About this project
UNAUTHORIZED is a 6-12 player, 30 minute, social deduction game about the underground church. The fledgling Church struggles for survival against a State bent on its destruction. Over the course of the game, players use their unique role powers to influence other players toward joining their side. Since a player’s loyalty is based on their cards, their loyalty may shift as the game develops. This leaves all players wondering who they can trust, and for how long. Whether you want to Build the Church or Crush it Mercilessly, get ready to JOIN THE STRUGGLE!
12 Role Cards
Role Cards depict the base loyalty of the character, and establish that character’s unique ability.
97 Experience Cards
Experience Cards represent the life experiences your character has encountered. These cards influence a character toward the State or the Church. They are also used by players to influence other players as the game progresses. Some of these experiences could influence a player in either direction. A player can choose how these wild cards influence their character.
3 Reference Cards
1x Dealer Card, 2x Player Reference Cards (front and back the same)
12 Page, Full Color Rule Book (See Gameplay section)
We will be using Shuffled Ink for our manufacturer again. They consistently demonstrate extremely high component quality levels. All cards will be 350 gsm, black core casino quality, with a clear finish to ensure ease of shuffling and high endurance. Also, there will be a cardboard insert in the box to separate the cards into two compartments.
At the beginning of the game, each player receives a role card and 7 experience cards. Police are always loyal to the State. Pastors are always loyal to the Church. Most of the player roles, however, are neutral, and their loyalty is determined by their experience cards. More Church cards produce loyalty to the Church. Ties or more State cards result in loyalty to the State. Players may choose how to play their wild cards, and are free to change this decision as long as the wild card is in their hands. Once played face up, however, the wild card is fixed to the side placed right-side up. Players must play to support the loyalty indicated by their experience cards.
UNAUTHORIZED is played over 4 rounds with 3 phases each. During the Card Action phase, players simultaneously pass and/or play cards face up. Next, each player has a chance during the Player Turn phase to: use their unique role power (on their role card), speak to their neighbor (look at their secret hand of cards), seek parole (if in prison), or conduct a public execution (Police only). The public execution does eliminate 1 player from the game, but this comes at a significant cost to the player(s) acting as the Police. In our play-testing, this ability was used in less than 1/3 of the games, and typically occurred in rounds 3 or 4. While many people do not like player elimination, we felt this is an important aspect of the game’s theme, and have worked to reduce the down time for the eliminated player until you start the next game!
At the end of the game, players simultaneously reveal their final loyalty. The Church wins if they have a majority of the players loyal to the Church AND if at least 1 of their players is not in prison. The State wins if the Church does not.
More information is available in the instructional video and rule book below.
All Stretch Goals unlocked in this campaign will be included in every copy of UNAUTHORIZED sold through retailers in the future. Thank you for helping make UNAUTHORIZED into the best game it can be!
Dan "gameboygeek" King
Chris Wray from "The Opinionated Gamers"
"My game group loves social deduction games, so we’re always on the lookout for new titles. Most of today’s social deduction games are twists on games such as Werewolf or The Resistance, so I’m always pleasantly surprised when I find a fresh, original entry in the genre. Unauthorized is such a game, and I’ve been fascinated by my plays so far.
When I read the rules to Unauthorized, I was immediately intrigued by a couple of novel mechanics implemented by the designers. First, unlike in most social deduction games, loyalty can shift mid game. As a result, you have to think about long-term strategies and not just the tactics of the current round. Second, by forcing players into prison, the State can quickly limit the powers of the Church by splitting their group, a mechanic which itself leads to interesting decisions. Throw in the fact that each player has a special power --- all of which are integrated seamlessly into the game design --- and you have a game with high replayability where everybody is excited about their role.
The theme is clever, and I thought it worked exceptionally well. Treating the various cards as “experiences” that can shift loyalty was a nice thematic touch. The publisher, Chara Games, specializes in Christian-themed board games, and I think this game could be a hit with church groups. That said, the theme isn’t in-your-face, and I think the game could be enjoyed by just about anybody.
I was worried that the game would occasionally tilt from one side to the other, with games quickly veering towards the State or the Church. We had that happen in one play, but that’s seemingly because --- due to the randomness of the draw deck --- far more green cards came out in that play than red cards. I’m chalking it up to an anomaly, and setting that experience aside, the game seems well-balanced.
This is middle-of-the-pack in terms of complexity. The publisher has recommended the game for ages 12+, but I think you could probably play with players as young as 10. It is certainly more complex than Werewolf, but I’d say it is on par with a game like the Resistance. You could teach this in five to ten minutes. The game does work better in larger groups (8+ people) than smaller groups (6-7 people), although it played fine at all player counts. Our plays took 20-25 minutes, a bit shy of the 30 minute time on the box, but my group always plays faster than average.
