Reign is a high fantasy game where you can give quests instead of taking them. Reign presents a world that isn’t in immanent danger of being destroyed—it’s a world full of complex cultures, old grievances, religions in conflict and sullen old schools of wizardry that can crisp off your arm. In addition to the usual FRPG heroics and enchantment, it has a system for statting up nations, or cults, or secret conspiracies and resolving their broader conflicts, instead of just leaving the fallout of their clashes to GM narration.
Reign first edition was released way back in 2007, self published by Greg Stolze, with a stunning layout design by a then-new designer name Daniel Solis, and art by Langdon Foss. In the 11 years since it was first published, the hardcover edition is long out of print, and it's been supported by a series of PDF releases from Greg.
The time has come to bring it back, in an updated, expanded, polished, reorganized, full color version. The new edition of Reign contains the vast majority of the supplementary material that Greg's created in the last 11 years, a decision which led us to split to the game into two books, Reign: Rules and Reign: Realms. Together, the two books constitute almost 500 pages of RPG goodness!
In addition to general cleanup, Greg has strived to modularize the rule and make it easier to get exactly the game you want. In this edition, we say “If your group wants highly detailed tactical combat with loads of options, use Options A and B. If they just want it to be one element amongst skullduggery and political intrigue and low comedy, just use C.” You can pick what the rules magnify to make the rules right for your group’s adventures. This applies to chase, intrigue and other rules systems as well.
Finally, we're revising the layout (while absolutely striving to maintain the fantastic feel that Daniel Solis' first edition had) and going full color, with all new art!
This is Reign 2E.
Reign presumes you have a “company”—some organization of followers and property that the PCs govern. It can clash with enemy groups in a way that a rag-tag team of heroes just can’t, though the actions of the players’ characters usually offer big boosts (or penalties) to company rolls. If you take a whole adventure to set up your roll to change hearts and minds in a rival country, you’re far more likely to succeed. On the other hand, it also lets you play the kind of game you want by offloading some tasks onto your underlings. For example: Imagine a game with elements of investigation and elements of big hairy fights. One group that lives for detective work could do all their own spying, then have a mighty army for their company. Once they know where and what the enemies are, they just write a memo to the generals and have a lovely dinner on the back deck. A different group might LOVE the combat elements but find the spy stuff confusing or tedious. They could build a company that’s full of spies and diplomats, and use them to ferret out the secrets, which they then dispatch personally.
Reign is powered by the One Roll Engine. You roll a pool of ten sided dice and look for matches. If you’re trying something simple and straightforward, any pair (or set of three, or more) gets it done. With four dice, you have a 50/50 chance. But the neat part is that you can pull more information out of a single roll, because every successful set has two pieces of information embedded in it—how many dice turned up in the set, and what the number is that they matched on. We call this “height” and “width.” If you get three nines, the width is three and the height is nine. It’s a bit like poker. A pair of tens beats a pair of eights, but three deuces beats any pair. In Reign, however, height and width can mean different things. Sometimes you want a wide set, sometimes you want a high set. Would you rather do a lot of damage to a target’s leg, or a little bit to its unprotected head? The engine makes those sorts of decisions quick, easy and intuitive. It’s particularly efficient for fantasy combat. You roll one set of dice and it tells you (1) whether you hit or missed, (2) how quickly you acted, (3) how hard your shot was and (4) where you hit the enemy. That’s why it’s called the One Roll Engine.
As mentioned above, we've split Reign into 2 books to more efficiently present all of the material. The two books are Reign: Rules and Reign: Realms.
The game part of Reign consists of rules that balance complicated outcomes with simple inputs. Resolution is just one throw of the dice, but each result is rich in meaning, giving you a lot of options and meaningful choices without slow handling time. The centerpiece is a system for statting up your fictitious church, state or thieves’ guild so that the important decisions are played out together, not left in for a Game Moderator to decide.
Reign: Rules will be an approximately 172 page full color book, 3-board smythe-sewn case-bound, printed on 70 lb. matte paper. UPDATE: Paper stock is now 80 lb. due to unlocked stretch goal.
A sprawling, brawling, world of cultures in conflict and strange enchantment, Realms is the fertile soil from which the ‘role playing’ part of Realms can grow. It’s a setting where even the geography is unexpected, where enchantment and superstition can undermine every social assumption, and where the players are not just the most interesting characters—they can be the most important. Realms gives you enough stories for decades of gaming in a world that doesn’t need to be saved, but desperately needs to be governed.
