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A roleplaying game of exploration and discovery at the edge of human space, made using The Black Hack.
151 backers pledged £2,215 to help bring this project to life.


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The Golgotha. The Tomb Worlds. The Graves of Heaven. The Echo Vaults. The Silent Groves. Even the names conjure images of wonder and great danger. Far beyond the bloated worlds of the inner machine planets, past the verdant and colourful pleasure worlds, past even the worn out military rings where sanctioned wars rage endlessly, past even the fringe systems where separatists build their power, on into the outer dark where other races more ancient than humanity have long held sway. There lies the Golgotha, the worlds of the dead. Mausoleum planets holding the secrets of unknown inhuman cultures within their old bones, riddled with countermeasures and deadly remains, home bizarre alien species that have moved in since the originators left. Why go there? Because waiting there is ancient, lost technology - technology that the Overseers covet. Steal enough from the tombs and the Overseers in exchange will boost your body and mind, making you more than human, more than enough to complete your destiny. Complete your destiny, or die trying.

How do you find a Golgotha? First, you need to locate a star map that shows a location – no easy feat unless you can persuade the Overseers to part with one. Once you have it, you must travel across the systems using the fractures, the subspace network of cracks in space-time that allows faster than light travel. The Tomb Worlds lie at the fringe of known space where the fractures are hard to navigate, where the risk of pirates awaiting your arrival is ever-present. Once you get there, the danger is not over. The Tomb Worlds lay hidden within the fringes of the Everwar, that vast and ancient conflict between the mysterious Erix Absolution and the powerful Concordant of Shelz. This area is off-limits to humans, so extreme care becomes a deadly necessity, with constant threat of discovery. Still, there is enough to incentive to enter a Tomb World that scavengers will risk the dangers of the void to make the journey. 

You and your companions are on one of those vessels, a Portal Ship gliding down the tessellated streams of the fractureway, following esoteric directions on an ancient map. Soon the blue glow of the passage will crack, the stars will return, and you will be free to leave. As you move further in-system, the Tomb World will fill the view plates. What waits on the eerie surface? Only time will tell.

Welcome to the future. Golgotha is a game of exploration and danger in mysterious dead planets at the edges of an interstellar sphere. The players take on the roles of a crew of explorers and scavengers who seek out, penetrate and rob ancient lost structures on dead planets, known collectively as the Golgotha. It is not as easy as in appears – ancient countermeasures and dangerous guardians still lurk in the depths of the structures, and alien eyes look dimly on invaders in their space, but to those lucky enough to survive the risks, artifacts await – lost technology that the mysterious Overseers covet. Find something of value an in return the Overseers will boost your body, allowing you to finally seek that revenge you have always dreamed of…

Golgotha is a tabletop roleplaying game, played with pencils, paper and dice, that focuses on exploration and adventure in the far future. Thematically, Golgotha is a dungeon crawler in space. Or more accurately, you might say that player characters are performing a heist job or a grave robbery. Instead of the wizards, warriors, clerics and thieves exploring a fantasy dungeon, Golgotha has Ghosts, Blades, Operators and Pathfinders exploring ancient abandoned structures left over from long-forgotten alien civilisations. The end goal is the same, but it is not gold pieces, jewellery and magic items player characters are searching for, it is technological fragments, alien baubles and fantastic mechanisms from civilisations long since dust. 

The rules of Golgotha are based on the Black Hack, a simple set of fantasy rules developed for rules light dungeon exploration in the classic style. Golgotha takes the Black Hack and adapts the rules for a science fiction environment, without sacrificing the simple yet intuitive game play, and places it within the Golgotha universe.

So why did I create this game? Essentially, I wanted to create a science fiction game of dungeon crawling that gave a nod to classic games, was based on a simple yet (I think) brilliant rule set, The Black Hack, and provided a concise background that gave some context to the activities of the player characters and the conventions of the dungeon exploration play style. For example, in Golgotha, gaining a level represents the genetic gifts of the Overseers bestowed in exchange for technology, resulting in an increase in a PC's overall capabilities and the ability to withstand injury through increased hit points. With this game I also wanted something that allowed me to use all the fluff created for other games of discovery set in the weird far future, using a simple yet robust rules set. Golgotha was born.

