About this project
NEW!!! BACKER STRETCH GOALS
If we hit the following numbers of backers, the following classes will be unlocked early! Spread the word and fill the forest!
Crone is a card-based role-playing game where you and your fellow players adopt the role of witches in a dark age of shattered empires and untamed wilderness. One player, the Game Master, organizes an adventure while the others create their characters, choosing skills and reputations & building decks of spells and artifacts.
Crone’s witches don’t build gingerbread houses or eat naughty children — well...most don’t. Instead, they journey across the land, fighting powerful evil and working to bring hope back to a world engulfed by the horrors and ignorance of the Dark Ages.
In contrast with many other role-playing games, the characters of Crone do not start at a low point of skill or ability. They are immensely powerful witches, and the threats they face and goals they pursue will mirror that power.
Catching common criminals or hunting bandits may be appropriate fare in other games, but in Crone these objectives would feel silly and out of place. Any sensible, mundane opponent would flee in terror the moment they learned they were fighting a witch. To make threats believable they must not be banal.
We looked to fairy tales and legends for inspiration. Think dragons, giants, and other legendary threats. These are opponents worthy of a crone.
“A witch ought never to be frightened in the darkest forest, Granny Weatherwax had once told her, because she should be sure in her soul that the most terrifying thing in the forest was her.” — Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett
Despite you may have been told, there is no such thing as a “Good” or a “Wicked” Witch. Crones tend to operate in more grey than black or white, sometimes accomplishing good through questionable means, sometimes doing harm where there is no other alternative available. There are not right or wrong answers, only clever ideas, hair-brained schemes, and when all else fails, magic that turns everyone in the immediate vicinity into poultry.
“What need have I for a blade? Poisoned apples and spindle pricks are such finer instruments.” - Magister Barrigan, The Sister’s Codex
There have been many games about magic: epic tales of sorcerers, wizards, and mages; but rarely have witches -- the mysterious and mystical old women found throughout folklore and myth -- been featured at the heart of a game. They have always been there, their stories waiting to be told. And now, we invite you to take on their roles, to become something as old, wise, and powerful as time itself.
"Crone RPG not only puts players in a unique place -- rather than youthful adventurers they are old witches -- it gives a players a unique way of looking at a character. Instead of building your history out as you play, you play a character with a lot of history already. Who have you been? Who will you be? Given your reputation, how will the community treat you? As a crone you will constantly weigh your past reputation with your present needs and dangers.
We aren't trying to reinvent the wheel. We’re building on the shoulders of giants, putting our own spin on mechanics and techniques pioneered by the great games that came before us.
Crone uses a trusty 3d6 + Modifier vs. Target Number (TN) mechanic for all resolution. Players simply roll three dice, add in their character's relevant Skill and Attribute, and try to beat the TN that has been set based on the difficulty of the task at hand.
What we are innovating is the typical, tediously slow initiative and turn-based approach to combat. Instead, we've built a sleek, card-based system that emulates the fast pace, simultaneous decision-making and easy access of tabletop card games. Play some cards, roll some dice, and make some magic.
To a crone, reputation is everything. She is a myth spoken of in whispers by common folk. Her deeds are recounted in song and verse, her storied wrath used to frighten unruly children. As your legend in the game’s narrative grows, so does the power of the witch you play.
In Crone, players can develop different aspects of their legend, building new reputations and gaining new powers. The heroic feats of crones echo throughout history. What will your legend be?
Our game started with three friends playing games around a kitchen table. We never seemed to be able to stick to the rules; we were always adding things, changing mechanics, trying to make the games we played better. Before long, we started making our own games. Someone would mock up a prototype, we’d run through it, improve the design, and then start the whole cycle again. Eventually, we came up with one we wanted to stick with.
More of our friends joined us. They helped us test and tweak it, putting up with cheap, print-out cards and the occasional wonky rule. More friends came. Artists. Graphic designers. Mentors. And now, finally, we need you.
"We were happy to have Crone at both the 2013 and 2014 runs of ConTessa. What a perfect world for such a convention! The innovative use of cards to tell a story is awesome and excellent. There are a ton of great ideas in Crone that I'd love to steal, err... borrow. Everyone I've worked with at Crone has also been awesome. Great people make for great games!"
