About this project
Farewell to Fear is our "Progressive Post-Fantasy Roleplaying Game". What do we mean by that? Fantasy’s full of all sorts of legacy concepts that are rather disgusting to us; sexism, classism, racism, institutional violence, those are just a few choice items. Farewell to Fear is a game about revolution, about taking fantasy out of the dark ages through drive and action.
Think punk rock meets fantasy. Bad Religion meets Tolkien, boot to face.
People Are People
It’s important that we recognize that people in the middle ages were still human, and were often a lot more intelligent than we give often them credit for. We’re putting that at the front of our fantasy in Farewell to Fear. When you’re done with a game of Farewell to Fear, the world should not be the same.
Our setting is Arduise, a continent that claims inspiration from numerous sources, but primarily looks Eastern European. However, that's on the surface. We're not bothering with dictating things like skin colors for certain regions. We're not tying ourselves to specific regional myths. We're going to take a little bit of everything we like. After all, it's all made to be torn down and rebuilt.
The current setting focuses on four main city states, each with particular strengths, weaknesses, politics, laws, and the like. We're not going to go into every little detail of every little NPC. Instead, we're going to give you the details that help bring your game to life. This means money, anecdotes, folklore, sayings, traditions, and bits of day to day existence that'll help you consider the micro, as opposed to just the macro implications of Arduise.
The history will also be important. Instead of a textbook of history, we're instead giving you hints, ideas, and seeds. The history was written by the winners. Unfortunately, the winners clouded the truth. Your characters might want to uncover the truth. This will be a fantasy game where archaeology is a valid character goal.
In our setting, wizards live in an alternate plane. That's where they keep their guild. To get there, they have special keys that can be used in any lock, to open temporary portals to their home dimension. There are a limited number of these keys, and since it's the mages' only way to get home, they're typically protected. But particularly powerful (or arrogant) mages will wear their keys publicly, as a sign of status. With most backer levels, I'm including real world antique keys. These keys are a neat little way to show you're part of Farewell to Fear.
The main game system is inspired by the scientific method. Instead of a huge focus on pass/fail mechanics, we’re mostly concerned about finding solutions through conjecture, precedent, and experimentation. It uses two dice, a d20 and another die (maybe a d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, or another d20). The d20 establishes your solution, and the consequences for your action. The d20 has five potential results, depending on your experiment, and your character traits (and whether or not you have time to prepare, or you're on the seat of your pants). The other die determines how well you execute the solution. If you have a good solution, but poor execution, you suffer consequences, but can come back later to try the same solution.
The game will come in a 10" x 7" hardcover, with black and white interior. As well, we'll release a PDF version. As a stretch goal, I'd like to include an HTML version of the game for ease of use on tablets and other devices, along with Epub or Mobi formats.
The game itself will be about half in-character, half out. The setting information is presented as a body of research collected by a young woman whose father stumbled upon a little too much of the truth.
Characters will be quick to create, and self-contained. I'll be using a playbook model, similar to Vincent Baker's Apocalypse World. If you're unfamiliar, that means a single sheet that is enough for the players to build their characters and play. Each character profession will have an ability tree (something like you might see in an MMO) that will determine all their game statistics and possibilities for advancement.
Basic character types will include things like archaeologists, historians, alchemists, monster hunters, priest hunters, musicians, detectives, politicians, sorcerers, exorcists, biologists, and cavaliers. We're changing the world. You're playing the people that bring the change. The game is modular enough to introduce new character types very easily. We'll be supporting the game with additional characters, and fans can make their own. We may offer new characters as stretch goals.
Foie Gras to Fear
Foie Gras to Fear is the tentative name of our first supplement, to be released right around the same time as the main game. It's half gaming supplement, half cookbook. It'll give a number of recipes as well as setting information, presented in-character from the perspective of a wandering chef looking for new ideas. It'll also have advice for how to use food to enhance your game experience.
It'll introduce a wandering chef playbook and ability tree, so you can play your own, awesome cook braving the wilderness to deliver good eats and support your party of adventurers. Backers will receive copies, as noted in the item descriptions.
Every backer at $250 and greater will get a custom monster (if you're at the $200 level, add $50 if you want a custom monster). This will be drawn by Max Brooks, our monster artist, and we'll do a page of fiction to accompany your monster, in the form of a note page from a setting monster hunter. You can have us surprise you, you can give us ideas to work with, or you can even tell us your favorite classic fantasy monster you'd love to see.
Like all Machine Age Productions, Farewell to Fear will be released as a Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike/Noncommercial license. Gaming's a community. We want to foster this.
We here at Machine Age Productions vow to put 5% of our Kickstarter profits into other creative projects via Kickstarter.
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