**Quick Note on THE MERlLINATOR level** This level should include levels up to MERLIN, with hardcover instead of soft (so the poster, custom character, and game run by Andrew Goenner are included).
About Time Heroes (the game):
Time Heroes started in high school. My friends and I had just finished up a major Star Wars (West End Games) series and we were discussing what type of game I should run next for them. A couple of my friends wanted to go the fantasy route, others science fiction, one wanted to play a “regular Joe” modern series and someone else wanted to play something James Bondish. I thought it would be fun to try them all at once, and Time Heroes was born. It was a simple system that worked well for an adventure or two, and then we moved on to something bigger.
But something about Time Heroes stayed with me through the years. Every so often, it would leap into my mind and I would feel a nostalgia for it akin to the nostalgia I felt (and still do feel) for those old Saturday morning cartoons. Then came the Fate Core Kickstarter, and everything fell into place.
Reading through Fate Core after getting in on the Kickstarter, what immediately came into my mind was “this would be perfect for running Ghostbusters!” Almost immediately after I began thinking of the Real Ghostbusters cartoon and not long after, Time Heroes popped full steam into my head and I began to design.
What began as a simple comedic adventure game, however, grew and evolved into much more. Not only do the employees of Time Heroes, Inc. have to chase after Morgan la Fey’s goons in the present, I have also included options for running a different style of game in the future (post-apocalyptic) and the past (fantasy).
What, Exactly, is Time Heroes (the setting) About?
Time Heroes, in its default setting, is about stopping the evil sorceress Morgan la Fey from altering time as we know it.
Morgan la Fey has come to a point in history where magic has long since died but before technology has evolved to completely replace it (basically, the present). She has torn open rips in the fabric of space and time to draw through armies from the past and future with which she intends to make the Earth her own. She has managed to place a time bubble around a few year block that has been separated from the normal passage of time. Her goal is to take control of the planet, send people back and then drop the bubble, altering the course of history in one fell swoop.
The Great Merlini, last living descendent of Merlin has gone from simple stage magician to discovering the power of his ancestor within himself with the assistance of his ancestor’s book of magic, the Bionomipro. He is using this power to draw his own people through time and space in order to hold back la Fey's ambitions. While the bubble around the present allows la Fey to bring people through without repercussions, it also prevents going back to alter events that have already happened within the bubble itself. Essentially, if Merlini can keep Morgan la Fey at bay for a few years, the bubble will drop and normality will be restored.
So that's the basic lore behind the setting. But how do I see this play out in the game itself?
Time Heroes is meant to be a zany romp for a group of players. Ultimately, I envision it along the lines of a television show or cartoon where, though there may be arcs here and there, primarily each session is its own episode and - much like, Inspector Gadget, for example - Morgan la Fey will always barely slip away at the end of each "episode." Obviously the reasoning behind this is because if she's taken out completely, any series would be over. Also, she will be almost entirely in the background pulling strings and not in the thick of it herself. I want the world of Time Heroes to be one in which a sword-carrying barbarian, a laser mop-wielding space janitor and a Spam salesman are all equally likely as character concepts, even in one group.
Where Will Our Money Go?
This, of course, is always a big question. Firstly, we need to pay for the artist providing the art for Time Heroes (as well as any unlocked supplements), the incredibly talented Melissa Gay. She is an admired RPG illustrator and we are definitely glad to have her on the Time Heroes team!
Next come the layout design, which also comes at a price. If you pledge at the $1 level, you'll see the high quality of the Quick-Start Packet layout, which will be similar to that included in the final product.
Thirdly, printing and shipping. We are using CreateSpace to print the final products (at least, as of now). Andrew is then having the books shipped to him prior to shipping them out to the final recipients. This will enable him to personalize any as necessary, as well as giving them a once-over to be sure nothing is glaringly wrong with the product.
What Do Backers Get Out of It?
Firstly, you'll get the satisfaction of knowing that you helped put a quality game into the market and assisted in bringing back the joy of Saturday mornings (even if the cartoons themselves are no longer around).
The rest will depend on the level at which you backed. However, all backer levels will include some kind of pre-access to the game (whether it's the Quick-Start Packet or the beta draft of the rules). That being said, here's what you get:
Quick-Start Packet: Backers at any level will receive access to the Quick-Start Packet, which includes basic rules, four pre-generated characters, and the Quick-Start Episode: Rise of the Plushies.
Beta Draft PDF: Anyone backing at $5 or higher will have access to the PDF of the Time Heroes Beta Draft. This will be art-free, but in a readable format. Plus, these backers will have a chance to give input into the final product in regards to what they feel works/doesn't work (we can't promise all changes will be incorporated, but they will be considered).
