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A creative and tactical system for running your very own tabletop RPG. The universal engine is as rowdy, edgy, or dark as you are.
A creative and tactical system for running your very own tabletop RPG. The universal engine is as rowdy, edgy, or dark as you are.
141 backers pledged $6,553 to help bring this project to life.

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We want to produce a small print run of the universal Fantaji Tabletop Role-Playing System. This will be a full-color, softcover, letter-size book of 140-180 pages. The first 40 pages explain the default system and how to create a character in any genre. The next 100+ pages offer several custom mods that fit the system to specific genres and add new elements to play. You get advice on making the most of the crazy versatile system, world-building tips for fleshing out your settings, game-mastering strategies for running high-octane narratives, and four disparate fantasy settings to help you start adventuring right away. Everything is focused on filling your utility belt with the best tools. While the Fantaji engine runs great right out of the box, the system remains open for customization.  

The list of rewards to the right may look overwhelming, but the packages follow a logical order. And each Level is covered below in the picture-menu.   

IMPORTANT LINKS & UPDATES SO FAR

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • Summary [You Are Here]
  • Stretch Goals
  • The Story
  • The System
  • Reward Levels
  • Special Packages
  • The Team

We made it in 29 hours!! All thanks to your excitement and investment in the project. So, time to start busting through these Stretch Goals! The big benchmark ahead is at $6000, where we release the first three chapters of the book so you can start gaming right away. We need to keep the momentum going: 

Roll a Move at a Difficulty of 3 to increase the Drama of the campaign!

Our goal was to create a qualitative role-playing system that retained a tactical, strategic feel. We wanted unlimited creativity, but we still wanted it to feel like you were playing a game and not just telling a story. We wanted smart moves, tactics, planning, teamwork. 

Well, to make a long story short, we did it! And people all over the world have been playing with the Fantaji system for over a year now. The first iteration of the game, which was modeled on the combat experience of a JRPG video game, came bound with a fantasy anime setting. It seems the engine was just too robust, however, and people wanted to build their own worlds around the trim, powerful mechanic. So here we are offering a generic, universal role-playing system ready for play but open for customization. Any world, any genre. 

The funds of the campaign will be used for: color digital printing with laminate softcovers, a cover illustration by artist Kevin T. Chin, and select interior art in the four genres covered in the corebook. The special packages like Tiles, dice, and tokens are all print-to-order and will not be a surprise cost at the end. We are producing these anyway to be used at conventions this year such as A-Kon and Gen Con.  

The system is crazy versatile, yes, but how so? Glad you asked! Players "play to" qualitative character Traits and shared Themes to add dice to their pool, banking small successes on early turns to build "Drama" that carries over to future rolls. When you feel like making an attack, you add up your Drama and play to more Traits and Themes to roll against your opponent. The defender does the same, and high numbers win. Every die of mine that beats your highest counts as a success.

"Playing to" Traits and Themes affords open-ended creativity, while deciding how to spend your successes after a winning roll is all strategy. Powers are effect-based, and each roll opens up dozens of options. Oftentimes, shilling out damage is the least of your concerns, and different choices can cause Status Effects, deploy penalties, summon familiars, etc.  

To sap your enemies' escalating Drama, build new qualitative conditions on the fly. Flip over a table, light a fire, jump for cover, scale a wall, reload a weapon, give someone a wedgee. Be creative! Whatever you decide is written on an index card and placed on the table, instantly becoming part of the mechanics of the scene. The system constantly dips back and forth between creative, open-ended narrative and sharp, mechanical tactics.  

We stumbled upon something that at first surprised us but then got us very excited: Fantaji doesn't reward role-playing. It is role-playing. 

Why not check it out for yourself? We have tons of downloadable content on our website as well as links to "how to" and actual play videos, like the one below from Refresh & Reload:

"FANTAJI UNIVERSAL ROLE-PLAYING COREBOOK": This 140-180 page corebook includes the engine, in-depth discussions of how to maximize the mechanics, several mods to expand the base rules, and four complete fantasy settings. We are including Mázaki, a fantasy anime world inspired by our favorite Hayao Miyazaki films and Japanese video games; Ire & Blood, a dark fantasy setting loosely inspired by plague-ridden 14th century Eurasia with a decidedly demonic twist; Waning Moon, an urban fantasy world of vampires, werewolves, fairies, and schools-on-hellmouths; and Gamma Centauri, a space fantasy where humans fight at the edge of destruction amidst the stars. We plan the book to retail at $37-39. 

EARLY BIRDS: Get in on the ground floor! All Early Bird pledgers also receive due credit as such in the book. 

"FANTAJI REALMS": This PDF supplement will contain two additional, original campaign settings developed by the Anthropos Games crew as well as all those settings devised by the CREATOR Backers. Each multi-page setting will include key locations, descriptions of the central powers in the world, social dynamics, important NPCs and enemies, plot hooks, and a long list of Obstacles ready for play. 

STARTER "Fire & Frost" MODULE: A beginners adventure that includes three climatic Scenes and dozens of ideas for smaller Scenes in between. The adventure can be adapted to most fantasy settings, and any group playing in a world of magic and monsters will fit right in. Your party begins in prison when things get a little hot... 

