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An essential addition to every gamer's table.  Bring simple, flavorful, balanced and intuitive combat design to your d20 based games.
An essential addition to every gamer's table. Bring simple, flavorful, balanced and intuitive combat design to your d20 based games.
319 backers pledged $16,021 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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There, I said it.  In days past, critical hits were a simple doubling of damage for scoring a well-placed blow upon an enemy. As games evolved, the notions of critical hits did too. Soon, there were expansions to the rules and critical hits could dish out even more damage and a multitude of charts were crafted so that you could die from an arrow to the eye, ad infinitum, until the whole system became so convoluted that it actually stopped adding value to the game. The scythe-wielding fighter that deals 180 points of damage on a critical hit really diminishes the fun of the game for the other players and the GM as well.  

Paizo introduced their critical hit and fumble deck in 2009. The cards added a lot of flavor to the game, but the mechanics and effects for criticals and fumbles were necessarily limited by card space. What they did though was introduce official mechanics that reduced the sheer amount of hit point damage output in games, and gave critical hits and fumbles a more condition-based effect. 

It was a great start...  

Laying Waste is built upon the foundation of those critical hit and fumble decks, but goes much further. Laying Waste is an entire modular rules set that replaces the existing critical hit system, and is suitable for any d20-based game. Its mechanics are intuitive and simple, yet allow for a wide array of effects and conditions that are designed to be balanced and enhance your game's combat scenarios. With a name like Total Party Kill Games, you can rest assured (R.I.P.) we will do critical hits justice!

Never again waste a critical threat roll...

Critical hits are not sheer hit point destruction...

Increased skill at arms means increased critical effects...

Critical hit and fumble effects have saving throws...

*Learn more by watching this interview on 'Refresh & Reload!'

We are going to do something very unique and fun with this kickstarter. For starters, everyone who pledges and wishes to be a playtester will be given a beta copy of the Laying Waste system immediately upon the kickstarter's completion. They will be invited to join into groups and play through an online adventure with other backers and playtesters. From those sessions, we will compile all the suggestions and notes from the playtesters and make any necessary changes. This is a fantastic way to be more than just a consumer. Pledging to this will allow you to have a creative stake in the project and ultimately be part of the design team. This is your project too!

Bill Cavalier stops by the Laying Waste playtest at GameHoleCon and tells our players to "get their crit together."
Bill Cavalier stops by the Laying Waste playtest at GameHoleCon and tells our players to "get their crit together."

$2500.  This small amount will pay for the initial writing, artwork and print run. That's for the bare bones though. We'd really love to go gonzo and add a lot more artwork, additional content and a ton of great stretch goal ideas. This is your project too; show us what you want in your sourcebook!  Unlike other kickstarters you've seen, this isn't a cash grab.  We are only asking for what's needed, and you can help push this project to epic proportions!

Just as a note, please read the pledge rewards carefully. In order to keep your costs down there are multiple goals that offer only the essentials, but do not benefit from many of the other rewards. 

Choose your adventure carefully!

Some of the more perceptive readers of this page may have notice that we are giving away critical hit dice and bleed tokens.  This is for good reason.  Laying Waste uses the concept of bonus damage dice and effects rather than sheer multiplication of damage.  We have partnered with GameScience to provide some excellent dice designed for use with Laying Waste.

How Do Social Goals Work?  A social goal is one that "unlocks" a reward as more and more people share and 'like' our project page or other social media outlet.  If we can reach the following number of 'likes' on this project page, we'll pass along the rewards!

Step One: Like this kickstarter page and then like us on Facebook!  Click the image and like our Facebook page to follow all the progress!

TPK Page Likes: 1307 (178 earned!) 

50 likesRachel Ventura (Legendary Games) to add additional content! [UNLOCKED!]

100 likesJohn Reyst (d20pfsrd.com) to add additional content! [UNLOCKED!]

150 likes - Thilo "Endzeitgeist" Graaf (Community Reviewer) to add additional content. [UNLOCKED!]

200 likes - Alyssa Faden (Cartographer Extraordinaire) to add additional content.  Throat punch anyone? 

This book is currently at 100 pages, with an amazing 450 critical hit effects, 150 fumble effects, 80 newly designed feats, 4 prestige classes, a reworking of the optional rules for Armor as Damage Reduction and 8 killer pieces of critical artwork by artist Ramon Lucha.  You can help us expand this even further!

*NOTE: All stretch goals are subject to change until launch.  We will continue to update this page as more and more authors and artists are locked in.

$4,000 – All backers will receive a custom hand-drawn Laying Waste Character Sheet PDF by excellent artist/cartographer Thomas Fayen to accommodate the mechanics changes. [UNLOCKED!]

$5,000 – Our backers will help design the NPC statistics and background story from our cover art swordsman by voting.  Final design results created by Brian Berg[UNLOCKED!]

