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$16,889
pledged of $6,900pledged of $6,900 goal
525
backers
23days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, August 8 2019 3:44 PM UTC +00:00.

$16,889
pledged of $6,900pledged of $6,900 goal
525
backers
23days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, August 8 2019 3:44 PM UTC +00:00.

About

Demigods: a game about the half-mortal descendants of the gods

Demigods is an action/adventure RPG Powered by the Apocalypse that brings mythology to life in a modern setting. Built from the PBTA framework, Demigods is a fast-action take on mythology, in the style of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods and Good Omens, or Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series. You can play a character from any Pantheon or belief system you can imagine, plotting the arc of your ascension to godhood while you battle mythological creatures and villains in the modern world.

The goal of this Kickstarter is to publish a 6x9 rulebook of about 200+ pages. The manuscript is done, and we're raising funds for editing, layout, and even more art.

About Demigods

Demigods is designed for epic, heart-breaking, legendary stories. Its rules-light approach streamlines mythic, god-level play so you can get down to the business of epic storytelling without having to worry about a laundry list of powers, pantheons, or game mechanics that don’t drive the story.

Beyond the tales of legend threatening the modern world, your demigod has everyday life to worry about too. They have to live in the mortal world and deal with demanding parents, clueless friends, crushes gone bad, and worse. 

Game play is fast and story-focused. The stories will be rich tapestries woven of human experience, and epic moments that will go down in legend forever.

This game is for lovers of mythology, urban fantasy, magical realism, the supernatural, and epic heroes. Heralds (game-runners) who like flexibility, customization, and narrative-driven drama will find a home here, with rules that are easy to learn so you can get on with telling incredible stories together. 

The Quickstart rules are available now at demigodspbta.com!


Stretch Goals

  • The Twins - a pair of shared playbooks that compliment each other in mysterious ways (2 for 1!)
  • The Monster - a playbook based on characters like the minotaur, naga, and creatures from all around the world
  • The Spindle - when you include the Spindle as a person, sometimes it's fun to play that mortal who knows what's up, but is still very, very mortal 

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 The book was always going to have some example monsters but now it's going to be chock full! Fingers crossed: we'll even pull in some guest menagerists.  

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I will invest in the custom molds and order special dice, and a double-sided metal coin with the Demigods sigil to track Fate's Favor and Disfavor. There will be a standard matte "orichalcum" set, and a shiny gold set. The shiny gold will only ever be offered to backers. These will be available for purchase when we wrap! 

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We're bringing in writers to include EVEN MORE scenarios and fun pantheon information. We've already got Camdon Wright lined up, so let's check this off and see who else can come in!


If you've played anything Powered by the Apocalypse (Apocalypse World, Masks, Monster of the Week, Monsterhearts) then you already know the mechanics. If not, it’s simple to pick up. The core concept is "to do a thing, do the thing". Often you don't even need to roll dice to advance the story. When players take action and trigger a move, they roll 2 six-sided dice (2d6), add the appropriate attribute, and determine the outcome. Rolling a 10 or greater (10+) is a huge success, 7-9 is a success with a cost or complication, and rolling a 6 or less (6-) means the "Herald" will take an action as well, and drive the story forward. The Herald runs the game with a list of their own moves to affect the story, as well as an established agenda for how to keep the game on theme.

Demigods also has a few things that make it stand out from other PBTA games. On top of the large number of playbooks to choose from, and numerous themed moves on each, characters also benefit from a selection of Gifts, a Death Move, and an Ascendance move. 

Gifts

Gifts are epic items and abilities granted to the character, or sometimes "acquired". The latter is usually more fun. In either case, they have a base, static effect as described in the rules, but they also do something special when using the Bend Fate move. 

Death Move

Unique to this game, and to each playbook, this is the action you can take to keep helping your Weave while you're dead. Lots of heroes die and undergo trials to return to the land of the living, and Demigods expects no less. Don't go into the light just yet.

Ascendance Move

These moves are also unique to each playbook, and describe what your character can do when they shed their mortal coil and unleash the full potential of their divine nature. This is also your character's path to becoming a deity. Use it too much and you won't be able to hang out on the mortal plane anymore.


