Age of Uranus is a role-playing game in which art and mystery blend to create a unique and fascinating setting: a sublime and tormented world where signs invisible to ordinary mortals lead to weird and wonderful places and where codes hidden within works of art reveal paths to powers and long-forgotten truths.
Players take on the role of hyper-humans, supernatural beings of great power, who covet supremacy over humans and their peers, but in hyper-human society nothing is as it seems. Characters will have to navigate this world of Mystery, Intrigue and Passion...
In order to play Age of Uranus you will need a Troubadour, a special player whose role is creating and handling the events within the story as well as deciding the actions of the Dramatis Personae (Characters of the Drama) and other characters featured in the story. The only game supplies the Players and Troubadour need are the Age of Uranus sourcebooks, Icon-Drives, Action-Drives, dice, pencils and paper. The game requires ten-sided dice, available in any game store or online.
Note: In Age of Uranus hyper-humans and their society are referred to under different, interchangeable names. "Hyper-humans" are also called "Kith" and "hyper-human society" is also referred to as "supernatural society". As far as this game is concerned, at least, these terms carry the same meaning.
Our goal is to publish the Age of Uranus role-playing game, through this Kickstarter campaign, offering Backers the rules, the setting and a number of essential game supplies. With this Kickstarter campaign, we are launching the three essential books, a pilot adventure and a set of Icon-Drives and Action-Drives (everything you will need to play, except for dice).
Most of the Age of Uranus text is written, 50% of the Icon-Drives have already been made and their design (including photographs and reproductions of artwork) is in its final stage. If this campaign is successful, we will use the funds for:
- Additional Text
- Additional Icon-Drives (by Paolo Pantalena)
- Additional Illustrations (by Rykyart & Paolo Pantalena)
- English Translation
122 pages, colour (Hardback or PDF). This book contains all the information about the setting of Age of Uranus: Society, Politics, Everyday Life, Factions, Gens, Supernatural Heroes.
122 pages, colour (Hardback or PDF). This book contains all the information for character creation (including Aptitudes, Traits and Powers) and the Renaissance System, the ruleset for Age of Uranus.
122 pages, colour (Hardback or PDF). This book contains all the information a Troubadour will need (including Advanced Powers, Status and Influences, a chapter dedicated to Narrative and a chapter dedicated to preternatural creatures).
122 pages, colour (Hardback or PDF). This book features the pilot adventure, consisting of 6 self-contained stories, in which characters will travel across continents, uncover the secrets hidden within certain works of art, thought lost, and foil a global conspiracy. Plus detailed descriptions of 30 Dramatis Personae, who could be adversaries, allies or even lovers to the characters.
42 Icon-Drives (Laminated or PDF). 6 Icon-Drives representing the premade characters introduced in Belfiore in Flames. 6 Icon-Drives representing the preternatural creatures introduced in Belfiore in Flames. 30 Icon-Drives representing the Dramatis Personae introduced in Belfiore in Flames.
36 Action-Drives (Laminated or PDF). 6 Action-Drives featuring essential information for the premade characters introduced in Belfiore in Flames. 30 Action-Drives featuring essential information for the Dramatis Personae introduced in Belfiore in Flames.
A dedicated set of specific tools for the Troubadour, to aid them during game sessions. Includes the "Troubadour Screen", an "Icon-Drives and Action-Drives Folder", the "Dice" and a "Game Mat"
Note: the tools from the Troubadour Set may be purchased separately as Add-Ons.
Pictures refer to products still in development and therefore their final look may vary, possibly even depending on the result of this very Kickstarter campaign.
Hyper-humans are the heirs of a race whose origins are long forgotten. No-one chooses to join the supernatural society. Instead, it is hyper-humans who choose their new members from among those who have traces of Dogma within their soul. Dogma, the cornerstone of all Kith power, is a mysterious, impersonal force which pervades and interacts with reality. In order to become a hyper-human, one must undergo the Rite of Catharsis. After Catharsis, a hyper-human stops aging, gains unbelievable strength, keen senses and great speed. Furthermore, with Catharsis comes a slew of new possibilities, from mystical skills known as Powers to the strictly hyper-human ability of tapping into the Dogma for a variety of supernatural effects.
Some say that hyper-human society existed before the human species evolved. Others say that its members have infiltrated every main religion, every government, every secret organisation and every powerful group there is. Whatever the truth, Kith are an enigmatic but influential force behind the scenes of every city, state, nation and continent. All hyper-humans are governed by the Codex Dogmatis, the immortal law everyone is expected to follow and which mandates not to reveal the existence of hyper-humans to the "plebs" (a derogatory term used to refer to human beings), to defer to the authority of one's superiors, and never to kill another Kith.
Almost all hyper-humans are associated with a Faction, an organisation spanning the breadth of the world, but not without internecine conflict. In order to settle their differences, all factions rely on the Senatus, the essential body of the constitutional system of hyper-human society, which promotes avenues for cooperation among the factions both from a political and from an economical point of view. At the same time, the senatus also acts as an impartial tribunal to settle disputes among factions without resorting to violence. Factions belong to the senatus but also have sovereignty in their own right, however the senatus' authority is binding and each faction must accept its pronouncements.
