About this project
Early Dark is our first RPG title, and we want it printed and out the door. There is a lot of information here, but the gist is that you should pre-order your copy of Early Dark today. Read through each section, skim the highlights, or just listen to the video and look at the pretty pictures. Whatever the method, choose a pledge PACK and hop into our world.
The world of Early Dark quakes with human conflict, fearsome natures, and uncertain magicks. Civlization flickers at the edge of chaos in a forgotten time, centuries of lost history that exist in every culture, an age set between the cosmic events of myth and the quotidian happenings of the remembered past.
Where would heroes come from in such a world and how would they live? Instead of seeking inspiration from modern fantasy, we went back to the myths themselves. How did people in antiquity describe their heroes? What mattered to them? It turns out the lives of heroes were both mythic and mundane, and so Early Dark set out to capture both the common and the cosmic elements of a world where morning fog lingers late, and dark falls early.
- Heroes embedded in culture
- Abstract alignments replaced with concrete responsibilities and duties
- Experience counted in 'Pages' written about the hero
- Realistic, immersive human ecologies
- One mechanic for battle, arguments, searching, and learning
- Players level up by constructing and earning Epithets and Social Ties
- Heroes with both strengths and weaknesses
- Character creation starts in medias res and creates a story
Early Dark has no elves, no orcs, no metahumans. But we have quite a collection of legendary critters. Following ancient myth, most monsters in Early Dark do not represent species of fantastic creatures so much as individuals. The Minotaur of Crete was not a species at all, but a single monstrous being. In the same way, we have families of Fell and Fae creatures in Early Dark that each cover a range of unique magickal beasts.
- Ogres, for example, take the shape of what they eat
- Fae spirits age by moving through space, not time
- Many of our animal species resemble Pleistocene megafauna
- Dragons are of a race older than humans, almost Lovecraftian in scope
- Environments are dangerous, alive, and aware
What would societies with dark, uncanny magick really look like? How would this magick work and who would believe in it? Early Dark represents magick as dangerous for the caster, unpredictable, and a little unnerving. Above all, we wanted it to be consistent and fit in the world.
- Two different, but related systems of magick
- Most spells are effect-based and open-ended
- Spellbooks are powerful tomes each with its own language
- Nods given to both logocentric and practical magickal traditions
We really want to get a solid print run of Early Dark out to the public. This is where you come in. Most of the PACKS to the right are ways to pre-order the game, giving us a chance to gauge interest and build some funds to cover upfront print costs. I've put in almost $6000 of my own money on this project over the last two years, and I've tapped my meager resources dry. If we can print 300-400 books, we'll break even. The profit, really, is getting the game out there and being able to share a world with you all. We're planning supplements, a totally innovative living campaign to bring all our players together on the web, and a host of events across the US, Canada, and the UK.
- ALL pledge money goes directly to printing the books
- Spread the word at Facebook, Twitter, local gaming stores, and slumber parties
- We've talked to retail stores in over a dozen cities
- 200+ pages, fold-out world map, color and B&W art
We have testers all over the place trimming the fat and sharpening the edges of Early Dark as we speak. It's been great seeing so many interpretations and styles of play take shape. The plan is to keep playing and adding content through the summer, shooting for September or October to have things ready to send to the printers. We'll ship the T-shirts and art prints earlier, but the game itself will probably be out between the big American holidays.
We just need some creative, open-minded gamers to come along and get things moving with us. The best part of this experience has been meeting all the artists, players, writers, and new friends. We've made contacts all over the place, and it has been encouraging to see so many local gaming stores support indie games.
We tried to put together a great set of pledge PACKS for you. We are open to suggestions as well, so let us know what you'd like to see or receive.
- Most pledges are pre-orders
- All backers get access to playtesting and development forums
- First 20 hardcopy pre-orders get a Kickstarter-exclusive artifact for their characters
- HERO PACK lets you role-play your part online, leading others and making history
There's a lot to choose from because there are a lot of different gamers out there. We are sure one of these PACKS is right for you. Not too hot. Not too cold. But just right.
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