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Motorcycles. Samurai. On Playing Cards. I'm not sure how much more awesome I can make that statement.

Do you like motorcycles? How about samurai? And I mean, of course you like playing cards, right? This project combines all three into something awesome: the Motobushido Playing Cards deck! This project will help fund the creation of a brand new 54-card deck of wonderfully-illustrated playing cards.

Special Updates!

These decks will contain brand new images inspired by the art of the Motobushido role-playing game. Each image will be completely new to this project, although some may draw connections to those within the book. These cards can be used as any deck of cards, but they can also be used directly within the core mechanics of the Motobushido role-playing game. As this is a completely separate, stand-alone, thing, you don't need to know anything at all about the role-playing game to use and enjoy these cards, either! All you need is an appreciation of motorcycle-riding samurai.

The core deck is going to be a multi-artist affair. Each suit will be of custom design by a separate artist. In the core deck, we have Rick Marcks doing the suit of Swords (black), Kathren Moss doing the suit of Cherry-Blossoms (red), Juan Ochoa doing the suit of Masks (red), and Michael Wight doing the suit of Bullets (black).

Should more decks be commissioned as stretch goals, then they will carry the same format: multi-artist decks with custom suits. Additionally, they will be designed for interchangeability, allowing you to swap in and out different suits as you see fit across your different decks. I've got multiple additional artists lined up for the stretch deck suits, too!

I don't want to waste your time (or page space) with a whole lot of stuff that in the end probably won't matter much to you. These are playing cards, printed through Bicycle® and the USPCC. If you, like me, are a collector of playing card decks, then you're pretty familiar with the kinds of cards that Bicycle® makes.

These cards are different than all the others because they have motorcycles and samurai on them, riding forth into battle, or otherwise engaging in wicked awesome menacing poses. And what's cooler than motorcycle-riding samurai? Not much, unless the motorcycles transform into dinosaurs and the samurai are actually robot-viking samurai, maybe. And heck, who knows, that could even be a stretch goal!

Good times with cards, friends, and beer! (not the final deck of cards yet)
Good times with cards, friends, and beer! (not the final deck of cards yet)

Motobushido is a brand-new tabletop role-playing game about brotherhood, sacrifice, and death on the highway. The imagery of motorcycle-riding samurai is all throughout the game book, and those images are used to convey both a level of over-the-top badassery and a sense of being the last of a dying breed of warrior.

The tabletop game uses a standard deck of playing cards (with Jokers) to resolve mechanical story conflicts, and since day one I've thought it would be super cool to have a completely custom-themed deck to use in the game.

Just to re-emphasize, you do not need the Motobushido RPG in order to enjoy this deck of playing cards.

While the entirety of the planned art has already been commissioned and quoted, most of the art has not yet been completed, awaiting project funding before the final work gets set in stone. A few promotional samples have been provided of the artwork that will be involved, and among the samples below are some of the actual card images that will be used.

Once the project passes the funding mark, I'm going to do my best to get some advance images to add to this collection, too!

Jeremy Kostiew is a "new young veteran" of the small-press gaming industry, with logo and visual identity creations in a variety of gaming projects and related work. He brought some amazing designs to the previous Motobushido project, and I'm proud to say that he's coming back with some fresh ideas for this deck's design.

Jeremy will be handling the card boxes and card back images. Here's a sample of the work he did for the previous project:

Motobushido Patch and Logo design, by Jeremy Kostiew
Motobushido Patch and Logo design, by Jeremy Kostiew

"Gumshoe whistleblower reporter hero? A narcissistic antagonist out for blood? Fall-guy for a horrifying nanite invasion? Sleeper agent for extraplanar feline intelligence? The FACTS on El Mucho Colombianisimo (Juan Ochoa): he is a straight-dealing, smooth-lined, grit-teethed artist, twainsplit mirror-master-magician-carouser-cavorter, and noted wizard, with knowledge bilingual, exotic, and esoteric, who theoretically does most of his thinking in Español. Inquiries to the left."

Juan is handling the suit of Masks in the first deck. Below is a sample of one of the actual cards:

The Queen of Masks, by Juan Ochoa
The Queen of Masks, by Juan Ochoa

Rick Marcks was the lead illustrator for the Motobushido tabletop role-playing game, and has also recently completed the art of a locally-produced comic series called The Words. For Motobushido, Rick focused on two main styles of art, and it is that wonderful woodcut-emulation style that he will be bringing to this new suit of cards, the suit of Swords.

