IDENTECO is a game about the struggle to define humanity and retain identity in the highly digital era known as “The Static Age.” Corporations hold more power over the people in the world. They have created ways to monetize and commoditize a person’s identity using massive data farms and social engineering hacks to influence everyday life. Through carefully crafted marketing and slick branding, the Corps don’t force their will onto people, as much as they enforce their worth in people’s minds.
You play a character trying to survive in the Static Age, starting at the bottom and working your way up the social or corporate ladder by any means necessary.
IDENTECO is built on an new, modern D20-based system that emphasizes fast gameplay and rewards social interaction and role playing. Every interaction builds onto the story and the legacy of the characters. The more you play the game, the more you construct your character’s identity, or possibly identities. As the game progresses the thin line between famous and infamous depends solely on who’s watching.
The year is 2099. The world is a much different place.
After a series of devastating terrorist attacks on America's heartland by an unseen enemy the government was in disarray. The corporations were the only thing left to protect the populace and rebuild society. So they did. Like technocratic gods they rebuilt America™ in their image, and then used new economies of scale and political financial systems to reshape the globe. As a reaction to the attacks, the U.N. created the Centralized Human Identity Program (C.H.I.P.), a sort of universal I.D. program for the world. The C.H.I.P. is implanted in your arm when you are born and is encrypted using your unique DNA sequence. It standardized passports, medical records, employment histories, education records, and much more. It’s a sort of living history, if you will. And Corps have figured out ways to use this information for dubious means.
Now neon-speckled city-states called megaplexes have sprung up around the world. These enormous urban areas have reshaped the landscape, blending tech and corporate culture into shiny playgrounds for consumers and industries alike. There is a steep divide between the haves and the have-nots; those in the city, and those on the fringe.
Outside the cities, non-CHIPed folk live off what is left in the wasteland areas in between cities. Small settlements and simple cities act as rest stops for weary travelers and nomadic tribes. Out in the wastes, you battle beast and man to live a “free” life away from corporate influence. It’s a simpler, but no less deadly, place.
Unique Social Backgrounds: Players choose to start with one of three backgrounds — Corp, Fringer, or Grounder. These backgrounds represent the three broadest factions in the game and roughly describe the role playing areas they inhabit. Each group is wary of others from different backgrounds, but sometimes jobs require a unique set of circumstances that lead to additional player interactions.
- Corps: These people live inside the city and live life according to the corporate code. Corps are characters who are typically aligned with one of the major corporations in the world at start, and can either choose to climb the corporate ladder, or burn it down from the inside.
- Fringers: These people live in neon shadows of the corporations, out on the fringe of “civilized” society. The romanticized orphans of the corporate dream, they run the streets working jobs and relishing in the vices afforded to them in the “Static Age.”
- Grounders: These people live outside the cities and outside of corporate influence. Some are the doomsday preppers and psychological freaks who held up “I told you so!” signs when the bombs dropped. Some seek religious refuge from a world they feel has been lost to machines, seeking to live off the land in a purer way. While others just want to be left the hell alone.
Style and Substance: It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it. Or do it. Reputation on the streets, in the wastes, and in the boardroom is earned not just by doing the job, but by doing it in grand fashion. Favor fortunes the bold — the bigger the score, the bigger the reward. But, remember, to keep your reputation you’ve got to top what you did last time lest you want some hipster saying “He was better back when…”
Punk Subculture: In all aspects of the game players are encouraged to make their voices heard. The hallmarks of the punk culture (individual freedom, anti-establishment views, fashion, sexuality, art, and more) are all represented in the game. For Fringers and Grounders, that’s just another day of the week. They live it. But even Corps make rock stars out of their best and brightest. Radical innovators and tech giants are just as popular as celebrities in 2099.
Moral Choice & Ethical Ambiguity: You’ve heard the phrase, “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” That is no more true than in IDENTECO. There are no pre-determined “Lawful Good” or “Chaotic Neutral” characters in the game. You determine your character’s morality and ethics through each scenario, combat encounter, and social interaction. The game is built to challenge perceptions of “right” and “wrong”— forcing players to sometimes make difficult choices — but still allowing them to create the character they want to play.
Near-Future Science: IDENTECO’s near-future technology is built on actual science and mathematics derived today. It introduces Element 121, a near infinite energy resource in battery form. It’s become the ubiquitous power source in cars, planes, motorcycles, even entire cities. Remotely Operated Vehicles (R.O.V.s) are controlled by pilots using a form of quantum communications. Advanced cybernetics and robotics allow for superhuman strength and agility. No longer do people travel by jetliner, but by low-orbital spacecraft that can circumvent the Earth in a matter of a couple of hours rather than days. Player are encouraged to explore the future tech in the game, and create their own. If there is a working prototype in the real world, odds are it will be perfected by 2099. So have fun.
The IDENTECO system rules system is built modularly, meaning it can be as complex or simplistic as the gaming group desires. All the rules content is there for gearheads and tinkerers to sink into, but isn’t sacrificed for those groups who are trying to game on short notice.
Active Combat System: Every attack is opposed by the defender in some manner. The system allows for some of the randomization that occurs during a firefight while still allowing players to utilize equipment and skills on both sides of the coin. Each attack rolls for both hit success, location, and damage and forces players to adjust their fighting style during a combat session based on the outcome.
Combat Hacking: Hackers are more than keyboard jockeys hanging out back at HQ away from danger while the team puts their necks on the line for a score. Hackers are active participants in combat. Not only can they unlock doors, deal with security cameras, and reroute police backup; they can overload junction boxes to cause explosions, kill lights, and control machinery in real time to aid their team and kill the opposition.