Reign: Realms will be a full-color book clocking in at roughly 304 pages, 3-board smythe-sewn case-bound, printed on 70 lb. matte paper. UPDATE: Paper stock is now 80 lb. due to unlocked stretch goal.
We're also going to produce Kickstarter-exclusive limited edition leatherette versions of both Reign 2E books. Rules will feature a red faux leather, and Realms will be bound in blue. They'll both be gold-foil stamped and embossed with Daniel Solis's evocative cover art from the first edition of Reign.
Reign: Realities contains all of the new settings and capstone essays that we unlock through the rest of the campaign, all in full color. We're making it available as an add-on for any tier, and we've settled on an add-on price of $20 (plus separate shipping billed in our pledge manager, as with the main campaign books). This price will stay consistent for Kickstarter backers no matter how large the book gets, it if goes hardcover, etc. The current contents and current estimated book characteristics can be seen below.
Final Estimated Book: 160 pages, hardcover full color.
To add Reign: Realities to your backer tier, just adjust your monetary pledge amount up by $20.00. It's that easy!
Our initial funding goal of $35,000 is designed to cover the raw costs of the production process. It'll pay for all the brand new color art, the layout and design (done in house by Hal Mangold), and the printing of the book. We have our printer lined up, and the costs specced out. If we hit our initial funding goal, Reign 2E becomes a reality, with a projected publishing date of August 2019, just in time for Gen Con.
We hope you'll help us get there! Please help us spread the word about the campaign on social media using the hashtag #HowWillYouREIGN. We'd also love to hear stories of how your games of Reign have gone in the past, how you've used or hacked the system, of how you'd like to do so in the future.
We're now basically funded, and ready to move on to stretch goals! We have two types of stretch goals, funding goals and backer goals.
The current funding stretch goals are listed below with blue banners. The first three all add more written material to the Reign, Second Edition project. Currently these are all electronic/PDF goals, but if we fund enough of them, a print version is a distinct possibility. Our fourth goal adds a optional cool slipcase/GM screen add-on to the project.
After those goals, you'll see a set of backer stretch goals with purple banners. Those goals are tied to how many backers we get on board with the project, and add new cool upgrades and improvements to the books.
By Jose Garcia. Click here for descriptions of all unlocked Reign: Realities.
UNLOCKED Since we hit $37,500 in funding, we’ll produce Newborn World as a fully illustrated PDF expansion to Reign, Second Edition.
By Rabbit and Brandes Stoddard. Click here for descriptions of all unlocked Reign: Realities.
UNLOCKED Since we hit $40,000 in funding, we’ll produce Gifts of Starlight, Gifts of Stone as a fully illustrated PDF expansion to Reign, Second Edition.
By Lochlan Sudarshan. Click here for descriptions of all unlocked Reign: Realities.
UNLOCKED Since we hit $42,500 in funding, we’ll produce December Revolution as a fully illustrated PDF expansion to Reign, Second Edition.
UNLOCKED Since we $45,000, we're adding an Deluxe Set option for a full-color slipcase for your Reign, Second Edition books, with a magnetic clasp. The slipcase unfolds to serve as a full-function game master screen. This screen will be exclusively made to order for the Reign 2E Kickstarter, and will not be available in the normal distribution chain.
By Greg Stolze and Patrick O’Duffy Click here for descriptions of all unlocked Reign: Realities.
Just as a note, this setting is of substantially larger size than our previous ones (roughly three times their size), thus the higher stretch goal increment.
UNLOCKED Since we hit $50,000 in funding, we’ve also generated enough new material to justify an actual printed book, titled Reign: Realities. In addition to producing Leviathan as a fully illustrated PDF expansion, we’ll make the physical print version of Reign: Realities purchasable as an add-on.
UNLOCKED Since we hit $52,500 in funding, we’ll produce Age of Sail and Cogs as a fully illustrated PDF expansion to Reign, Second Edition, and add it to the Reign: Realities print book.
Greg designed the system of Reign to, in addition to being its own thing, function as a capstone system for running organizations in other systems. With that in mind, we're enlisting a variety of game designers and writers to pen a set of what we're calling "Capstone Essays". These are articles that basically spin off on what Reign might do as a capstone or alternate rule-set for a different game, genre or approach. They'll be included in both the electronic and physical print version of Reign: Realities.
UNLOCKED Since we hit $55,000 in funding, we'll include the first three Capstone Essays from:
- Ross Payton, co-host of the Ennie Award winning Role Playing Public Radio (RPPR), and author of Base Raiders and Zombies of the World.
- Robert Bohl, creator of Misspent Youth: Teenage Rebellion in a Fucked-up Future.
