About this project
Your immortality is not in question. But what will you do with your new power now that you're trapped in the World of the Forsaken?
Oubliette is a dark fantasy table-top role-playing game and mythology. In it, players take on the roles of the long-lost, the forsaken, and the exiled, eking their way through a world built by hostile forces. Once in Oubliette, these beings find themselves unable to die, reincarnating whenever sweet oblivion would take them. But there are a few who do not give in to madness and depression. They are The Unbroken.
The majority of the denizens of Oubliette have been ground down by endless hardships and emotional trauma. But there are a rare few that refuse to give up, struggling ever onward, scratching their way up from the dregs to rise to the highest echelons of Oubliette society. Heroes some, villains many, the Unbroken are the movers and shakers of the world of Oubliette. These are the characters the players take on, the toughest, most determined people in the cosmos: those that would stand against eternity itself.
The Unbroken come from many walks of life. Some were warriors in life, other arcanists or clerics, but all were skilled. They share only two common traits:
All are valuable. There is something about every single one of the millions of people in Oubliette that makes them special, useful, powerful, or unique. Many brought with them magic and other fell skills that no longer exist in the World of Life.
All are lost. No trace of any of these inhabitants can be found in the World of Life. Many died in hopeless situations and were never found, or passed into anonymity after their deaths. Others were forsaken by all that knew them, leaving no record behind. And a very small few sought out Oubliette, closing themselves off and removing themselves from the world intentionally, in hopes of finding a way to the World of the Forgotten.
Once here in Oubliette, denizens are often confronted with brutal demonstrations of their new immortality. Oubliette is not a friendly place, particularly for newcomers, who are often seen as a source of steady income.
Some say that Oubliette is a sort of purgatory, or perhaps an hitherto unknown circle of hell. Others claim that Oubliette is simply the real afterlife, where concepts of good and evil play no part. The truth is far stranger.
The World of the Forgotten is a swirling maelstrom of energies and forces. From the moment a new denizen takes breath, they are assaulted by the caustic powers of the place. Whether the uninitiated endure, mutate, or internalize these powers, they are left changed forever. The Unbroken are notorious for using these energies, mutations, and powers to their advantage.
Castle Oubliette is a humongous agglomeration of thousands of years of decrepit buildings and ancient castles. Nearly a hundred miles from wall to wall, the Castle is divided into districts, wards, and cells. Over the eons, immortal hands have toiled away at rebuilding the city into something slightly greater than a rambling maze of enormous rubble. It's now possible to cross from district to district in relative safety, if one happens to have the coin to pay the innumerable tolls.
There are a great many factions and groups occupying Oubliette. In the absence of direct rule, great swaths of the Castle have been snatched up and are ruled as entirely separate lands.
Because of the undying nature of the denizens of Oubliette, the many of the major factions, including the Draculeans, Coquille Roi, Thorns, and Ordo Sancti, have lasted a very long time indeed. But despite their tenacity, the districts and wards of Oubliette are constantly shifting. New groups such as the Bonehorde and the House of Revision are on the rise, and gaining massive support.
The Eternal World
Eternal life is a terrible curse, but it does provide one with ample opportunity. Over the eons, Castle Oubliette has been shaped by many hands, transforming entire districts with grinding progress. In Celeste, towers thousands of feet tall loom over the skyline, each one built brick-by-brick from the rubble of discarded centuries. In Mubigild, hundreds of square miles have been carved out from under the sinister surface, home to thousands of tribes of ancient netherfey. Even the comparatively safe confines of Grandhall are home to projects of ridiculous scale, the most famous of which is the Sumeilugrarion, a cathedral-sized organ connected to the entire district by sound tubes and echo chambers, constantly filling the wards with fugues of insane complexity.
There are direct effects, as well. Inhabitants of Oubliette are changed by their time here, often bearing physical manifestations of their newfound powers. Those skilled in the Arts Arcane bear glowing eyes and secondary telekinetic activity and shroud themselves in floating glyphs and magical texts. The Blood Arts are also visible from an early stage in crimson eyes and alabaster skin, but as the power grows, denizens gain terrifying control over their bodies, growing fangs, claws, and even wings when necessary. Savage power begins as a feral rage but quickly progresses into one of the most visually striking of the Arts, leaving practitioner/victims with monstrous forms unique to each individual. These Arts existed in the World of Life, but only in Oubliette do their users find the time, power, and desire to develop them to this extent.
The scale of power found in Oubliette is just as astonishing as the variety found there. Most denizens arrive at the height of their mortal power, only to find themselves massively outclassed by their new neighbors. The Broken often slip further down the scale, their capabilities withering until they're barely able to find food to stave off the hunger. The Unbroken usually grab opportunity by the horns and push themselves further up the scale, carving out a greater tale. But the scale continues all the way up to the god-like beings that dwell in Celeste and Slair, who's ancient determination has carried them well beyond the reach of mortal power. And who knows how these fell leaders fare against the great eldritch things that lurk in the darkest caverns of Oubliette?
But the World of the Forgotten is more ancient than human memory. Deep below the darkest bowels of the Castle itself lie ruins of dark secrets from the gulf of prehistory. The Lovecraftian things that dwell there are of such staggering immensity and breathtaking age that they cause tectonic activity in the city above. They've lived here since long before there were people to even make castles.
