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The Watch is a tabletop roleplaying game about soldiers fighting a desperate war to save their homeland.
The Watch is a tabletop roleplaying game about soldiers fighting a desperate war to save their homeland.
865 backers pledged CA$ 31,520 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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CA$ 31,520

865

 

 

 

  

The Watch is a tabletop roleplaying game set in a "light fantasy" setting known as The Clanlands. It takes place during a dark and horrific war between the now-united ten clans who live there and an invading force, known only as The Shadow. 

The Shadow is a powerful and insidious enemy that is able to enter the minds of its opponents and slowly turn them to its side; twisting them into unnatural foes. For reasons unknown, The Shadow is able to more easily influence the minds of men, and has turned a great deal of the clan's soldiers against itself.

With most of its fighting force crippled or worse, the clans have joined together and begun enlisting new warriors to defend their homes. Women and non-binary femme people who seem better able to resist The Shadow's hold have been recruited, trained, promoted, and formed into a new order: The Watch.

In The Watch, you'll play a group of elite soldiers who are called upon time and time again to defend villages, attack The Shadow's forces at key locations, scout the enemy's lines, and much more. Each mission comes with its fair share of costs and compromises and you'll need to navigate them in order to be ready to heed the next call to action.

It's in these in-between moments where the rules for The Watch focus themselves: What do you do to unwind from the pressure that threatens to pull you down? Who do you spend what little free time you have with, and why? How will you hold off The Shadow's influence so that you can see the end of this war? That's what you'll have to find out for yourself...

 

The Watch is Powered by the Apocalypse (or PBTA), which means it's based on the system originally created for Apocalypse World by D. Vincent Baker. These quick to learn and intuitive rules are designed to get everyone at the table straight into the game as soon as possible. Character creation is quick, cooperative, and fun, and you can run the game from start to finish with little-to-no prep. We've seen brand new and veteran tabletop gamers try out this system and in every case they've taken to it right away. The Watch can be taught to newcomers in just a few minutes but the rules are robust enough to scratch that mechanical itch that so many of us enjoy.

Other successful RPGs that are also Powered by the Apocalypse include - but are not limited to - Night Witches, Urban Shadows, Masks, Dungeon World, Monsterhearts, and many more. In fact, Night Witches was one of our primary inspirations for this game. If you haven't got a copy of that incredible game, do yourself a favour and pick it up.

Backers can download the preview files of the game in our first update. Previous experience with PBTA games is highly recommended to use this preview, but just a read through will give you a good idea of how it all fits together.

 

The Watch uses new innovative mechanics built atop the Powered by the Apocalypse foundation to tell a story of military drama and action. New systems of play called Camaraderie, Jaded, Weariness, and Mission Moves are all designed with the purpose of delivering the experience of a military campaign against a dark and relentless foe. 

Camaraderie is a currency spent when you need help from others; it's a sort of potential between two people that represents shared experiences and how those experiences will manifest in tangible actions down the line.

Jaded is a special advancement track that unlocks powerful moves for your protagonist, reflecting their mastery in their field and how the hardships of war are changing them, hardening them. The more Jaded your hero becomes, the stronger and more potent they are, but Jaded can lead you over the edge too; forcing you to retire your character from play early. Fans of Urban Shadows will recognize its parallel, Corruption, and we think this reflection works perfectly in The Watch.

Weariness represents short term fatigue, stress, and strain on you during the game. If this track fills up, watch out! Your character is at serious risk of lashing out at others, hurting the very people you've come to trust and love.

Mission Moves handle the bulk of the action of the game. When you and your watchmates head out into danger it will be on missions assigned to you (or chosen by you). Missions take up very little actual play time, usually around twenty mintues, and will leave you with a pile of new story elements to pursue and lots of fallout to deal with.

 

 

Squadmates recuperate after a tough mission.
Squadmates recuperate after a tough mission.

 

In The Watch, players get to choose their soldier from among one of the five playbooks (think of them like classes or archetypes). Their playbook gives them their starting stats, presents unique choices for their gear and backstory, and does all the heavy lifting with the rules. Paired with the Moves Sheet (a pivotal reference sheet), it's all players will need for a full play-through of the game.

The badass warriors you can choose from are:

The Bear: Fierce, maternal, and overprotective. Good for players who like the role of nurturer, den mother, and protector.

The Lioness: Charismatic, gorgeous, and inspiring. Good for players who like romance, leadership, and influencing others through words.  

