Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Thousand Arrows is a Powered by the Apocalypse tabletop roleplaying game of samurai drama and action by way of Kurosawa and Chanbara.
Thousand Arrows is a Powered by the Apocalypse tabletop roleplaying game of samurai drama and action by way of Kurosawa and Chanbara.
1,062 backers pledged $24,478 to help bring this project to life.

About

Thousand Arrows: a Samurai Action & Drama TTRPG project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

Thousand Arrows: a Samurai Action & Drama TTRPG

$24,478

1,062

FINAL HOURS!

We've unlocked all three of the backer number stretch goals which means that we’re including four extra archetypes and the Imjin War scenario on top of the core book.

We've now passed two dollar-value stretch goals, which adds multiple upgrades to the book. Every book is now going to have features like fancy end-papers, spot UV varnish on the covers, and color art. This book is going to look amazing and we’re thrilled to bring it to you!

The Spoils of War has added an enamel pin, custom dice, and a Thousand Arrows patch for no extra money.

And now in our final hours, we’ve unlocked the brand new BIG NAME backer level. We’re unbelievably excited to offer an awesome screen-printed cloth scroll map of warring states Japan, from our friends at the makers of Fall of Magic, Heart of the Deernicorn.

Fall of Magic - scroll style
Fall of Magic - scroll style

These additions will not be available as add-ons through this campaign, so if you want them, make sure to adjust your pledge level accordingly! (Given that we’re unlocking it right at the very end, we will be making the premium backer levels available through BackerKit.)

About Thousand Arrows

It is the sixteenth century. All Japan is at war. Feudal warlords called “big names,” rising from the knight caste, have carved the nation into warring states. Chivalric virtue, Buddhist moderation, friendship, and loyalty fade and fall before the hunger for conquest and glory.

The grand prize? None other than Japan’s unification under a single master. And then? Perhaps all Asia is next. Thousand Arrows is the story of the Japanese Warring States Period’s leaders—knight-commanders, Buddhist teachers, spymasters, peasant revolutionaries, even the gods and spirits themselves—as they establish themselves and direct the course of history. 

Thousand Arrows is a tabletop role-playing game, in which three to six players assume the personae of commanding figures in a fictional Japan parallel to our historical one. Another player, Tenchi, describes the world and supporting cast around them as the main characters’ players describe their struggles and successes. A set of rules informed by the roll of six-sided dice helps guide the storytelling conversation, keeping outcomes unpredictable. The story you tell will be worthy of historical narratives like the Tale of the Heike, period dramas like Kurosawa Akira’s films, or comic books like Path of the Assassin.

Thousand Arrows Cover Art
Thousand Arrows Cover Art

The action of Thousand Arrows balances human drama and passion with power politics and samurai warfare. Right from character creation, you might be the spymaster, general, or court wizard of a warrior clan; but your success at court or on the battlefield relies on the bonds you’ve forged with other characters through romance, friendship, or rivalry.

Thousand Arrows is Powered by the Apocalypse, inspired by Vincent Baker and Meguey Baker's Apocalypse World. It uses the core engine and all-new moves. You'll lead troops into battle, fight duels, and bare your raw emotions to sway the decisions of other characters. Martial arts styles, weapon specialties, and sections of troops under your command all affect how you engage with enemies. But your character’s most important resources are their Attachments; that define their inner passions and feelings towards other characters, from romantic love to bitter rivalry. As an Attachment grows stronger, your character grows better able to draw on their inner fire or to help or hinder other characters, but they find it harder and harder to resist obsessing over them. 

Thousand Arrows is designed specifically to help you engage with unfamiliar cultures and settings—not only in Warring States Japan, but also in other role-playing games. The game teaches you to portray Asian characters with respect and confidence, while at the same time introducing you to the setting with a gentle learning curve and a forgiving attitude. It also focuses on basic battlefield concepts easily accessible to civilians (like the author and editor!), rather than advanced strategy or tactics. Pay close attention, and the habits you’ll develop will strengthen your ability to take on characters or even design games far from your own experience.

