Travel back in time to colonial America and an age of high-stakes diplomacy and perilous revolution in this roleplaying game of colonial struggle for independence. Experience first-hand the gripping drama of the politics and the grim realities of the war and not only meet the founding heroes who helped a nation break free, but become one yourself.
In this storytelling game you make history come alive by bearing witness to the events that gave birth to a mighty nation. But before it was history, it was news. Tell your own story within the sweeping saga of the “shot heard around the world” and do something few games have allowed before: make the difference and change the course of history.
A front-row view of the revolution that changed the history of the world, Revolutionaries is the game every history buff needs to have in their collection.
Revolutionaries is a new roleplaying game set during the American Revolution, 1775 to 1783. You take on the role of a newly initiated member of the Culper spy ring, and are thrown into a world of secrets, with danger at every turn. You will be trained and taught the hidden art of espionage, sabotage, tactics, esoteric rituals, and combat. Your adventures may take you from the battlefields of Trenton and Saratoga to the frost bitten tundra of Valley Forge, or within the shady basement meetings of Philadelphia’s Tun Tavern. You will become the perfect spy.
From the darkness shed by tyrannical monoliths, you will seek to cast light across all endeavors. The obligations of your past life are forfeit in this pursuit. You have been reborn.
You take your place alongside your brothers and sisters in a fellowship whose mandate is older than the empire you stand against. You now rise above your past rank or station, equal in this fellowship and just cause.
Answerable only to your code, the Wardens, and your own moral compass, you are welcomed in all domains under the owl and snake. The signs you have been given identify you as a member of this order and allow you to verify the character of others who would claim the honor of being named Culper.
You have a responsibility to stand against tyranny and those secret masters who bend and shape mankind’s will to suit their own purposes. You will be given a multitude of weapons to hunt these oppressors of liberty.
From the belly of their own darkness you will strike where they fear most. You will tread upon their domain uncontested and unknown, to wound them without even a whisper from your shadow. You will plunder their secrets, turn their ambitions against them. Silent and vengeful, you leave no murmur unattended, no letter unread, no thirst for vice unquenched.
While the free citizens of these United States will never know of your true name, deeds, or sacrifices, rest assured that it is your firm hand that will allow the tree of liberty to bloom.
You are Culper.
Welcome to the Culper Ring.
Go behind the scenes of a war that birthed a nation. Take a stand alongside the founding fathers. Based upon early successes in Setauket and New York, Washington’s spy network has expanded across the United States and throughout Europe. Conduct secret missions for the commander in chief and his senior wardens Tallmadge and Hamilton. Help Benjamin Franklin recruit allies in France and other parts of Europe. Take the fight to the enemy and shake an empire to its very core.
Organized into hidden lodges, you and your fellow operatives are charged with defending the American colonies and their citizens from all manner, mode and modus of threats. You will be armed with the latest inventions and innovations. You will cultivate a growing network of contacts, assets, and informants. You will be taught secret esoteric knowledge that will give you an edge in the theater of war. You will be called upon to strike devastating blows against the forces of tyranny. From surveillance, turn, and recruitment, to infiltration and even assassination, your actions will deliver a resounding message.
Your voice will be heard!
Behind the British Empire is a driving force dictating the course of human history. These secret masters and their elite agents, known only as the Shadow Coats, manipulate the very memory of the world and all those who live upon it. Under the leadership of Washington, Tallmadge, Hamilton, and the mysterious Professor, you will oppose their machinations at every step!
The stage is set. Marching orders have been given. Battle lines have been drawn. With liberty and justice at stake, you can no longer give in to the luxury of indecision.
You must take a stand against tyranny.
The Revolutionaries roleplaying game has been designed using the Axiom System, the card based engine Make Believe Games uses for all its original RPGs. Axiom does away with the traditional character sheet in favor of hands of cards. (No pencils or paper required!)
When arrayed in front of players, these cards tell them everything they need to have on hand, from Skills to special abilities to setting concerns such as political faction, allegiance, or rare access to important resources.
These cards serve double and triple duty as dice roll influencers and as the measure of a character’s health. The more powerful the character, the more cards one can have in play.
You can make an Axiom System character in minutes from any walk of life across the colonies. Each persona is as compelling and as different from another as you want it to be, with the same cards having the potential to represent different things narratively from character to character.
