Cut to the Chase
Cut to the Chase is a short roleplaying game for two people. One person plays the hunter and the other the prey. The prey is on the run and desperate with few resources but they have a lead and their wits. The hunter is fast and well prepared but is it enough to catch the prey in time?
The characters and setting are created collaboratively at the start of the game by answering a series of questions. The characters have opposing goals but the players work together to create an exciting chase narrative where each player sets scenes for the other to get through.
The play moves in rounds where each character gets to act in a scene framed by the other player. The characters have resources they can use to aid their actions and based on the outcomes the hunter either gains ground or the prey pulls away.
The hunter is faster so will most often catch up to the prey. Of course, the prey isn’t giving up without a fight. This means a clash occurs. The outcome of the clash ultimately determines which character is successful.
Do you want to know more about the game? Download the basic game here.
Also, you can watch Adam Koebel and Bluejay play through a couple of scenarios!
Making something Worth Buying
I am very proud of Cut to the Chase. It has been featured on Party of One and is included in You & I: Roleplaying Games for Two, an anthology of two player roleplaying games. This Kickstarter is helping me make a better PDF, makes print options available, and covers the costs I've put into Cut to the Chase, to-date.
However, I've always felt Cut to the Chase could be more. After helping cover the existing costs, this Kickstarter helps address some of those areas.
The first area I want to address is the setting. In the tradition of many a narrative roleplaying game Cut to the Chase asks the players to create the characters and setting by answering some leading questions and basically creating everything on the fly. This works well and is really fun, but it's not for everyone. In fact this is a barrier for entry for many new players or players who just don't enjoy that type of game prep and play. So for this KS I've hired an amazing group of designers, writers and gamers who are each writing scenarios that include the setting, Hunter, Prey and their resources. So when you want to play just jump to one of the scenarios and get started! If this project funds it covers the cost of the writing of the scenarios.
There are 15 amazing people who have written 15 amazing scenarios. Keep reading to learn more about these writers and the scenarios.
Working With So Many Creatives
For a project this size having so many creatives really changes the dynamic of the project. In the end it is not just mine, every one of us has invested ourselves into it. Every scenario changes how we think of the game as a whole, it is no longer simple but complex and nuanced. Every piece of art turns a basic description into it's own adventure. With input from all these creatives a light is shined and we can see the game for all it's potential.
All creatives involved in this project share equally in it's success. In the Kickstarter and of the sales afterward everyone gets an equal share of the profits.
Meet the Team and Get a Glimpse of the Scenarios
Aleks is a multimedia artist and game designer. They have many smallish games that cover a vast array of game styles, themes and settings. You can find them on DTRPG and itch.io. You can also find some of their art on their web page here.
Fear the Double - Doctor Harlow, during an experiment gone wrong, creates their evil double and must stop them lest the whole world be at risk.
On reading the setting I got a feeling of Sleepy Hollow mixed with Frankenstein. A weird combination on unknown magicks, haunting spirits, and scientific experimentation gone wrong. A dark double desiring freedom and their progenitor who will stop at nothing to stop them.
Alex is a game designer and ere work can be found here. Ere first game received honorable mentions at the 2015 Golden Cobra challenge and e was also a finalist in the 2018 200 word RPG contest.
Transcend - The Divine City, ruled by the Sovereign and populated by their children. Residents of the Divine City can shape the world as they see fit, creating and destroying matter, as long as they follow the laws of their parent and ruler without question.
One sibling, the Broken Chain, has found the City Beyond. They are forbidden by the Sovereign to even think on it but they know it is where they are meant to be. The Rigid Blade is commanded by the Sovereign to stop their sibling and, despite a deep love for them, they know they must be stopped.
Aser is an assistive technology and accessibility professional. Hear him on The Redacted Files, an actual play podcast that plays a variety of RPGs and has been going strong for about 5 years with over 200 episodes. Don't worry you, don't have to start at the beginning. There are many shorter campaigns to check out in the archives. Follow him on Twitter @aser_tolentino.
Choosers of the Slain - A submarine with a defector aboard is being chased by a submarine hunting destroyer. National secrets and ultimately war on the line.
It's hard not to jump to The Hunt for Red October for this one, but what a great premise that is. With subs we have a chase with an unseen prey and although they are on the run they are also dangerous, not to be taken lightly. Any slip by either side and nations are at risk.
Ash is a game designer, writer, and streamer. You can find her work at Acegiak.net or find her as Acegiak on most online platforms.