The Great Anachronism
Oubliette's timeline doesn't match up with the World of Life. The original castle itself dates to about 1000 AD, but has paradoxically existed in the World of the Forgotten for more than a hundred millennia. A further mystery, when the denizen departed the World of Life holds no bearing on when they arrive in Oubliette. The Castle is home to ancient Greek gods, renaissance-era revolutionaries, dragons from the yawning depths of ages past, and orphans from modern London. Some of the most prodigious minds in the cosmos have set themselves at the task of understanding Oubliette's place in the universe, only to come up empty-handed.
Because of this ubiquitous anachronism, all sorts of technologies and stories can be found in Oubliette. Prehistoric shamans rampage past forgotten Soviet era rockets. Soldiers from the Second World War find themselves trapped in an completely-intact early French sanitarium. Cultists of the Great Old Ones rub shoulders with Unseele shadowdancers at a bazaar selling smartphones, now only useful as mirrors. But in spite of all those who wonder, the answer to the question, "Why?" remains elusive.
About Second Edition
Oubliette has been around for a few years, but like most of its inhabitants, could really use some cleaning up. This project not only adds new content and new artwork, but completely updates the system to Fate Core by Evil Hat LLC, a tried and tested storytelling system with the same character-oriented goals as Oubliette's setting.
Fate Core is a very flexible, character-oriented system that is very good at telling the kinds of stories found in Oubliette. It focuses on what makes a character special, and what issues and challenges they are to overcome, rather than complicated statistics and situation-specific mechanics.
Oubliette's version of Fate includes some minor changes to how it works, but focuses on imbuing the system with every ounce of flavorful lore we can inject. We divide up our giant skill list into groups of focus, so your group can tailor your game to your story. We bring you a huge list of Oubliette-flavored stunts, so you can easily pick appropriate ones, or construct new stunts that fit with the context of the game. To bring a sense of scale, we've restructured starting character values into a chart ranging from the very refuse of society all the way up to the gods themselves.
Kickstarter Mark 2
Why mark 2, you cry? In the beginning, there was Oubliette, written in its own (clunky) rule set. Then, we tried to do a Kickstarter campaign to revamp it with Brevity, but we fell short, at about 92% funding. Clearly were close, so we decided to rethink the thing and let it stew for a bit. Now, we're back and better than ever!
You're probably wondering how we're planning to do the project in half the budget of the last campaign. The truth is, I've already worked on it a bunch, and I really want to see it get done. I'm scoping low on the art assets (because they color assets take a lot of time), and I'm a good way through the writing already. I'm also planning to reduce extra work by keeping the rewards simple and to the point.
- Special Thanks: Your name will appear in a special section thanking all the backers for their help on the project, in all versions of the book.
- Digital Downloads: You'll get both the Black & White PDF versions of the final book, as well as PDFs of any of the supplementary materials or stretch goals.
- Black & White Printed Book: A softcover black & white book probably 8.5x11" printed and shipped by DriveThruRpg.
- Color Printed Book: A softcover color book probably 8.5x11" printed and shipped by DriveThruRpg.
- Special Edition Book: A hardcover color book probably 8.5x11" printed and shipped by DriveThruRpg.
- Guest Starring: You create an NPC and we'll illustrate them and add them to the Dramatis Personae/Bestiary!
- Lord of the Ward: Work with us to create a new Ward, sketch out a new Art, add in a special Stunt, or write up a new Event to be included in the book!
- [REACHED] Base Goal: $1000 - Writing, Design, Editing, Artwork, Testing, Layout.
- [REACHED] $2000 - More Color Artwork & More Content
- [REACHED] $4000 - CUSTOM FATE DICE!*
- [NEW] $6000 - WARD MAP PACK! PNG maps of selected wards for everyone!**
- $8000 - Dungeon World/Apocalypse Engine Adapter & More Content
- $12000 - Dungeons & Dragons Adapter
* Custom Fate Dice Addon: To order the Custom Fate Dice, add $20 USD to your Pledge using the Manage Your Pledge button. Note: Pledge and Dice ship separately! Make sure you include the original shipping and don't modify your reward selection, or you'll get a higher-level reward but no dice!
Example: If your Reward is the Special Edition Book @ $45 and you're in the US and you want the Custom Dice Addon, your total should be $70, 45 for the pledge, 5 for the pledge's shipping, and $20 for the dice shipping.
** Ward Map Pack: A selection of black & white maps detailing certain wards of Oubliette, each with a list of area descriptions and lists of inhabitants and likely encounters. This will be delivered digitally to all backers if we reach this Stretch Goal! Estimated Map Count: 10.
We've got to spread the word about Oubliette! Share Oubliette on Facebook, Twitter, and G+ and help us reach our other set of goals! You can read more about the Community Goals here.
- 50 Shares: 1 Extra Story - Unlocked!
- 100 Shares: 1 Extra Story - Unlocked!
- 500 Shares: 1 Extra Story and a collected Anthology PDF and a special forward by Richard Kelly
- 1000 Shares: An adventure, The Lady of Abiding Twilight, written by Richard Kelly
Fate™ is a trademark of Evil Hat Productions, LLC. The Powered by Fate logo is © Evil Hat Productions, LLC and is used with permission.
Risks and challenges
Oubliette has been in the works for a long time, and I'm highly motivated to see it get done. Unlike other projects, I'm very open with the process of development, and I fully believe that some product is better than nothing at all. Even if we don't get funded, or have some major problem, I'll always release what I've got.
I've also run several other kickstarters of varying degrees of both success and chaos, and these have taught me how to deliver a quality project on time for Kickstarter backers.
This time, we're goin primarily through a single distribution channel to help keep the complexity of the project down. The more simple things are for us to do, the more time we can put into the product itself, and the less likely we are to hit delays.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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