-Stacy Dellaforno, ConTessa Founder
Video Music: Long Note Three by Kevin Macleod
The purpose of this kickstarter is to fund additional art, design, and editing of Crone. With that in mind, we’ve decided to offer our backers the option to buy all materials (including cards and the manual) at-cost from the Drive-Thru RPG and Drive-Thru Cards Print-On-Demand services. This approach has several distinct advantages over a pre-order-focused set-up.
- This approach allows us to funnel nearly all money raised by the Kickstarter back into Crone, as we won’t be scrambling to directly provide physical rewards to all our backers.
- Crone is a highly customizable game, and we want to offer you the chance to buy the game you want to play. You can order the classes and GM cards you want, buy replacements, and build the Crone you like best. All at low, at-cost prices.
- P.O.D. will allow us to short-circuit the shipping nightmare. There have been several high-profile stories over the past few years of Kickstarters going under due to shipping problems and over-runs. With P.O.D. , these problems are a thing of the past as the at-cost products you order will be delivered directly to you by the manufacturer.
Estimated P.O.D. prices:
- GM Deck (60 Cards) - $4.80
- Armory - Weapons and Shields (20 Cards) - $1.60
- Minor Action Card - (1 Card) - $0.08
- Player Deck - (10 Cards) - $0.80
- Crone Manual - $4.00
- Retail Set (120 Cards + Manual) - $17.60
Shipping estimates for Print-On-Demand products can be found at the DriveThruRPG website.
Now, that all being said, we are still preserving a “Retail” option for those that aren't comfortable ordering via P.O.D. Keep in mind that it is more expensive to cover the cost of shipping and the other logistics of delivery. It is also less customizable than the P.O.D. option, will take longer to ship (because it has to come through us first) and we are unable to offer it to our international backers due to prohibitive shipping costs.
Note that the COLLECTOR’S EDITION, ARCHIVIST, STORMKEEPER, and HEDGEWALKER reward tiers have the option of either receiving the P.O.D. link or Retail Edition. If backers at these levels select the P.O.D. link, they will receive their link in October along with everyone else at the P.O.D. levels.
$1,750 Collector’s Editions - At this level, we will make available several new reward levels for “Collector’s Editions” of the game. These editions will include original Crone artwork, produced during the design phase of Crone. Also, you may just have the opportunity to help us design the look and feel of our two remaining character classes, the Hedgewalker and the Stormkeeper!
$2,000 Legend by Josh T. Jordan - At this level, we will commission Josh T. Jordan of Ginger Goat fame to produce a legendary adventure module for Crone! “The witches must rescue a group of young, nearly helpless witches trapped with some non-magical girls in an old Imperiate convent.”
$2,250 Digital Cards - At this level, all Digital Witch and above reward tiers will receive a set of digitally rendered Crone cards, perfect for playing Crone via online tabletop programs like Roll20!
$2,500 Shieldbearer Unlocked! - Stand with the shieldbearer! At this level, at-cost copies of the Shieldbearer’s ability cards will be made available to all $15 P.O.D. backers (and above).
$2,750 Tokens Galore! - We will make available to all of our P.O.D. Plus backers (and above) a set of at-cost, punch-out storm, initiative and strain tokens! Useful if you want something official to help track these attributes, or if you run out of pennies.
$3,000 Lore by Sarah Goldman - At this level, we will commission Sarah Goldman to produce an all-new piece of Crone lore, adding to the background and mystery of our world. "Magic is essential to the life of a Crone—but if she isn’t careful, it can also be her downfall."
$3,500 Magister Unlocked! - Face the judgement of the magister! At this level, at-cost copies of the Magister’s ability cards will be made available to all $15 P.O.D. backers (and above)
$4,000 Lore by Filamena Young
$4,500 Hearthmother Unlocked! - Bind the wounds of your compatriots and make them whole again as the hearthmother! At this level, at-cost copies of the Hearthmother’s ability cards will be made available to all $15 P.O.D. backers (and above)
$5,000 Traps and Avoidables - We will make available to all of our $25 P.O.D. Plus backers (and above) an at-cost deck of traps and avoidables, special Encounter Deck cards that the GM can use to trick, trap, and trounce the crones!