The game was featured in a full actual play podcast, the Critshow, so to get a feel for how the game works please listen to the the episodes below.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

James Mendez Hodes is an ENnie Award-winning game designer and cultural consultant whom you might know from 7th Sea 2nd Edition, Scion 2nd Edition, or Monsterhearts 2. He has a master’s degree in Asian classics and a black belt in Bujinkan budō taijutsu, a traditional Japanese martial art. If he were a Thousand Arrows character, he would be a Kuki Clan secret agent. His favorite weapon is the glaive.

Brennan Taylor is a game publisher and designer, working since the mid-90s on game design. You might know him from his work on Bulldogs!, Mortal Coil, or How We Came to Live Here. He is an owner of Galileo Games and was a co-founder of Indie Press Revolution, a game store and fulfillment company.

Art Direction is coming from Rachel Quinlan, a Michigan based fantasy artist and illustrator. Her style is heavily influenced by illustrators from the Golden Age of Illustration. She is inspired by nature, folk & fairy tales, and anything strange or unusual.

Cover art is by Yoshi Yoshitani, who has always been inspired by cultures, histories, mythologies and patterns from around the world. She uses this inspiration to fuel her concepts and Illustrations.

Electronic Only

The digital edition of the game text will be delivered as a PDF via DriveThruRPG. With this reward you also get a digital ashcan edition of the game rules immediately so you can start playing right away!

Print Edition

The print edition of Thousand Arrows will be a hardcover book, that we're estimating will come out to somewhere in the realm of 200 pages. This tier also includes a PDF copy via DriveThruRPG and the digital ashcan edition.

Spoils of War

To the victor go the spoils. We can't offer you supreme leadership of medieval Japan, but we can offer you some swag! In this tier, you get a sheet of physical stickers with the symbols for the allegiances, a poster version of the beautiful cover art, a set of bookmarks with a quick guide to the rings on the back, and a digital app that will let you attach virtual versions of the stickers as well. Plus, the stretch goals unlock additional spoils!

Retailer Tier

We love you, retailers, and we want you to be able to get in on the Kickstarter goodness! This tier offers five copies of the final book at retail discounts, delivered at the same time as backers receive their copies. You will also get a cool promotional poster for your store and some free bookmarks to give away to your customers.

$17,500 - UNLOCKED!
$17,500 - UNLOCKED!

When we reach $17,500, we'll upgrade the book for everyone. We also unlock an enamel pin and custom dice to be added to the Spoils of War reward level. The pin will represent one of the character archetypes and show off some of our wonderful art.

$21,000 - UNLOCKED

This unlocks color art for the interior of the book. We will also make a custom patch that will get added to the Spoils of War reward level. In addition, a whole new backer level, the Big Name, will be added, including all of the Spoils of War, another patch to show your allegiance and wrap it all in a tenugui (a traditional Japanese cloth), along with a gorgeous cloth scroll map of 16th century Japan, crafted by our friends at Heart of the Deernicorn (makers of Fall of Magic)!

$25,000 - LOCKED
$25,000 - LOCKED

When we get $25,000, we will unlock a whole new game as an add-on electronic reward for all backer levels: Street Samurai vs. Code Ninja, a cyberpunk take on Thousand Arrows.

300 Backers - UNLOCKED!
300 Backers - UNLOCKED!

We have unlocked a new character template: the Fox! This mischievous spirit delights in pursuing plots that confound and confuse their mortal companions. You can preview the Fox when you back the project, it has been added to the ashcan files.

600 Backers - UNLOCKED!
600 Backers - UNLOCKED!

We have reached 600 backers! This unlocks a whole set of new roles: the Corsair, the Artisan, and the Merchant. These roles will substantially change the scope of your campaign and were not included in the core book for that reason, but for advanced players they open up additional options.

