Kitsune (pronounced kit-soo-nay) are Japanese fox-spirits, known for tricking unwary mortals. We come to know them through traditional tales, wherein they do this for many reasons: purely for fun, to devour mortals or steal their souls, and so on. But this card game is about kitsune who play tricks to punish mortal fools for their foolishness, sometimes teaching them a lesson in the process. By correcting mortal foolishness, the foxes earn their tails. Those who gain all nine tails of the mythical spirit fox earn their place among the kitsune elders.
This is a game of luck and tactics, where each player takes the role of a fox trying to earn his or her tails. Some cards represent the foxes; others, the tricks they can play in their schemes, the fools they must teach lessons to, and the consequences that befall foxes who fail. Suitable for ages 13 and up, Kitsune: of Foxes & Fools is relatively family friendly, but does include some themes suggestive of violence, sexuality, drug use, and a few cards have mild rude language. It's about teaching lessons to profoundly foolish individuals, after all.
The box comes with 15 fox cards, 70 fool cards(35 uniques),100 tricks(40 uniques), 60 consequences(30 uniques), 70 double-sided fox-fire tokens, 70 tail tokens, 2 d10, and 1 rule booklet.
The Team and Our Responsibilities
This card game was written by Ian Price and has art by his brother Charlie Price. First shown in prototype form as Charlie's senior project at his graduation from Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD), a playable prototype already exists which we show off for you in our video. The prototype has line art illustrations for the Fox and Fool cards, but no illustrations for the Trick or Consequence cards. Completing the initial goal for this kickstarter project will prove a level of interest in the project which will make it worthwhile to produce illustrations for the rest of the cards, and revise card text to help fit those illustrations in the available space.
Ian's responsibilities have included writing the game and all the text you see here, as well as setting up all business necessities and marketing avenues for the game. With his experience organizing businesses as a paralegal working for his father, and professional game-writing experience, Ian is ready to deliver on his responsibilities. You can see much of what Ian has written here, in the card list for the game.
Charlie's responsibilities include all art, design, and production aspects of the project. Some of the production for Kickstarter rewards he will even do by hand - posters and T-shirts, for example. Other portions he will coordinate with contracted production services. Shipping the finished product to backers will thus also fall into his court. His art skills are on display on this page, as well as his tumblr and deviantart accounts.
One additional team member plays an important role: Susan Price, Ian and Charlie's mother, is a professional editor who worked for over a decade at the technical publishing house Allured Business Media, and now runs S. Price Editorial Services (editing and ghostwriting) and Re/Write: Scribbles to Stories (helping people write better and enjoy it more). She is responsible for editing both game text and everything else written, whether for Kickstarter or other marketing copy, to ensure sense, brevity, grammar, and style. She is bringing to the table a wealth of experience in the publishing industry, as well as having been business manager for her husband (Ian and Charlie's father)'s law practice, and will provide a reliable bastion of order in the chaos of starting a new business. Her influence as an editor can already be seen in the card list previously linked, as well as on this Kickstarter page.
Also, our thanks go to Jacob Gulliver (Writer/Director of successfully kickstarted web-series Fang and Talon) for filming our Kickstarter video! Thanks go to TheGameCrafter.com for printing our prototypes!
There are some add-on rewards we're offering in addition to the tiers listed separately. The first four can be added on to any reward $20 or more:
+$10 - add a signed print (8x10") of one of the original art pieces from the game.
+$25 - add a signed hand-printed poster (11x17" or 17x20") of one of the original art pieces.
+$40 - add a signed hand-printed T-shirt with one of the original art pieces.
+$45 - add 36x42" Mega-Poster of the game with double-sided rules sheet. This Mega-Poster was originally used for an art installation showing off the game as the artist's (Charlie's) senior project at Minneapolis College of Art and Design.
The following rewards may be added to any reward already receiving a physical copy of the game (prototype, standard, or nine-tailed). You may do more than one of the bonus physical copies of the games editions:
+$10 - Upgrade your standard or nine-tailed edition to Critter Camp edition. The Critter Camp is an exotic pet sanctuary in northern Illinois, and the proceeds of this edition are shared with this charity. Learn more about this partnership on our Facebok page!
+$35 - Bonus prototype physical copy to gift to people, if already receiving a physical copy.
+$40 - Bonus standard physical copy for gifting, if already receiving a standard physical copy.
+$65 - Bonus copy of the nine-tailed special edition to gift to people, if already receiving the special edition.
Use Kickstarter's "send us a message" feature to indicate which add-on bonus rewards you want to receive. We will also be asking this question in the backers' survey.
