About this project
Golden Sky Stories is a heartwarming, non-violent role-playing game from Japan, by Ryo Kamiya, the creator of Maid: The Role-Playing Game. It was originally published in Japan as Yuuyake Koyake, and we’re very pleased to finally be able to bring it to you in English!
In this game, players take on the role of henge, animals that have just a little bit of magical power, including the ability to temporarily take on human form. You can be a fox, raccoon dog, cat, dog, rabbit, or bird, and each kind has their own special magical powers. Players will then attempt to solve problems around a small enchanted town with ingenuity, co-operation and friendship. The book is going to be about 144 pages, and will feature all of the beautiful artwork from the original version by the exceptionally talented manga artist, Ike. Contributions of $10 or more will get you the PDF of the game and of any material from stretch goals we reach, and contributions of $25 or more will get you a printed book as well.
As of this writing, the translation is finished, and our graphic designer, Clay Gardner (who you might recognize as the creator of the OVA: Open Versatile Anime RPG) has already finished the layout. The aim of this Kickstarter is to fund the first print run. Our goal is to do a run of 500 copies, but if we exceed our funding goal we’ll print more and if feasible bring the retail price down and provide backers with more goodies. Golden Sky Stories will also be the first release from Star Line Publishing, and we’re aiming to publish more translated Japanese games, not to mention our own original works. By pledging you’ll not only help Golden Sky Stories come out, but also help us launch something that will become a bridge to bring lots of other great games here from across the Pacific!
The original Japanese version of the game was 120 pages in B5 format (7.17" x 10.12"). The English version will preserve the formatting of the original as much as possible, but the page count will be a little higher with the addition of some cultural notes to help Western readers better understand the game’s Japanese setting and mythology. Currently the plan is for the English version to be a B5 size 144-page softcover with a dust jacket.
The book has all the information you’ll need to play. It includes rules for playing as the six different types of henge (foxes, raccoon dogs, cats, dogs, rabbits, and birds), play advice, a complete replay, a selection of NPCs with story hooks, and two introductory scenarios.
Additional Golden Sky Stories Books: Backers may increase their pledges to order additional copies of Golden Sky Stories in softcover. Add $25 for each additional copy, to a maximum of four copies total.
Maid: The Role-Playing Game Rulebook: Backers may increase their pledges by an additional $25 to order one copy of Ryo Kamiya's previous RPG, Maid: The Role-Playing Game.
Wall Scroll: A special wall scroll featuring artwork by Ike. Wall scrolls will be shipped separately; please add $40 for a domestic order or $55 for an international order.
If you wish to purchase an add-on, increase your pledge by the amount specified, and be sure to indicate which add-on(s) you want when you receive our backer survey.
Art Prints: Backers at select reward levels will receive a set of prints of artwork by Ike, the original illustrator of Golden Sky Stories.
Maid: The Role-Playing Game: Backers at the Kamiya Fan pledge level will also receive another of Ryo Kamiya’s games, Maid RPG. This is a zany anime comedy RPG with maids trying to keep their master happy. Please be aware that Maid RPG is recommended for ages 16 and up, and although it can be a very fun game, it is not family-friendly like Golden Sky Stories.
Wall Scroll: Backers at the Local God level and above will also receive a special wall scroll featuring Golden Sky Stories artwork by Ike.
Hardcover Limited Edition: Backers at select reward levels will receive a special limited hardcover edition of the core rulebook, with the five new character types and short stories added to the back.
Ohajiki: Backers at the $200 level and above will receive a handmade cloth back containing a set of ohajiki, Japanese flat marbles, which players can use to represent Dreams when playing the game.
For potential international backers, we would prefer to offer the game to you at a more affordable price, but circumstances beyond our control have driven up international shipping costs considerably in the past few months, so that we are forced to charge an extra $20 for worldwide shipping (or $15 for Canada). We know it's a lot, so we're that much more grateful for your support if you do decide to pledge!
Golden Sky Stories features beautiful, adorable artwork by artist Ike, who later went on to become a professional manga artist with Nekomusume Michikusa Nikki ("Catgirl's Wayside Grass Diary"). Over the course of the book you'll get acquainted with the six signature characters, plus their many friends.
