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Goblin Quest is a tabletop roleplaying game about slapstick violence, fatal ineptitude, and the greatest adventure of your life.
Goblin Quest is a tabletop roleplaying game about slapstick violence, fatal ineptitude, and the greatest adventure of your life.
1,117 backers pledged £20,711 to help bring this project to life.

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NEXT STRETCH GOAL: None! We're all done!

Goblin Quest is like Itchy and Scratchy crossed with The Animals of Farthing Wood. It's like the first level of Dungeons & Dragons crossed with Paranoia.

This goblin is pretending to be a cleric and hoping that no-one realises that it can't, actually, read
This goblin is pretending to be a cleric and hoping that no-one realises that it can't, actually, read

I stand firm in the belief that, daft as it is, Goblin Quest is the greatest game I've ever written. But it needs a killer rulebook packed with art to do it justice. That's where you come in.

Set in a fantasy world full of monsters, it uses a really simple system focused around improvisation and rationalisation to build madcap, slapstick scenes that quickly spiral out of hand. All you need to play is a pencil, a sheet of paper, and a handful of six-sided dice; you don't even need a player to be the gamesmaster. Everyone can embark on the quest together.

RINGING ENDORSEMENTS

I've been developing and writing Goblin Quest for nearly two years, and groups all over the world have playtested it for me. Here's what they've said about the game:

Fun fact: Most goblins only bathe as part of a ruse. This one seems to enjoy it, though
Fun fact: Most goblins only bathe as part of a ruse. This one seems to enjoy it, though

“Goblin Quest is the RPG I'd design if I was younger, better-looking and had more energy.” - James Wallis, Games Industry Overlord, creator of The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen and Once Upon A Time

“Goblin Quest is so funny I almost spat ice-cream out my nose whilst playing it.” - Malcolm Ryan, who is an actual Games Design Lecturer who teaches at an actual University

"We had to steal a Wizard's magic book, so to cause a distraction, I peed in a guard's face." - My nephew, Jonah, describing the very first turn of his game of Goblin Quest

"GOBLIN QUEST has held a solid appeal to me since I first read about it. It's both simple enough, and open-ended enough, to allow for maximum hilarity." - Sean Smith, Stage Mentalist and Word Magician

"My group's quest was to make an omelette. 16 goblins died." - Andrew Harvey

“Hilarious, entertaining, streamlined, fun; what more could you ask for?” - Nick Jewell

“Thanks so much for writing such a fun game! We had a lovely time trying it out.” - Brian Rinkoski

“Was it fun? If riding a burning donkey-cart straight towards a brick wall is your idea of fun, then yes.” - Magnus Nordstrand

“Keep making games like this, and I will keep playing them.” - Alex Winfield

"I didn't play RP games until trying some Grant designed. Since then everything is disappointing in comparison. Not just games: it's hard to get through the day. You thought you knew fun before Grant's games? Your life is grey veils and ash.” - Lydia Nicholas 

Here's a link to the (very) brief playtest rules.

WHAT YOUR PLEDGE COVERS 

This is Howltooth, Jon's favourite goblin, rocking out on his Lute of Awesomeness +1
This is Howltooth, Jon's favourite goblin, rocking out on his Lute of Awesomeness +1
 

ART. This is the big expense – I want to pay my artists properly, and I can't afford to do that without your support. The lead artist for the project is Jon Morris – who inspired this project after sending me an awesome drawing of a goblin. We've got a couple of other artists on board, too, who'll add their talents if we hit our stretch goals.

LAYOUT. I've contacted Alina Sandu, a professional graphic design and layout professional that I've worked with in the past, and she's super-keen to make the rulebook look as good as it possibly can. I want to give her money to do that. 

WRITING. The core book is finished, but I want to design more ways to use the system – mobs of kobolds designing ridiculous death-machines, brave investigators losing their minds as they pry into the Cthulhu mythos, and bands of loosely-affiliated Swordmasters avenging each other's deaths. If we hit our stretch goals, we'll put these in the game as bonus content. 

PRINTING. Bulk printing, as opposed to print-on-demand, lets us save money on physical copies, but we need some cash up-front to make the order. We also need some capital to pay distributors to ship out books to you guys.

STRETCH GOALS

This is from Jon's Guide to Goblins, some of his previous work, so you can see he's got proven Goblin Experience
This is from Jon's Guide to Goblins, some of his previous work, so you can see he's got proven Goblin Experience

Breaking our KS target is just the start. Here's what we've got in store. Bear in mind that all of these rules-hacks will be part of the final physical book, not just in the PDF!

- PASSED! - £2500: KOBOLD QUEST. All backers at DIGITAL and above will receive KOBOLD QUEST, an illustrated rules-hack that lets them design barely-functional traps and use them to complete dubious schemes for their impossibly ancient draconic masters.

- PASSED! - £3000: MORE ART. We'll make the book bigger, and shove even more full-colour pictures of goblins in there.