For the $125-$175 rewards where you appear on card art in the special edition of the game, we will be re-developing the art for all the cards to make the special nine-tailed edition a unique set of collectors' items. These rewards allow you to appear in caricature on one of the re-developed cards. If you've got a particular card in mind, because you've played with us at a convention or read our card list, you may ask to appear on that card. However, the art director will have to make the final decision who appears on what card, especially if we have requests from multiple backers to appear on a single, popular card!
The basic goal ($5000) will pay for us to complete a finished game. We'll get the remaining 70 black and white illustrations completed, and be able to invest our own money to put up a print run of the game to sell. This is a success, because the game will be in a finished form! However, there's so much more we could do! Here is a taste of what we'd like to do if we get more money:
$10,000 - Foxes in the Shade. All the cards will be drawn in a detailed, shading-based grayscale in preparation for adding color if we have the money to go to that step. Even without color, this technique (which takes longer than the line-art we've done so far, but adding color to it takes less time) looks much better without losing any of the character of the line-art.
$12,000 - Full color foxes. The Fox cards will receive full color treatments in the standard edition of the game.
$14,000 - Full color fools. The Fool cards will receive full color treatments in the standard edition of the game.
$16,000 - Full color consequences. The Consequence cards will receive full color treatments in the standard edition of the game.
$18,000 - Full color tricks. The Trick cards will receive full color treatments in the standard edition of the game.
$20,000 - Large Print Run! This is an exciting goal, because at this point we can improve everyone's rewards. Printing a large run (at least 500) of the game at once will reduce the cost of the game per unit for us, and at this point we'll be able to fund this entirely out of the Kickstarter pledges, nothing from our own pockets. At this level, everybody receiving a physical edition (Prototype, Standard, or Special) of the game will get a bonus 8"x10" signed art print, as a special thanks.
$25,000 - The first mystery reward is now revealed! If we hit this level of funding, we'll be able to make an expansion set immediately following the manufacture of the first game. This set will be called Youkai: the Spirit Courts, and will feature a variety of mystical beasts from oriental mythology. There will be cards to expand the basic style of play of the game, as well as optional rules for alternate victory conditions and extra cards to support those game modes. The expansion will be available as four mini-packs with seasonal-themed portions of the cards, and as a full expansion box containing all the cards and rules. Anyone who's backed for $20 or more will receive the pdf for this expansion free - and get a discount on a physical copy!
$30,000 - Mystery Goal #2! To be revealed when the project reaches $10,000.
$35,000 - Mystery Goal #3! To be revealed when the project reaches $12,000.
And there are more to come beyond that, if it looks like we'll get there...
Risks and challenges
Challenge: there are 70+ illustrations still to do for the standard edition, and 160+ to do for the limited special edition.
To meet this challenge: Charlie, the artist, will set an art development schedule according to his available time, depending on whether the level of backing allows him to work on this full time or whether he needs a day job. Backers will receive updates several times a week as art pieces are completed and put into card templates.
Risk: shipping physical products can be expensive.
Solution: we will have backers receiving physical products arrange for shipping separately after the project funds. Less expensive shipments (domestic US) will be covered by the pledge amount, while more expensive shipments (other continents) or items which are expensive to produce in comparison to price (the preliminary edition of the game) may require the backer to pay for shipping at this step. If you're in Northern IL or the Twin Cities area, this may involve hand delivery.
Risk: the creators of this project are relatively unknown.
Solution: Ian is proven professional, having been paid for game writing for White Wolf Publishing in 2004 on the books Ghouls, Carthians, and the Requiem Chronicler's Guide for the Vampire: the Requiem line. Charlie has a portfolio of work as GreatGrendel on DeviantArt (ask Charlie about professional work). This is the brothers' first independent publication together, but it won't be their last. It's always risky to invest your money and attention in a new artist, but it's also how you discover the next great one, the next big thing.
A public playtest was held for the game at CONvergence 2013, where approximately 50 people were able to try out the game and gave us lots of valuable feedback. We made extensive small tweaks to the rules and cards following that public testing, which have made the game much stronger and more fun.
Challenge: The limited "Nine Tails" special edition will require re-drawing every card and doing all illustrations in color and extra detail, this will take a lot of extra time.
Solution: We will only be able to produce the Nine Tails special edition if at least $5000 worth of pledges are devoted to it. So, if 67 people order it at the base $75 level, that would bring it about; or if 25 of the 70 possible slots to appear as one of the Fools are taken ($200), that would also do it - etc. This ensures that we can pay for the extra art we'll need to pull this off (such as by hiring additional artists, or simply by working Charlie full time for an extra month).
- (30 days)