Being a genetically-engineered super-soldier from Deep Warfare Assault Recon Fifth (V) Section and waking up after countless time in hypersleep is bound to bring a few surprises... like a world of monsters and magic at your feet. There’s a few months’ gap in your memory, seems a lot of time has passed, and a really not-all-together A.I. named O.D.I.N. says they have emergency orders for you: discover the lost history of this world while claiming it as your own. If that means you need to sweep and clear dungeons with massive firepower or extract young unmarried women under threat from secure locations, well, that’s part of the mission. Along the way, you can also piece together just what happened between the Lost Times and now, understanding where your former Galactic Confederacy went and find a place you can call home.
D.W.A.R.Vs is both a tabletop roleplaying game and a toolkit, an indie RPG with Old School sensibilities and style. Explore and build the history of a world, engage in setpiece battles, raid and loot secure underground installations, or dive into intrigue and politics as your group enjoys. Included are notes for taking some of the most popular fantasy RPG mechanics and scenarios, both classic and recent, and easily converting them for D.W.A.R.Vs.
This Kickstarter is designed to fund the editing, art, layout, additional writing, and printing of the D.W.A.R.Vs tabletop RPG. The majority of the game's mechanics are already written and we've begun sample layout work; additional writing will come from other authors and focus on filling in monster and equipment descriptions, side bars and play examples, with the difficult tasks of mechanical design behind us. Playtesting has already begun and we’ve gotten great results. We will periodically post excerpts from our draft document so you can see what we have so far as well as the progress we are making during the Kickstarter funding drive and beyond.
The game will include a starting scenario "SITREP", introducing your D.W.A.R.Vs to The Realm, the world in which you have awoken.
Characters in D.W.A.R.Vs are genetic super-soldiers, once human but now better, stronger, faster and smarter thanks to the Galactic Confederacy's Evolution Initiative and one of the most intense training regimens in the known universe. They each have an MOS (Military Occupational Specialty), an additional set of training and genetic modifications which determines what Attributes and Skills they excel at; no D.W.A.R.V is incompetent, these are the best soldiers in the galaxy! A D.W.A.R.V's MOS also determines what Special Qualities they have, from the Officer's ability to be a force multiplier for their squad to ComSec's Broadcast Organ allowing direct interface with LosTech computers and androids: part training, part genetic alteration, all supersoldier. Pick additional Genetic Mods from Echolocation to Regeneration, take your gear Loadout from laser rifles to vibroblades and you are ready for your first Mission!
Each successful Mission gives you Mission Points, which allow you to advance your Skills and Attributes. You also get Service Stars as a squad, which you can use to alter dice rolls, change elements of the story, reveal secrets of the world, or even come back from certain destruction! Earn and recover Service Stars by completing Missions and taking the time to reminisce and bond with your fellow D.W.A.R.Vs; you are alone in a dangerous world and all you have is each other.
What does xByd mean?
It’s the basis of our dice system. You choose the Best dice, normally 3, out of the total dice you roll. Compare the total of the Best dice to the Target Number to get your number of Successes! You can get extra d from special abilities, magical gear or even rare LosTech. Some will even give you more Best dice, allowing even greater success!
D.W.A.R.Vs has a streamlined dice mechanic which plays fast, is clear and detailed without shackling the players and GM to set results, and gets results, leaving you time and room to tell the stories you want to tell.
You have your starting Loadout, a nuclear-powered troop transport to get you through some long hauls, and a nanofactory. You want more ammo? Better start dungeon crawling. You see, your nanofactory is damaged, so you can’t actually feed it regular raw materials like iron or plastics. It now requires gold to convert to base materials to make high-tech equipment (LosTech). You’ve only got a limited access to blueprints, so part of your dungeon exploration is to find old LosTech sites which may contain computer nodes, long-term storage devices or synthetic beings with sweet sweet data you can use to make more blueprints. You may even find usable LosTech!
As you gather more treasure, you can consider recruiting mercenaries and giving them the best equipment you can make. From putting heavy cavalry in ceramic composite armor to handing your elf archer henchman a sniper rifle and a nightvision scope, your technology is a force multiplier limited only by your wealth and ambition. There’s a world to claim if you want it, to make up for the galaxy you lost ages ago.
Good luck shooting a ghost! You are going to need magic to take on some threats: enchanted weapons, healing draughts, and other wondrous and mystical items. Fire giants are immune to lasers and that dragon might shrug off small arms fire, but putting a Death Arrow from a compound bow into a high-value target will still get its attention. There may even be LosTech items which have gained mystical might through time and deeds. Magic is another strategic resource which still has a measure of wonder to it, just like the locals marvel at your machine gun.
Besides, you don’t have to reload a sword.