- PASSED! - £3500 – INIGO MONTOYA JR. All backers at DIGITAL and above will receive MY NAME IS INIGO MONTOYA JR., an illustrated rules-hack that puts them in control of a school of elite swordmasters obsessed with avenging past misdeeds and, eventually, each other's deaths.

- PASSED! - £4000 – YES, GOBLIN OVERLORD! Tim Wilkinson Lewis of Yes, Hive Overlord fame and the original illustrator of Havoc Brigade will lend his pen to the project and scratch out a gaggle of mad-looking goblins for us.

- PASSED! - £4500 – FURTHER ART SOMEHOW! Iguanamouth, illustrator of The Homecoming Collection and master of adorable grotesquerie, will add her unique art style to the book with a selection of mad-looking pieces.

- PASSED! - £5000 – THE STARS ARE RIGHT. All backers at DIGITAL and above will receive THE CTHULHU FILES, an illustrated rules-hack that throws them into a world of slavering monsters, fragile sanities, and the hungry dark that lies behind the stars and underneath the ocean.

- PASSED! - £6000 - REDSHIRTS. All backers at DIGITAL and above will receive REDSHIRTS, an illustrated planetary exploration rules-hack set in the far future. You play one competent member of a starfleet ship and four clueless ensigns, and must explore a hostile alien world using your ensigns as cannon-fodd- sorry, research assistants - along the way.

- PASSED! - £8000 - NEITHER SUPER NOR HEROIC. When the chips are down, the government calls on teams of specially-selected superheroes to save the day. But they're all dead, or busy, or not answering their phones, so... you'll have to do. Play a team of rubbish part-time superheroes, endanger civilians, and sweep trouble under the carpet until the professionals arrive.

- PASSED! - £10,000 - GUEST WRITERS ROUND ONE. Naomi Alderman, Merritt Kopas, Meg Jayanth, Matt Forbeck, Graeme Walmsley and Frog Croakley will write ten adventure seeds each for inclusion in the core book.

- PASSED! - £11,500 - GUEST WRITERS ROUND TWO. Rob Heinsoo, Ken Hite, Robin D Laws, Meguey Baker and James Wallis will write ten adventure seeds each for inclusion in the core book.

- PASSED - £13,000 - GOBLIN TWINE. Working with Mary Hamilton, creator of Detritus, I'll release a free-to-play choose-your-own-adventure game online which will follow the quests of one brave clutch of goblins.

- PASSED - £15,000 - SEAN BEAN QUEST. Will Sean Bean ever survive all the way to the end of a film? Find out as you take on the role of five Sean Beans (in sequence, not in parallel) and attempt to endure the slings and arrows of the script. Gruff northern accents are a requirement.

- PASSED - £18,500 - COMMUNITY CHOICE HACK. Backers will choose one of these three final illustrated rules hacks to put into the book:

STICK A COG ON IT AND CALL IT GOBLIN QUEST: You're the new crew of this Steampunk Zepplin, and by George, you'll find Pulp Adventure if it kills you! (It will.) Get extra dice by engaging in steampunk cliches, like "Wearing superfluous goggles" or "Disregarding the poor".

CYBERPUNK X.0: "Inside the matrix, they built a new matrix - in fact, a matrix of matrices," says the man, sucking on a virtual e-cigarette and exhaling a cloud of low-resolution digital vapour, "and that's where you're going, choomba. Load up your five favourite avatars, and splice your headbox rigwards. We're gonna cowboy this joint." His red eyes glitter in the magnified darkness, and you smile through your chrome teeth. This is gonna be the best gig of your alt-life.  

REGENCY LADIES: You play a matriarch in charge of five young ladies, all of marriageable age and handsome countenance (aside from poor Agnes, but she plays the pianoforte so beautifully). It's your job to get at least one of them properly married off before they descend into ignominious ends, poor arrangements, or destitute spinsterhood.

TIMESCALE 

This goblin reckons it'd make a pretty good rogue
This goblin reckons it'd make a pretty good rogue

Once the Kickstarter is over, we'll look to get the book illustrated, designed and printed within six months. 

You can expect to receive hard copies in February 2015, and digital copies a little before that. I'll be sure to keep you up to date with our design and print schedules as we go ahead.

THE TEAM 

This goblin is convinced it's a wizard, and it seems cruel to tell it otherwise
This goblin is convinced it's a wizard, and it seems cruel to tell it otherwise
 

GRANT HOWITT (Writer) is a journalist and games designer who lives in Sydney, Australia. He's been writing games for the past six years, and playing them for the past ten. He's built livegames for 20th Century Fox and the London Science Museum, and his tabletop games are known and loved throughout the indie community. You can download all of his previous games (for free) on his website Look, Robot.

"CALAMITY" JON MORRIS (Illustrator) is a Washington-based cartoonist, designer, writer, and two-fisted king of the hobos. He is the also the creator of the Ignatz-nominated webcomic “Jeremy – Just Turned Nine”, has appeared on This American Life, and has recently completed his first book, due for release in Summer 2015. He has also illustrated a number of previous games including Villainy!, InSpectres and Darkpages. His website is Calamity Jon, Save Us!