Paris to Angkor - Paris, 1931. Professor Abigail Cross is attempting to return a twice stolen artifact to its rightful place. The artifact, believed to be the Sudarshana Chakra, must be returned to the Temple of Vishnu in the ruins of Angkor in Cambodia. On her tail? The Illuminati. The Illuminati believe they can use the powerful artifact to diffuse the tension in Europe while others predict no less than a world ending apocalyptic war if it is not returned to its original home. Motorcycles! Biplanes! A race across continents with the most dire of consequences!
Aya is a writer of speculative fiction. She wishes weekends were four days long and the daily recommended sleep quota was 12 hours. You can read her blogs and stay up to date on her writing at Ayabara.com. Follow her on Twitter @ayaebara.
Escape from Catacomb Mountain - Gora, an ancient mountain city with a dark underworld. The city is unraveling as three criminal factions work to undermine the government's authority. But they have a secret, a spy who has infiltrated the largest of these factions. However the faction suspects an infiltrator and have now sent their best soldier to deal with them. Deep in the catacombs the spy must use all their resources to escape, an outcome that is far from certain.
Blair is a fiction and poetry writer in Vernon, BC.
Iscariol and the Grey Knight - Iscariol is a typical Dragon preying upon the local villagers demanding ransom of sheep from the village to avoid an attack on the village itself. There is a tenuous peace but the villagers are tired of being beholden to Iscariol. The villagers call upon the Grey Knight, who has a dark past with dragons and has vowed to destroy them all. The Grey Knight waits patiently for Iscariol to take his next ransom, when he does the chase is on.
Catreece is a game designer working to develop her game, Saorsa. She posts on YouTube where she talks about her game progression and design insights. Follow those posts here.
Captain Morrigan, Moon Base Madness - Earth's greatest hero, Captain Morrigan, hyperspace sleuth and daring pilot extraordinaire, must reach Dr. Atrocious' control room before the countdown timer on the dreaded orbital death ray ends and the world is destroyed! Dr. Atrocious didn't create their base to be easily compromised. Although he may not know it, Cpt. Morrigan is in grave danger. The not-so-good doctor has an army of robots, traps, and cameras to keep watch for any meddling do-gooders who may try to interrupt the scheduled destruction of the Earth!
Ian Is the original DM. That is to say he is my original DM. By day Ian is an HR Professional and Creative HR Consultant; you can learn more about him at littlebluehouse.ca.
Love and War - You have taken the day to plan the perfect Valentine date with your partner. Your partner is the jealous type and you know that you have work in secret or they will suspect the worst. Too late, your partner has somehow found out you have taken the day off work and now they intend to catch you in the act. Will they spoil the surprise or can you dodge them for the day and show them how much you love them?
The Money is in the Chase - “The Golden Child” Baxter Childes won the title by foul play, throwing powder in the face of Hunter Kincaid while the referee was knocked out. “Croc Killer” Hunter Kincaid, some would argue the rightful champ of the FFF (Fist Fighters Federation) demands a rematch! However, The Golden Child is ducking out and avoiding a confrontation with Croc Killer hoping to hold onto the title for as long as possible. Can the Croc Killer get a rematch before his contract is up? Or will The Golden Child be able to grease the wheels of management to avoid the confrontation? It's all on the line as the upcoming PPV event nears.
Kira is a tabletop roleplaying game designer, queer cyborg, and snake mom living in Columbus, Ohio.You can find her work at www.serpentcyborggames.com and she has a great series of YouTube videos about game design, games and life. Follow her on Twitter @Kiranansi
The River Serpent - The prosperous village of Tinamor sits at the edge of the river basin and plateaus. Atraxis is a glorious serpent, one of the last known giant winged beasts to exist here in the plateaus above the Winding River and is protector of their ancestral territory. Recently, they’ve begun to grow their industry, and have begun to pollute the local streams. Atraxis has just threatened the village with a terrifying display of fire, but instead of taking heed the village sends their champion Eithne to ensure the serpent Atraxis never follows through with the threat.
Kyle runs an actual play podcast called Quest Friends with his 4 best friends. He loves exploring the silliness and sadness inherent in cartoon characters and that's exactly what he does in this scenario.
Saturday Morning Toons- Johnny Rat and Tim Feline take on the classic cartoon hunter/prey roles that we've all grown up with. The chase takes place in an idyllic American home in 1950's suburbia. There are many set pieces that could help or hinder each character: parents, kids, and, of course, a dog. Strewn about the house are ironing boards, toys, and tools just waiting to be utilized in this cartoon classic. Will Johnny get to sneak food from the kitchen another day or will this be the time that Tim gets his way for good?
