$2,102
pledged of $2,500pledged of $2,500 goal
83
backers
7days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Sun, September 1 2019 6:00 AM UTC +00:00.

$2,102
pledged of $2,500pledged of $2,500 goal
83
backers
7days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Sun, September 1 2019 6:00 AM UTC +00:00.

About

I’m a fag, I’m a Jew, how do you do?

That’s MISTER Anarchist to you.

You think your scene’s dead, but mine got killed

By some dimwit’s ‘Triumph of the Will’!”

- The World/Inferno Friendship Society, “Ich Erinnere mich an die Weimarer Republik”

Never Forget (To Punch Nazis In The Face)

Resist & Remember is an anti-fascist tabletop roleplaying game dedicated to honoring, memorializing,  and commemorating those who stood up in the face of fascism, bigotry, and tyranny--and all too often paid the ultimate price--by interactively telling their stories.

Resist & Remember: Weimar is the first or "pilot" Uprising of Resist & Remember. Uprisings are places & times where the downtrodden and oppressed fought back and lashed out against the establishment that disenfranchised and persecuted then. Resist & Remember: Weimar contains the entire game and engine "Resist & Remember" in addition to all the Weimar-specific material, as will any future Uprisings (which I plan on creating only if Weimar is successful). Ideas I'm excited to develop into Uprisings include the 1831 Nat Turner slave rebellion, the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York, and the 1992 Rodney King riots in L.A., as well as one more visit with the NSDAP focused on the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. But for now, I'm concerned solely with this first Uprising.


Resist & Remember: Weimar--is a roleplaying game built into five narrative Acts. The first four of these Acts cast the PCs as artists, barflies, Communist and Anarchist partisans, filmmakers, performer, socialites, writers, and other assorted trouble makers weathering the sea change in culture and society in Berlin from the last days of Weimar Republic through the rise of Nazi Germany. There, you will rub elbows with German artists, thinkers, creators, and other personalities, whose life trajectories parallel those of your characters: some will make it out alive, others will not be so lucky.  

Weimar Berlin at the end of the 1920s and beginning of the 1930s was a progressive, liberal cultural hotbed of radical new ideas in art, music, architecture, and writing, as well as a divided political battleground with Anarchist, Monarchist, and National Socialist partisans fighting in the streets (the early 20th Century equivalent of Black Lives Matter clashing with Trump supporters, although nearly every day). The New Woman shook up the societal landscape, with German girls that were more sexually liberated and independent than ever before. At the same time, cabaret performances and theater were racier and more politically controversial than ever, and people of color were the trendiest musical acts at bars and night clubs. 

In many ways, the Weimar Republic was much like the modern West. In any case, Weimar Berlin was one huge party, until the party was over.    

All of this "Divine Decadence" was viewed by the Nazis as degenerate.

Resist & Remember: Weimar explores and educates about the Weimar Republic, the political and societal factors behind the Nazis' rise to power, explains how the machinations of the Weimar Republic's democratic process resulted in Hitler's election to the office of Chancellor of Germany, and faces down the Nazis' consolidation of power and the terrors which followed.

  • Act I of R&R: Weimar takes place from September, 1930 to November, 1932, the last days of the Weimar Republic in Berlin. 
  • Act II takes place on the night of the Reichstag Fire, February 27th, 1933. 
  • Act III covers the Gleichschaltung--known as Nazification in the west--that took place between 1933 and 1935. 
  • Act IV takes place on Kritallnacht
  • (The setting of Act V is a surprise.)

Resist & Remember is designed so that each player in the game group acts as the GM of one act.

But what about the game? Is it any good? Is it any fun? What are the mechanics like?

These are all great questions. Resist & Remember is designed to be as accessible as possible to as many tabletop gamers as possible--this means that if you know how to play Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition, you already essentially know how to play Resist & Remember. The core rules all involve rolling a twenty sided die, adding a modifier, and comparing it with a Target Number. While D&D 5E has six ability scores and around a dozen skills you can be proficient with, Resist & Remember has 21 'Skills' which function between them as both ability scores and skill proficiencies (some are things like Bravery and Toughness, things we wouldn't think of skills in the normal sense of that word) that are assigned various bonuses. Things like Health (hp) and Defense (Armor Class) are also determined by these skills. 

If you're curious about the game, since all of the primary writing is complete, the prototype version is already out. Supporters of my Patreon can download a PDF with the complete text of the game (around 50,000 words) right here.  

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO (UNDERSTANDABLY) MIGHT WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE GAME SHORT OF PLEDGING TO GIVE ME TEN US DOLLARS AND/OR THE EFFORT INVOLVED IN READING THE ENTIRE TEXT, THIS Q&A I DID WITH THE GM SHOE (ALL AROUND COOL GUY DAN DAVENPORT) COVERS A LOT OF THE HIGH POINTS, LOG IS HERE:  https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/2019/07/25/qa-devon-oratz-resist-remember/ 

(TW/Content Warning: the Holocaust and the years of pogroms leading up to it encompass countless instances of every deplorable act that human beings can do to other human beings. Anything and everything that could warrant a Content Warning was done in Nazi Germany, and hundreds or thousands of times. So, I don’t mean to be facetious when I say Trigger Warning: everything evil.) 

In part, Resist & Remember: Weimar is certainly an RPG about the Holocaust at least in part. Games are an art form much like any other—if you disagree with that point you are NOT the intended audience for this—and this is art with the intention of memorializing, analyzing, and educating as well as entertaining. 

