproof Blues Art Pack and released under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0 US license. (Note: The cover art above, which was used for the first edition of Bulletproof Blues, is by Storn Cook.)

WHO IS INVOLVED?

Sean Patrick Fannon (Author): Sean Patrick Fannon, the Lead Game Designer and Publisher for Evil Beagle Games, has worked extensively in the Role-Playing Game and Computer Game industries, writing and designing for such entities as Infogrames Multimedia, Hero Games, West End Games, Interplay Productions, Fantasy Flight Games, and many others. Sean can be found online at http://www.evilbeaglegames.com/

Christopher Helton (Author): Christopher Helton is a blogger, podcaster, game designer and Co-Publisher at Battlefield Press, Inc. His introduction to comic book super-heroes came at the tender of two, when his parents owned a convenience store with a spinner rack full of comics. He couldn't yet read those comics, but he made up his own stories to go with the pictures which prepared him for a future in role-playing games. Over the years he has been involved in games like Heartquest (hopefully with a new edition in 2014), Eldritch Skies and the role-playing game based on Eric Flint's 1632 novels. He also founded the Dorkland! blog in 2003, where he blogs industry news, reviews, free gaming content and interviews. More recently he has branched into podcasting with the Geeky Voices Carry podcast and video blog. Christopher may be extradimensional, in that he is older than he seems to be. Christopher can be found online at http://dorkland.blogspot.com/

Dan Houser (Artist): Dan Houser has been a professional illustrator for nearly a decade, working on projects for Adamant Entertainment, Ad Infinitum Adventures, Fainting Goat Press, and Vigilance Press. He has also illustrated a children's RPG, RAWR, as well as provided art for KALOS Comics' own Bulletproof Blues 1st Edition. He's also illustrated a children's book, is the line artist for the ENnie Award Nominated ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying, and has his own line of Golden Age Superhero supplements for ICONS under his own Stark City Press imprint. And with Fainting Goat, produced a City Setting Toolkit for ICONS called Stark City. Dan lives with his wife Stephanie in Wisconsin with 2 cats and a dog, and is very grateful for the life he has. You can find Dan online at http://danrhouser.wix.com/danhouserillos.

Sample art by Dan Houser
Sample art by Dan Houser

Sean Izaakse (Artist/Creator): Sean Izaakse is an up and coming comic book artist based out of South Africa. Known for his clean lines and keen character design, Sean can currently be seen on Dynamite Entertainment's Pathfinder, Pathfinder: Goblins, and is the co-creator and artist on the creator-owned comic Stray, and has done work for Green Ronin's Mutants & Masterminds RPG. Sean can be found online at http://sean-izaakse.deviantart.com/

Sample art by Sean Izaakse
Sample art by Sean Izaakse

Steven S. Long (Author): Steven S. Long is a writer and game designer who's been working primarily in the tabletop roleplaying game field for the past twenty years, during which he's written or co-written nearly 200 books. He's best known for his work with Champions and the HERO System, but has worked for many other RPG companies, and is currently branching out into fiction. Steve can be found online at http://www.stevenslong.com/

Jason Tondro (Author): Jason Tondro is an Assistant Professor of English at the College of Coastal Georgia, where he teaches writing, literature, and comics. He is the author of Superheroes of the Round Table: Comics Connections to Medieval and Renaissance Literature, and of several ICONS products, including The Great Game (cosmic roleplaying in the Stark City setting), Stark's Silver District, and the four-volume Field Guide to Super Heroes. He is honored to participate in this project because Brandon gave Jason his first big break into the RPG industry. He blogs at http://doctorcomics.blogspot.com/ and his lit lectures can be found at http://www.youtube.com/user/jasontondro

John Zeleznik (Artist): John Zeleznik has provided covers and illustrative work for many role-playing games including Shadowrun, Rifts, and GURPS. Zeleznik is also the designer and artist for the science fiction/superhero Skraypers setting for Rifts and Heroes Unlimited. Some of his RPG credits include Beyond the Supernatural, Systems Failure, Nightbane, and Macross II. Zeleznik has also illustrated cards for the Magic: The Gathering collectible card game. John can be found online at http://www.johnzeleznik.com/

Cover art by John Zeleznik
Cover art by John Zeleznik

Risks and challenges

Publishing a roleplaying game has several stages: writing, editing, commissioning art, and layout. Delays can occur at any stage. We've tried to build in generous timelines and extra "slippage weeks" to account for problems at any stage.