Axiom games are not only the ultimate pick-up games for roleplaying, but also robust venues for experimentation and improvisation with the hobby itself. The Axiom System allows a group to pick and choose which Axioms (rules) everyone wants to play with.
You can learn more about the Axiom System here.
The core Revolutionaries package contains three digest-size game books and 54 Axiom cards in a handsome box, but what is core may end up including additional material, depending on campaign performance (see “Stretch Goals” below). The cards and their design approach are detailed above, but the book content is divided up as follows:
BOOK I: THE CULPER HANDBOOK
An “in-world” instruction manual for newly initiated operatives. It’s system-free, making it appealing to gamers and non-gamers alike, and full of vital information about the game and its setting. Uncover the secret history of the Culper Ring, delve into a wealth of esoteric secrets, and learn how Culper agents master their tradecraft.
BOOK II: THE CONTEST FOR LIBERTY
The book of core rules. “The Contest for Liberty” guides you through the wherefores of creating characters, rolling dice, determining results, and so on. Every core rule you need to play the Revolutionaries RPG!
BOOK III: THE ROAD TO REVOLUTION
The first two adventures of the Road to Revolution Scenario Path! These two Scenarios can be played sequentially or as standalone modules. In “Tyrant’s Fist,” a massacre at the hands of a brutal British officer sparks the seeds of rebellion. In “The Serpent’s Tooth,” characters must overcome deception and betrayal as a high-ranking patriot falls from grace. This book also provides Narrators with two sample campaign locations: Salem, NJ and Philadelphia, PA.
BOOK IV: THE CULPER CODEX
This PDF booklet contains the codebook used by all Culper operatives, allowing you to send and decrypt communications and decipher the hidden messages in the Culper Handbook.
Revolutionaries Sampler PDF
A 20-page primer to the Revolutionaries setting, this PDF contains background setting material, fiction, notable personalities, story seeds, and a new location for your campaign. After the conclusion of this Kickstarter, all backers of the game will receive the Revolutionaries Sampler.
Beyond the set of products we’re offering from the get-go, as part of reward tier packages, we also have some great stretch goals in mind, should funding get us there.
$14,000 — Revolutionaries Dice: If we pass this goal we’ll add a set of eight custom-made Axiom dice in revolutionary colors. Each set comes with four patriotic blue and white dice and four Imperial red and white, allowing you to show where your allegiance lies.
$16,500 — Revolutionaries Narrator Screen: We’ll add a deluxe three-panel screen filled with useful information and an amazing art landscape for players to enjoy while the Narrator conceals any rolls and notes.
We have some fantastic add-ons available, with more to be unlocked as we hit individual stretch goals. To add individual add-ons to your pledge, increase the amount you are pledging by the amount listed below. Shipping will be charged at cost using a pledge management system, after the project closes (see Shipping).
I AM ZOMBIE is a game of survival in the aftermath of a zombie outbreak and quarantine where you become the zombie:
TOXICITY is an old-school dungeon crawling experience set in a 1970s grindhouse underworld:
The battlefield commanders for this operation are: Nathan Tucker (creator & developer), Mark Kelly (Art Director & lead artist), C.A. Suleiman (Creative Director), Mark Rein-Hagen (Managing Director), Ryan Schoon (writing).
The hardworking MBG regulars who have taken to the battlefield in pursuit of liberty are: Kodeir Ralford (writing), Matt Frye (editing), Jason Tornichio (writing), John Bonar (writing), Bradley K. McDevitt (art), Thomas Nihil (production and media), and Cristiano Bruzzo (writing & rules development).
NATHAN TUCKER is a Tasmanian writer, artist, and game designer, and the developer of the Revolutionaries RPG. He has published numerous short stories, been featured in three anthologies, written for film, and has worked on a number of game supplements (including most recently MBG’s Toxicity and Sigil & Sign). His digital art and photography have been exhibited internationally. He started Rising Phoenix Studios as a platform to help young artists, particularly those struggling with disability, disadvantaged living, and mental health challenges, to jump start their creative industries careers.