MODULE TILES: This stack of Tiles includes the most colorful elements of the three Scenes included in the "Fire & Frost" Module. You get 10 Obstacles, 12 Themes, and 3 Conditions printed on various size cards. 

CHIPBOARD TOKENS: 36 cardboard counters to be used as Drama Tokens during play. Each block of 36 tokens includes on the reverse side four full sets of Status Effects to keep track of penalties. 

NPC DECK: These printed cards will include small monsters or NPCs (Non-Player Characters) designed by our VANITY backers and illustrated in a speed-painting style. The more backers we get, the more Tiles everyone gets. They look something like the following:

 50-TILE ENCOUNTER DECK & BOX: A stack of Obstacles, Themes, and Conditions ready for shuffling into your encounters as needed or constructing one-off adventures from scratch. The aim is to provide a diverse but canonical set of reusable objects that would fit a variety of fantasy-inspired settings. 

DESIGNER REWARDS: We want Fantaji to develop a culture of mods and settings so why not start early? We thought it would be fun to have some folks come together right from the start to produce some interesting campaign settings and encounters to give everyone an idea of how versatile this system really is. Oh, and this may be obvious to most, but whatever is designed or submitted as part of the campaign becomes property of Anthropos Games.

LIMITED EDITION HARDCOVER: Because we are digitally printing the books, we have the option to offer a little variety in how the books are produced. Exclusively for the Kickstarter campaign we will produce a set of limited edition hardcovers in glossy color, signed and numbered. Any future hardcover pressings will be of lower quality; this campaign is the only place to get the snazziest version, which will retail at $59.   

Calvin Johns - A doctoral candidate in Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin. He has been writing and designing role-playing games in his spare time for almost fifteen years, a hobby which culminated in the release of Early Dark in 2011. He is no stranger to long, extensive writing projects and is completing a dissertation on Alternate Reality Gaming and Affective Geographies. Calvin lights up a mean freestyle Frisbee.

Rob Ware - A writer from Salt Lake City who just completed his MFA. He is an avid cyclist, an accomplished drinker, and a newcomer to the pleasures of pipe smoking. He lives with a heart on his sleeve and a light in his eye. Rob worked on Early Dark extensively behind the scenes, impacting the entire world and directly contributing some Edish and Neferatha sections of the Atlas.

Christopher Heath - Artist and graphic designer Christopher Heath came to us from Oklahoma. His concepts and renderings make possible each character design and printed page. He is the only one of the core Anthropos Games crew to actually get paid. He tirelessly concepted all the cultures for Early Dark and got things organized with the 14 artists or so we ended up using. Good guy. His work on Fantaji so far has been stellar!

Artists - We've been working with AWESOME artists so far and hope to include another three or four to complete the project in a timely fashion. The more money we raise, the more goes straight to these folks: Ian Kazimer, Justin Kauffman, Jason Rumpff, and Guido Kuip.

Risks and challenges

We've been around the block before, and we have designed a campaign that minimizes risks and unknowns. Most of the writing is already done for the corebook (as we've been working on it for ages now). The settings are all designed and tested.

The biggest risk is in getting all the orders from the various suppliers on time. However, we've worked with each of these suppliers before and fully trust their products and integrity. Illustrators are all lined up, and art contracts ready to be signed. Digitally printing the books allows for more direct control and fewer surprise costs during production.

The biggest challenge is getting everything laid out and proofed early in the summer. As the book is already mostly written and the settings already designed, this seems like a feasible and fun challenge to meet. The layouts have all been mastered, and it's a matter of placing text and images.

The massive amounts of various cards and tiles that need printing will be ordered in complete decks, which will minimize the chance for human error in repackaging and greatly decrease the turn-around time for our higher-level backers.

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    Pledge $3 or more About $3

    [CURIOSITY] You can show support, follow along with the campaign in the Updates, and get your name printed in the final book.

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    [EARLY BIRD DIGITAL] The exact same package as DIGITAL below.

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    [DIGITAL] Pledge here to grab your very own PDF of the "Fantaji System" corebook. This full-color document will be downloadable from DriveThruRPG upon completion.

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    [DIGITAL BIGGIE] This level includes the complete, full-color PDF of the "Fantaji System" corebook, the "Fantaji Realms" supplement PDF, and all the digital content unlocked in Stretch Goals.

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    [EARLY BIRD PLAYER] The exact same package as PLAYER below.

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    Pledge $39 or more About $39

    [PLAYER] You receive the full-color, softcover version of the "Fantaji System" corebook, the PDF of said corebook, a PDF of the "Fantaji Realms" booklet, and all digital Stretch Goals.

    This does NOT contain the physical Stretch Goals because this package will be shipped Media Mail in a slim package. (~43 Euro w/ international shipping)

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    Pledge $49 or more About $49

    [STARTER] You get everything from the PLAYER above plus a printed version of the "Fire & Frost: Prison Break" module with pre-generated characters so you and your group can play from the moment you open the box!