Interpersonal Relationships: There might be no “I” in team, but there is “me.” Side hustle is not only a great way to earn extra money, it advances a character’s goals in one way or another. Players can engage in a number of activities in the game that not only advance their storyline, but can help build their reputation apart from the group. How the group responds to that player’s reputation is up to them.
Your Reputation Proceeds You: Profit and loss means different things when you’re running the streets. Your reputation is a form of currency in the game that can be spent to influence die rolls, social interaction, back-alley favors, and corporate dealings. It can open many doors and get you above the law, but also make you a target for more unsavory characters who might prefer to see you out the game. Your reputation can be enhanced or hurt by the way you play.
Player-Generated Content: The GM isn’t the only writer of episodes or scenarios in the game. Players are encouraged to create their own storylines to follow. These can be a short-term score, or a long-term desire to create their own corporation with dreams of hostile takeover.
Quick and Easy Scenario Design: Because IDENTECO is grounded in the modern-day cartography, GMs and players can reference free online maps or blueprints as a starting place for a location. Each episode can be randomly generated or perfectly planned in a matter of minutes vs. hours of preparation. Though, for those GMs who want to, they can spend days writing story arcs and complex character backgrounds. The choice is really up to you.
The idea for IDENTECO began while waiting in line for an Acquisitions, Inc. panel in 2014. Chatting with other fans in line and each sharing stories from around the table, we landed on the idea of creating a new, hard sci-fi based cyberpunk role-playing game for our group to run. Throughout the three hours in line we crafted what became the first version of the character sheet for the game in a notebook one of us had in our backpack.
At retail we are aiming to have an MSRP of $49.99 for the full-color, hardcover edition of the book. Our Kickstarter backers, because you’re taking a chance on us, will be able to get the hardcover book at $40, including a PDF copy through Drive Thru RPG.
From inception, the goal of the book was to create a world that we felt was unique in the RPG space and gave players and GMs the freedom to tell whatever story they wanted to in that space. Three years, over 100,000 words, and hundreds of playtests later, we’re nearing completion of the book. But we still have art, copy editing, and layout to complete. The bulk of our remaining costs are put toward paying the people who will ultimately help us get the best book possible out to everyone who’s backed us.
We’re working with our friends at Kraken to print the hardcover portions of our book. They’re amazing to work with, create a high-quality book, and have recently been working with our friend’s at Godsfall to produce their world book for backer.
The PDFs will be distributed by Drive Thru RPG. They’re THE source of PDF world books, game books, adventures, and more for the tabletop industry.
Shipping will take place early in 2018. We currently estimate about $5 for the U.S. and about $20 for Canada. International shipping is still a challenge for us. We would have liked to service the U.K. and E.U. but at this time, we don’t want to promise something we can’t deliver on. The PDF option is still available for those worldwide and if we are successful, we hope to add delivery to those markets soon.
In short, every dollar will go towards bettering the book, improving the play experience, or increasing the value of rewards for our backers. We need your help to bring the best possible version of IDENTECO into existence.
IDENTECO needs enough funding to exist, but it’s downright greedy for players. We need to get word about the game out to as many people as possible! Backers that help us spread the word improve their rewards at no additional cost. So we’re putting out a Social Bounty!
- 250 Project Backers: IDENTECO Mini-Supplement about the New Haven Settlement (NORAD Complex) in the wastes (PDF)
- Help us get the IDENTECO Twitter account to 500 followers: A one-shot adventure based on one of the short stories in “In Defiance of Chaos” that takes place in Dubai to all backers at $15 Level and above. (PDF)
- Help us get the IDENTECO Facebook group to 500 likes: We’ll send an eBook version of new short stories written by Benjamin Doolin in the IDENTECO World to all backers at $15 level and above. (PDF or EBook)
IDENTECO Cover Art Poster to all backers at $15 level and above.
In Defiance of Chaos—the first book in the IDENTECO story series—serves as a prequel for the Core Rule Book. It tells stories in early 2099 and gives you a first glance at some of the major NPCs, corporations, and villains that comprise the IDENTECO game setting.
The book is written by Benjamin Doolin, Matt Harman, Alex Wood, and Shawn Rourk. It was published in 2015 and is available on Amazon in both physical and Kindle eBbook versions.
"This is an interesting setting. It's going to feel familiar because there are major corporations, wasteland areas in between cities, there's a lot going on there. But the claim for IDENTECO is they are really, really focused on the system which is really changeable. You can make it complicated if you want, or you can keep it simple. They want it to have a fast, fluid combat system."
The RPG Academy : Listen Here
"The way the skills and stuff play out in the game, I feel like it's got its own distinct part of the niche. Playing the hacker, the particular adventure we played were filled with opportunities to do some hacking. It made it easier to be creative."
Risks and challenges
This is our first Kickstarter, but not our first product launch both as a company or individually. As a team we are well familiar with the process and potential pitfalls of creating creating something entirely new. Most of the rules, setting description, main characters, and more have already been written. It’s been a long process, but we feel confident the remaining writing will be done soon. We waited until we got to this far down the path to make sure we could deliver books in a relatively short amount of time.
That said, though, we've seen delays because of production and printing, and we've seen delays because of shipping and customs, even when working with trusted partners. Sometimes these things can't be foreseen. However, we’ve worked closely with partners to try to create contingency plans to make sure the project goes off as smoothly as possible.
Humanoid Games is an independent operation run by a small crew of talented people. If anything arises we will be proactive about letting our backers know on social media and through Kickstarter Updates. We want to bring you along as we finish this first game book, and we’ll do our best to meet your expectations.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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