$6,000Initial Prestige Class Art by artist Damon Westenhofer (Paizo, Privateer Press, TPK Games). [UNLOCKED!]

$7,000 - Adam Meyers (Drop Dead Studios) to add more archetypes! [UNLOCKED!]

$8,000 – Jason Nelson (Legendary Games, Paizo Contributor) and Tom Phillips (TPK Games, Legendary Games, Paizo Contributor) to add Mythic critical content. [UNLOCKED!]

$9,000 - Clinton Boomer (Paizo Contributor, Superstar Contest) to author new combat archetypes. [UNLOCKED!]

$10,000Laying Waste GM Screen Unlocked!  Brian Berg and Jim Pinto (Postworld Games) will produce a three-fold GM screen with our cover art, filled with all the tables and quick reference info for ease of use at your table.  Backers will be able to order this GM Screen at a greatly reduced price compared to retail. [UNLOCKED!]

$11,000Hero Lab Files Unlocked!  We will provide Hero Lab files for every feat, archetype, item and prestige class within.  You will be able to easily turn on or off Laying Waste content.  This will come free for backers, but will be a separate product for purchase from Lone Wolf Development. [UNLOCKED!]

$12,000Sequel Unlocked! (Magic, Psionics & Alchemy criticals).  If we have enough support to hit this level, we’ll begin work on a sequel that focuses on Magic, Psionics and & Alchemy critical hits and fumbles.  We’ll rework the spell criticals by school and add a ton of fun effects. [UNLOCKED!]

$13,000 – Hal Greenberg (Castles & Crusades, Samurai Sheepdog) to add more spells and magic items! [UNLOCKED!]

$14,000 – Creighton Broadhurst (Raging Swan Press) to add additional content.

$15,000Additional critical hit interior art by Rick Hershey (Fat Goblin Games)!

$16,000Matt Everhart (TPK Games) to add a chapter on new weapons and combat equipment.

$17,000Additional interior art by Damon Westenhofer.  

$18,000 – Ed Greenwood (Forgotten Realms, D&D) to author a short story of our cover art swordsman.  The backers and fans on Facebook will vote on the details!

$19,000“Keep Calm and Lay Waste” t-shirt unlocked!

$20,000 – Mike Welham (Superstar Contest Winner, Paizo Contributor) to author some additional archetypes.

$21,500 – Frank Mentzer (Temple of Elemental Evil, Basic D&D, Eldritch Enterprises, TSR) to add additional content.

$23,000Miniature Unlocked!  All backers of $50 or greater will receive a complimentary Reaper Bones mini of our cover art swordsman as thanks for their support.

$24,500Jim "Drawmij" Ward (Eldritch Enterprises, TSR) to author additional spells and items.

$26,000Miniature Unlocked!  All backers of $50 or greater will receive a complimentary Reaper Bones Marilith mini from us as thanks for their support.

$29,000  - Tony Szczudlo (Birthright Campaign Setting Artist) to add additional artwork.

$32,000 - Crit/Noob! d20 for all backers!  On the '1' side, it will display 'noob!' and on the '20' side it will display 'crit!'.

                      

See how we're doing, and what stretch goals we are likely to hit!  Follow the link or click the image above.

Additional “Laying Waste” d6s [$1]: Get more d6s for critical bonus damage!

Additional “Laying Waste” 7 GameScience dice sets [$12]: If you didn't get a set in your rewards, or want additional sets for friends.

Blood Tokens (x20) [$5]: Simple blood stones to track bleed damage.

Laying Waste Bookmarks (x3) [$5]: Three bookmarks with art from the book.

Additional Laying Waste Sourcebook - Print [$20]: Grab an extra copy for your group or a friend.

Reaping Stone Adventure – PDF [$13], Print [$30]: This killer 2nd-5th level dark fantasy adventure is a great start to adventuring with TPK Games. 

Bleeding Hollow Adventure – PDF [$13], Print [$25]: After wrapping up The Reaping Stone, this adventure follows, taking the adventure from 5th to 7th level.

Scions of Stone Sourcebook - PDF [$10], Print [$20]: Grab this book on Gargoyles as PCs and then really shred some faces when combined with Laying Waste.

The Malefactor Base Class Sourcebook - PDF [$5], Print [$10]: With this class, we rewrote the rules on being wicked!  The Malefactor wields curses like no other character class in the game.  Beware though, you won't make many friends, but you will have fun!

Dwellers in Dream- PDF [$10], Print [$20]: In this sourcebook, we add five new fey-themed races to your Pathfinder games.

The Deductionist - PDF [$5], Print [$15]: A new base class for the Pathfinder RPG, the Deductionist is an investigative class that uses his keen intellect to confound his opponents, while deducing their weaknesses.  

Laying Waste GM Screen [$15]: All of our awesome art and charts from Laying Waste on one handy GM screen (if unlocked).

Blood Spatter Dice Bag [$8]: What else would you store crit dice in?