OVA: The Anime Role-Playing Game is a tabletop RPG by Clay Gardner aimed at letting you play out adventures like in your favorite Japanese anime series. If you back both Golden Sky Stories and OVA at $10 or more, you will get a special PDF that includes bonuses for both games! See OVA favorites as townspeople in Golden Sky Stories and a new character type: The Esper. Also, you get the lovable tanuki/raccoon-dog Riko with an OVA character sheet, and a new set of "affection" rules inspired by Golden Sky Stories' heartwarming style of play. Visit the OVA Kickstarter page to find out more about it!
We have several stretch goals lined up, and we hope you'll come on a journey with us through Hitotsuna Town to find out what all of them are. We'll start by meeting several new friends, which is to say, unlocking new character types as PDF bonuses for backers. These will be a mixture of bonus content from the Japanese publisher and original material that we created. Come with us on a journey through Hitotsuna Town, and maybe even to another world entirely!
In Town ($7500): Your friend Yuka has been hearing odd sounds above the ceiling of her house. When you check, you discover Chika, a mouse henge! Backers will now receive a PDF of rules for playing mouse henge by Ryo Kamiya! UNLOCKED!
Forest ($8000): Your journey takes you into the forest to find out what it is that’s got Riko the raccoon dog henge so scared. It turns out you didn’t need to be scared at all though, because you meet Tsumuji the wolf henge! Backers will now receive a PDF of rules for playing wolf henge by Ryo Kamiya! UNLOCKED!
River ($8500): As you go through the forest you come to a river, where a boy named Naoto has lost his beloved Ultraman action figure. When you’re despairing of what to do you meet Sammy the fish henge! Backers will now receive a PDF of rules for playing fish henge by Ben Lehman! UNLOCKED!
Farm ($9000): A trip to the local farm reveals that a farmer has gotten into an argument with her son. It seems like you’ll never get them to make up, but then one of the horses nuzzles at your shoulder. It turns out she’s a horse henge named Konpeito! Backers will now receive a PDF of rules for playing pony henge by Ewen Cluney! UNLOCKED!
Mountains ($9500): Kuromu the cat henge asks you to find out what’s going on in the spot up in the mountains where she likes to sleep. That’s how you meet Melissa, a witch who lives in a little cottage there. She’s a bit odd, but she becomes a friend all the same. Backers will now receive a PDF of rules for playing witch characters by Ryo Kamiya! UNLOCKED!
Shrine ($10,000): High in the mountains you find a shrine, and inside there are sounds of a raucous party. Suzune the fox henge greets you at the door and invites you to join what turns out to be a party full of local gods and mononoke. There Kaminaga-hime, the spider goddess of the mountain, tells you stories. Backers will now get a PDF of two short stories that originally appeared in Tsugihagi Tayori magazine, “A Lively Summer” and “Kaminaga-hime’s Soccer Ball.” UNLOCKED!
Souvenirs ($12,000): When you come back into town, the lady at the general store has a little something for you. Backers who pledged $25 or more will receive a set of postcards with color artwork on one side and rules references on the other. UNLOCKED!
After Nightfall ($14,000): After a long day during which you’ve made many new friends, night falls. That’s when you learn that there are still more residents of the town. These are the mononoke, creatures of pure wonder. We will fast-track the English version of Mononoke Koyake, the first Golden Sky Stories supplement, and send the PDF to all backers at the $10 level or higher when it’s ready. UNLOCKED!
Days of Wonder ($16,000): Through your adventures in Hitotsuna Town you’ve made many friends and seen the seasons turn. We’ll create a calendar for next year using gorgeous full-color artwork from the game. All backers will receive a color PDF, and backers whose total pledges are $65 or more (including any additional fees for shipping) will receive a physical calendar. UNLOCKED!
Another World ($18,000): In your dreams you see another world, a place very different from where you came from, yet still full of friendship and wonder. UNLOCKED!
We will produce an original alternate setting using the Golden Sky Stories rules. Backers will be able to vote on possible settings, and we will fully develop it into an illustrated book. We’ll most likely do at least some of the other settings later, but the one people vote for will come first! All backers at the $10 level and above will receive drafts as well as the final PDF. UNLOCKED!
- Faerie Skies: In an idyllic town in the English countryside, there are still fairies. This would be a setting very much like Golden Sky Stories, but based on Western fairy tales.