The Owl: Sly, opinionated, and sneaky. Good for players who like being a troublemaker, learning secrets, and provoking those around them.

The Spider: Creepy, dark, and mysterious. Good for players who like being a healer, being seen with suspicion, and tampering with dark powers best left alone.  

The Wolf: Aggressive, loyal, and pack-oriented. Good for players who like taking charge, challenging for dominance, and making sacrifices for the good of the group.

All reward levels are in Canadian Dollars (CAD)

Reward levels that include a physical copy of the book are available in US and International versions; please choose the correct one for you. Backers in the US will be billed for shipping with their pledge. As international shipping is unpredictable, we will charge non-US backers just before shipping for the exact price of the shipment; this prevents us from having to overcharge you for shipping now to cover any possible increase between now and time of delivery.

Initiate: You'll receive:

  • a pdf copy of the book
  • access to all digital stretch goals funded

Warden (US + International): You'll receive:

  • a pdf copy of the book
  • access to all digital stretch goals funded
  • a copy of the softcover book

Backers in the United States should choose the Warden (US) reward tier and international backers should choose Warden (International).

Sergeant (US + International): You'll receive:  

  • a pdf copy of the book 
  • access to all digital stretch goals funded
  • four copies of the softcover book to share with friends

Backers in the United States should choose the Sergeant (US) reward tier and international backers should choose Sergeant (International).

Lt. Commander: You'll receive:

  • a pdf copy of the book 
  • access to all digital stretch goals funded 
  • a copy of the softcover book 
  • PLUS Anna or Andrew will run a 4hr online one-shot of The Watch for you and your friends through Skype or Hangouts.

Marshall: You'll receive:  

  • a pdf copy of the book 
  • access to all digital stretch goals funded 
  • a copy of the softcover book 
  • PLUS you'll be able to send us a photo of a woman/non-binary/gender queer person for our artist to transform into the image of a member of The Watch, which will be used as the art for one of the five playbooks. (the subject's consent must be given to use their image).

NEW! Watch Captain: You'll receive:

  • a pdf copy of the book  
  • access to all digital stretch goals funded  
  • a copy of the softcover book
  • PLUS you'll be able to send us a photo of a woman/non-binary/genderqueer person for our artist to transform into the image of a member of The Watch which will either appear as the art for one of the cards in the our supplement deck or in the book's NPC appendix. (the subject's permission must be given to use their image).

 

If you'd like to add some extra stuff to your order, you can choose from any of the following to add onto your pledge:

Companion Deck - Backers gaining a physical copy of the game can add our Companion Deck to their pledge by increasing their pledge by $12 USD or $16 CAD. The Companion Deck will include NPC portraits and brief description allowing you to create NPC in a flash, Mission Role cards for making missions faster and more satisfying, and a slew of useful reference cards. 

Hardcover Edition - Backers who want to upgrade to a hardcover copy of the book can add $33 CAD or $23 USD to their pledge.

Extra Softcover Book - Backers at $31 CAD / $22 USD may add additional softcover books to their order by adding the appropriate amount per book to their pledge.

If you want to...  

  • upgrade to a hardcover copy, add $33 CAD ($23 USD) to your pledge
  • upgrade to a hardcover copy and Companion Deck, add $49 CAD ($35 USD) to your pledge  
  • add just the Companion Deck, add $16 CAD ($12 USD) to your pledge 

Need help upping your pledge, here's a handy visual guide:

 

We have some exciting stretch goals planned for this campaign, all of which are tightly focused on making your play experience even better. We'll be revealing new goals after each one funds.

FUNDED #1 Extended Playbooks Pack ($21,000): We'll add three new playbooks to the mix. The Fox, The Raven, and The Eagle.

FUNDED #2 Companion Deck ($23,500): The deck (a $12 USD add-on) will contain NPC portraits with quick bios to help MC's create on-the-spot characters (this ties in directly with our Watch Captain pledge level), mission role cards, and a slew of useful reference cards to enhance your experience at the table. See a sample below:

FUNDED #3: Hardcovers!!! ($27,000 CAD): If we reach $27,000 before the end of the campaign, we'll unlock hardcover copies of The Watch for backers to upgrade to. In the event we fund this one in the final hours - worry not friends - we will open this upgrade into Backerkit as well allowing you to upgrade afterward. Hardcover copies will be available for $45 USD / $64 CAD plus shipping, which we'll calculate and charge just prior to delivery; that way you pay exactly what it costs and not a cent more.

