Funded! This project was successfully funded on October 1, 2013.

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Play as ghosts, skeletons, zombies, dolls and others. Join us, where death is only a transition and eternity is what you make of it.

10 MIN - PRESENTATION

Created and narrated by Nathan Reese Maher, Artwork by Tobias White and Music by Simon Wilkinson.

2 MIN - CHARACTER CREATION

Created and narrated by Nathan Reese Maher, Artwork by Tobias White and Music by Simon Wilkinson.

THE MAGIC OF ILLUSTRATIONS

Narrated by Tobias White and Music by Simon Wilkinson.

THE MAGIC OF ILLUSTRATIONS, PART 2

Narrated by Tobias White and Music by Simon Wilkinson.

LONG AWAITED GAMEPLAY VIDEO

Narrated by Nathan Maher and Music by Simon Wilkinson.  A rough video due to time restraints.

WELCOME TO THE GREAT BEYOND

   "Congratulations, you're dead and the afterlife isn't what you thought. Don't worry about it, my new friends, we've all had to rub the dirt out of our eyes and come to terms with our, as the scientists say, metamorphosis. You're a spook now, a soul living the unlife in the great city of Necropolis. What you do from here is up to you, everyone is looking for that perfect piece of the afterlife and some will do anything to get their hands on it. It's not just the city here in the land of the dead, there's the Salts, the River of Styx and the Sea of Lost Memories, the Hellfire Lands and let us not forget the Dream Veil. Be careful where you stick your nose, not everyone who goes searching comes back. The well-wishers believe those sorry spooks found what they were looking for, but let's be realistic, we may be dead but there are a lot of dangers out there and we're not the only ones here. Listen to me talk, you're fresh from the quietus and you probably need a good poison to better take this all in. Follow me, I know a guy who has a couple extra bone cards lying around - trust me you're going to need them."

THE STORY BEHIND THE GAME

     When my grandfather died many years ago, I had a dream where I was sitting in his living room on the sofa and I asked him, referencing his recent departure from this world, "What is it like?" He turned to me, a man devoted to his faith, and said so matter-of-factly, "Nathan, it's not what we thought." That statement has stuck with me since... Five years ago, I was experimenting with different role-playing systems, just trying to see what I could come up with. From it, I was able to create, "Sticks & Stones - The Free RPG", which still remains in playtest, but also I had the idea for, Spooks! It was very elementary at the time, nothing more than basic die formulas and a few spook types; nothing really concrete. I became distracted, as life often does, and didn't return to the game until late in 2012. Now that I am older and busier, I found I had less free time than I did when I would play eight hour sessions with my friends. I wanted something that I could jump into for maybe 3-4 hours at a time, like a card game or board game; something that had little preparation time. As I continued to flesh out the game, I realized that one day I was going to have children and I would want to introduce them as early as possible to a family friendly RPG. Having a game set in the afterlife could offer many opportunities to introduce historical people and events to a younger generation without making it boring. With Spooks! I could meet George Washington, have a gun battle at the OK Corral, team up with Edgar Allan Poe as a detective, aid brilliant minds like Nikola Tesla, Anna Lovelace or Joseph Swan. The possibilities were endless and all I had to do was write it.

     As I neared its completion, I teamed up with Tobias White, an artist out of Anaheim, California, who has a talent for painting dark and spooky things. Together, we bounced ideas of each other and came up with some pretty interesting art pieces to help bring the game to unlife. Art, however, is time consuming and can be expensive. That's where you come in. With your help, we can enter a new chapter of, "Spooks! Welcome to the Great Beyond". With more art and your feedback together we can build the afterlife one illustration at a time. I cannot wait to see the outcome.

OUR GOAL

      "Spooks! Welcome to the Great Beyond" is nearly 70% complete and come October 2013 a playtest version will be available to those who donate to this kickstarter. The funds I am seeking are to be used strictly for art and illustrations for the core rule book - or if donations are large enough - for additional "Spooks! WTGB" products. None of these funds will be used for administration or creator reimbursements. I want a good looking product and I know you do too. The more illustrations, the better our chances for the game's future success once it is released to the public. Digital copies will cost $19.99, with softcovers at $29.99 and hardcovers at $35.99.