- Fantasy Friends: This is a variant of GSS that takes place in a village in an idyllic fantasy world. Adventurers may come and go, but the people and other things in town live their lives and grow closer.
- Friendship Time: After the great Shroom War, the land of Americana is awash with weirdoes and mutants. In this colorful world there are people made of candy or metal or stranger things besides, but they still come together as friends.
- Aegis of Equine: Long, long ago, magic ran wild across the land and the two emperors and empresses of the seasons held court with their children, the ponies, before they disappeared and magic itself waned across the world. With their special talents, the ponies became stewards of the earth, with a few of the bravest became mediators and protectors. Now the Emperors and Empresses have returned, and with them, all the untamed magic, monsters and mystery of that long forgotten age.
The voting is in, and the first alternate setting will be Faerie Skies!
Phase II Stretch Goals
Henge Candies ($42,000): Allen Varney is providing a short but sweet guide to the henge’s favorite Asian candies and how you might use them in your stories. UNLOCKED!
Household Gods ($45,000): Kyle Simons (creator of the Magicians language learning RPG) will create rules for Korean household gods as playable characters in Golden Sky Stories. UNLOCKED!
Scenario Pack ($50,000): Featuring contributions by TS Luikart and Rodrigo Garcia Carmona, this will be a PDF pack of adventure scenarios. UNLOCKED!
Print Extras ($55,000): Backers at the $25 level and above will receive a special booklet of the five new character types and two short stories added as stretch goals. Additional material may be added later! UNLOCKED!
Another World II ($60,000): Of the possible alternate settings listed under Another World, we’ll be developing the two most popular entries and sending the results to our backers. UNLOCKED! Voting is now under way!
Engine Sky ($65,000): Viral, the creator of Engine Heart, will create an Engine Heart/Golden Sky Stories mashup called Engine Sky, to be available to backers as a PDF. UNLOCKED!
Hello, I’m Ewen Cluney and I’m the translator of Golden Sky Stories. Together with Mike Stevens (who was the main editor for the project) we have over 15 years experience localizing video games, manga and table top games from Japan. I was the translator of Maid: The Role-Playing Game and numerous video games, as well as the designer of the Channel A card game. Mike also helped with Maid RPG, and has had a long career in the video game industry (including extensive work on Shin Megami Tensei Imagine), and has worked as a manga editor for Dr. Master. You can find us on Twitter (@nekoewen and @Starline_Mike) and Facebook, as well as at the Star Line Publishing website.
When we saw Golden Sky Stories, we knew it was something special and unique with its creative setting and themes. We hope to share this wonderful game with you and your friends and family.
Thank you for your support!
Kingsley Leong for putting together the video. Music is "Springtime" by Mattias Westlund, used under a Creative Commons Attribution license.
Jennifer Steen for providing voice over for the video.
Ryo Kamiya for designing another amazing game and being so great to work with.
Andy Kitkowski for helping make things happen.
Risks and challenges
We already have some experience publishing a Japanese tabletop RPG by way of Maid RPG, and we're hoping to apply what we learned from that experience to make the English version of Golden Sky Stories better in basically every way. We also have a polished manuscript and completed layout, which should minimize delays in getting the book to our backers. There are still any number of things that could potentially go wrong with the process of getting the books printed and shipped to our backers of course, and we intend to be as transparent as possible about any difficulties that might arise.
Although a lot of our possible bonus content will be ready ahead of time, some of the stretch goals, especially the later ones, will give us development and layout work to do after the Kickstarter ends. Although we feel confident that between our talents and the community we can draw on for support we will ultimately meet these goals, it is possible that they make take more time than we’d like.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Children as young as 8-10 years old can potentially enjoy this game, and adults of any age so long as they come to it with the right mindset.
Golden Sky Stories was designed to be played by one Narrator (GM) and 2 to 4 players.
We definitely welcome anyone who wants to run the game at conventions or in other public venues. The turnaround time for the Kickstarter means that we most likely won't have physical books until this year's convention season is winding down if not over. However, we'll be getting the PDF out to backers not too long after the Kickstarter ends, which means backers should have the full game in electronic form in time for events in mid-June or later. In the meantime we encourage you to check out and use our free PDF demo (which presents a simplified version of the game): http://starlinepublishing.com/golden-sky-stories-tabletop-day-2013-demo/
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