Below are some examples of that style, from the Motobushido game:

The Motobushi, by Rick Marcks (concept art from the Motobushido game)
The Motobushi, by Rick Marcks (concept art from the Motobushido game)
The Battle, by Rick Marcks (from the Motobushido RPG)
The Battle, by Rick Marcks (from the Motobushido RPG)

Kat Moss, a Pacific NW-based freelance artist, illustrator & graphic designer, has been working creatively for over 15 years. From humble beginnings in desktop publishing and visual arts, her work has spread across many creative disciplines. Kat currently lives in the woods in the middle of nowhere and works in any creative field she damn well pleases.

Kat is handling the suit of Cherry Blossoms, and bringing to it a super-colorful portrait style. Here's an example of that style in action:

Hot Japanese Lady Holding Awesome Fan, by Kathren Moss (inspiration for her suit pieces)
Hot Japanese Lady Holding Awesome Fan, by Kathren Moss (inspiration for her suit pieces)

Michael Wight is a graphic designer and copy-shop gorilla in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest. With styles ranging from the cartoony to the bizarre, he's slowly bringing his designs to the outside world, both in print, games, and apparel.

Michael is taking on the suit of Bullets with a "bosozoku" theme, and here are some initial sketches of those pieces:

Queen of Bullets concept sketch, by Michael Wight
Queen of Bullets concept sketch, by Michael Wight
King of Bullets concept sketch, by Michael Wight
King of Bullets concept sketch, by Michael Wight

You can tack these bonus items onto your pledge for a little extra:

  • A limited-edition, never-to-be-printed again Joker card: $5
  • Alternate limited-edition Tuck Box: $8 per deck 
  • A brand new embroidered shoulder patch with the four core suits on it: $9 per patch
  • Each additional deck of cards: $12 per deck
  • A set of 14 custom 3D-printed poker chips: $31 per set
  • Full color print copy of the Motobushido tabletop role-playing game, autographed by artist and author, plus the limited extra kickstarter character packs: $50 (for those who missed the last project)
  • Uncut sheet (unsigned): $53 per sheet
  • A custom-made two-deck carry case made of license plates: $62 per case
  • Uncut sheet signed by all the artists: $150 (lots of shipping involved with getting this signed)

We have some special custom-made rewards for this project that I'd like to show off here.

Skull chit and prototype poker chip
Skull chit and prototype poker chip

The skull chits have biker goggles and are quite tactile. I'm open to custom design ideas, too, so talk to me privately if you're interested. The poker chip shown above is for demonstration of level of detail. The final chips will have all four of the custom deck suits on them.

The license plate case, initial prototype
The license plate case, initial prototype

The two-deck hardcases are made out of license plates and leather. They feature sturdy hinges, and can carry two decks each. Each case will be unique, and have its own additional designs added in above and beyond the simple prototype shown here. We mostly have Oregon and Washington plates, but we're on the lookout for others, too. If you have a special request for yours, or an actual license plate in your possession that you'd like us to use, message me privately!

The license plate case, with two full decks
The license plate case, with two full decks

We've got a lot of options at our disposal for unique customization of these items. The above images are proof of concept prototypes, and the final creations for the project backers will vary.

A newly-added limited backer level will next you one of six pieces of original hand-drawn artwork from Rick Marcks. This was originally created for the lead-in Motobushido RPG, and he's graciously offered it to help fund this project. Here's a sample:

Part 1 of 6, by Rick Marcks
Part 1 of 6, by Rick Marcks

That was the first of the six-piece series. To know the rest of the story, check out the game book, or get in on the rewards!

These are still being worked on, but so far here are the ideas:

  • at $16K: An exclusive new character expansion for the Motobushido RPG
  • at $20K: A second exclusive Joker will be commissioned, and all who order the first will receive the second one as well.
  • at $24K: A second new Deck will be commissioned, complete with four brand new suits, twelve brand new royal cards, two brand new Jokers, and a whole new card box. Additionally, the cards of both decks will be designed for suit-interchangeability, so players who receive both can swap suits around and build their own custom decks! Anyone who gets a standard deck as part of a core backer reward (and not just as an add-on) will also receive one box of the new second deck at no additional cost.
  • at $28K: A second character expansion for the Motobushido RPG
  • at $36K: A third complete new Deck!

I'm a big fan of "not annoying my backers with excess junk." I try to keep my updates few, important, and useful. With this project, I just want to make some awesome cards and share them with the rest of you. There are some cool extra things you can get by backing, but really, this one is more about the cards and the art than anything else. As such, I'm not going to flood you with a whole lot of additional frivolous add-ons. Nor am I going to email you middle-of-the-night updates every other day of the project.