Playbooks 

The Arcane

Witch, Wizard, Sorcerer, Mage: whatever you call yourself, wielding the forces of magic itself is your game, and you’re the best at what you do. You have cold insight into the forces of Fate and are adept at tweaking it to your will. You search the world for lost artifacts and delve for the understanding of what makes magic tick. No mystery is beyond your ken, but are you a force for good, or will your hubris be your downfall?



The Artisan 

The Golden Fleece, Mjölnir, and the Chandrahas are all divine creations made for the gods, but it was the Artisan among them who crafted such wonders. You are the one who shapes the threads of Fate into works of art, weapons, armor, and devices useful to you, your Weave, and your Pantheon. Stand back, eye protection on: it’s time to craft.



The Celestial 

The Celestial is the huntress, the investigator, the one peeking behind the velvet curtains. Your destiny lies in the heavens. Whether that means the stars, the moon, the planets, or the sun, no one can take the sky from you. Your view from on high also gives insights into the future and the true nature of the people around you. Secrets beware: The Celestial is watching.



The Elemental

The Elemental embodies a specific element and is in a constant struggle between their mortal and primordial natures. Often distant and disconnected from humanity, you occasionally find yourself on the wrong end of a social interaction because you relate better to your element than people. Pick an element to control like Air, Earth, Fire, Water, or something else. You cannot be injured by an element you’ve mastered and can manipulate it in basic ways.



The Muse 

The talent producers, the too smooth seducers, 

The ones who take home anyone but losers;

You make everyone look good, especially yourself,

The kingmaker, the shot taker, you invented top shelf.



The Reaper

Death doesn’t discriminate, and no one understands death and dying the way you do. A psychopomp is not a killer, but they weigh, measure, and judge those who have passed beyond. You’ve been consumed with thoughts of the dead for as long as you can remember, either as a morbid fascination, or with a lust for life that fuels endless revelry. Whether they fear you or not, death comes for everyone in the end.



The Trickster 

In most cultures Tricksters are teachers and guides. Whether your parent was someone like Coyote, Loki, or Ārohirohi you advise, hint, and cajole to bring these mortals enlightenment. Tricksters are not always funny gods, but you do see the world differently from most everybody else. You will do almost whatever it takes to achieve your goals. This is lucky when your friends want the same things you do, and awkward when they don’t.  



The Verdant 

The Verdant in every pantheon is the reason things grow. You are the steward of fertility, vitality, and life. As an avatar of nature, you’re very substance is able to grow and change as needed. Whether changing shape, talking to trees, or healing wounds, you adapt and face down any threat. Life finds a way. 



The Warrior 

A warrior is often many other things as well: a poet, a chef, a parent, or a teacher to name just a few. While always a last resort, in your heart of hearts you know that sometimes violence is the best solution, and you’re the one prepared to carry it out. Your response will be tactical, thoughtful, and crushingly victorious.


Examples of Play 

Revelations with Happy Jacks RPG from 2018 

Monsoon with Happy Jacks RPG from 2019 



Jason Mills, author and designer of Demigods  

Jason is the author of this game called Demigods. His design goals include making games as diverse and widely accessible as possible and is committed to those practices as core beliefs rather than add-ons. He started gaming farther back than he can remember and has played just about every game and game system you can think of, because he's a little weird that way. Demigods is his first publication, and you can look forward to many more games to come. You can find him at @itsProbablyOk on Twitter. (spoiler: he loves talking about mythology)

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Amelia Vidal, character portraits 

Amelia Vidal is an illustrator and character designer.
          She started working in the animation industry in Argentina in 2004. In Hook Up animation studio she worked as a character designer, illustrator, layout designer and storyboard artist; in series, advertisements and films for Disney animation, Cartoon Network, Universal and other local projects. As of 2016, she began teaching digital illustration techniques at La Ola school. And in 2017, start working as a freelancer artist doing character designs for independent projects such as Demigods, commissions and for several animation studios and video games studios such as Dreamworks, Codigames, Powerhouse animation, etc.
          Currently, she is working on a development project at Marvel Studios and as a cover artist for comics at BOOM! Studios.