#4: More art!!!! ($30,000 CAD): If we reach $30,000 CAD before the end of the campaign, we will DOUBLE the number of chapter art pieces in the book and commission five additional pieces of full-page art from Claudia.

"Anna and Andrew have done really cool things with the Powered by the Apocalypse engine to give us a game about misogyny personified. It challenges and provokes as a work of worldbuiding, game design, and cultural critique. I can’t wait to play it again."

-Robert Bohl, designer of Misspent Youth 

"The Watch is the game about being badass, brave, complex women that I've been waiting all my life for. [It] poignantly looks at the relationships around women, war, gender, and duty that brings you to your knees with empathy and love for the characters and the game."

-Kate Bullock of Bluestocking's Organic Gaming and The Gauntlet Podcast

"The Watch offers gamers the deft setting work you would expect from veteran game design Anna Kreider–evocative, flexible, and potent–combined with elegant mechanics by Andrew Medeiros."

-Joshua Roby, designer, Smallville Roleplaying

"the characters in The Watch are facing a set of really harrowing, bleak circumstances...But on the other hand, there are moments of genuine levity and camaraderie between these warriors that remind you of what they're fighting for in the first place...And it's not just set dressing--the game's mechanics support this theme, and it feels great."

-Jason Cordova, The Gauntlet Podcast

"It's the most excited I've seen a group get just at the character creation stage."

-Oli Jeffrey, designer of Little Grey Cells and Codex

 

  

 

  

 

 

Risks and challenges

Both Anna Kreider and myself have successfully funded and fulfilled numerous Kickstarter projects in the past and we have no doubts we'll be able to fulfill The Watch as well. Our budget is nearly fool-proof, we're working with printers and distributors we've worked with in the past, and the text for the game is already written. It's being edited and revised currently and then just needs to go to layout.

Our team is also tried and tested and has a good reputation of getting work done on time. All of this means you can back us worry-free, we won't disappoint.

We'll also be using Backerkit to fulfill our digital and physical products and add-ons.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 14 or more About $11

    Initiate ($10 USD)

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    Warden (US Backers) $22 USD

    For residents of the United States
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    -a copy of the softcover book

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    Warden (International Backers)

    For international backers (outside the US)
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    -a pdf copy of the book
    -access to all digital stretch goals funded
    -a copy of the softcover book
    NOTE: Non-US backers will be billed for shipping separately shortly before delivery.

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    Quartermistress ($60 USD)

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    You'll receive:
    -a pdf copy of the book
    -access to all digital stretch goals funded
    -four retail copies of the softcover book
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    Pledge CA$ 124 or more About $95

    Sergeant (US Backers) $88 USD

    For residents of the United States
    You'll receive:
    -a pdf copy of the book
    -access to all digital stretch goals funded
    -four copies of the softcover book to share with friends

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 124 or more About $95

    Sergeant (International Backers)

    For international backers (outside the US)
    You'll receive:
    -a pdf copy of the book
    -access to all digital stretch goals funded
    -four copies of the softcover book to share with friends (and save $ on shipping!)
    NOTE: Non-US backers will be billed for shipping separately shortly before delivery.

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    Pledge CA$ 179 or more About $137

    Watch Captain ($125 USD)

    You'll receive:
    -a pdf copy of the book
    -access to all digital stretch goals funded
    -a copy of the softcover book
    -PLUS you'll be able to send us a photo of a woman/non-binary/genderqueer person for our artist to transform into the image of a member of The Watch which will either appear as the art for one of the cards in the our supplement deck or in the book's NPC appendix. The subject's permission must be given to use their image.

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  8. Reward no longer available

    Pledge CA$ 328 or more About $251

    Lt. Commander ($250 USD)

    You'll receive:
    -a pdf copy of the book
    -access to all digital stretch goals funded
    -a copy of the softcover book
    -PLUS Anna or Andrew will run a 4hr online one-shot of The Watch for you and your friends through Skype or Hangouts.

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    Reward no longer available 2 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 590 or more About $451

    Marshall ($450 USD)

    You'll receive:
    -a pdf copy of the book
    -access to all digital stretch goals funded
    -a copy of the softcover book
    -PLUS you'll be able to send us a photo of a woman/non-binary/genderqueer person for our artist to transform into the image of a member of The Watch, which will be used as the art for one of the five playbooks. (the subject's consent must be given to use their image).

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
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Funding period

- (33 days)