But is it any fun? I certainly hope so. This is a game about resisting (well…duh) and while the resistance depicted here is historically doomed to failure, that doesn’t mean that you won’t perform acts as daring, thrilling, and heroic as you would in any game of D&D. Here the action it just has more weight to it. Even if, in the end, you lose, that you fought back is what really matters.

Also, (spoilers) the game ends with you punching a Nazi in the fucking face.

Yom HaShoa and the UHMM

As I had planned, I started writing this game during Yom HaShoa, Israel’s Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day. I somehow imagined that I was going to complete this epic project in 72 hours (what am I, crazy? Don’t answer that, it’s a rhetorical question, I know I’m literally certifiable). 

The plan was to release it for a month with 50% of the gross revenue from sales of the game donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (https://www.ushmm.org/ ), and then donate 20% of the gross revenue from sales of the game would be donated to the USHMM in perpetuity. This is still the plan, the time table has just been moved up, several times by several months, but it's still going to be a 50% split for the first month the game is available for sale to the public, and and a 20% split in perpetuity thereafter.

Kickstarter's policies DO NOT allow for fundraising for charities. So, 0% of the crowdfunding can be given to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The plan now is to have 50% of gross sales revenue go to the USHMM until mid-July, after which 20% of gross sales revenue will go to the USHMM in perpetuity.

This game would not exist if not for the truly amazing album by the World/Inferno Friendship Society, Addicted To Bad Ideas: Peter Lorre’s 20th Century, which you should buy immediately if you like awesome music. Anyway, listening to this album over and over (and over and over), sparked my interest in the culture of Germany’s short-lived Weimar Republic and the rise of National Socialism. This resulted in what we academics call a “shit ton” of more traditional research. 

This research revealed deeper and deeper parallels between the Weimar Republic and the United States during the tail end of the Obama administration, and more parallels, parallels that are deeply disturbing at a time when the President of the United States is unwilling to denounce neo-Nazis and the United States is operating actual concentration camps, between what came after for Weimar Germany and what came after for the United States. Exploring these parallels lead me to the conclusion that this game is, unlike anything I have ever made before, both important and necessary.

Where exactly is my money going?

As I mentioned all of the main writing is done, so here is where your support is needed to bring Resist & Remember to gamers everywhere. I want to produce a small offset print run of at least 100 but no more than 250 copies. These hardcopies will be used to fulfill Kickstarter backers first, then the remainder will be sold through distribution along with at this point traditional POD sales through platforms such as DriveThruRPG.

 Stretch Goals

So last but not least, at the time of this writing we've got a fair ways to go until we're funded, but we're more than halfway there, so here's a handy dandy hopefully kind of readable infographic with all the Stretch Goals from Resist & Remember: Weimar.

Risks and challenges

Total Transparency: This is my fifth Kickstarter and my first Kickstarter done alone and not corporately. I have been part of three Kickstarters I consider successful, one outright failure, and one nightmarish failgasm that did eventually fulfill, nearly two years after I promised it would. So I feel like potential backers are entitled to a fairly in-depth risk/reward analysis here.

My fourth Kickstarter was the outright failure mentioned above, but then again the company doing the crowdfunding was pretty literally torn apart while the Kickstarter was running, so that could not have been helped. Those of you who followed my third Kickstarter, the science fiction TTRPG Systems Malfunction, know that it was the nightmarish failgasm mentioned above (eh, let's call it a "rocky road" to be polite), during which I made a slew of bad decisions, not to mentions promises I had every intention of keeping that it turned out to be literally impossible to keep (when the person who handles layout, art direction, and printing vanishes entirely and you need to figure out enough about how to do those things to finish the book without them, it's quite a steep learning curve).

All backers received their rewards eventually, if not in the initially projected time frame, and I learned a lot from the disaster that unfolded.

The most important thing to note about this project is that I am handling it myself, entirely. While there are obvious challenges associated with being a one man show, it also has its advantages. First off, I'm aware of my limitations which is why I'm aiming to produce a solid, stripped-down product that emphasizes content over slick packaging. Secondly, at no point during this project will I be reliant upon anyone else to produce any key component of Resist & Remember. There will largely only be myself, answerable only to myself. This is why I feel confident that I can complete all necessary tasks needed to fulfill backer rewards in the projected timeframe.

As a for instance, I cannot draw, nor is the art budget enough to fill the book with illustrations. However, considering the historical source material, creative commons photographs found on wikimedia commons are not just an economical way of 'illustrating' the book, but extremely appropriate.

Logistically speaking, in the past, I have asked for far too little for international shipping and gone thousands of dollars out of pocket on the cost. The basic reward tier for the physical book will only ship within the US, and while the Freedom Fighter tier will ship anywhere in the world, the shipping costs are high because well...international shipping costs are high! Absurdly so. Even using every possible measure to lower them. So I do apologize to backers overseas who, like myself, greatly prefer so-called "dead tree" books to purely digital ones.

Another risk and challenge unique to this project is the fact that the so-called "alt-right" will almost certainly dislike the parallels drawn by this RPG and might even go so far as attacking this project (though I doubt it). The plan for overcoming this risk is so simple it isn't really a plan at all: I don't give a fig what these bad actors think, and neither should you.

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    This is the most revolutionary tier! You get a signed physical copy and a digital copy of Resist & Remember: Weimar, my profound gratitude (x3!), and (so long as you wish) a prominent producer credit on both versions of the game! Additionally, you get some Resist & Remember bling/swag to show off your Nazi-punching awesomeness, a very-limited edition custom R&R d20 and a Resist & Remember poster.

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