    This does NOT contain the physical Stretch Goals because this package will be shipped Media Mail in a slim package. (~50 Euro w/ international shipping)

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    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    [DIGITAL DESIGNER] This pledge level adds to the DIGITAL BIGGIE above the opportunity to design an obstacle included in the "Fantaji Realms" PDF. You can set your obstacle inside any one of the extended settings created by us or by one of the CREATOR backers! This pack has been included especially for international gamers who want to take part in the creative process but will not be ordering a physical book.

    This level contains NO physical products or shipping of any kind.

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    Pledge $69 or more About $69

    [GAMER] You get everything from the STARTER pack above, giving you the "Fantaji System" corebook, the PDF version of the corebook, the "Fantaji Realms" PDF, and the "Fire & Frost" module. But we'll also include a stack of 10 full-gloss Tiles to go along with the module. Play in style! Also, you get a deck of NPCs designed by the VANITY backers, interesting denizens to flesh out your game world. The more backers we get, the more faces you get! FINALLY, because you are gamers, we'll include 36 chipboard counters to track Drama and Status Effects during the game. Skip the plastic poker chips and pennies: Use heavyweight, two-sided counter tokens designed for play right from the box!

    This level also contains ALL the physical and digital Stretch Goals unlocked in the campaign. (~71 Euro w/ international shipping)

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    [DIGITAL VANITY] This is the digital version of the VANITY level below. You receive PDFs of the "Fantaji System" and "Fantaji Realms" supplement as well as all digital stretch goals. PLUS, we give you the opportunity to design an obstacle (monster, character, item, etc.) that is illustrated and printed in colorful goodness for all our GAMER backers to use in their home campaigns.

    This level contains NO physical products or shipping of any kind. Deadlines must be met for inclusion of your design.

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    [DESIGNER] This adds to the GAMER level above the opportunity to design an obstacle (monster, character, trap, or artifact) for one of the settings in the "Fantaji System" corebook or "Fantaji Realms" supplement. Your creature or artifact will be included among the dangers of the setting with due credit to you. We will offer a template, but you can make the obstacle as wicked or as wise as you like!

    We will place your obstacle in the literature depending on design and deadline. (~79 Euro w/ international shipping)

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    Pledge $85 or more About $85

    [DIGITAL CREATOR] This is the digital version of the CREATOR level below. You receive PDFs of the "Fantaji System" and "Fantaji Realms" supplement as well as all digital stretch goals. PLUS, we give you the opportunity to design a campaign setting for the "Realms" supplement.

    This level contains NO physical products or shipping of any kind. Deadlines must be met for inclusion of your design.

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    Pledge $99 or more About $99

    [DELUXE] This is the premium package right here. You get the entire DESIGNER pack with all the digital content, a hardcopy of the "Fantaji System" corebook, 36 counters, starter module tiles, NPC deck, and the opportunity to add your own obstacle to one of the books. Yeah, lots. But you DELUXE folks ALSO get a full deck of 50 Encounter Tiles (Obstacles, Themes, and Conditions) in a carefully crafted, designer box. This holds 50 gorgeous, premium printed cards: Useable in your home campaigns or perfect for shuffle-and-play straight from the box. Shuffle the decks, toss 5 Obstacles and 4 Themes and 2 Conditions on the table, and see what happens. Instant one-off, or a great introduction to the game for new players.

    This does NOT contain any VANITY rewards. We will place your obstacle in print depending on its design and our deadlines. (~94 Euro w/ international shipping)

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    Pledge $159 or more About $159

    [VANITY] You get everything included in the DELUXE pack above plus the opportunity to have a character you design printed on a satin tile and included in the NPC Deck for all the GAMERS and above to enjoy. Plus, since you're vain, we will donate a copy of the softcover "Fantaji System" corebook to a local library or gaming store with a certificate of vanity on your behalf.

    We will place your obstacle in print depending on its design and our deadlines. (~115 Euro w/ international shipping)

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    Pledge $189 or more About $189

    [CREATOR] You have the VANITY pack above already under your belt easy. That's the "Fantaji System" softcover for yourself and another donated on your behalf, 36 printed counters, starter module Tiles, NPC Deck, AND the 50-card Encounter Deck. Add that to all the digital content and PDFs. Plus, you are designing an obstacle that will be included in print or in the NPC Deck for many of the other backers to enjoy. But you are here for more. You want the top. The ultimate. So, we'll let you design a world to be included in the "Fantaji Realms" supplement PDF. Boom. We have a template you can fill out, and we'll set up an Update for you to recruit DESIGNERS to flesh out your world with obstacles. 2-8 pages in the "Realms" PDF will be all about your little baby.

    We will edit and curate these settings for addition to the "Realms" supplement, and any entry must meet deadlines we set for CREATORS. (~143 Euro w/ international shipping)

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    Pledge $259 or more About $259

    [DOMESTIC RETAILER] This package is only available to verified retail stores, the highly esteemed FLGSs that make our hobby possible. You receive: 3X of the limited edition "Fantaji Role-Playing System" hardcover, 6X of the softcover corebook, 3X of the starter module in print, and 3X of our second module under development now. The package is worth an estimated $525 in retail sales.

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Funding period

- (36 days)