C.A. SULEIMAN has contributed scores of books to the hobby games industry’s top properties, including Dungeons & Dragons and the World of Darkness. Along with being developer of the award-winning Mummy line, he co-authored the flagship game Vampire: The Requiem and created the Egyptian fantasy world of Hamunaptra. He’s proud to have shepherded development of the world’s first fantasy campaign — Dave Arneson’s Blackmoor — and to have worked alongside its storied creator. These days, he’s got his hands full as Creative Director of MBG and line developer of both the Unspeakable games and The Lost Citadel RPG. C.A. lives in the D.C. area, where his band Toll Carom is busy toiling away at its latest concept album.
MARK KELLY is a Scottish-born illustrator and designer currently hiding out in the sun-soaked Golden State. His work gravitates toward the dark, macabre, and melancholic, although deep down he’s all about the fluffy kittens and cuddles. In addition to his own illustration work on games like Vampire: The Masquerade and Mummy: The Curse, he is the Art Director of MBG and was responsible for all art, layout, and design on MBG’s inaugural Axiom System RPG, I Am Zombie.
MARK REIN-HAGEN is a game designer currently working on a board game adaptation of his seminal work Vampire: The Masquerade, as well as VR and augmented reality computer game projects. He lives far away from other people in a magical kingdom called Sarkartvelo.
RYAN SCHOON is a writer and game designer from Indianapolis, IN. He is known for his work on Fragged Empire, Star Trek Adventures, and the upcoming Gears of Defiance. Ryan has a passion for the Revolutionary War and the Culper Ring, which made this project a perfect fit. Find out more about Ryan at www.loremastergames.com.
Here at MBG, we recognise that games are more than just an enjoyable hobby or pastime. Tabletop gaming is a hybrid art medium where creative writing, design, and visual art collide, seamlessly combining narratives, oral storytelling, graphic art, and acting into an unparalleled immersive and collaborative experience.
MBG takes its social responsibility as an industry publisher seriously. We endeavor that each of our games not only provides a thoroughly enjoyable play experience, but should also foster the growth of this art form. Therefore, for Revolutionaries we have drawn upon the actual historical events, military units, personalities, art, folklore, and culture of the time. We have done this to not only strengthen a player’s immersion, but to provide valuable educational content and create an enticing starting point for further investigation into this rich and vibrant period of America’s history.
Just as the founding fathers and early patriots through their actions empowered and gave voice to the generations that would follow, MBG recognises the importance of nurturing the next generation of designers. We have partnered with community arts organisation Rising Phoenix Studios to bring on board several young emerging writers and artists to participate in the Revolutionaries project. They have not only received their first paid opportunities in the gaming sector, but also gained direct mentorship from the MBG team. We are proud of their contributions and the development of their craft over recent months, and have no doubt that their futures will be bright, indeed.
Based on past experience, we will be charging for shipping AFTER the Kickstarter concludes, based on the actual costs and so we can be equally fair to all our backers. We will collect this via Backerkit, as many other companies do. You can also pick up your rewards at any convention we are scheduled to attend (contact us for more information).
We will ship your rewards at our own cost to our international hubs. Depending on where you live, we will either ship to you from our hub in Germany (EU backers), Australia, China (Asia Pacific backers), or the USA (North America and the rest of the world). Following is a list of rough estimates for shipping a standard Revolutionaries package. Keep in mind these are just estimates, and costs may rise based on weight increases from any further items you choose.
• USA: $13
• CANADA: $13
• EUROPE: $15
• AUSTRALIA: $14
• REST OF THE WORLD: $17
Risks and challenges
We at Make Believe Games are dedicated to ensuring this entire campaign and project runs smoothly, start to finish. Our promise is to deliver a premium quality product to all of our backers as fast as possible.
We are 100% committed to fulfilling your rewards as efficiently and quickly as we can. Over the last few years we have developed partnerships with shipping, distribution, and printing companies around the world. We have not only done our research and set up our systems, but we’ve had to face and resolve scheduling problems with crowdfunding in the past, and in the process we have gained invaluable practical experience.
Our studio has grown from its early days and we have a dedicated team standing by to handle management and communications for this campaign. Our manufacturing partners provide a professional, reliable and quality service. We are extremely happy to continue to work with them on this project and our future endeavors.
That said, we know that Murphy’s Law can strike anywhere and anytime. The only challenges that would occur probably would involve delays, hopefully short ones. When and if that happens we’ll keep you updated, and if we need to adjust deadlines, we promise to be as transparent as we can at every step along the way. No matter what, we guarantee that you will get your product or you will get your money back. Contact us at: email@example.comLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
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