Whoa, whoa, whoa. Before you gloss over this campaign as just another NPC generator for fantasy RPGs, let me tell you a little about us, the Knights of Vasteel. We are on a mission to create premium tools and accessories for tabletop RPGs that meld the print and digital worlds into one seamless experience. NPC For Hire is our first dance with destiny.
NPC For Hire is a deck of cards with exquisitely crafted portraits that can be used in any fantasy RPG game to add instant life to your non-player characters (NPCs). If this alone was all we had created, we would be proud, but wait, there’s more. We have built a companion app for iOS and Android devices that lets you generate, create, and save your NPCs with the same amazing artwork you will find in the printed deck. Use the cards to pass around the table, and keep your notes close to you on the app. It is incredible.
We aren’t joking around when it comes to quality. We have teamed up with the fabulous Cristiana Leone to bring you 52 hand drawn fantasy character portraits. The artwork is top notch, and your gaming group will be taken aback when you pull these babies out. I bet you can see their faces now.
We were very deliberate in our effort to create a style and mood that would draw players into the game. The pencil lines over paper texture invites players to imagine they are in an ancient fantasy realm. The portraits are full of character and are drawn with just enough detail to leave room for the imagination. There is nothing like this on the market.
The back of each card is blank. This of course was intentional. We wanted to give GMs the space to make notes and updates to their NPCs without forcing our vision on them. Using a clear plastic card protector and small piece of paper, you can write down your notes and slip them behind the card without blocking vital information or artwork.
Where are the other fantasy races? For this campaign we are only creating artwork for the human race. Now before you start calling us racist against all other fantasy folk, let us explain. We have every intention to broaden our tools to include elves, dwarves, goblins, and many more races, but we aren’t going to do it half-heartedly. We are laser focused on offering a premium-robust experience for each fantasy race, and that means starting with humans and working our way from there.
We have nothing against pen and paper, but the NPC For Hire companion app is going to change the way GMs approach NPCs. The app allows you to generate random NPCs, build custom NPCs, and save all of your work in one place. Brilliant, right?
The app is currently available to download for $1.99 USD from Google Play, and the iOS app store. It has a limited amount of artwork that will be expanded upon the successful conclusion of this campaign. You are welcome to purchase it now and check it out or if you are an early backer, we will be sending you a promotion to download the app for free when the campaign ends. All of the artwork from this campaign will be made available in the app once the campaign is funded and the artwork is finished.
Generate Random NPCs
Yeah, we know. There are a lot of really crummy NPC generators out there. We like to think our approach to random NPCs is a little different. Instead of stringing together random traits and stats, we have written interesting narratives with detailed traits and flaws. The creative bios will help you come up with an interesting backstory right on the spot, and a set of filters will help you weed out certain traits you might not need. And heck, if you don’t like something about our bios, they are easy to edit. Save what you want, and edit the rest.
Build Custom NPCs
We think the most powerful part of the NPC For Hire app is the NPC builder. Simply select a sketch from our image library, create a name, and write a brief bio and you are off to the races. I know you are asking yourself “What do I do if I get writer's block?” Don’t worry, you can generate random bios, feats, flaws, and items right from the builder. So if you have a bio for an NPC, but don’t have time to fill their pockets, no problem. The app can do it for you.
Save your NPCs
Everything we’ve said so far about the app wouldn’t be that useful if you couldn’t save all your work. With a tap of a button you can save an unlimited number of NPCs right to your phone. Well, practically an unlimited number of NPCs. You do need space on your phone to store them.
We have already put a considerable amount of effort into this project, and we need help getting through the last stretch. The funds from this campaign will go towards completing the artwork and printing the card decks. Printing these cards requires a lot of money up front, and your support will help us create an awesome product.
We are no strangers to Kickstarter. In July we managed a successful kickstarter campaign for the Dungeon Explore Card Deck. The project was shipped ahead of schedule and on budget. Here is what backers from that campaign said about the Dungeon Explore Card Deck:
- “These cards truly are the bomb! I'm already jotting down ideas for auto populating randomly drawn dungeon tiles for solo play, and they're good to go for any quick DM sessions! Keep up your awesome work!” - Josh
- “I love the dungeon cards and have already used them in my games.” - Danny
Nathan is a passionate designer, entrepreneur, and DM. His first successful Kickstarter, Dungeon Explore Card Deck, taught him a lot about creating, managing, and delivering a product. Professionally, Nathan designs mobile applications and is always looking for ways to bring technology into his hobbies. The idea to create NPC For Hire came from not being satisfied with the current digital tools for creating and using believable NPCs in his current 5e campaign.
Cristiana Leone was born in 1980, in the province of Rome. She has been passionate about drawing ever since childhood. As a self taught artist, she is eager to master new techniques and learn as much as possible. In 2012 she decided to leave her secretary job to become a fulltime artist. She currently works as a professional illustrator and character designer. She does private and commercial work. Her clients include many international customers and in 2016, she was hired to do graphics for an animated, independent horror film, called "Malevolent".
Risks and challenges
As mentioned above, this isn’t our first Kickstarter campaign, but with every project there are potential risks and challenges. We are working with an incredible artist and a great manufacturing company, so the biggest challenges we will face are managing our deadlines. Our delivery estimate is padded with this in mind, and we will keep our backers notified at every step of the process.
We are aiming to get this project delivered to backers in April of 2017. This is a conservative estimate, but we want to be sure we have time to print another prototype and flesh out any details that come up. If it is any help, we were able to deliver our first Kickstarter, the Dungeon Explore Card Deck, about a month early.
The app is already available for purchase on the Apple Store and Google Play. We will deliver promotion codes to our early backers as soon as we have them. Currently, the artwork we have in the app is limited, but we will add the new artwork as soon as we have it in late January.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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