Imajewels (Condition Set) [$10]: Ten 'Imajewels' for all the major conditions.  Mark your minis so you don't forget their conditions! 

Imajewel condition counters
Imajewel condition counters

DO NOT DESPAIR! We will be offering some of the rewards until the final printing if you contact us, and you can always find our print products on Amazon, Shop.d20pfsrd.com and DriveThruRPG.com. Feel free to contact us or order directly by emailing us at necro@tpkgames.com. 

IT'S ALMOST XMAS AND I'M BROKE, BUT I WANT TO BACK THIS SOOOOOOOO BADLY!!! Again, don't despair.  We'll work with you.  Message me at the above email address and I will work out an option with you.

1) You are tired of wasting your critical threats and would like a solid new system that will enhance your gameplay greatly with flavor and even help balance combat - one that is suitable for any d20-based game

2) Because you want to see fumbles done well, without overly penalizing players. 

3) Because you get to be one of the playtesters. You’ll get to suggest ways to improve this even further and play through an online playtest adventure! 

4) You love GameScience dice and can’t wait for a new set of blood red Laying Waste dice. You’ll probably really like getting extra d6s for bonus damage! 

5) You like supporting independent publishers – especially ones whose authors have contributed or authored books for Paizo and are using artists that also do work for Paizo and other major gaming companies.

6) Because Brian Berg pays it forward.  I take a percentage of my own earnings from Kickstarter projects and put it back into the creativity pool.  I've backed everything from gaming conventions I'll never visit to starving artists (and game designers).  

Risks and challenges

In order to completely minimize our risk, we have pre-written this content and have our stretch goal authors working in advance. Our backers will actually get to vet all of the material and assist in the playtesting. After gathering their feedback we will make design and editing changes and then send this off to print.

We learned a lot from our previous kickstarters, and this project will allow all backers immediate gratification with a playtest copy (in print or pdf), plus the chance to have an impact on the final product.

The only real cause for delay would be the possibility that one of the companies we are partnering with for stretch goals would be late on fulfillment of ordered items. If so, we will be completely transparent and keep current on all fulfillment details.

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    FINAL PDF BACKER - Final PDF of 'Laying Waste: A Guide to Critical Combat' and 'Feats Reforged.' This does not include access to the playtest.

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    PDF PLAYTESTER - Playtester beta PDF copy, 'Feats Reforged' bonus PDF plus final PDF copy of 'Laying Waste,' and access to online playtest.

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    FINAL PRINT BACKER - Final softcover of 'Laying Waste: A Guide to Critical Combat' in both print and pdf, bonus 'Feats Reforged' in print and pdf, plus 5d6 official 'Laying Waste' critical dice and 20 bleed tokens. This does not include access to the online playtest.

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    PDF AD SPONSOR - We will run a full-color ad for your gaming related company/product/service in our playtest and final PDFs. This ad is fully hyperlinked to a destination of your choice. We reserve the right to refuse and refund inappropriate content.

    You will also receive a PDF of the final product and your name in a special secton in the credits.

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    PRINT PLAYTEST BACKER - You'll get an early beta print copy and PDF, a copy of the 'Feats Reforged' print and pdf, plus the final softcover of 'Laying Waste: A Guide to Critical Combat' in both print and pdf plus 5d6 official 'Laying Waste' critical dice and 20 bleed tokens. You will have access to the online playtest.

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    BRIAN BERG's PLAYTEST GROUP - As per the PDF PLAYTESTER, but you will be in the playtest group GM'd by Brian Berg, author/designer of 'Laying Waste.' Add $35 if you would like print versions of the beta test and final copy.

    You will have access to the online playtest. In addition, your credits will be very special, earning nicknames based on your exploits in our adventures.

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    "HARDCORE EDITION" HARD-COVER PRINT BACKER - Final hardcover(!) of 'Laying Waste: A Guide to Critical Combat' in both print and pdf, bonus 'Feats Reforged' in softcover print and pdf, plus 5d6 official 'Laying Waste' critical dice and 20 bleed tokens. This includes access to the playtest, and you may add $15 to get the softcover print beta version during the playtest.

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    PRINT & PDF AD SPONSOR - We will run a full-color ad for your gaming related company/product/service in our playtest and final PDFs plus print products. This ad is fully hyperlinked to a destination of your choice. We reserve the right to refuse and refund inappropriate content. You will also receive a pdf of the final product.

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    ULTIMATE GAMING GROUP PACKAGE – Be epic! We’ve got your entire group covered. Six copies of ‘Laying Waste,’ six sets of dice, 30 bonus d6s, 20 bleed counters, one set of condition counters, the print GM screen [if unlocked] and a print copy of every single TPK Games print product plus six t-shirts! In addition, you’ll receive the PDF copies of the beta plus be part of the playtest. Split the cost with your group!

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Funding period

- (30 days)