If your group likes social deduction games, Unauthorized is worth checking out. Chara Games did an exceptional job of innovating in a crowded genre, creating a game that features intriguing strategies, high replayability, and plenty of those laugh-out-loud moments that social deducation games are known to provide. Toss in the clever theme, and I predict this will do well on Kickstarter. We’ve certainly enjoyed our plays!"
"We really appreciate that there are so many options with the cards, characters, and actions for UNAUTHORIZED. This gives the game unlimited endings which makes it a lot of fun. We really like that we can play this game in big groups and share it with our friends." - Cassandra Holdeman from "A Glimpse of Normal"
"Hey there!!! My family and I have enjoyed playing Unauthorized and look forward to many more game nights!! At first it was a little intimidating...there is a lot of cards. :) But, the video instructions were more than helpful. If I could sum up our game play experience in one word, I would say that it was Invigorating. We were all on the edge of our seats trying to figure out what each other was thinking. I have realized that my Kiddos can hold a straight face and think fast when there are snacks involved. :)" - Sheila Quach from "Manic Mom"
"This is unique - we've never seen a game quite like this! We like that you are not on a team, but it's not every man for themselves either. Loyalties can change. Your actions determine the outcomes, so the game is always changing. You get the opportunity to use persuasion in this game! Executions, paroles, special powers and different roles. It's always new. We like that it can be played with a large group!" - Renita Bentz from "Mom of Many"
"Oh, my goodness! We play an "underground church" game with middle schoolers at church that takes the three games of Hide-and-Go-Seek, Capture the Flag, and President and combines them together to produce a live action night with guards, jail, and a hidden church. The students have to remove all Christian signs/symbols from their clothing/person on the spot and come up with a reason for being in the make-believe country that allows no Christianity. It's the highlight of our year and comes unannounced -- students think they are coming for something else. :) I say ALL of that to say, I love this new game UNAUTHORIZED because it allows us to take underground church anywhere we go. How neat it is to have hold-in-our-hand scenarios that even better explain the what-ifs and "what's really happening around our world" to 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. I like the visual aspect of seeing the roles we choose to "play" in life and seeing the consequences of our choices and actions. I like that my kids can physically SEE faith play out and they can begin to grasp NOW (as middle schoolers) what happens when/if we don't hold fast to the TRUTH that is found in JESUS." - Lynn McInnis from "This Day Has Great Potential"
"Finding out our roles for each game was always fun. Some of us found it hard to play the role of the Police at first, but then it became more about getting people to the "dark side", and the seriousness of the game was lost. Yes, it's a game and not meant to be serious, but I think you know what I mean. As we made it through the experience cards for the first time, there were several meaningful conversations that took place. Like church hypocrisy, meaningless traditions, church politics . . . not only did we have to discuss what those concepts were, some of the (older) children realized they had unknowingly encountered it. Unauthorized has become one of our favorite games. The favored roles were the Rebel, Thief, and Musician. There were many times we wanted to play more than the four rounds, and finding out the winning side was always an anticipated surprise. Unauthorized has brought us closer as a family through meaningful conversations about the real struggles of the underground church. Not only that, but we've been able to discuss how to biblically deal with some of the issues faced in the game (experience cards) in real life." - Jeniffer Do Nascimento from "Thou Shall Not Whine"
"UNAUTHORIZED is easy to learn, but is a different game with every play. Unlike other social deduction games where identities are completely hidden, Unauthorized has the evidence right in front of you - as long as you can read the evidence correctly and life events don't make it change!" - Dale Spurlin
"As a Hong Kong Chinese, the idea in "UNAUTHORIZED" is so imminent as we heard about what has been happening to the churches in our neighbouring mother land. Let's keep our fingers crossed that "UNAUTHORIZED" will stay a game instead of the future we may need to faced." - Joshua So
UNAUTHORIZED is fully play-tested, final art complete, and ready to go to to printing. We have worked very hard over the last two and a half years to hone the play experience, art presentation, and rule clarity. We have already invested approximately $5,000 into the art, prototyping, and initial marketing for the game. The Funding Goal for this campaign is set at the bare minimum we need to offset shipping costs (Chara Games would have to pay most of the production cost out of pocket). To fully offset both production and shipping, the campaign will have to hit the $8,000 Stretch Goal. We are committed to bringing UNAUTHORIZED to market, and hope you will help us make this game a reality.
As with our other games, UNAUTHORIZED deals with Christian issues from a point of view approachable to players of all faith backgrounds. In this particular case, the game explores what it would be like to be in or around a persecuted church. The game is about the human experience of those individuals instead of the theological values expressed. The core player experience explores the uncertainty, faith, and courage demonstrated by people of all cultures in this situation.