$5,500 Soothsayer Unlocked! - Counsel your sisters and divine the future as the soothsayer! At this level, at-cost copies of the Soothsayer’s ability cards will be made available to all $15 P.O.D. backers (and above)
$6,000 Environment Cards - We will make available to all of our $25 P.O.D. Plus backers (and above) a deck of at-cost environment cards, perfect for showing your players the many features and props they can interact with in combat!
$6,500 Shapeshifter Unlocked! - Stalk through the forest in any form you wish as the Shapeshifter. At this level, at-cost copies of the Shapeshifter’s ability cards will be made available to all $15 P.O.D. backers (and above)
$7,000 Legend by David Hill - “A terrible plague is spreading throughout the land, from town to town and village to village. Will it be contained and defeated or left to wreak havoc unchecked?”
$7,500 Spellweaver Unlocked! - Bind and hem the threads of fate as the spellweaver! At this level, at-cost copies of the Spellweaver’s ability cards will be made available to all $15 P.O.D. backers (and above)
$8,000 Legend by Chris Challice - “Mothers are sacred no matter their race, the last Fire Jotun is pregnant and you must save her from the Aesir.”
$8,500 Apothecary Unlocked! - Brew up some mischief as the apothecary! At this level, at-cost copies of the Apothecary’s ability cards will be made available to all $15 P.O.D. backers (and above)
$9,000 Lore by Brian Vo of A Cook and a Geek - “Sometimes when it seems your end is nigh, nourishment and healing come from where you least expect it.”
$9,250 Legend by Stephanie Bryant - “A comet heralds an otherworldly visitor. Is it an angel, or an abomination?”
$9,500 Summoner Unlocked! - Witness the terrible might of the summoner’s latest creations! At this level, at-cost copies of the Summoner’s ability cards will be made available to all $15 P.O.D. backers (and above)
$10,000 Bonus Abilities - At this level, we will make available at-cost to all of our $25 P.O.D. Plus backers (and above) a set of 12 new player ability cards, one for each class in Crone.
$11,000 Lore by Bavo Thuwis
$11,500 Lore by William Tanner - "A newly Called Crone flees from not only the remnants of the Imperiate, but also herself."
$15,000 Unique GM Card Icons - At this level, we will commission our graphic designer to create a set of unique icons for each GM card in the Encounter Deck’s arsenal.
$20,000 Art Upgrade - By this point, we will commission our talented team of artists to create some additional artwork for Crone, including two more landscapes and group shots, along with three more pieces of action-oriented scene art.
ConTessa - Actual Play - Mystery in Highguard
Risks and challenges
One of the benefits of Print-On-Demand is that we no longer have to worry about increases to shipping prices derailing the project. As soon as Crone is done, we’ll upload it to DriveThruRPG and you’ll be able to order and have it shipped to you in no-time flat!
We have received quotes from several reputable printing houses and have several fall-backs prepared if there are any issues in quality or timeliness. Otherwise, we will be using "DriveThruCards" for reasonable, print-on-demand production. They have previously helped deliver products such as Lords of Gossamer and Shadow, and we have confidence in their capability to deliver great Print-On-Demand products to our backers.
90% of the artwork and graphic design for Crone is completed. Furthermore, we are working with a team of two talented artists and a local graphic designer, so in the event of sudden illness or other issues, we are confident that the rest of the team will be able to pick up the slack.
The game design of Crone is almost complete, and we are only waiting for some additional playtest feedback (including your own!) before we finalize the rules. Furthermore, we have two game designers working on this project, so in the event that some calamity befalls one of us, the other will be able to drive the project to completion.
Stretch Goals are inherently risky proposition, as we're going above and beyond what we originally set out to do in order to make Crone even better. That being said, we have carefully spec'ed out all Stretch Goals so that they are manageable and scale well with what we're trying to do. Of course, it should be noted that because we are relying on a number of freelancers for our lore and legend stretch goals, problems may arise that are beyond our control.
If you have any other questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to ask us a question at the link below and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.
We hope you will help us make Crone the best possible game it can be. Thank you for your support!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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