     Prices may vary depending on manufacturers cost. Spell decks and additional products will be sold separately. The game will be first sold on Amazon.com and Drivethrurpg.com first and then to other distributors as we progress.

STRETCH GOALS

     While $3000.00 would help produce great art, this is the minimum we'll need to complete the book. The below stretch goals will give a better perspective on what we would see with additional funds:

$3,000 - Bronze Level of Illustration: Spook Portraits and approx. 10-15 images in the book. 

$5,000 - Silver Level of Illustration: Spook Portraits, background and chapter images, approx. additional 15-20 images.

$7,000 - Gold Level of Illustrations: Spook Portraits, background and chapter Images, obituary and denizen Portraits, approx. 20-25 additional images.

$9,000 - Platinum Level of Illustrations: Spook Portraits, background and chapter Images, obituary and denizen portraits, image frames and borders, approx. 30-35 images.

$11,000 - Platinum Plus Card Fronts: Same as Platinum but with commissioned fronts for the Bone and Spider spell decks.

$13,000+ - Platinum, Card Fronts, New Books - Same as Platinum Plus Card Fronts, but all additional funds not used in the core rules will be put towards, "The Book of Breathing", a compilation of historical characters in the Great Beyond and, "Necrology Vol I", a compilation of spooks and denizens that exist in the afterlife.

REWARDS

(Additional information on rewards)

$150 - POSTCARD FICTION

     Postcard fiction is short fictional blurbs, no more than 50 words that describes a scene or action. An example is as follows: “Your ticket.” Said the skeletal-clerk as he tapped his boney finger on the counter. He slid me the voucher. “I don’t have money.” I replied nervously in the empty station. “Everyone gets one. You can’t stay here.” He points to the track. “It’ll take you to the city.” This short pieces will be used throughout the core rule book to add a sense of story and to help draw the reader into the world. Those who donate $150.00 or more are able to submit postcard fiction to be added to the book.

$200 - 2,000 WORD FICTION

     With each chapter there will be a segment slotted for fiction that is related to the, "Spooks! WTGB", multi-verse. Those who select this option will be offered themes to write on such as combat, magic or encounters with denizens or historical figures.

$400 - DREAM VEIL BROCHURE

     Brochures will be produced for the game as additional in-game locations especially focusing on the Dream Veil. The Dream Veil contains the dreams of the living and dead with locations, people and events transpiring inside each unique dreamscape. Additional information, as well as examples of the Dream Veil and its dreamscapes will be provided to make your personal fan-inspired masterpiece. The brochure format is a regular 8 1/2 by 11 inch piece of paper folded into 3 parts creating 6 columns. Artwork for the front cover will be provided by Tobias White, who will work with you to best present your ideas. Then, there may be 1-2 smaller images inside the other columns including maps, character portraits and borders. The brochure will include a description of the dream, important people, denizens inside and treasure that typically can be found. Depending on the content, you may be invited to have it added to the core book.

WHO ARE WE?

     Nightingale Publishing is a company created in 2005 by Nathan Reese Maher to separate his gaming materials from his fiction. A few titles have been published beneath the nightingale logo such as, "The Wailing Sorrow" a Ravenloft fan-made adventure, "Sticks & Stones - The Free RPG, The Playtest" - a new gaming system in development to reflect the old AD&D Skills & Powers - and now, "Spooks! Welcome to the Great Beyond."

Nathan Reese Maher

     I live in Clive, IA, a small suburb of Des Moines, and have been playing tabletop role-playing games since 1991. In December 2009, I self-published my first novel, "Secrets of the CitySpire", and then my second "Rubberband Lazer - Or, The Adventures of Casey Norider and Jaq Synergy", in 2011.

     While I am still writing fiction, I don't anticipate seeing another published until 2014 as Spooks! has my full attention. In 2012, I released the playtest version of "Sticks & Stones - The Free RPG", and come October 2013, I'll be releasing the playtest version of, "Spooks! Welcome to the Great Beyond", exclusively to those who donate $10 or more to the kickstarter. I have a BA in English Literature, enjoy the arts, video games and tabletop gaming! Don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have questions in regards to this game or just games in general. My personal page is http://www.nathanreesemaher.com .