Because the first edition of Bulletproof Blues has already been published, the bulk of the writing and editing has been completed. We will rely on the artists and on the authors providing stretch goals to deliver their contributions on time, but they are all established professionals, and we think that we can trust that they will deliver as promised.

Finally, for pledges that include print copies, there are often delays with printers. If the print test copies aren't satisfactory, that means making changes and ordering another round of print test copies. By this time, the backers should have their PDFs, but it's still a possible delay that's hard to guard against. Nevertheless, it's more a matter of getting a great-looking product to the backers, rather than an issue of not producing at all.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    NORMAL JOE: We will thank you by name in the book's credits and on www.kaloscomics.com. You'll also receive a PDF copy of the first edition of Bulletproof Blues (from DriveThruRPG), the Bulletproof Blues Character Sheet Helper, Bulletproof Blues Character Pack 001, Bulletproof Blues Character Pack 002, and in-progress sketches of the interior art and the cover art. (Wouldn't you rather spend a few dollars more and get a copy of the second edition?)

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    STREET SAMURAI: As Normal Joe, plus you will get a PDF copy of Bulletproof Blues Second Edition (from DriveThruRPG). (Wouldn't you rather spend a bit more and get a PDF copy of any stories and adventures unlocked through our stretch goals?)

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    CITY DEFENDER: As Street Samurai, plus you will get a PDF copy of any stories and adventures unlocked through our stretch goals. (Wouldn't you rather spend a bit more and get a print copy of Bulletproof Blues Second Edition?)

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    NATIONAL ICON: As City Defender, plus you will get a print copy of Bulletproof Blues Second Edition (from DriveThruRPG) delivered to an address in the continental United States (shipping is included). This reward level is only available to backers with a shipping address in the continental United States. If you are outside of the continental USA, please see the GLOBAL GUARDIAN reward level.

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    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    GLOBAL GUARDIAN: As City Defender, plus you will get a print copy of Bulletproof Blues Second Edition (from DriveThruRPG) delivered to anywhere in the world that DriveThruRPG delivers (shipping is included).

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    Pledge $99 or more About $99

    GALACTIC SENTINEL: As Global Guardian, plus contributing author Brandon Blackmoor will run a Bulletproof Blues game via Skype or Google Hangout for you and up to four of your friends.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    COSMIC ENTITY: As Global Guardian, plus contributing author Brandon Blackmoor will run a private game of Bulletproof Blues for you and up to four of your friends at any central Virginia convention (e.g., MystiCon, RavenCon, or MarsCon) or for a private game within 100 miles of Charlottesville, Virginia. (No more than 2 games per convention.)

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    KALOS TEAM-UP: As Global Guardian, plus comicbook artist Sean Izaakse will draw your character, and your character will be featured in Bulletproof Blues Second Edition! You will also receive a digital copy of the image, released to you under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 US license.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    KALOS GIANT-SIZE: As Global Guardian, plus, if the cover art stretch goal is funded**, artist John Zeleznik will include your character on the cover, and your character will be featured in Bulletproof Blues Second Edition! You will also receive a digital copy of the image, released to you under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 US license. (** If the cover art stretch goal is not funded, you will instead receive a full-color "comicbook cover style" portrait of your character, provided by an artist chosen by the Kalos Comics staff.)

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    KALOS ANNUAL: As Kalos Team-Up, plus Brandon Blackmoor will run a Bulletproof Blues game once a week for ten weeks via Skype or Google Hangout for you and three of your friends.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    KALOS COLLECTOR'S EDITION: As Kalos Team-Up, plus, if you're in the Continental United States, contributing author Brandon Blackmoor will travel to your town and run a Bulletproof Blues game for you and up to four of your friends, on a date we'll agree on some time in 2014 or 2015.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    KALOS ULTIMATE COLLECTOR'S EDITION: As Kalos Collector's Edition, but contributing author Brandon Blackmoor will stay in your home town for a week and run a mini-campaign of up to 10 game sessions while he is there.

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Funding period

- (30 days)