900 Backers - UNLOCKED!

The Dragon King's Gambit, a Great Imjin War expansion, covers Japan's invasions of Korea as a scenario setting, including new allegiances and archetypes to add to your core game.

We've got more amazing rewards plotted, but those shall remain a mystery... for now.

Risks and challenges

Galileo Games has been making and delivering games for over twenty years. We're very familiar with all of the intricacies of making a book and the other rewards involved. And due to recent growth, we have more resources at our disposal than ever.

Potential challenges include final rules revisions, printing trouble, or delays in art delivery. All of these fall under the "delays" rather than "catastrophic project ending" category.

We have two authors on the project, so in the unlikely event one is incapacitated, the other will be able to finish the final revisions. We will also be prepared to switch printers if needed, but this is unlikely, as we have worked with our printer in the past with no troubles.

Shipping for all physical products will be charged separately at the conclusion of the Kickstarter campaign to most accurately reflect current costs.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Electronic Only

    Get the PDF edition of Thousand Arrows

    Includes:
    • PDF
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    435 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 US$ 15 or more About US$ 15

    Digital Deluxe

    Get the PDF edition, plus the stickers app and digital wallpapers.

    Includes:
    • PDF
    • Stickers App
    • Digital Wallpapers
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    21 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 US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    Print Edition

    Get the print edition of Thousand Arrows, plus the PDF edition.

    Includes:
    • Print Edition
    • PDF
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    430 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    Spoils of War

    Get the print and PDF editions of Thousand Arrows, plus you will also be able to declare your allegiance with the stickers and a poster, and lots more to unlock!

    Includes:
    • Poster
    • PDF
    • Print Edition
    • Bookmarks
    • Stickers
    • Stretch Goal Upgrades
    • Stickers App
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    116 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 60 or more About US$ 60

    Retailer Tier

    Get five copies of the print edition of Thousand Arrows. Proof of retail business required.

    Includes:
    • Print Edition
    • Poster
    • Bookmarks
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    7 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    Big Name

    You are one of the top leaders! Get everything from Spoils of War, wrapped in a tenugui (a traditional Japanese cloth) and a beautiful cloth scroll map of 16th century Japan made by Heart of the Deernicorn, makers of Fall of Magic, and a custom patch for Big Names only!

    Includes:
    • Bookmarks
    • Digital Wallpapers
    • Enamel Pin
    • PDF
    • Patch
    • Poster
    • Print Edition
    • Stickers
    • Stickers App
    • Stretch Goal Upgrades
    • Tenugui
    • Cloth Scroll Map
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    26 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 200 or more About US$ 200

    Martial Arts Lesson

    Everything from the highest reward tier (Spoils of War, or Big Name if available), plus a 1-hour private martial arts lesson for you and any friends you want to bring along, from game creator James Mendez Hodes. Mendez will work with you to design a learning experience that fits any level of physical ability and prior hand-to-hand experience. Want to learn traditional Japanese weapons or unarmed combat techniques? Modern self-defense? Something weird and random like capoeira or scholastic wrestling? We can hook you up! We can practice in person in the New York area, meet up at a convention, or work together over video chat.

    Includes:
    • Bookmarks
    • Digital Wallpapers
    • PDF
    • Poster
    • Print Edition
    • Stickers
    • Stickers App
    • Stretch Goal Upgrades
    • Martial arts lesson
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 300 or more About US$ 300

    Ninjagram

    Everything from the highest reward tier (Spoils of War, or Big Name if available), plus you will receive a personal message delivered to you or the person of your choice at an unspecified time within the next year. Available to backers in the New York area, or at Origins, GenCon, or select other conventions.

    Includes:
    • Bookmarks
    • Digital Wallpapers
    • PDF
    • Poster
    • Print Edition
    • Stickers
    • Stickers App
    • Stretch Goal Upgrades
    • Ninjagram
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (32 days)