ALINA SANDU (Designer) has been a freelance design for the last three years, working on everything from stationery catalogues, to magazines to zombie survival materials. When she's not working she's building on her extensive collection of board games and building a dangerously interdependent relationship with her guinea pigs. You can see her work, and photos of guinea pigs, at alinasandu.co.uk.

MARY HAMILTON (Business Manager) runs Serious Business, a live-games partnership. The rest of time, she looks at graphs and thinks about numbers for The Guardian.

Risks and challenges

This is my first Kickstarter, but I've been writing games for many years, now – and the core text is completely finished, having been through several rounds of playtesting. I've cleared the work, and the rates, with all my artists and designers. We're all on board and ready to rock.

However, life can get in the way. If I'm unable to write the additional content due to sickness or injury, or if Jon or Alina are similarly hampered, then it could put a significant speedbump under development.

However, I know other artists, and other designers, and while Jon or Alina having to pull out of the project would be sad, it wouldn't spell the end of Goblin Quest. It would probably slow things down a little, though.

I've got a great game, already played and loved by hundreds of people all around the world. Mary, my Business Manager, has a brain the size of a planet and is triple-checking all the figures at every stage of the process. This is ready to go; I just need your help to push it over the edge.

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    Pledge £1 or more About $1.67

    BACKER. Thanks for your support! I'll write your name down and stick it to my wall, so when I sit down at my computer to work on the book, I'll know who to thank.

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    BASIC. You'll receive a PDF of the core rules, with cover art only. I'll stick your name up on my wall to say thanks.

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    DIGITAL. You'll receive a PDF of the full rulebook, which comes complete with loads of full-colour art and any unlocked rules hacks. I'll stick your name up on my wall, but also in the book, to say thanks.

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    EL NORDICO WALLPAPER. No book, but I will set my desktop background to be a series of pictures of Chris "El Nordico" George for a full month, at his own request.

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    PHYSICAL. You'll receive a colour soft-back edition of the full game, all 60+ pages of it, along with a PDF of it too. I'll stick your name up on my wall, but also in the book, to say thanks.

    (Please add £3 to ship outside of the UK or USA.)

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    Pledge £18 or more About $30

    SPECIAL EDITION: BEHIND THE SCENES. As PHYSICAL, but you'll also get access to:

    1) High-res images of all the art, and

    2) A PDF of a special, KS-only version of the book with design notes from Jon and I, concept sketches, and some additional essays on running the game.
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    Pledge £30 or more About $50

    DELUXE HARDBACK. You'll receive a SUPER-NICE high-quality hardback edition of the full game (and all rules-hacks), a PDF, and all the digital goodies from the SPECIAL EDITION level. I'll stick your name up on my wall, but also in the book, to say thanks. (Please add £3 to ship outside of the UK or USA.)

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    Pledge £45 or more About $75

    DRAW MY GOBLIN. As SPECIAL EDITION, plus Jon Morris will draw your favourite goblin in his own inimitable style. You'll get a high-def JPEG of the colour art, and the original black-and-white sketch by mail.
    (Please add £3 to ship outside of the UK or USA.)

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    Pledge £60 or more About $100

    ICONIC GOBLIN. As DRAW MY GOBLIN, but your goblin will enter the book as one of our iconic characters, and they'll feature in the examples of play.

    (Please, no obscene goblin concepts.)

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    Pledge £65 or more About $109

    GOBLIN GALLERY - IGUANAMOUTH. As SPECIAL EDITION, plus your favourite goblin will be illustrated by IguanaMouth and displayed in the book, alongside a note about their exploits, written by me. (Please add £3 to ship outside of the UK or USA.)

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    GOBLIN GALLERY - CALAMITY JON. As SPECIAL EDITION, plus your favourite goblin will be illustrated by Jon Morris and displayed in the book, alongside a note about their exploits, written by me. (Please add £3 to ship outside of the UK or USA.)

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    Pledge £75 or more About $125

    ONLINE GAMER. As SPECIAL EDITION, plus I'll run a game of Goblin Quest with you and three of your friends in a Google Hangout. (Please add £3 to ship outside of the UK or USA.)

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    Pledge £250 or more About $417

    ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT. As DIGITAL, and I'll PAINSTAKINGLY write and illustrate the game BY HAND in a beautiful leather notebook in pen and ink, and send it to you.

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    Pledge £300 or more About $501

    DERANGED ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT. As ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT, but I'll take a picture of myself every hour of the process, showing my deteriorating mental state. You monster.

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    Pledge £2,500 or more About $4,173

    STREET THEATRE PRODUCTION. As SPECIAL EDITION, but I'll also write a THREE-ACT PLAY of STAGGERING BEAUTY about a GOBLIN QUEST of your choosing then PERFORM IT LIVE on the streets of whatever city I am living in at that point. If you can't attend, video will be taken and sent to you.

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Funding period

- (30 days)