Project image
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$14,900
pledged of $5,000pledged of $5,000 goal
414
backers
19days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Wed, October 9 2019 4:03 PM UTC +00:00.

'Henshin! A Sentai RPG' Deluxe Book

Help create a 120+ page deluxe print and ebook edition of Henshin! with new modules, resources, pre-made characters, and much more!

'Henshin! A Sentai RPG' Deluxe Book

Help create a 120+ page deluxe print and ebook edition of Henshin! with new modules, resources, pre-made characters, and much more!

$14,900
pledged of $5,000pledged of $5,000 goal
414
backers
19days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Wed, October 9 2019 4:03 PM UTC +00:00.

About

We’re Cave of Monsters Games and welcome to our Kickstarter for Henshin!: A Sentai RPG.

We have lots of information below about the game such as how it works, what you’ll get, and our story, but if you are looking for only a short summary, here we go:

  1.  Henshin! is a diceless, story-forward tabletop role-playing game that is our love letter to all things Super Sentai.
  2.  Super Sentai is a series of TV shows in Japan that feature brightly colored teams of heroes that have also been adapted in America as shows such as Power Rangers.
  3.  Henshin! has been available for two years as a digital PDF, alongside modules & additional playbooks consistently released since Dec 2017. Since then the game sold over 2,600 units across 30 countries. We’ve also engaged with the Super Sentai & Power Rangers communities, and debuted an exclusive version of the game at Power Morphicon 2018. 
  4.  Henshin! is intended to be accessible to all types of game players. We've heard from players, that they enjoy that the game allows for diverse representation of heroes (heroes of color, LGBTQ+ heroes, disabled heroes) not always seen in the sentai genre, which we are immensely proud of. 
  5. Our goal with this campaign is to collect all our published content, including new modules, to expand on resources fans have asked for, and to publish everything as a 120+ page paperback book and ebook available for order on demand through DriveThruRPG. We’re aiming for $5,000 to complete this comprehensive book.

Those are the nuts and bolts above and we've got more below for info on how the game works, our story, and more details about what is included...so dig in!

What is Henshin! and how does it work?

Henshin!: A Sentai RPG is a fun, accessible, diceless tabletop role-playing game where you and your friends play as a group of teens who transform into masked heroes. It is inspired by the Japanese Sentai genre, that is filled with high-energy action sequences and fantastic special effects. In Japan, these tropes are central to long-running television programs like Super Sentai or Metal Hero, and you may be familiar with North American adaptations like Power Rangers. We love this genre and want to share it with other fans and with those totally unfamiliar with it, and telling stories with friends in Henshin! has been our favorite way to share this passion.

In Henshin!, most players create a character (called a Color) using a unique playbook to generate someone true to tropes in the Sentai genre. One player serves as the Narrator to guide the episodic story while playing other characters and monsters. Players give and take tokens to engage in character mechanics called Turns, adding to a collaborative story of often-flawed young heroes who summon the strength and use teamwork to beat the odds. At the end of each episode, Colors may advance in the form of a Raise that represents personal growth or a strengthened arsenal, whether at the end of a satisfying single two-hour session or during the several play sessions that make up a full series season.

It’s important to note that Henshin! is not a Dungeons & Dragons hack or a game that uses pre-existing characters from other franchises to simulate an episode you’ve already watched. Instead, it’s a game system that allows you and your friends to tell your own unique Sentai stories using collaborative, communication, and creativity.

What do I get by backing this campaign?

With this Kickstarter campaign funded, anyone will be able to purchase a fully printed or digital 120-page book of Henshin!, which includes:

  • All 8 Color playbooks (Red, Blue, Black, Green, Yellow, Pink, Gold, & Silver).
  • Pre-made original characters for each Color.
  • Expanded resources for the Narrator, including actual play transcripts to demonstrate features like Combat and creating Special Turns.
  • Our three published modules:
  •  Monster Freak, where players use the powers of classic movie monsters are used to protect your town from a far greater evil. Art by Emmett Helen (Rick & Morty). 
  •  Star Phase, where heroes in a college town have to balance personal lives, coursework, and defending the earth from an intergalactic crime syndicate. Art by Wook Jin Clark (Flavor, Adventure Time, MEGAGOGO). 
  •  Bug Camp, a love letter to summer camps & cryptid folklore in which heroes use the power of insects and nature to defend Earth’s lush forests. Art by Carolyn Nowak (Girltown, No Better Words). 
  • Two additional modules exclusive to the Kickstarter:
  •  Feral Arms, a post-apocalyptic setting where ancient animal spirits are used to take on monsters born of pollution in order to restore humanity. Art by Nicole Goux (F*ck Off Squad, Shadow of the Batgirl). 
  •  Dino Brawl, an ode to 90's Saturday morning cartoons in which organized combat takes over the mean city streets, and it’s up to the heroes to use dinosaur powers to wrestle back order from masked villains. Art by Zachary Sterling (Adventure Time, Bee and Puppycat). 
  • A long-term play challenge that threads together the above modules into one shared universe and ongoing Sentai series.
  • Guides on how to create your own modules.
  • Tables to generate Squads and Monsters for instantaneous use during play.
     