All nine factions are groups of hyper-humans that tend to think and act alike.
Hyper-humans live in the now, in the world, just a few streets away from human beings. Their society is more akin to ancient Greek city-states, in that it is independent and ruled by an oligarchy. However, hyper-humans travel and use the Internet and mobile phones just as most contemporary humans do. Once a hyper-human joins a faction, they acquire considerable wealth, enough to satisfy their every need or whim. However, the biggest privilege Kith are given is access to the Palace-City and to the Domus. These exclusive locations are to be found in the greatest cities and are accessible only to hyper-humans. Palace-Cities are invisible, and only Kith can perceive them. Their entertainment venues have tickets for a token price, their night clubs are inexpensive, even prostitution is easy to access. All these distractions have the clear goal of diffusing tension within the supernatural world, as rebellions would immediately overwhelm the factions' power structures and command centres. This guarantees stability not only for the factions, but also for hyper-human society as a whole.
Icon-Drives are accessories specifically designed for Age of Uranus: double-sided images representing the portraits of characters and Dramatis Personae (non-player characters). At the start of each gaming session, the Troubadour will put the characters' Icon Drives in the middle of the table and as the story evolves, whenever a Dramatis Persona enters the scene, the Troubadour will put their Icon Drive on the game table, below those of the players' characters. There is no limit to the amount of Icon-Drives a Troubadour can have in any scene, though they should be brought in only when necessary and be given the relevance they deserve.
Icon-Drives are meant to awaken the players' empathy, so they are not mere pictures, like generic tokens or miniatures. Dramatis Personae Icon-Drives display information on their backs, such as the character's name and role-playing advice; thus the Troubadour should read them thoroughly before putting them on the table, so as to best establish their importance. Many Icon-Drives will be included in various Age of Uranus sourcebooks and in order to guarantee uniformity and continuity of design, they will all be made in the same style by our art team led by Paolo Pantalena, (DC Comics artist).
Age of Uranus features detailed rules for storytelling and furthermore it uses central themes to provide the narrative with continuity and resonance. This role-playing game was conceived to give the Troubadour a rock-solid base and when you need to fall back to its core, the following concepts are key.
The mysteries hidden beneath the supernatural society are protected by secret codes and encrypted messages, concealed within works of art made by hyper-humans over centuries. These mysteries exert a strong pull over all hyper-humans, calling out to be revealed and solved, even though solving one puzzle does nothing but create a thousand more unanswered questions.
A hyper-human's life is a thick web of intrigue generating a secret, free-for-all conflict, where power over humans and other hyper-humans is both a tool for the fight and the final reward. Many hyper-humans believe they are the dark masters of the world, but they are bound by ties to other hyper-humans and by the Codex Dogmatis - the most important set of laws governing their society, handed down through the centuries and observed by all hyper-humans.
To hyper-humans, passion is just as important as power and it means so much to them that their whole range of supernatural senses is attuned to it. Their greatest passion is the object of their attraction (be it a person or a thing) and hyper-humans are ready to move mountains in order to have it. A single item (person or thing) may be coveted by a large number of hyper-humans and thus many conflicts within the supernatural society are caused by competition over such items.
Nuances are almost as important as themes to give structure to the story. It's easier to keep the narrative consistent among multiple game sessions when you establish a certain mood through key framing, symbols and even narrative tensions the Troubadour strives to create in order to strengthen the story.
Art takes centre stage in Age of Uranus, both for its aesthetic value and for its ritual-magic meaning. Hyper-humans are devoted to the creations of works of art of any kind: many are painters, composers, writers and so on. The works they create often conceal secrets, but art is not merely a tool to hide the truth of hyper-human society, but also and most importantly, a mirror for its existence.
Age of Uranus' world full of plotting and intrigue forces characters to face a great variety of enemies. Chief among those are other hyper-humans and preternatural creatures, powerful and enigmatic beings who live both among hyper-humans and among their own peers, without leaving any trace of their presence; these include ancient elemental spirits known as Asakku, Dogma-animated Drone constructs and the Ninkilim, human-parasite hybrids who dwell in the Underworld. Although this role-playing game is focused on the narrative, as the story evolves there will often be times when action takes over and characters will need to perform a chase or face an adversary in combat.
Holidays and other events involving the hyper-human society will add meaning and rhythm to your story and mark its development. Holidays are collective rites translated into a series of repeated actions at regular intervals, so every holiday is the expression of the political, social and philosophical core of a specific group or of the hyper-human society as a whole. Events, on the other hand, are a habit - almost a kind of social rule. One could instinctively think that hyper-humans organise events to enjoy each other's company, have fun and unwind, and while all that is true, these events are first and foremost a way of weaving a web of social connections, fostering good standing with hyper-humans and powerful humans alike and forging political and business alliances.