Tobias White

     Commissioned artist and contributor out of Anaheim, CA. You can find his works and his love for spooky things at http://tobiasartwork.blogspot.com/.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Both Tobias White and I are committed to the game's timely release. I work a normal 9 to 6 job 40 hrs each week, but in the event of falling behind our release date I'll dedicate every waking hour to its completion. Although, with the game at its current stage of development I do not anticipate any delays.

FAQ

  • Don't hesitate to reach out to the game developer and owner, Nathan Reese Maher at nathanreesemaher(at)gmail.com.

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  • The softcover option for THE GREAT LIBRARY OF NECROPOLIS is automatically acquired for donating, but for just $5.00 more with your donation you can upgrade your softcover to a hardcover. That is just the difference between the manufacturer's cost for a softcover and a hardcover. If you want a hardcover over a softcover, just donate $5.00 extra and the benefits are yours!

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  • It depends on where we are shipping to. The best price I could find (including developer's autograph for the physical copies) is 49.95 USD. This is based on shipping to Germany. I've already included 5.99 for shipping to the US with the rewards so an international shipping cost would amount to 38.96 USD.

    If you wish to forgo the author's autograph, Drivethrurpg.com will ship internationally for approx. 9.99 just for the book. So with the 5.99 subtracted, you would be responsible for only 4.00 difference. Keep in mind that prices may vary slightly with address and country.

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  • The game is tailored so you can imagine it however you want. Necropolis, the city of the dead, is like a giant tree, with those who died first in the center, and those who died after in concentric rings. The city encompasses all races, all cultures, all creeds. Holidays such as Halloween, Dia de Muertos, Chinese New Year, among others, will be touched upon in the book (but may not include all).

    There are optional rules that allow players to choose or roll randomly for ethnicity, culture as well as tools to help build family trees (both living and dead).

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  • The bone and spider deck are playing cards, each with their own unique back image to distinguish the cards from one another. The playing cards are like any standard deck with four suits (clubs, spades, diamonds, hearts). If we receive enough funds we plan to have unique fronts added to the playing cards to make them game specific.

    "Spooks! Welcome to the Great Beyond" can be played using our own customized decks or your favorite ones from home.

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  • Yes. The game uses die-sixes (d6s) to determine in-game actions. The spell cards are used strictly for magic purposes, but can be used to boost rolls in a pinch at the cost of magic points.

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    ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE - Receive a personalized thank you from yours truly via email and receive contributor credit in the back of the finished book.

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    DEAD AND BURIED - All the benefits of One Foot in the Grave plus access to the exclusive developer's monthly newsletter featuring progress updates and sneak peeks of game content and commissioned illustrations. Also gain access to the digital playtest due to release in October 2013 exclusive to kickstarter.

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    TOUR AROUND THE CITY - All benefits beneath $25.00 and being sent an exclusive - never to print - digital brochure featuring an in-game location offering adventure, secrets and loot.

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    EYE TO THE ETHER - All the benefits of all other pledges priced below this one, plus be shipped a limited edition hardcover art book containing all art generated for the, "Spooks! Welcome to the Great Beyond" core rule book. This will not contain any gaming information, it is strictly a book of art. SPECIAL NOTE - This reward is not included with higher rewards. It is a stand alone reward. If a higher reward is selected, but you still want this reward, please add $15.00 to your donation.

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    THE GREAT LIBRARY OF NECROPOLIS - All previous benefits plus a signed softcover copy of the finished book shipped right to your door 1 week prior to launch. Add $5.00 more for a hardcover. If international, additional shipping charges may apply.

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    THE AFTIFICARUM - All previous benefits below $100 pledge, plus the Bone deck and Spider deck playing cards shipped with your book. Also, gain an additional digital - never to print - brochure with another in-game location. If international, additional shipping rates may apply.

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    TIER 1 SPOOK - All the rewards of $150.00 pledge and below, plus have your character added to the obituary section of the core rulebook as a tier 1 spook. A tier one spook holds positions such as experienced adventurers, socialites, or shop owners. With assistance from Tobias White a portrait of your character will be added into the game with statistics and brief character summary. Character submissions are subject to editing.

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    THE GRIMM GAZETTE SUBSCRIBER - All previous benefits below $150.00, plus gain 10 collectible post cards featuring game book art and another digital brochure - never to print - featuring an exclusive in-game location. If international, additional shipping costs may apply.

