Have you ever been so frustrated you wanted to just rip the bones right out of your body and stab someone? Or maybe slap some jerk repeatedly with a whip made of pure electric energy? How about suck the power out of a battery pack to get through a Monday when you left your coffee and your will to live at home?
Well lucky for you, Harsh Generation has a whole selection of ways to help you deal with the stress of daily life. From doing backflips up the side of a crumbling building to steal some new tech to using your jet pack to rocket yourself out of an uncomfortable situation, if you can think up a way around an obstacle, you can make it happen. Give your god a high five and save the day, all with one convenient, invasive body modification.
Just remember: there are consequences to your actions.
Harsh Generation is a post-apocalyptic storytelling game inspired by a cyberpunk and deiselpunk aesthetic and by rulesets like Powered by the Apocalypse and Fate Core.
The goal is a dynamic, self-generating system that allows for on-the-fly scenario creation and ever-evolving plot to be crafted by those playing. Ideally you shouldn't have to do any preparation to play Harsh other than have the materials printed out - although it is conducive to prepared campaign play as well.
In the wake of nearly two centuries of famine and decay, America endures as a loosely-connected smattering of shattered cities linked only by old rail lines and the efforts of the dubiously-benevolent Church of Oruvos. While various groups fight for control of the hearts and minds of its inhabitants, the citizens therein simply struggle to survive in a world run by the ruthless and unkind to the weak.
This game takes place in the city we know how as Philadelphia, but which is lovingly referred to as Delphia in the year 2300. Can you still get a good cheesesteak? Debatable. Are there people who worship Gritty? You better believe it.
"Okay then. I don't really know a lot about Philly, but I want to play. What's important to me?"
Well, a lot of that depends on you, but as a citizen of the City of Nonbinary Love, you are definitely concerned with protecting your companions, maintaining the integrity of the city as a whole, and appeasing your personal gods. Do these sometimes contradict with one another? Absolutely! No one ever said life was easy, so choose wisely.
Some themes you will encounter within the lore:
- Far-future American theocracy and the struggle between using your gods for good or for evil.
- Body modification through the use of cybernetics, genetic splicing, or extreme gadgetry.
- Weighing the needs of your community and companions with the expectations of the gods you follow.
- Somewhat over-the-top, occasionally-zany scenarios that require a mix of street smarts, your mods, and collaboration to survive.
Harsh was developed as an inclusive experience and contains no real-world racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, or other problematic or commonly-triggering narratives. The world of Delphia may not be a particularly nice one, but the flavor of that conflict is up to the people playing the game. For more insight into our philosophy on inclusive gaming, check out our website.
Harsh operates on a system of goals, narratives, and consequences. Any time a player chooses their action, they must explain what they intend to do and describe how it happens. Goals always succeed, but sometimes they have unexpected results that further the narrative and enrich the story. Harsh can be described as a game based on writing prompts and hurdles that the players have to improvise their way through.
Some of the mechanics you'll encounter during your journey:
- Crises: Large, customizable experiences that can be played over and over again. They're the framework into which the rest of the game fits.
- Street Smarts: Skills and savvy your character's gained through hard work, practice, and a life surviving in the city. Anything from a penchant for parkour to an uncanny skill for scaling walls, Street Smarts can be accomplished by anyone, but you're extra good at them.
- Mods: Weird and wild superhuman abilities you've had crammed into your body as cybernetics, synced with your electromagnetic signature as gadgets, or shocked into your DNA as genetic splices. They're powerful, and give you a considerable advantage over the average Delphian citizen.
- Features: Modular items, people, or locations to help you build out unique and ever-changing encounters within your Crisis. Consider them like Mad Libs answers for a dystopian urban hellscape.
- Hazards, Stress, Community Rules, and other flavorful additions to help or hinder your progress in a creative and dynamic way.
All of the mechanics in Harsh Generation are meant to enrich the storytelling experience. You may use some of them all of the time or all of them most of the time, but so long as you're having fun telling a good story with your friends, everyone wins!
If we hit:
$2500: City Hooligans Template Pack: New playable templates including all the regional overpowered jerks of Delphia that you're used to fighting or manipulating. Play as a horned reptilian bully, a stealthy fishperson, a radioactive fanatic, and more! Roll through the city as some of the most fearsome denizens and get ready to make - or break - new friends.
$3000: Into the Overgrowth Expansion! Take your comrades and frenemies into the genetically-enhanced wild forest surrounding the city. Meet reluctant Oruvian rejects, guardians of the inner woods, and a secret ancient cult with unbelievable stores of knowledge and technical prowess the rest of the city only dreams of. Additionally, unlock the first Oruvian denomination: the Covenant of Razed Earth.
$3500: A detailed map of Delphia!
$4000: WAY more art and lore to enjoy, including at least one short story.
Every tier receives the PDF rulebook which includes:
- The full ruleset
- All cards and supplemental material (printable)
- A map of Delphia
- All funded stretch goals
Primary Lore, Project Management, Marketing: Emily O'Neil - relentlessly queer, covered in rats, unable to sit still, and deeply in love with gamification.
Primary Mechanics: Frisco Cruise - a sapient noodle human, full of love, juggling far too many projects, and almost definitely a 6ft baby.
Video Streaming and Promotions: Geoff Cabrera - an egg so purely good you just want to hug him all the time. Arguably bad for eggs, but not for Geoff!
Logo Design and UX Support: Alannah Grimm - a talented angel marshmallow far too kind and good for a game this messy. Also deserving of hugs; uncertain of egg status.
Art/Editing/Guidance/Support: Kris Kitts, Megan and Sean Jaffe, RC Beiler, Donna, Scott, Frank, Izzy, Tyler, Emrys, Raf, the Changeling crew, and everyone else that playtested, hyped, and without which this would not have ever been completed.
Risks and challenges
Harsh Generation has been playtested and completed. Funds will be going towards art, project management, paying content contributors, and advertisement.
Risks and challenges consist primarily of organizing artist schedules to fit into the projected timeline. Some deliverables are dependent on backers responding to requests from the creators, although these will not likely impact the completion of the final product.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)