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Minerva Fox, cover and interior art

Minerva Fox is a gaming and comic illustrator from the great City of Chicago. She draws influence from manga and western comics alike in her work. You can find her live on Mondays and Thursdays on twitch.tv/blue_troller and her portfolio at artstation.com/mfox151 

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Adam West, art direction 

Adam West is a Choctaw Two-Spirit originally from Oklahoma. He has made a career out of making things look nice on stage and for TV and film. Demigods is his first RPG art collaboration. He is definitely a cleric of the god of art, friendship, and beauty.  

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Aabria Iyengar, character and scenario design 

Aabria Iyengar is a professional TTRPG Streamer, Dungeon Master, and writer based out of Los Angeles. She is also the Head of Marketing for Dice Envy. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @quiddie. 

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Kimi Hughes, character and scenario design 

Kimi Hughes has been producing content for the RPG community for nearly a decade. She is best known for her gaming company, Golden Lasso Games and her participation in the Happy Jacks RPG advice shows and actual plays. She has made many panel appearances at conventions around the US and is an Amazon warrior fighting for diversity in gaming. When she isn’t playing RPGs, she enjoys weight lifting and cosplaying her favorite comic book characters.

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Camdon Wright, guest scenario writer

Camdon Wright is a game writer and designer that loves to play pretend, tell stories, and share a gaming table with new people. He is the owner of the Unicorn Motorcycle Games, contributor at the ENnie award winning gaming blog Gnome Stew, diversity coordinator for the Indie Game Developers Network (IGDN), and is currently finishing the game One Child’s Heart.

Production

Demigods will be produced in partnership with Christopher Grey, the creator of The Happiest Apocalypse on Earth. It will be published Print on Demand and fulfilled in house. Once fulfillment is done, I will publish it on DriveThru RPG.


Shipping

All printing and domestic shipping is free. International backers will be charged shipping based on actual costs.


Risks

I’ve done a lot of work learning the ropes and have an excellent team made up of established game designers who have successful Kickstarters, but I feel obligated to say this is my first Kickstarter. While there are potential issues outside of my control, such as shipping costs and the uncertainty around tariffs, etc., there is little else to be concerned about. The manuscript is done and much of the art has already been commissioned. These funds will recoup my personal costs and pay for additional art, editing, layout, and distribution. The game is ready to go and I can’t wait to share it with you.

Risks and challenges

We're raising money to cover editing, layout, and additional artwork. We also won't know how many physical books to order versus PDF copies. We've priced these out as carefully as possible, but I have the help of a team that's done this many times before, with a full success rate.

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    You'll get a signed copy of the hardcover (free shipping in the United States), and work with Jason to design an idea for a Spindle (with Jason's editing). The Spindle is a core part of each Weave (group of Demigods), and is a person, place, or thing important to the Demigods for different reasons. The book will need several examples of this, and you'll get to help! Heck, maybe you ARE the Spindle...

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    Signed hardcover of the rulebook, plus a 1 hour video chat with Jason to help plan your upcoming Demigods campaign.

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    You'll get a signed copy of the hardcover (free shipping in the United States) and a 4-hour one-shot session Heralded by Jason for you and three of your friends. You'll play online via Discord, Skype, or something similar. It will be your choice to play sooner with the Quickstart rules, or later if you'd rather wait for the published book.

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    You'll get a signed copy of the hardcover (free shipping in the United States), and work with Jason to develop a deity from one of the modern pantheons: Science, Media, or City. It will be your choice to design the character (with Jason's editing), or to be the principle inspiration for art regarding the deity, using your likeness.

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    You'll get a signed copy of the hardcover (free shipping in the United States), and play a 4 hour game online with me and three of my streaming buddies. The cast will vary by availability but I stream with a bunch of fun people and it's definitely going to be a good time. You'll play online via Discord, Skype, or something similar. It will be your choice to play sooner with the Quickstart rules, or later if you'd rather wait for the published book.

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