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Night Witches is a tabletop RPG about Soviet airwomen during World War Two, flying daring night time bombing missions in biplanes.
Night Witches is a tabletop RPG about Soviet airwomen during World War Two, flying daring night time bombing missions in biplanes.
Night Witches is a tabletop RPG about Soviet airwomen during World War Two, flying daring night time bombing missions in biplanes.
1,334 backers pledged $48,806 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$48,806

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If you're a backer looking for the draft game files, you'll find the link the first backer update post

We’re not planning to add a ton of stretch goals but we do have a few ideas for adding more art and supplements to make Night Witches even better:

$27,500 (ACHIEVED!)— Two additional Interior Illustrations by Rich Longmore!

$30,000 (ACHIEVED)— A PDF of supplementary material including scripted introductory scenarios and a bonus duty station

There was a night bomber regiment in World War Two composed entirely of women. Natural-born Soviet airwomen.

These 200 women and girls, flying outdated biplanes from open fields near the front lines, attacked the invading German forces every night for 1,100 consecutive nights. When they ran out of bombs they dropped railroad ties.

To each other they were sisters, with bonds forged in blood and terror. To the Red Army Air Force they were an infuriating feminist sideshow. To the Germans they were simply Nachthexen—Night Witches.

Night Witches is a tabletop role-playing game about women at war. As a member of the 588th Night Bomber Regiment, you'll answer the call of your Motherland in her darkest hour. Can you do your duty and strike blow after blow against the Fascists? Can you overcome discrimination and outright sabotage and rise above your sexist comrades? Are there limits to patriotism - or endurance? Play Night Witches and find out!

Night Witches requires 3-5 players, who will take turns in the role of game master during the game. It can be played for a single two-hour session or expanded into a literal campaign following the Regiment across the entire Second World War. Either way, you’ll tell an epic tale of heroism and sacrifice that honors the women who did it for real.

This incredible situation needs rules that are simple and powerful, promoting hard choices and forming a fun feedback loop with the fiction you and your friends create. We used Vincent Baker’s brilliant Apocalypse World as a starting point and heavily modified that core to meet the demands of Night Witches. We also took inspiration from the many offshoots already on tables everywhere—Dungeon World, Monsterhearts, Sagas of the Icelanders, and others. If you’ve played any of these, Night Witches will fit like a pair of comfortable old tapochki.

In play you will alternate between day and night, with unique moves for each. Days are about renewal and interpersonal conflict, and nights are about hair-raising bombing missions on historically accurate targets across the Soviet Union, Poland, and, in the end, Germany.

Missions are crazy dangerous and you have to make hard choices constantly. And when they end, a whole new kind of danger is waiting back at the airbase—paranoid secret police, sexist Red Army officials who want you to fail, and chronic supply shortages are just the beginning of your troubles.

“Night Witches is a remarkably powerful game. It unites contemporary gender issues with world war two drama and never hesitates to deliver terrible beauty. Perhaps most importantly, it's an RPG that creates stories about heroes who are women, and that's something in this genre that we desperately need.” —Kira Magrann

“With Night Witches Bully Pulpit ushers in the next generation of games powered by the Apocalypse. It's both a real treat to see the finely-detailed brush that Jason paints the world of Soviet Airwomen with and to play a game so tightly focused on making their stories come alive at the table.” —Adam Koebel

“The stories that come out of Night Witches feel so very real, and full of ferocity and heartbreak. Having the chance to play it and get even a glimpse into the lives of these airwomen has been one of my most intense and rewarding roleplaying experiences.” —Sara WIlliamson

"Bully Pulpit Games does it again with a powerful roleplaying game about war—not simply about glory in battle, but about the human costs. Night Witches is an explosive cocktail of personal pain, a culture of political paranoia, and feminist struggle." —Ryan Macklin

When completed, the game will be available as a full-color, 6x9 perfect-bound book and a variety of digital formats, with roughly 170 pages of rules, examples, and excellent artwork.

EXCLUSIVE ACCESS!

Every backer will get access to sneak peaks drafts of supplementary materials that will become available throughout the campaign.

