Each game of MAZES begins as you are about to set out into the darkness. You and your stalwart companions peer down the stairs winding into the abyss, or lifting a rusty portcullis into a secret passage, or opening a door into a labyrinth where they say power and glory lies…
The MAZES RPG combines the look and feel of classic, dungeon exploring RPGS with cutting edge game play and mechanics. Designed for short session play in an episodic, novella style.
Each player has a different role to play within the party, and that role is DEFINED as a single die. You only ever roll your die - so, What do you want to do in the game?
MAZES ZINE EDITION is an introduction to this brand-new RPG – and the first game published with 9th Level’s exciting new POLYMORPH SYSTEM. MAZES makes it easy to play episodic, narrative heavy RPGs about dungeon exploring, monster fighting, and tales of sword and sorcery.
We recorded a KICKSTARTER Live AMA about the project and the game that you can watch right here: GAME DESIGNER CHRIS ONEILL TALKS MAZES!
Here is a complete ACTUAL PLAY featuring some cool people playing MAZES for the first time.
Mazes Actual Play from LIVE STREAM from a rad store in Maryland.
When Kickstarter announced ZINE QUEST, we knew that we had to be a part of it! Besides being game designers, we are also huge fans of ZINES and ZINE culture. In fact, our first game “Kobolds Ate My Baby!” was a Zine 20 YEARS AGO! (And we just completed a ZINE QUEST Kickstarter to deliver a reprint of it : Check that out here.)
We completely rejiggered our 2019 schedule and decided to introduce you all to POLYMORPH with this 1979 style ZINE EDITION of MAZES.
MECHANICS OF MAZES
In MAZES, you always roll a die that represents your role in the party (the Vanguard is a D6, for instance). When you take an action, you are rolling against one of the 4 Actions - BOOKS, BOOTS, BLADES, or BONES (see the character sheet below) - and you are trying to roll one of the target numbers for that action. So, if you are running away from a Razorbear you would roll your die and try to roll a 3, a 4, or a 5 (since those are the numbers for BOOTS).
Each player has a class (reminiscent of basic/BECMI D&D). If you roll a 1, and it is something that your CLASS can do - you also succeed. Your class also gives you a number of EDGES - edges are like skills or abilities that allow you to gain ADVANTAGE on rolls.
OSR Emulation and Trilemma Adventures
Since MAZES is designed to feel like a game from 1979, but play like a game in 2019 - we have included a set of simple rules for translating OSR compliant game material for use with MAZES - so you can play using all of those great, old, DND modules, or all of the great, new, Old School Renaissance modules.
But, making adventures just for MAZES is easy too! The MAZE zine includes a host of ways to cook up a quick adventure for a night of gaming.
To help you get going quickly, we've included a set of three mini-adventures created by TRILEMMA ADVENTURES (100% ready to play with MAZES ).
FOUR ZINES FOR MORTALS DOOMED TO DIE
This Kickstarter is to create 4 small booklets that will detail a complete old-school style game – featuring everything a group needs to jump in and start adventuring!
SWORD contains the primary player facing rules of the game, including: how to create characters, fight monsters, and do cool stuff. This is the book that you need if you want to play the game. Sword also includes tiny solo adventures for you to learn more about the game!
SORCERY introduces magic, tools, and retainers to the game. It has everything that you need to wield magic, and information about the assumed world of the game. This is a player facing book. Together SWORD and SORCERY contain everything that a player needs.
MAZE is the core rulebook for the Maze Controller - the MC - the player that runs the game. It features all the rules for creating adventures and commentary on running games, creating obstacles, and a collection of quick play adventure episodes.
MONSTER is a bestiary of the horrible denizens that are waiting in the darkness to devour the players when they descend into the maze. MAZE explains how to control “The Darkness” a running clock that keeps the players moving forward.
ONE GAME TO RULE THEM ALL
While POLYMORPH and MAZES are new – the 9th Level team is not. We have been making RPGS for 20 Years (yes, TWO DECADES). The Polymorph System is the result of countless games we've run all over the world – distilled down to create something fresh and exciting. We hope that you will join us on this journey as we start exploring the edges of what is possible with Polymorph – starting where we always start – BACK IN THE DUNGEON!
ONE GAME TO FIND THEM
Anyone that backs this campaign will also receive an invite to the BETA Discord Channel for MAZES and POLYMORPH. We will use this channel as a forum, and hopefully, as a place for people to play and share POLYMORPH and MAZES games.
9th Level will be supporting MAZES throughout the year with convention play opportunities and actual play videos. You can be a part of that through this Discord.
9th Level Games will be at Dreamation, Emerald City Comic Con, PAX East, Origins, DexCon, GenCon, PAX Unplugged, and more in 2019!
AND IN THE DARKNESS BIND THEM
BESIDES being huge RPG NERDS, Chris and Heather at 9th Level Games are huge zine and design nerds. We're just as excited about the look and feel of the zines as we are about the content!
Each zine will be solid black printing on bright white, matte 80lb Text weight acid free paper, with 111 lb. 300gsm rich colored vellum cover stock, all gloriously saddle stitched. Our zines will be produced by FIREBALL PRINTING in Philadelphia, PA.
These are some badass looking zines! Each book will be approximately 36 pages (we think, but don't quote us on that). We've gone with bold, shadow style art that looks amazing.
THERE WILL NOT BE A DIGITAL VERSION of MAZES at this time. However, the next iteration of MAZES will include a complete digital experience.
WHO WAS THAT BARD
Special thanks to HDK (Heimat Der Katastrophe) for allowing us to use "Attacked by a Giant Bat" from BASIC DUNGEON for our video. DUNGEON SYNTH (Dark Ambient Dungeon Wave) has been a huge inspiration for this project, and HDK’s stable of amazing adventures are worth a listen. Go buy some of there amazing tapes here: Enter here to hear the amazing sounds of the best DUNGEON SYNTH...HDK
Risks and challenges
9th Level Games is an established publisher that has successfully funded and delivered many Kickstarters.
We are using a local printer that we've worked with in the past. We are sourcing cover stock from a different source but do not expect that to impact our delivery time frame.
SHIPPING TO BACKERS
We will be shipping throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, and rest of world.
9th Level Games is able to include the cost of shipping within the U.S. We would love to be able to include the cost of shipping internationally but it is unfortunately not feasible. Thank you for understanding.
If you have any specific shipping questions please send us a message here. You can also reach us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @9thLevelGames
OUR COMMITMENT TO THIS PROJECT, OUR CREATIVES, AND OUR BACKERS
9th Level Games is committed to doing this right! Our goal is not just to make games, it is to make the best games we can make! We want to make sustainable business decisions, pay our creatives for their work, support diverse communities, and make rad fun things together!
As a backer, you are part of this journey. You will be kept up to date on our progress with regular updates (but not spammed with pointless updates), and you should feel free to drop us a line with your questions or concerns at any time.
Thank you for your support!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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