The book has an estimated completion date of January 2020 should all rewards be backed. Printing and shipping of the book will be fulfilled by DriveThruRPG, with backers receiving a code to order their copy (paying shipping and handling. Estimates can be found here: https://support.drivethrurpg.com/hc/en-us/articles/209936893-Estimated-Shipping-Costs-For-Printed-Products). If you aren't familiar with the process, you can check out the details below:

After funds from this campaign have paid artists, video production talent, and costs for stretch goals, the remaining amount will go toward the Cave of Monsters upcoming games. The next game project would be Fifty-Fifty RPG, a card-based party game about martial arts and love triangles inspired by Ranma ½. 

Stretch Goals!

Who are we?

Sam Kusek has been and continues to be a lot of things. A chef, a bookseller, an events coordinator, a project manager and most importantly, a huge Sentai fan. In his free time, he cycles, watches weird VHS with his cat, Big Boi and collects manga. He is also the Operations Director for Cave of Monsters Games, in charge of finances, coordination of artistic assets, live events and general project management.

Tim Batiuk works in education and tech with some game design on the side. He has worked in the small press publishing scene and just loves making content from a computer. In his free time, he rides his bike, hangs out with his cat and dog, and reads too many fantasy books. He is also the Creative Director for Cave of Monsters Games, in charge of book production and overall game design.

How did we meet?

Two years ago after meeting over a game of Dungeon World and realizing we had a ton of weeby stuff in common, we wrote up initial ideas for what would become Henshin!. We binge watched TV series like Power Rangers and Super Sentai while sketching up these ‘playbooks’ for characters based off tropes in the genre. But even while we nerded out about these details, our goal was always to make it accessible to any person who would sit at the gaming table, since the idea of color-coded masked heroes who transform is not impossible to grasp at the onset. This ruleset became the sliding scale free-to-play PDF of the Henshin! basic playset in December 2017, and we set up our game design company called Cave of Monsters Games. This took off with 2600 purchases of the playset alone in over 30 countries, followed by releases of additional character playbooks and three ready-to-play modules available for purchase online.

These digital game sales connected us with communities of Sentai fans, tabletop RPG lovers, and those acquainted with neither who just wanted to relive some childhood nostalgia by telling their own diverse, inclusive stories. We took the leap to partner with a local printer and create physical booklets of Henshin! so far, an ‘ashcan’ of game text and modules that we could take to Cave of Monsters’ first convention.

We tabled at Power Morphicon in August 2018, the biggest and officially recognized Power Rangers fan convention, selling these ashcan booklets of Henshin! along with stickers featuring Palmer’s stellar artwork from the game. This gave us the first opportunity to meet new fans who had been playing or had heard about Henshin! already, connect with influencers and podcasters, and be interviewed by Nerd on TV! about the game so far.

So, here we are raising funds to create the 120-page Henshin! book, a comprehensive love letter to the Sentai genre with everything needed to make the game fun at the table. Those who have already purchased the digital downloads of Henshin! will be pleasantly surprised to see over three times the amount of new original content, including never-released modules, plus the ability to finally receive a print copy and make their mark in the book’s text.

Risks and challenges

The physical Henshin! book will be a print-on-demand product, meaning we do not have to raise a large sum of money to print thousands of books that may sit in a garage until being shipped. Backers receive a code to check out at DriveThruRPG with the titles they already paid for in the campaign, paying only tax (if applicable) and shipping, and titles are printed for the customer on the spot. This heavily reduces the risk of offset printing and ensures that every customer receives a quality title from a trusted printer at a reasonable price. DriveThruRPG is a trusted name in the community and we’re proud to work with them.

Ultimately, the core text and layout for the Henshin! book are completed as of launch, so there is no risk that the book would be unfinished or languish in mid-production after project funding. The funds are going toward paying artists to create illustrations to adorn the text and toward stretch goals to help realize the product in ways we could not have imagined at Henshin!’s inception.

Between years of our own sales data, continual product development and customer feedback, we are confident that we’ll be able to ensure a satisfying and appropriate set of products from this campaign.

The biggest challenge is to maintain a tight timeline after funding, which ensures that the artists can complete work on schedule for new content from the rewards and this is incorporated into the existing layout. By developing the core content ahead of time, this challenge feels achievable as we continue our commitment to producing Henshin! content like we have for the past two years.

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    Humongous Mecha

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    Passing the Torch

    Got a game of your own, that you’ve been trying to get off the ground? We’re offering a 2 hour virtual sit-down session to discuss the ins & outs of mechanics, design, marketing & promotion!

    Also includes a link to order the book & PDF. Please note that the Backer will pay shipping and handling separately, through DriveThruRPG.

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    Become a featured original character in the game text as a Connection or Custodian!

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    True Companions

    Cave of Monsters will run a 2 hour long online only game, using an existing module of our choice, for you and 2-3 of your friends.

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    Mid Season Mini Boss

    A monster you name and describe will be illustrated by none other than Evan Palmer and included as a original villain in the book.

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    Evolving Credits

    This reward will allow one fan to work directly with Cave of Monsters to design a campaign-exclusive module. We'll take you through every step of the process from initial brainstorming, writing it out, selecting an artist, and more.

    Please note that we will require final approval on all assets prior to publishing.

    Also includes a code to order the book & PDF. Please note that the backer will pay shipping and handling separately through DriveThruRPG.

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