CHRONOS is a modular, highly flexible card-based system built to make theatrical combat as quick as contact-safe LARP combat and to transition effortlessly from LARP to Tabletop. Designed as a universal system, CHRONOS gives players and Game Organizers (known as Metacharacters) a super-fast mechanic for conflict resolution that keeps the drama and the action moving quickly. A simple numerical card-matching mechanic ensures that characters are both fun and easy to build and play, and as characters progress new cards provide tangible rewards to players!
With the CHRONOS card-based character system, every unique power and every skill set that a character has is represented in one of the many attractive cards, so a character is represented by a small hand of five to fifteen cards. These cards not only make conflict resolution tactical and fast paced, but also have the mechanics and rules for each power *right* on the card. This genius card design ensures that players do not need to look up power mechanics mid-combat to check how their powers work, and new gamers do not feel behind the curve in terminology and game mechanics. The game takes place in two stages- the Live Game and the Narrative Play.
A game deck is all that is needed to play Live, and the cards are designed to be unobtrusive and to move action along quickly. Narrative play is much more like tabletop Roleplaying. It is used to run the events happening in the more fantastical worlds of the Æthers wherein anything can happen. The cards play a slightly different role here, serving not just as a “character sheet” of sorts but also as effects, monsters, and even maps. And of course, characters can transition seamlessly between both modes. CHRONOS uses a fun, rules-light system to tie the mechanics of “Combat LARP” to the versatility of “Theatrical LARP.” Players and Game Organizers alike can mix and match cards from different sets to create the world that they want to play in, and tell the stories that they want to tell! Utilizing different game worlds (called Skeins) you'll be able to play everything from Steampunk, Rockabilly to classic High Fantasy - CHRONOS will have something for everyone.
This guide is a short form walk through of how a player might construct their character's deck and apply it to their gameplay. Players assemble a small deck of 7-15 cards, known as a Character Deck. Character Decks allow players to interact with each other and any conflicts they may face without needing to constantly refer to a character sheet or use outside randomizers such as dice or games of chance. Instead, they will strategically build their deck to give them access to different card combinations that can overcome challenges.
Each card has a point value which is used in Character Creation. At the beginning of game, players are assigned a number of Creation points they may spend while assembling their Character deck. There are some limitations during card selection. A Character must have only 1 Core Card. A Character must have at least 1 Specialty Card. Beyond those basic limitations, the Game Organizer is at liberty to restrict or allow cards to be used from the CHRONOS Core set, Skeins, Expansion Decks, and from their own GM deck as they see fit. A typical Character deck will consist of 1 Core Card, 1-3 Specialty Cards, 1-2 Equipment Cards, and 1-4 Augment cards, depending on the individual player's style and which skeins they are using.
When a character is confronted with a challenge, they must assemble a three card character hand. Every card will have a colored and patterned border to indicate what type of card it is. Core and Æther Cards are grey, Specialty Cards are blue, Items are red. Augment Cards may have any border, depending on the nature of their abilities, and what they represent or replace in your typical character hand. Each Challenge Hand must consist of one grey, one blue, and one red card. You must keep in mind that certain cards may only be used in specific combinations. For example, if you wish to strike at someone using an antique sword from the "Archaic Items" card, you must include a Specialty card which possesses the skill "Melee Weapons" in the challenge hand. Once you have determined the hand you wish to use, you can add up the total value of the trait relating to the challenge.
Challenges can be represented a number of ways in the CHRONOS system. Most often, they will be challenges between two characters or between a character and an NPC. Whatever the means of the challenge, you determine the nature of the challenge (Acumen, Brawn, Dexterity, or Resolve) and assemble your Challenge Hand. Once the hand has been assembled, it is only a matter of adding up the totals to compare them against the difficulty of the challenge. All participants in the challenge reveal their totals. Whoever has the higher total wins, with ties going to the defender.
What are skeins? Simply put, the Skeins are entire world-settings connected through the core mechanics of CHRONOS Each skein brings with it it's own flavor and specialized mechanics that can be combined or fine-tuned to the Player's (or Metacharacter's) desires. Here is the first skein we have planned for the Chronos System. As we hit our stretch goals, we will release the others we have in the works!
Over one hundred years ago, there was a secret war that put an end to all magic on earth. Now the Century of Silence has passed, and the Thresholds are re-opening, spilling victorian magic, monsters, and mayhem back into a world that thought it had passed them by. Maybe you’re a recently-enlightened mystic, maybe you’ve spent the last hundred years sleeping and waiting for a chance to return. It’s a new dawn for the ancient arts; can you master the Æthers before they master you?
Risks and challenges
The main challenges of the CHRONOS system lie in two categories: artwork and production. The system has been written and tested over many years. With decades of LARP and Table Top experience, we are confident that we have created a universal mechanic to address many of the issues faced in theatrical LARPing. However, in designing the system, we quickly realized the scale of the project we were undertaking. Combining the universal game system with the character deck design creates two unique problems for us.
The first challenge is art. With the core CHRONOS system having potentially 100 cards and each subsequent skein having 100 cards, the sheer volume of art needed for producing the game line exceeds what we can currently afford.
The second challenge is that we are producing a universal game system. Without releasing multiple worlds, the CHRONOS system would be like a video game system with only one or two games. You may enjoy those games, but if you were a fan of a different style of game, you might not get involved with the CHRONOS experience at all. Each stretch goal we achieve is another game line that we can release to augment your total CHRONOS game library.
So now, we need to reach out to the LARPing community, our fan base, and the greater gaming community as a whole to make this project a reality. We need funding to afford enriching artwork on hundreds of individual cards, in addition to releasing multiple worlds. With your backing, we can put our experience as a company to work and release a system as attractive as it is easy to use.
Furthermore, once we get the source materials into physical format, our next step involves moving forward with a software development team that we have been working with to take this entire system and make it available as a standalone phone app. This phone app would track your character sheet, locate other players who are active, identify which games, genres and interaction levels these players have, and process all mechanics resolutions between applications instead of needing to do hands on data management.
This application is our ultimate goal, where players can choose to be part of a global gaming experience that does not require storytellers to be present at all times, allows ‘pocket reality to pocket reality’ game to game interaction, and allows for the usual mechanics of person to person gaming to completely fade out of sight.
With later software expansions, world interaction cards would be introduced to make the experience even more immersive. Items such as locked doors, portals, or scan-able adventure cards would allow players to have mini-game conflict resolution, while at the same time handling skill related non-combat challenges, regardless if they are using the digital system or using the original card based system.
None of this is possible without your help. We need the support of our fan base to help make this project a reality. This world design, game concept, and technology advancement is what we hope will take interactive gaming experiences to the next level.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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