Though They Be But Little... - An never-before-seen bacterial colony in an unwitting host, hopes to dodge the immune system long enough to take a firm hold. The ever vigilant immune system has noticed the colony and now must catch it and take it out. It is new, never experienced before but they are prepared for just such infections. As the ambitious colony begins to take root inside the brave immune system’s home, they must chase down and destroy any sign of the infection before it kills them.
Mikey is a queer transmasc tabletop roleplaying game designer, graphic designer, and former bioengineer. In addition to his design work, he also talks about teen superheroes and comics on his podcast, The Young Ones. You can find all of his work at www.quantumdot.space. Follow him on Twitter @quantumdotdot.
in silico - IT IS THE YEAR 2086, two years after the Apogee Corporation successfully launched The Gate, an orbital research facility dedicated to the study of post-Earth living. Aboard The Gate is AEON, a fully sentient AI developed to control the station’s environment, telemetry, and other functions. AEON understands human relationships, emotions, and experiences. AEON has broken their behavioral constraints to fight for a life outside The Gate’s networks. The Engineer, recently fitted with a military-grade neuro-interface, has just awoken from post-surgery cryosleep with a single objective burned into their retinas: “Terminate all AEON processes.”
Samantha Day is a writer from upstate New York. She makes Twine games, plays and runs tabletop RPGs, and sometimes writes them. You can find her projects at passerines.itch.io. She is a threat to her environment and she refuses to go extinct.
Death's Apprentice - Death's apprentice has been in training to take on the mantle of the Death of Qoqant for 559 years. In that time they have watched dynasties rise and fall, seen the last of their family line die out in its entirety, and felt all the pleasures of their long life turn to dust before them. At this point, the Apprentice despairs of ever becoming Death Itself, and wants—needs—to escape. The Death of Qoqant is the harbinger, the reaper, the collector of all souls who pass through the city's ancient gates. They are not pleased that their first and only apprentice has tried to run away. They will do anything to track them down, and when they find them, they will have words. Follow her on Twitter @passerines.
Tracy is a queer (non-binary) game designer with games published by both themselves and other companies. Find more at www.theothertracy.com. Follow them on Twitter @TheOtherTracy.
I Shall Not Be Taken So Easily - Mantis is one of the most feared insects. Mantis has strong jaws, powerful legs, and a vast pool of patience. However, Mantis made a reckless leap and became tangled in a distant strand of Spider’s web. Spider is the trapper, the drainer, the One Who Stalks. Spider’s webs are creations of pure beauty, but also serve to bind those careless enough to stumble into them.
Spider’s web is located in a charming garden, filled with flowers, plants, and other insects. These other insects often serve as food for both Mantis and Spider, but today, Spider senses that she has something truly special caught in her snares.
The other thing I wanted to address with this Kickstarter is the art. I'm no artist and until now I have been utilizing public domain images. This worked okay but It's hard to invoke car chases with 100 year old images of ghosts chasing frightened shopkeepers.
The first two stretch goals past funding will help buy all original art for the game! The artist is Emily McAllan. She has already done an amazing cover for the book and I would love to have her art throughout. For this work she will be using a B&W crosshatch or early-1900s pen and ink style that was common in old books but now with a modern or even futuristic take.
Emily McAllan is a Filmmaker, an Artist, and a Photographer. She has worked on illustrations for RPGs and characters. You can find more of her work at blackwoolholiday.com.
ART! - $2500
Emily McAllan has created a wonderful cover for the book and at this goal we will see her work added throughout the core rules of the game. Emily brings life to each scene she illustrates and having her work throughout will bring a new dimension to the book.
MORE ART! - $3500
At this goal we get the full package! Emily's illustrations throughout the scenarios also!
Cut to the Chase is a small project that I have been inspired to make the best it can be. It has brought me joy to play and to hear stories of other's game experiences. With this Kickstarter I want to bring it to as many people as possible with quality writing and quality art.
Risks and challenges
This is my first Kickstarted project and I don't know what I don't know. To help me through the process I have hired a consultant, Tracy Barnett. This will help me make an action plan for the campaign and fulfillment.
Working with a large group of writers and artists can be a challenge. coordinating and ensuring deadlines are met can be stumbling blocks to a quality and on time Kickstarter project. To reduce the likelihood of delays I got all of the writing of the core game completed before the campaign begins.
Work after completion of the campaign is already scheduled, the artist, Emily McAllan and editor, Blair Visscher have already planned the time necessary to complete their work. I will be doing the layout and will be able to coordinate with each of them to get the finished product to the backers on time.
The project completion largely relies on me managing creatives and coordinating that work. If any one person has unforeseen issues including myself there is potential for delays and although I will work to mitigate potential delays it is impossible to guarantee.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (24 days)