Please note that some of the content for Golgotha has been adapted from Exilium, my other science fiction roleplaying game, and there is a some repurposed text such as the GM advice. Some of the aliens are also present in both books. But they are very different games, with a very different premise and rule set.

Kickstarting this project allows me to purchase art and a cover for Golgotha. The aim is for the book to look as lovely as Exilium,  Summerland and Esoterica, my previously Kickstarted games, so if you  want to know what my games tend to look like, check out the link below:

There are two main tiers - one for a PDF of Golgotha and one for PDF + print voucher, with two options for the latter - softback or hardback. The books will be formatted to 6"x9" dimensions  and are  expected to clock in at around 200 pages. We will be using DriveThruRPG for fulfillment.  

  • PDF vouchers will be sent out when the project completes for the final product.
  • PDF and print versions of Golgotha will be in colour. Note that the production cost of a hardback book will be considerably higher than the softback, but the quality will also be improved as better paper is used within. 

There is a further cost after the pledges have been collected for the print copies, as described below.

Print copies will be softbacks or hardbacks, produced by DriveThruRPG slightly  after  the final PDF is finalised to allow for proofs to be ordered.  Backers who back for print copies will receive a voucher to receive a  print copy at production price, but they will need to pay the production price and the shipping cost.

To reiterate: If your pledge includes a print copy, after the project completes when you go to order your print copy you will need to pay an additional fee for the production of the book.

Softcover, standard colour interior, estimated print cost:

US Printing ($) $7.96 

UK Printing (£) £5.10 

Hardcover, premium colour interior, estimated print cost:

US Printing ($) $19.70 

UK Printing (£) £14.56 

In  total, the combined pledge + print production cost you pay will  be the  same or less than the book will cost when it goes on sale, so you can think of the print pledge as paying for some of the book when you pledge, and the remainder later.

You will also need to pay shipping which will depend on your location.

We went for this print voucher option for Golgotha (as well as  our other games) as it presents a win for you and a win for us. 

For us...

We  have a passion for creating roleplaying games and for producing as beautiful and inspirational books as possible. That means writing the  contents and teaming up with artists and graphic designers, experts one and all, to deliver the best possible product to you. What we don't have a passion for is boxing up, shipping and all the related  logistics of sending books around the globe. With DriveThruRPG as fulfillment partner, we don't have to do that, instead like with other aspects of the project we can't do ourselves, such as the art, experts will do it for us. 

For You...

But much more importantly, it's a win for you. You're hopefully backing this project because you like what you've seen. We can tell you about the project, show you the  art, explain the design. What we can't  do is show you anything that will  indicate how good we would be at shipping printed books around the  globe. So, if we were handling  logistics ourselves, you'd have to take our word for it. With DriveThruRPG, you don't have to. You know that the logistics are being handled by experts, so you can forget about that  aspect of the project. It also means shipping is local to the US or EU,  so shipping costs are  much more reasonable than is often the case.

Finally,  just to re-iterate - you aren't paying for the project twice. Instead you are deferring around half the cost of your pledge to the production of the book after the campaign ends.

This is a small project, so I don't anticipate any stretch goals.  However, if the campaign goes really well, I may introduce some additional goals as separate PDF mini-supplements. More on this as the project progresses.

Risks and challenges

This is my fifth Kickstarter - all of my previous projects have been fulfilled, two on time, one a few weeks late and one a month or so early. You can find them on Kickstarter if you want to review the comments and see how I did. This is a small, relatively low risk projects - crucially I think, there's no shipping from me and as that is one of the logistical issues that often derail projects, so that makes things a lot easier. From my side the content is written.

Aside from me accidentally, violently stabbing myself in the chest whilst shaving, I think the risks are pretty low.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £10 or more About US$ 13

    PDF copy

    A PDF copy of Golgotha.

    Estimated delivery
    71 backers
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge £20 or more About US$ 25

    A PDF + softback print voucher

    A PDF copy of Golgotha, and an at-cost print voucher for a softback copy of Golgotha (see campaign for details of how this works).

    Estimated delivery
    15 backers
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £20 or more About US$ 25

    PDF + hardback print voucher

    A PDF copy of Golgotha, and an at-cost print voucher for a hardback copy of Golgotha (see campaign for details of how this works).

    Estimated delivery
    60 backers
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (15 days)