Dennis Detwiller, an Ennie and Origins award-winning artist, writer and game designer who you may know from such RPG properties as Delta Green, GODLIKE, Wild Talents, and Better Angels.
By Allan Goodall Click here for descriptions of all unlocked Reign: Realities.
UNLOCKED Since we hit $57,500 in funding, we’ll produce Silver Pavilion as a fully illustrated PDF expansion to Reign, Second Edition, and add it to the Reign: Realities print book.
By Lisa Padol Play leaders in a modern magical school -- whether we're talking Utena or Harry Potter or Raven Boys. Lead a club or a clique as a student. Be a department head as a teacher. In this world, nothing important is ever just one thing. The student council secretly vies for control over the city or the world. The school's football team might be the foot soldiers counting coup against their opponents or they might secretly be cultists or an experimental group of golems or robots. The theater club might be made up of slumming fae folk on vacation. Perhaps the trophy for a particular athletic contest is also the Holy Grail. Or the giant diamond that the Physics Department uses to create new particles is also an ancient Sumerian artifact stolen from the History Department -- and the History Department wants it back!
UNLOCKED Since we hit $60,000 in funding, we’ll produce Enchanted Education as a fully illustrated PDF expansion to Reign, Second Edition, and add it to the Reign: Realities print book.
By Tracy Barnett Raganrok has stalled. The dwarves came with their massive, metal destroyers and our ancestors bound their spirits to the bones of dead giants to fight back. Fifty years ago, the dwarves just... vanished. They left behind their dwarven metal fortresses, their technology, and a legacy of ruin. War of Dust and Bone is a genre-bending setting combining elements of Norse myth with westerns. Reclaim what the dwarves took from your people and reverse the Ragnarok that has gripped Midgard.
UNLOCKED Since we hit $62,500 in funding, we’ll produce Saga of Dust and Bone as a fully illustrated PDF expansion to Reign, Second Edition, and add it to the Reign: Realities print book.
UNLOCKED Since we hit $65,000 in funding, we'll include the next three Capstone Essays from these three game design luminaries:
- Jerry D. Grayson: Creator of the RPGs GODSEND Agenda, HELLAS: Worlds of Sun and Stone, and ATLANTIS: The Second Age.
- Kira Magrann: Creator of Mobilize, a game about lesbian mechanics in WW2 (winner of the IGDN award 2017), Selfie, in the #Feminism anthology, and RESISTOR, a collaborative zine about cyberwitches. Kira has also written for Evil Hat Games' FATE RPG, and created A Cozy Den, an intimate game of domestic winter.
- Kenneth Hite: Creator of (among almost innumerable other gaming works) The Day After Ragnarok, Night's Black Agents, The Dracula Dossier, Fall of Delta Green, and one half of the multiple-Ennie Award-winning podcast Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff.
By Cam Banks A titan awakes on the ocean floor after a nuclear test and wreaks havoc on a coastal city in Japan. Aliens send a colossus to Earth as the vanguard of their invasion. The planet manifests a massive spirit to thwart humanity's extinction. Roar is a drift of Reign that brings the gigantic monsters and machines of Japanese film to the tabletop as foes and allies of your own military, scientific, or civilian companies, just in time to cancel the apocalypse!
UNLOCKED Since we hit $67,500 in funding, we’ll produce Roar as a fully illustrated PDF expansion to Reign, Second Edition, and add it to the Reign: Realities print book. At this point, the Reign: Realities book is now a hardcover, sharing all enhancements with the standard editions of Reign Rules and Reign: Realms.
By Jose Garcia In the world of Get Out the Vote, democracy isn’t just important, it’s a source of magical power. Over a century ago, a revolution shattered the arcane force powering the empires of old and scattered its pieces among the people. Now, in the bustling city of Hecantz, political machines known as Foundations battle for mystical superiority at the ballot box, and you and your friends will play those embroiled in the fight. Whether your Company chooses to join the Foundations or go it alone, winning the hearts and minds of the people of an ancient, living city will be tough. Dealing with the secrets that lie in its underbelly will be even tougher.
UNLOCKED Since we hit $70,000 in funding, we’ll produce Get Out the Vote as a fully illustrated PDF expansion to Reign, Second Edition, and add it to the Reign: Realities print book.