In addition, everyone backing for $10 or more will have access to the pre-release draft of the game, so you can get started right away! We hope that you'll try it out and give us your feedback. The game is well-tested and the rules are complete, but it's always helpful to have a few extra mechanics checking out the plane before you take off!

NACHTHEXEN CARDS!

This high quality deck of cards is an excellent supplement for the game. Each deck includes a set of quick advancement cards with fictional prompts that make running a one-shot even easier. In addition there are portrait cards and medal cards, both of which can be used as visual props in play.

The deck is a set of premium, full-color cards with rounded corners and a glossy finish, and it looks great on the table during the game.

HARDBACK EDITION!

As we did with Durance, Night Witches will also be available as a signed, limited-edition hardcover version. These covers will have a matte finish and will look gorgeous with Rich Longmore's cover art.

AIRWOMEN DINNER!

As an exclusive reward for adventurous backers, Jason will be curating a care package of authentic wartime Soviet food, labeled for shipment to the front. There will be каша, there will be хлеб, there will even be печенье or сласти! Each package will be slightly different, but each will include food to feed four and recipes to prepare it. It's a great way to celebrate a campaign milestone, and there will be some extra surprises thrown in as well.

 CUSTOM PORTRAITS!

Claudia is excited to do more Night Witches portraits, and we’d like your help to do them. Choose the REGIMENTAL POLITRUK reward and submit a photograph of a woman who is important to you (yourself, a family member, a good friend). Claudia will transform it into an awesome airwoman portrait.

We’ll add these images to our supplements and Nachthexen cards and you’ll get the hi-resolution file to use however you like. 

 Important: Please get permission from the subject of the image you send us, since we’ll be using their likeness. 

Fine Print: We reserve the right to reject your submission if we feel that it doesn't fit the tone of the game or the criteria we provide. by submitting, you grant us a permanent and non-revocable but non-exclusive license to use the resulting portrait in BPG products. This means we can use them in Night Witches and other work, and you can also do whatever you like with them.

 HANDCRAFTED PO-2 NECKLACES!

Kira Magrann, our good friend, playtester, and supporter throughout this project, has offered to create some custom Night Witches necklaces as a reward. We’re calling this reward a “Letter From Home”, and it will include a letter from an airwoman’s father to his daughter:

The necklaces will feature a design based on a Night Witches PO-2 airplane. Each piece will be kiln-fired and made from layers of copper, watercolor enamel painting, and glass enamel. See Kira’s Etsy shop Anima Metals for examples of her other work.

This a limited item- she’s only making 10 pieces for this reward- so grab them while you can!

Night Witches was designed and written by Jason Morningstar with developmental editing by Steve Segedy. Together, we are Bully Pulpit Games, and we've been creating and publishing games such as the Shab-al-Hiri Roach, Grey Ranks, Durance, and Fiasco since 2006.

Rich Longmore created the cover and the beautiful, full-page interior illustrations. Rich is a freelance illustrator who has done work for everyone from Wizards of the Coast to Pelgrane Press.

Claudia Cangini illustrated the portraits to highlight the wide variety of women who were drawn to fly and fight with the 588th Night Bomber Regiment. Claudia does freelance illustration for clients like Evil Hat Productions.

Sally Christensen provided the final editing work for the book. Her editing work can also be seen in the Marvel Heroic and Firefly RPGs by Margaret Weis Productions.

Brennen Reece created the layout and visual design for Night Witches. Brennen has worked with BPG many times in the past, including layout for Carolina Death Crawl and illustrations for the games Durance and The Climb. In addition, his layout work can be found in Blood Red Sands and the upcoming The Clay that Woke and The Ruined Empire.

Also special thanks to John Sheldon for stepping in to help out with video editing!

Thanks for reading this far and for considering joining the 588th! We're very excited about this project and we hope that you are too. If you have any questions for us, please let us know!

Risks and challenges

Bully Pulpit Games has a long track record of successfully producing high-quality games. This project is modeled on our previous successful Kickstarter project for Durance, so we know how to manage the challenges of a campaign and deliver rewards on time.

We've also learned lessons from our last project, and from our peers. Night Witches is already nearly complete—we’ve spent 18 months playtesting, refining, and editing the game. All of the artwork is finished and the book is laid out. We’re down to the finishing touches, and so our focus for this campaign is working with you to make it even better.