Accordingly, the role card art specifically displays an equal number of male and female characters from all over the globe. This is intended to convey the global reality of religious persecution. Facing hostile governments can seem overwhelming and hopeless. History reveals, however, that the Church persevered and thrived in the refining fire of persecution.
We truly feel UNAUTHORIZED will be enjoyable no matter your personal beliefs, and we hope it will give you an interesting glimpse into a human experience you may not have encountered!
Some of the Reward Levels include Chara Games Insider Access. This access will allow those backers to receive a monthly newsletter from Chara Games outlining convention participation, special events, play-testing opportunities, and exclusive updates on upcoming designs. Chara Games will never share your email address for any purpose. Backers who would like to receive this newsletter but do not select a reward level which includes it, can contact us after the campaign is over to add themselves to the list. The intent of these levels is to provide a higher level of financial support to both ensure UNAUTHORIZED funds and to solidify Chara Games' future.
Here are 3 images to download and use as your avatars for Kickstarter, twitter, and Facebook during the duration of our campaign. Thank you in advance for your support and help spreading awareness of our campaign!
Pat & Kat Lysaght founded Chara Games in 2014 to build games that create Joy by developing relationships with God and people. UNAUTHORIZED is our second published design. Commissioned, our first game, successfully funded on Kickstarter in 2015, has received praise from board game reviewers and educators alike, and has sold more than 2,500 copies since its release in January 2016. We have been married for almost 15 years, have 4 children, and are privileged to serve our country. We hope our games bring Joy to the people gathered around your table!
Scott Nicely - Creative Director and Chief Designer for his own art house Jovial Graphics. Scott has worked with many big name publishers in the hobby including Fantasy Flight Games, Tasty Minstrel Games and AEG. He has also helped create amazing graphics for successful Kickstarted games as Legends Untold, Karmaka and Endure the Stars. Besides having over 15 years experience in the games and toy industry Scott is a passionate gamer. He brings his extensive graphic talent, player experience and enthusiasm to every project.
Chara Games is pleased to offer our other games, Commissioned and 3 Seeds, as campaign add-ons.
Commissioned is a 2-6 player, cooperative, 1 hour game about the early church.
3 Seeds is a deceptively simple, 2-5 player, 30-40 minute, card game about sowing and reaping.
If you are interested in 1 copy of each of our games (including UNAUTHORIZED), please use the “Everything You Got” reward level. If you are interested in only 2 copies of UNAUTHORIZED, the “Bring a Friend” reward level is your best bet. To add on additional copies of UNAUTHORIZED, Commissioned, or 3 Seeds to any other reward level, please select your desired reward level, and then increase your pledge amount according to the following table for each add-on you desire. Please, make sure to use the appropriate column based on your shipping location (US, Canada, or Other). Add-Ons will be shipped to US backers immediately. International backers will receive their Add-Ons with their UNAUTHORIZED shipment.
Example: For 3 copies of UNAUTHORIZED in the US, select the "Bring a Friend" reward, and then increase the pledge amount $11 to a total of $37.
UNAUTHORIZED will use the same fulfillment model with which we were able to fulfill Commissioned and 3 Seeds 1-2 months prior to our stated goal. We will collect your shipping information via a survey immediately after the campaign (in order to fulfill Add-Ons to US backers), but will send out a request for updated shipping addresses when UNAUTHORIZED leaves the factory.
US Backers will receive their rewards via Amazon once manufacturing and shipping inspections are complete. All shipping expenses for US backers are included in the reward level pricing. All APO/FPO addresses are US addresses. Backers with APO/FPO addresses should utilize the US shipping prices.
International Backers will be fulfilled by different channels based on their location. Canadian backers will receive their shipment via post. EU backers will receive their rewards via Red Dice Games in Scotland. This will ensure that VAT is paid prior to delivery. Other international backers will also be fulfilled through Red Dice Games, but we cannot guarantee their will not be additional customs charges upon arrival in their final destination. International backers will pay an additional shipping fee explained in the table below. NOTE: We are now pleased to offer fulfillment from within the EU! Thank you to Red Dice Games for making this possible!
Risks and challenges
Every Kickstarter project is subject to the unknown. We do not know when, but we do know we will encounter some kind of unexpected delay in the manufacturing, shipping, and fulfillment process.
Our pledge, as it was with Commissioned and 3 Seeds, is to be as transparent as possible. We will post updates at all critical milestones, but no less than monthly. We will be up front about our own mistakes and delays, and we will make every good faith effort to correct any issues that arise during the process.
If you are worried about this, we urge you to talk with our backers from the Commissioned and 3 Seeds campaigns to get their honest feedback about our approach to Kickstarter campaigns.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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