By Lochlan Sudarshan The year is 1999. Giving birth to live young is an eccentricity. If you hear someone is live-born at a party or as a rumor, you’ll eye them with amusement, like hearing they make their own mayonnaise. You guess there’s nothing wrong with it, but why bother? StorkCo’s been prime-delivering funky fresh and flawless babies longer than anyone can remember without the need for stretch marks or waiting or the risk of Tay-Sachs or sickle cell or whatever you vaguely remember hearing about in history class. There’s no more scarcity or hunger since anybody can download a StorkCo lab-grown veal Big Mac for a couple of bucks, but that’s not to say no one has problems. In a post-scarcity world, information is king. People are always fighting over the rights to this or that in the news and some are even trying to block their own genetic templates from being copied and mass-marketed. “Information wants to be free,” or at least that’s what the reps from StorkCo say on tv. The Amish and the guys who yell at you on the subway feel differently. When you walk by ten people on the street with your face on the way to work, you’re starting to think maybe they have a point.
UNLOCKED Since we hit $72,500 in funding, we’ll produce StorkCo as a fully illustrated PDF expansion to Reign, Second Edition, and add it to the Reign: Realities print book.
UNLOCKED Since we hit $75,000 in funding, we'll include the final three Capstone Essays from these three game design luminaries:
- Emily Care-Boss: Creator of the ground-breaking games Breaking the Ice, Shooting the Moon, and Under my Skin (collected together as The Romance Trilogy) and has written for Hillfolk, Heroine, and collaborated on the ENnie award winning Bubblegumshoe, published by Evil Hat Productions.
- Matt Forbeck: New York Times-bestselling author and game designer. He has over thirty novels and countless games published to date. His latest work includes the Star Wars: Rogue One junior novel, Dungeonology, Captain America: The Ultimate Guide to the First Avenger, Halo: New Blood, the Magic: The Gathering comics, The Marvel Encyclopedia, and the upcoming Shotguns & Sorcery tabletop roleplaying game based on his novels.
- Justin Achilli: Best known for his contributions to innumerable Vampire: The Masquerade and Vampire: The Requiem titles, and acting as the developer for the launch of Vampire: The Requiem. Justin also co-created the Exalted RPG, and has contributed to Werewolf, Mage, Promethean, Trinity, Changeling, Ravenloft, and other titles.
By Caleb Stokes In a time before recorded history, the immortal masters of Nagalisitu blighted the world to fuel the dark ritual that transported their malignant kingdom of decadent sorcery into another realm. Locked away in a dimension of their own twisted design, the primordial wizards became gods outside of space and time, isolating themselves to study the profane, arcane mysteries free from the interference of the humanity they had left behind. It took centuries for the world to recover from the unnatural excision of the Nagalisitu lands, but their influence has haunted every civilization since. Every few decades, entire villages went missing in the night, gone without trace save burned buildings and slain elders. These unfortunates are the "Reaved," abducted by the Nagalisitu to serve as slaves in their hellish kingdom. The disappearances have always been seen as unpreventable tragedy: the inexorable fallout of the sordid council’s ascension, echoing forever through the ages. Until now.
The Nagalisitu have been felled by their own chattel. After generations of abuse and slavery, the descendants of the Reaved have revolted and slain their dark captors. However, the freed remain magically trapped in the Naglisitu realm despite their victory, unable to escape to our world and bereft of shared language, religion, and culture after centuries of oppression. The kingdom needs to import scientists, philosophers, generals, and merchants to build a new people before their shared trauma reduces the survivors to anarchy. Heroes from the outside world must bring aid, but culture is not easily stilled long enough to be engineered, especially amongst the weird distortions of the Naglisitu's corrupted time. The order in which assistance comes will shape the emerging people in drastic and unpredictable ways. Can the heroes grow a great civilization from the ashes of evil, or will their interference send its people collapsing into a new tyranny?
UNLOCKED Since we hit $80,000 in funding, we’ll produce Nagalisitu as a fully illustrated PDF expansion to Reign, Second Edition, and add it to the Reign: Realities print book.
By Paul Mitchener Early in the first century AD, a Roman legion vanished from the records. This legion, the Legio IX Hispana, took part in the invasion of Britain. Its last recorded presence in the historical records was in 108AD in Eboracum (modern day York). In the popular version of history, the legion vanished when it went north to put down an uprising of Picts in Scotland.
But that's not the real story.
In the Ninth Legion setting, the entire legion found itself transported to another world, which they called Arcadia. In Arcadia, magic and monsters are real, geography is sometimes fluid, and cursing an enemy is a dangerous thing to do. The Romans were not the first group to cross over- other Celtic tribes had already settled there. There was no way back, so the Romans also settled, and did their best both to continue their lives and impose their values in this strange place. A hundred years have passed since the Romans first arrived, and the city of New Rome rules a province of the Empire on another world. The player characters are Agents of the Ninth—imperial intelligence operatives with the duty of dealing with threats to New Rome that the army can't deal with. Some of these threats are open, some covert, some external, some internal. Agents of the Ninth include people from throughout Arcadia, not just the Roman parts; New Rome and the people of Arcadia share enemies, though relations are often strained or hostile.
