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A narrative RPG about fey nobles, arcanist-bureaucrats, & anarchist witches getting into messy entanglements.
426 backers pledged $8,344 to help bring this project to life.
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Fey nobility, arcanist-bureaucrats, and anarchist witches falling for their enemies and getting into messy entanglements amid an undeclared war for control of a magepunk city newly inundated with magical energy.

Based on the incredible Mobile Frame Zero: Firebrands by Vincent and Meguey Baker, Hearts of Magic: Threads Entangled is a game about the messy lives of fantasy mages in a City charged with magic. Tell the story of the people of The City as they fight, flirt, and steal time together amid a tense and escalating conflict.

The witch Fyrestryke holds her wand, white-hot with Magic, pointed at the Auditor-Librarian. "Why have you come here?"
Auditor Page looks down, embarrassed. "After I saw your face, I... had to meet you."
The flash of Fyrestryke's magic dissipating hides the blush on her cheeks.

Play as the Lords and Ladies, the fey noble families of the city, using the fey magic of promises, prophecies, and glamours; The Order, using the arcane techniques of ritual,  patterns, and the careful and esoteric arrangement of mundane items; or The Witches, teaching The City to channel raw magic and weave powerful spells.

a powerful and haughty Lord or Lady (with their loyal bug attendant)
a powerful and haughty Lord or Lady (with their loyal bug attendant)

The Game

The object of the game is to create messy entanglements. Fall in love with your enemies, ally with your rivals, fight with your friends. Players will create characters, establish their situations in solitaire scenes, and build scenes using the ten included games. Rules are lightweight and simple, and give you all the tools you need to establish and play scenes, even if improvising dialogue is not your strongest skill.

Lady Thunderrose pushes the plate away from zinself. "I didn't come here to be teased, witch."
"Not a tease. A serious invitation."
"You know I could never leave House Facade."
"With some help, you could," the Witch smiles.
Thunderrose whispers, zir eyes flashing, "Only for you."

Play as any kind of person you can imagine, in a fantasy city full of strange fae, visitors from distant lands and other planes, people of all shapes and genders and species. Choose a faction, three attractive qualities, a name, and tell us about yourself as you play. Character creation is quick and easy, and will get you playing in no time even for a player new to tabletops or story games.

Hearts of Magic: Threads Entangled is made up of ten games:

  • Solitaire - what were you doing? what have we heard about you? 
  • A Chase - do you have the nerve to pursue? 
  • A Conversation Over Food - at ease together, or a tense meal? 
  • A Dance - when the music ends, will I see you again? 
  • A Free-for-all - why do we fight, and what are the stakes? 
  • Meeting Sword to Sword - steel meets steel, gaze meets gaze - who will blink? 
  • An Oblique Discussion - how can I tell you the things I can not say? 
  • Stealing Time Together - alone, together, with a gentle "may I?" 
  • Weaving a Spell - how do the two of us make magic greater than either alone? 
  • A Wizard's Battle - can you resist the full strength of my powers? 

Hearts of Magic: Threads Entangled is a game for 3-5 players, with no materials necessary beyond a coin to flip, and intended for one-shot play with no prep and no GM. It's perfect for new players and veteran gamers alike, with infinite possibility to weave tangled webs of deceit, attraction, rivalry, and espionage.

"It's true that magic can be dangerous", the Witch said to the noble Lady with a smile. "But so can cold steel."
Lady Thistledown can sense the iron of the Witch's dagger against the bark of her chest.
   "If you had wanted to get so close", she laughed, "you need only have asked."

a Witch reveals her true power
a Witch reveals her true power

The Book

Featuring layout by Quinn Bleiler, editing by Kai Gee, interior art by Sasha Reneau, and cover art by Finn Carey, the Hearts of Magic book will be printed as a 5.5" x 8.5" booklet. At our initial goal of $5000, we will be able to print the book in B&W; at $10,000 we will be able to print color, with color interior illustrations. 



About Me

I'm Erika Shepherd, a games designer and podcaster living and working in Vermont. I write sad gay games at fadingroots.itch.io. I Kickstarted my first book, Exodus, a game of trans angels on the run, for Zine Quest, funding in less than 24 hours and making over 1850% of my goal. My other games include Wreckage in the Ring, about post-apocalyptic teenage mecha deathmatch wrestling, and Divinity, about learning to love your body (when your body is an immense heavenly machine of war).

Stretch Goals

$5000 - GOAL! Physical printing, and art from Sasha Reneau!

$7500 - International Shipping! It'll still be a little pricey from here, but once we hit $7500 I'll be able to afford to start shipping internationally!

$10,000 - Color printing! All copies of the book will be in color, interior and exterior, at no extra cost to you!

$12,500 - Date Night! An expansion of romance-themed games, and additional tools and guides for when you really just want to kiss a witch, take a librarian out for tea, or share a late-night call with a fae, without worrying about all those wizard battles and swordfights.

Risks and challenges

Printing and shipping costs will be the highest cost, as the game is already complete and the art is planned to scale with the budget, at the 1st stretch goal. Per-unit printing costs decrease as orders increase; the $5000 minimum budget will leave a narrow margin, but allow for B&W printing; the first stretch goal for color printing is possible because the per-unit price of color printing becomes optimal there.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $8 or more About $8

    PDF

    Get the Hearts of Magic PDF! 30+ pages, with 3 factions and 10 minigames, and interior art by Sasha Reneau!

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    Pay It Forward (PDF)

    A copy of the PDF for you, and another copy for somebody who can't afford a copy. All donated copies will be available to be claimed on my itch.io on the honor system, by anyone who identifies as LGBT. Happy Pride!

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    "I Already Bought The PDF!"

    If you've already bought the PDF on itch.io, this tier will buy you just the book! This is on the honor system, but please don't choose this option if you don't have the PDF already, because it doesn't include another PDF copy!

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    Physical Book

    In addition to the PDF, receive a copy of the printed Hearts of Magic: Threads Entangled book! This book will be 5.5" x 8.5", staplebound, and B&W, featuring an exclusive cover by Sasha Reneau. If we meet our first stretch goal at $10,000, this will automatically be upgraded to a color book, with Finn Carey's cover and color interior art by Sasha!

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    Book + Pay It Forward

    A copy of the book and the PDF for you, and a donated PDF for someone who can't afford it themselves. Thank you!

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    Book + Patch

    The Hearts of Magic book, plus a hand-printed Take Flight Games patch, printed by Strike Through Press! Featuring Todarodes the flying squid, our mascot.

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    • Patch
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    Party Pack!

    As requested, you can now order a Party Pack of Hearts of Magic! This pack will come with 1 copy of the high-quality Hearts of Magic book, plus four black-and-white zine copies hand printed by Strike Through Press! These zines won't be available except as part of this limited edition party pack, and has enough copies your whole gaming group to get together and play!

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    Book + Patch + T-Shirt

    The book, the patch, and a Take Flight Games T-Shirt featuring our mascot Todarodes! I will also include an extra pay-it-forward donation for everyone who backs at this tier.

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    Your Name In Print

    This tier will get you the book, the PDF, a patch, a T-Shirt, and your name on the thank-you page in the book!

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    Your Character In The Book!

    If you back at this tier, in addition to the book, PDF, patch, and T-shirt, you can give us a one-or-two sentence description of a character you want to have appear in one of the drawings in the book!

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Funding period

- (30 days)