Most of the funds requested are going towards printing and shipping costs. A good more-than-third is going toward paying artists for their amazing original visions of this unique artistic theme. Taxes and cuts are accounted for, as well as production costs for the chips and cases.

I know what you're thinking... did he play six cards, or only five?
I know what you're thinking... did he play six cards, or only five?

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

I've managed a successful Kickstarter already, and that has been one heckuva ride. They say you make the worst mistakes the first time, when you think you're doing everything perfect. Well, that project had some fairly minor setbacks, but nothing to write home about, and on the whole it's been rocking.

With this second project, I'm confident I've got the hurdles under control. All included costs and contracts have been accounted for, and the artists are signed and ready to deliver premium motorcycle-samurai artwork for these cards.

Additionally, I've been very closely following the progress of other playing card decks on Kickstarter. Watching the trends and seeing what has worked has significantly helped me plan this one out.

FAQ

  • Yes, every deck comes with two Jokers. These Jokers will be beautifully illustrated just like all the royal cards.

    In addition to these core Jokers, there is an additional promotional Joker being printed exclusively for this funding project. It is not included in the standard decks, but can be added on separately.

    Last updated:
  • Not yet, but I'm working on it! Stay tuned.

    Last updated:
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    I will ship you a four-card royal set from one of the suits, chosen randomly, and a single Motobushido bookmark.

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    One deck with the special exclusive third Joker!

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    One deck and a set of 14 custom-printed textured Motobushido poker chips.

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    Just the Game Book and a deck of the Cards, please! This also includes all of the bonus digital character Packs from the first KS project.

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    VENDOR PACK: For game retailers only, this gets you TWO Motobushido "Game Packs" for your store. Each Game Pack contains a two-deck Player/Sensei card set, a bonus Joker, a physical copy of the Motobushido Role-Playing Game book, and a digital download code for your customers. I can arrange for posters and other promo swag to be sent to you as well, so let's talk!

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    A deck of cards, a special limited set of 14 custom-printed textured chits, and a unique hand-made carry case forged from leather and license plates.

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    "As Seven We Ride" Get seven decks, three with the alternate case, each with the limited Joker. Discounted in a limited quantity!

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    You get 10 decks, all with bonus jokers, half of them in alternate boxes. This is a good $30 cheaper than they would be if you tacked them on separately. Domestic US Shipping only!

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    You will receive one of the six hand-drawn original pieces of comic art from the final stretch of the Motobushido game, optionally signed by Rick Marcks, the artist. These 11 x 17 pieces tell a six-page story of revenge and death on the highway. You will also receive a deck of cards. See the full product page for a sample of this art.

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    The True Believer. You'll get a deck, and one of each unlocked by any stretch goals, as well. You will also get the singular initial prototype deck proof, with each card signed by me. You will also get the initial prototype license place card carrying case, and some extra surprise goodies thrown in. If you really want, I'll try my hand at haiku across each of the cards in the deck, too.

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    VENDOR PACK: For game retailers only, this gets you ten Motobushido "Game Packs" for your store. Each Game Pack contains a two-deck Player/Sensei card set, a bonus Joker, a physical copy of the Motobushido Role-Playing Game book, and a digital download code for your customers. I can arrange for posters and other promo swag to be sent to you as well, so let's talk!

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    Your name (or a phrase of your choice) on one of the cards! This name will either be worked into the image, or could even be the name of the card itself! We'll work out the details privately, but in short no silly names like "Joydookie77" or such. You also get two decks, one with alternate box, two bonus Jokers, an uncut sheet, and any applicable Stretch Goals.

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    Your likeness as one of the face cards! We'll work out the details privately. You also get two decks, one with alternate box, two bonus Jokers, an uncut sheet, and any applicable Stretch Goals.

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    You will receive a single deck of cards, with each card signed by its artist, the box signed by all the artists, and an uncut sheet with signatures from all the artists. Additionally, you will receive any new decks unlocked by the stretch goals, signed with the same treatment. With artists across the globe, this will be a difficult task and take some time and shipping, but it will happen, oh yes.

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    Sushi Dinner and a game night with the artists! Make your way to Portland Oregon (where the dream is, indeed, still alive), and have a sushi dinner with as many of the artists as we can get (which is most of them). After that we'll do a game night and have a grand time. Games of your choice, although I admit I'm a huge fan of Spades. If you are up for it, we'll also do a tour of the Momokawa Kura while you're here. Does not include travel and lodging (you could likely find them cheaper than I can). Oh, and you'll get a whole bunch of cards too.

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