If we hit $90,000 in funding, we’ll produce Ninth Legion as a fully illustrated PDF setting for Reign, Second Edition. Due to its size, Ninth Legion will be produced as a separate book, and not included in Reign: Realities. All backers receiving electronic stretch goals will receive the PDF of Ninth Legion.
NOTE: If unlocked, Ninth Legion may not release at the same time as the other 3 books. It's a sizable project, and may take a little more time to get done properly.
UNLOCKED Since we hit 650 backers, we’ll upgrade the paper stock for all Reign, Second Edition books from 70# matte stock to 80# matte stock.
UNLOCKED Since we hit 700 backers, we’ll add decorative colored endpapers to all Reign, Second Edition books.
UNLOCKED Since we hit 750 backers, we'll add a swanky spot gloss to all standard edition Reign, Second Edition books, and gilt page edges to all Special Edition books.
We're currently paying our writers a good rate for the hobby games industry...but we can always do better! If we hit 1150 backers we'll raise the per/word rate for all of our writers, whether for Reign: Realities or Capstone Essays.
Atomic Overmind Press is committed to supporting brick and mortar book and hobby retailers. We fully understand how Kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms create new challenges for traditional retail stores, so we’re taking steps to encourage retailer support of our products. Here are a few things we are doing.
1. We know cash flow can be an issue, and most retailers don’t want to tie up capital while you wait for fulfillment. With that in mind, you can become a retail backer of Reign 2E at the "Mercantyler" level to let us know you’re interested in carrying the book, and during the BackerKit process you can adjust your order to fit what you need at that time.
2. You’ll get Reign 2E copies early, and you’ll be able to sell for at least 30 days before it hits distribution.
3. In-store, freight-free pickup option for backers local to you: You’ll have the option to add your store’s name to our Retailer Backer List for in-store pickup (US stores only). If you do, any of our backers can save the cost of shipping their books by picking their Reign 2E rewards up at your store. Yes, we need their support pledge to make Reign 2E happen, but you will have the opportunity to expose a potential new customer to other products and accessories your store has to offer. Both you and the backers local to you will need to coordinate with each other ahead of shipment. We’ll provide the list of participating stores in an update as we get closer to the release.
Shipping. It's the biggest wildcard and largest misunderstood cost of any crowdfunding project.
We've chosen not to fold shipping costs into the reward tiers for this campaign, and have reduced the pricing on those tiers accordingly. Shipping will be charged using Backerkit when we are finally ready to get the project physically into your hands. Our shipping partners, Studio 2 Publishing, have extensive experience with Kickstarter fulfillment and will be able to provide us with the most economical methods to get your rewards delivered to you in proper shape.
For overseas backers, costs will naturally be higher, but we are committed to finding the best-cost solution possible for you. This includes finding and working with localization partners to ship the final rewards if possible. We cannot offer guarantees on what those prices will be. But if you trust us, we promise do the absolute best we can for you.
And well you should ask!
Project Author - Greg Stolze
My name’s Greg Stolze, and I’ve been writing RPG stuff for pay since 1996 so… you might know me from a LOT of stuff. I’ve worked on several old World of Darkness lines, wrote some novels for them in addition to all the fiction that’s up at my web site, but more recently I’ve been involved with the reboot of Delta Green. I’m also the co-creator of Unknown Armies. I designed the original mechanics for it, and redesigned them for the recent third edition. Also, even if you haven’t heard of Reign, it’s been around for a while.
Project Producer: Hal Mangold
My name's Hal Mangold and I own and operate Atomic Overmind Press. I'm also the Director of Production at Green Ronin Publishing, a freelance graphic designer, and occasional game designer. There have been some awards involved over the years. This is my second Kickstarter (the first being Tour de Lovecraft: The Destinations) and first RPG Kickstarter.
Additionally, I am a huge nerd.
Risks and challenges
The risks and challenges for actually executing on this project are fairly low, outside of your usual act-of-the Universe type occurrences. All of the people involved in creating Reign 2E are experienced participants in the crowdfunding process. We have our manufacturing partners in place, and a reasonable timeline in which to create and deliver all the rewards from this campaign. The Reign: Rules and Reign: Realms manuscripts are already written, and just need a bit of polishing to finish up. Nothing in life is a sure thing, but we're as confident as one can be that Reign 2E can be completed and delivered to backers by our target date.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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