PDF: Any level that includes the Big Bad reward level includes a copy of the official Time Heroes PDF before it is released to the public. Final retail for the PDF will be $15.
The Book: Any level that includes the Time Hero reward will include a copy of the softcover Time Heroes book. Initially, this will be a limited run, which means when levels that include the printed book are gone, that's it! The first 20 backers at this level will receive additional personalization (other than the signature that will be present on all 200).
The Poster: Levels that include the poster will include an 11" X 17" copy of a poster of Melissa Gay's Time Heroes cover art, shown here:
Other Stuff: At the higher tiers you will have opportunities to design your own Time Hero with Andrew that will be included as a pre-generated character in the final product. Or, you might get Andrew to run a Time Heroes game for your group!
We have a couple of add-ons that are available to backers. In order to receive one of these add-ons, simply increase your pledge by the indicated amount and make sure you mention in the surveys what add-on(s) you signed up for.
$7 - A "Very Special" Two-Part Epsiode of Time Heroes - If you select this add-on, you will be receiving a two-part Time Heroes episode in PDF format that starts with Tiny Tim losing his crutch and will take Time Heroes, Inc. into the world of drugs and strangers with candy, maybe even beyond! The adventure will center around Duluth, MN and will provide several likely locations for scenes with pre-created aspects, NPCs, allies, villains, and likely scenes that can be strung together as needed by the GM. Think Cartoon All-Stars (and yes, just as cheesy).
$10 - "Rise of the" Cthulhu Plushy - This add-on will get you a Cthulhu plushy like one of those from the Time Heroes Quick-Start Episode "Rise of the Plushies. They will be crocheted by the extremely talented Amanda Mickelson (the genius behind the Rise of the Drow Kickstarter plushies and the Standard Action Kickstarter plushies). Want to take a look at one? Of course!
Andrew Goenner: Andrew created the idea behind time heroes fifteen years ago. It then sat in a mental vault until Fate Core came into existence. He then adapted Time Heroes to the system, making this his first RPG project. In addition to RPG design, Andrew also writes the GeekWorld Online blog, is a co-host of the RPG podcast Play on Target and does the occasional written and video RPG review. Website: http://www.geekworldonline.com
Melissa Gay: Melissa Gay is a Nashville illustrator known best for her slick black and white line art and modern comic-book style coloring in role playing games, and her fine art painting style she likes to call atmospheric realism. Her work includes book covers for Apex, Mythopoeic, and Immersion Presses, the Angel Dreams Oracle deck for Hay House Publishing, and illustrations for role playing publishers such as Evil Hat, Third Eye Games, Pelgrane Press, Accessible Games, HERO Games, and more. Role playing games are her passion, and there is nothing she loves more than helping to bring new games and supplements to life for everyone to enjoy! Website: melissagay.com
Jacob Wood: Jacob Wood is a long-time role-player and has recently begun publishing his own work. He is the owner of Accessible Games, a company devoted to bringing gaming to everyone (including, and especially, people with disabilities). On his website he writes game reviews, advice for new publishers, and the occasional bit of marketing for his own products, but he prefers rolling dice to shameless self promotion. Website: http://www.accessiblegames.biz
We have a few stretch goals in mind that we would love to provide to you if we reach them.
STRETCH GOAL UPDATE! THE TIME HEROES "STUNT" PDF SUPPLEMENT IS NOW UNLOCKED IF WE HIT 4,000! THE 4,500 LEVEL WILL DOUBLE THE SIZE OF THE SAME REWARD!
The current stretch goals are:
We would love to hear from you! Feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, you can reach us on Twitter at @GeekWorldOnline or via the GWO Facebook Page. We'll be happy to answer whatever questions we can.
Risks and challenges
GeekWorld Online is new to the business and this is our first full RPG product. That alone might have the product itself not come out as planned simply due to unforseen circumstances coming up. Here are what we see as the biggest potential obstacles.
The Art/Layout: This could take longer to finish than anticipated, which could push back the final product. Melissa is a professional RPG illustrator, however, which will be a huge benefit on this front. Getting everything put together with the layout is the only thing that could possibly cause a hitch with this.
The Contents: The beta draft is finished. However, as I would like to let feedback from backers help dictate the final product to an extent, the amount of feedback received could potentially push when the final product will be released.
Printing: This shouldn't be too much of an issue, as it is a limited run. We will be using CreateSpace to print the initial run. As long as we don't run into any kinks on that front, this shouldn't pose much of a problem.
Shipping: I am having books shipped to me prior to being shipped to you so that I can personalize as determined by backer level. This hopefully won't be too big of a deal, as I'll be sure everyone is emailed when their package gets sent. That being said, things get lost in the mail. If that happens, we'll send replacements, but that means getting more printed, which takes time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (33 days)