In Age of Uranus the act of character creation is divided into two main phases: developing the narrative essence of a character's personality and defining their abilities and supernatural powers from a game mechanics point of view. During character creation each player will need to coordinate with the Troubadour and the other players, so that their alter ego blends in well with others and so that every character has plenty of hooks in the overall Saga.
A character's Gens is their "family", the supernatural legacy they were born in or adopted by. Where Gens represents the character's family, Faction represents the hyper-humans' closest equivalent of a political party - or indeed of humans' religion.
Aptitudes define a character's main skills. Each Aptitude is the expression of an idea rather than any specific piece of knowledge or training, so that the game does not assign each Aptitude a single application, but rather a wide range over different contexts. Aptitudes are divided among three Lineages: Amethyst, Ruby and Sapphire. Each Lineage features two Basic Aptitudes (a Defensive Aptitude and an Offensive Aptitude) and eight Advanced Aptitudes. Dogma describes a character's spiritual side and the power of their soul.
During combat, a character can shape their Dogma into a deadly weapon of pure energy, powerful enough to cut through any known material, except another Spirit Weapon. Spirit Weapons are what truly sets hyper-humans apart from humans and they take a form unique to the character summoning them, although all these forms are simple.
Age of Uranus is based around two key principles: Full Role-Playing and Narrative Without Borders. Full Role-Playing means that every character, at any point in the story, can take meaningful actions; however this does not lead to characters feeling the same because they can be differentiated in other ways, focusing more on their morals, psychology and background, rather than the subset of actions they are capable of. Narrative Without Borders, the second principle, means that every scene, whether narrative- or action-oriented, is played on an envisioned stage, born from the players' and the Troubadour's imagination, free from spatial and temporal barriers; everything happens within a shared narrative dimension, allowing you to account for distance and the passage of time without the need for rigid calculations, with the aim of letting the story and emotions flow freely.
Full Role-Playing and Narrative Without Borders are aspects of the the Renaissance System, the ruleset designed specifically for Age of Uranus. With the Renaissance System you will be able to create characters with great depth, capable of a great variety of feats. You will also be able to to build breathtaking scenes. All this is possible thanks to its simple ruleset, which allows you to focus on the narrative. Our core philosophy is that the narrative takes precedence over the game rules, however, in the Age of Uranus books the Troubadour will not need to alter rules that get in their way, though they have every right to do so; the Renaissance System is designed around the narrative and its creators are confident that the system as a whole has been coherently written to enhance it.
Action-Drives (supplied separately) are the supports all essential information about characters and Dramatis Personae is written on. They consist of a structured sheet featuring a character's essential traits and aptitudes and their powers.
Players will be provided with one Action-Drive to fill in and they will use this throughout the development of the story. The Troubadour, on the other hand, will be provided in the production line with all of the Action-Drives, as well as the Icon-Drives, of the Dramatis Personae, which will be applied and referred to as needed.
In addition to the rewards listed in the selected pledge, you can purchase add-ons in printed form. Simply add the cost of the items you want to your pledge.
Stretch goals unlock extra books or other types of rewards that will make this campaign even greater. Stretch goals are available in printed (where applicable) and PDF form.
20 pages, colour (Softback or PDF). This book contains additional information on hyper-human art history, and the mystery it conceals. The book also features reproductions of artworks (taken from real life) and of the hyper-human mysteries they contain.
20 pages, colour (Softback or PDF). The book, enriched by astounding art by Paolo Pantalena, takes an in-depth look at the theme of sexuality, in its many forms and contains the information you need to include it in the game.
20 pages, colour (Softback or PDF). This book contains all the information about Corporate Organisations, the powerful groups used by the most prominent hyper-humans to control the world of the "plebs".
This project is promoted by Jellop, the ad tech power behind the best Kickstarters with 800+ successful Kickstarter projects with over $350MM raised between them.
Future plans include the Nine Seasons forming the whole cycle of the Official Saga of Age of Uranus. Each season will feature 12 complete stories, 36 Icon-Drives , 33 Action-Drives and a lot more content about the sublime and tormented world of Age of Uranus.
Age of Uranus is an italian project and it will be published both in Italian and in English: if we reach our goal, you will be able to choose the language you would like to get your rewards in, via e-mail - we will contact you after the campaign is over. All campaign products will be completed by June 2020.
Shipping costs: shipping costs may vary according to the type of pledge you select and we will calculate your amount after the end of the campaign.
Risks and challenges
This is our first Kickstarter campaign. However, most of the text has already been written and we are about to get it translated; furthermore, we have signed an exclusive contract with Paolo Pantalena, who will personally see to the making of our Icon-Drives. All that remains to be done is to include pictures and reproductions of artworks, and possibly update content unlocked via the campaign stretch goals. Despite that, delays could happen. But we can assure you that should the game not be delivered on time, that will only be because we have devoted more time to ensure that we create a product of great quality.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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