We'll be using reliable printers that we already have relationships with for both the books and the cards. While we don't expect any problems, there is always a slight risk that printing will be delayed by a month or so.

We'll be using the same local fulfillment service as we did for Durance, allowing us to inspect (and sign) all the books before they're packed for shipment. Inevitably a few shipments will get lost—particularly those going overseas—but we'll be following those shipments closely and making sure backers get their packages.

Finally, we're committed to keeping you informed and being transparent about the process. If anything does go wrong, we'll let you know right away and tell you how we're going to fix it.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    GROUND CREW: This reward gets you backer-only updates and sneak peeks at the game.

    This is also an excellent entry level for brick-and-mortar retailers who are interested in picking up a wholesale quantity of the game after the campaign ends.

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    NAVIGATOR: At this level, we'll give you immediate access to the Night Witches draft PDF so you can get started right away! We'll also send you the finalized PDF as soon as the campaign ends. In addition, you'll receive credit for your support in the book, with your name listed in the Regiment’s roster!

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    PILOT: In addition to early access to the PDF and credit for your support, we'll also send you a signed, full-color, softcover edition of the book.

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    PILOT (CANADIAN VERSION): This reward level is identical to the Pilot level, but with shipping charges appropriate for sending a softcover book to Canada.

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    SECTION LEADER: Get the early access PDF, credit, and a softcover book. In addition, you'll get the supplementary deck of Nachthexen Cards for use in play.

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    SECTION LEADER (CANADIAN VERSION): This reward level is identical to the Section Leader level, but with shipping charges appropriate for sending a softcover book and cards to Canada.

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    SQUADRON COMMANDER: Get the early access PDF, credit, and the deck of cards. Instead of the softcover book, however, we'll send you a signed, limited-edition hardcover edition of Night Witches!

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    SQUADRON COMMANDER (CANADIAN VERSION): This reward level is identical to the Squadron Commander level, but with shipping charges appropriate for sending a hardcover book and cards to Canada.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    SQUAD MATES: This one is for our allies overseas! With this reward you’ll get four copies of the softcover book shipped together anywhere outside the U.S. This is functionally identical to the PILOT reward, but with shared shipping costs.

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    REGIMENTAL COMMANDER: Get the PDF, deck of cards, and signed hardcover book. In addition, Jason will personally assemble a care package of authentic wartime Soviet food, labeled for shipment to the front. Each package will be slightly different, but all of them will include food to feed four, recipes to prepare it, and some extra surprises thrown in as well.

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    SUPPLY SERGEANT: With a little scrounging, we've uncovered an additional set of rations kits! This reward level is identical to the REGIMENTAL COMMANDER reward, because everyone knows the Supply Sergeant is really the one running the show.

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    REGIMENTAL POLITRUK: Our chief political officer has pulled the files on eight new recruits- who will they be? Choose this option to get all the rewards from the SQUADRON COMMANDER level, including hardback books and cards. In addition, you’ll have the option to send us a photograph of a woman who is important to you (yourself, a family member, a good friend) and Claudia will transform it into an awesome airwoman portrait. We’ll add these images to our supplements and Nachthexen cards and you’ll get the hi-resolution file to use however you like. (Please note that you must get permission from the subject!)

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    DEPUTY POLITRUK: More airwomen portraits! Just like the REGIMENTAL POLITRUK reward, only coming a little later. Choose this reward to get the hardback book and cards, as well as the option to send us a photograph of a woman who is important to you (yourself, a family member, a good friend) to be transformed into an awesome airwoman portrait. You’ll get the hi-resolution file to use however you like. (Please note that you must get permission from the subject!)

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    LETTER FROM HOME: Choose this option to get all the rewards from the SQUADRON COMMANDER level, including hardback books and cards. In addition, you’ll get a letter from an airwoman’s father and a handcrafted piece of jewelry—a necklace with a Night Witches PO-2 airplane design in copper and glass by Kira Magrann!

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    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    COMBAT SECTION: This one is for our allies overseas! With this reward you’ll get four copies of the hardcover book shipped together anywhere outside the U.S with shared shipping costs. This is otherwise identical to the PILOT reward (i.e. does not include cards).

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Funding period

- (21 days)