D.W.A.R.Vs is both game and toolkit, where you can create a story about how the world came to be the way it is now. From the time your soldiers went into hibernation to when they woke up is a blank slate. Reveal the history of the world which was and how it came to be through play. Ancient glyphs may be symbols from electrical schematics, and the noble crest of the ruling kingdom nothing more than your character’s favorite soft drink brand. O.D.I.N. will be your guide, and your interests are aligned, but the A.I. may have some goals of its own...
We've written the game to give players tools for narrative control if they want, letting them focus on the bonds which tie all soldiers together in service. Meanwhile, our Extended Challenge system and a host of other mechanical aids let you avoid slogging through combats in favor of a more narrative but no less exciting way to set scenes of combat, exploration and intrigue.
Used to (or still) play Old School games and have a host of material for them, but want to try a different set of rules? Great! D.W.A.R.Vs is designed to let you play the same scenarios with our mechanics, from our own take on classic creatures and magic to robust conversion guidelines for variations of the most popular fantasy game system. Grab a module, jot some notes and see how a crack military unit handles itself against the giants, horrific tombs and slave lords in some of the greatest scenarios created in the history of roleplaying games!
We’re not going to overload this Kickstarter with crazy amounts of goals which distract from the project or make us late! We’re laser-focused on the game and items which make the game better!
$4750 - Form Fillable Character Sheets and GM sheets, to make tracking everything for players and GM easier. Also, we are including Killing in Small to Large Groups, a 22,000 word PDF on how to engage in small-unit combat written by Alan Hart, a 15 year Air Force veteran who worked in close cooperation with a variety of units in Iraq and Afghanistan! Real tactics, real experience, to make your D.W.A.R.Vs the soldiers they should be! We'll also include an at-cost code for a print version of Killing in Small to Large Groups!
$5500 - Sean Jaffe (Dystopia Rising, Tempus Omni) will create The Church of The Turner, one of the greatest threats to The Realm and the D.W.A.R.Vs alike. Opposed to any advance in science and reason that is not firmly in their grasp, The Church of The Turner harnesses powerful magic, insidious faith, and the fears of the Lost Time to control, subvert and eliminate LosTech and those who use it. This organization will be an electronic add-on to all backers at the $10 dollar level or higher.
$7000 - We’ve got a bunch of new writers from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds in RPGs, and while we pay a good rate for all our work, reaching this goal will give them a pay bump!
$8000 - I’ll include Here There Be Dragons, the first playtest scenario for D.W.A.R.Vs, cleaned up and playable in electronic format! Baron Deltaphasett Ectocoolar calls for aid as a terrible beast has a habit of incinerating his farmers and the warriors he sent to stop the creature! And he’s willing to pay in gold, so what’s a dragon to super-soldiers except a payday? This scenario will be an electronic add-on to all backers at the $10 level or higher.
$10000 - We pay our artists fairly, but we’re going to give them some more at this stretch goal! This is in addition to the upgrades some will get for doing color artwork!
$12,000 - [REDACTED]
$15,000 - [REDACTED]
We've learned a great deal about fulfillment from our two different Kickstarters. We will be using OneBookShelf (OBS, the folks behind DriveThruRPG and RPGNow) to print and ship. It will allow for a much less expensive proofing process and will mean we won’t have to double up on prepping files for OBS after we do our initial run for backers. As well, their recent shift to a higher quality paper for their Standard printing means a better product.
By pledging at $20 level or higher, you will have access to Print on Demand and will only have to cover the cost of shipping when you arrange for your book to be printed and sent to you. When the book is completed you will get a link to the print on demand copy of D.W.A.R.Vs, then you pay OBS (most likely through DriveThruRPG) for shipping costs. They will print and ship to you. This has several benefits, including improved turnaround times once the book is approved for printing and helping to insulating both of us from shipping increases since we’ll never have as good an arrangement as OBS. This especially holds true for international shipping as people will be able to take advantage of OBS's multiple printing locations, as well as consolidating their shipping of D.W.A.R.Vs with other books they may order from OBS.
Those pledge levels in which we order and ship the books ourselves are clearly marked.
Risks and challenges
TaleSpinner Holdings has fulfilled two Kickstarters so far. The first, Trigger Happy, was delivered on time, and the second, Riders, had only a slight delay in print delivery due to persistent finishing issues from Lightning Source. Much of the game mechanics are already written and we are currently playtesting to excellent results. What remains to be written includes creatures and magic items. We have already engaged artists and editors to hit the ground running when the Kickstarter fulfills. Possible delays can range from slippage by our artists and other team members, as well as printing delays and issues with shipping. We’ve put in a buffer in our fulfillment schedule to account for this, but it is possible that the delays will continue past our planned allowances. We will endeavor to keep you updated on any slippage in our planned twice-monthly updates for the project.
My personal background is both as a stationary engineer in a data center and as a former partner in a private equity company. Both have given me the resources to put out fires (in some cases, literal fires) which come up in a project. We are confident with our forward-looking statements in this regard even as we mitigate risk.
Please note that stretch goals may be delivered past the listed date for the main game, and we will be clear as to delivery dates as they are developed.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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