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    THE GRIMM GAZETTE - All previous benefits, plus become a contributor to spooks by submitting up to five post card fiction pieces relating to the game (see examples) with a guaranteed minimum of 1, maximum of 5, being published inside the finished core rule book. Those that don't make the book will be placed on the website for all to see. Postcard fiction is subject for editing for grammar and content.

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    TIER 2 SPOOK - All the rewards of $200.00 pledge and below, plus have your tier 1 character upgraded as a tier 2 spook. A tier 2 spook holds positions such as veteran adventurers, owners of multiple shops, or prominent members of organizations or cults. With assistance from Tobias White a portrait of your character will be added into the game, including statistics and brief character summary. Character submissions are subject to editing.

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    THE TOMBS CARRIER & POST - All previous benefits up to the $150.00 Subscriber pledge, plus be granted full access to the game's development, have milestone *.doc files sent as they're produced, provide suggestions on content and pagination processes - become an integral member of the editor team. Also, your name will be featured in the front of the book as part of the editors' credits. Editors will be required to fill out a non-disclosure agreement. If international, additional shipping rates may apply.

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    THE TOMBS CARRIER & POST, MESSENGER - All benefits of the $150.00 Subscriber pledge and below, plus you may submit a 2000 word piece of fiction that's related to the game to be published in the finished core rule book. All fiction is subject to editing for purposes of content and grammar. Each contributor must fill out a copyright release form for unlimited use of the story. Writers will be granted a contributor's credit in the front of the book. If international, additional shipping rates may apply.

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    TIER 3 SPOOK - All the rewards of $250.00 pledge and below, plus have your tier 1 character upgraded as a tier 3 spook. A tier 3 spook holds positions leaders of organizations, owner of multiple enterprises, the head of guilds, wealthy land and dream owners, and political players in spook affairs. With assistance from Tobias White a portrait of your character will be added into the game, including statistics and brief character summary. Character submissions are subject to editing.

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    A REGULAR HATSHEPSUP - All benefits from $150.00 Subscriber pledge and below, plus you can have your character be featured in the obituary section of the core rule book along side a black & white or sepia colored character portrait of your description commissioned from Tobias White. Character information is subject to editing for grammar and content. A copyright release form is required with this submission. A postcard of your character will also be shipped to you, while digital copies of the art will be sent to your personal e-mail. If international, additional shipping costs may apply.

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    TIER 4 SPOOK - All the rewards of $300.00 pledge and below, plus have your tier 4 character upgraded as a tier 4 spook. A tier 4 spook holds is a deus ex machina, a very influencial, politically connected, and well known individual in the afterlife. Your spook will hold sway over other spooks and events - the details of your character are more in-depth. With your assistance from Tobias White a portrait of your character will be added into the game, including statistics and a larger character summary. Character submissions are subject to editing.

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    ORDER OF OSIRIS - All the benefits of $150.00 Subscriber pledge and below, plus gain access to all content while in development as well as receiving digital copies of all future "Spooks! Welcome to the Great Beyond" publications e-mailed to you directly. That's right, everything we make will be sent to you digitally for free forever! Estimated delivery date for future projects is currently unknown. If international, additional shipping charges may apply.

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    EXPLORER OF THE DREAM VIEL - All benefits from $150.00 Subscriber pledge and below, plus create your own dreamscape that will be published in a fan add-on brochure or - depending on its originality and content - be invited to have it published in the core rule book. Artwork will be commissioned from Tobias White to bring your vision to unlife with digital copies sent to your e-mail and a collectible postcard sent to your home featuring the art. Your submission is subject to editing for grammar and content. A copyright release form is required with the submission. Your name will be featured on the brochure, or if it makes it in the core rule book, you'll be listed under contributor credits in the front of the book. If located internationally, additional shipping costs may apply.

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    ORDER OF DA VINCI - All previous benefits of $150.00 Subscriber pledge and below, plus become part of the developers team. Be forward content as it's created, help with story plots, make suggestions to game format, rules and style, have preferential e-mail contact, communicate via instant messenger and Skype sessions. Your name will be placed in the game developers credits in the front of the book. Also gain access to all content while in development as well as have digital copies of all future Spooks! Welcome to the Great Beyond publications e-mailed to you. That's right, every thing we make will be sent to you digitally for free. Estimated delivery date for future projects is currently unknown. If international, additional shipping charges may apply.

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Funding period

- (30 days)