About

Map Maker Adventures (MMA) is an old school, paper and pencil, dungeon crawl, role-playing game. You can play solitary, or with your friends up to 4 players, without a DM. All you need to play is this book set, several pieces of paper, a pencil and a D20 die for each player.

In this game, you belong to the Imperial Expeditionary Force, as a cartographer. Your team was assigned to a border town southwest of the Empire to investigate a series of frequent, strange events. The appearance of evil creatures, the missing of town folk, a large number of livestock deaths, the wilting of farmland and forests, even the church has been sealed by the town guard since the priest carried out a terrible massacre of the villagers in the church. The town went crazy. You'll follow the advance troops to investigate and produce detailed maps and information about the town and its surrounding locations; especially the DUNGEONS.

Each MMA book set comes with one rulebook and four adventure books. Each adventure book contains all you need to progress through one stage of the adventure, which includes 5 dungeon difficulty ranks. The entire set will include four stages and cover ranks 1-20.

Book Set Concept
Book Set Concept

* Since the game is still in development, please note that the final product may not be the same as this concept.

 MMA is easy to learn. You and your friends can enjoy the game quickly.

 But also, there are many unique features that make the MMA special, out of the ordinary and unlike other RPGs available today.

Check the key features offered by MMA.

  • No Game Master needed. Play solitary or with up to 4 players cooperatively against the game system itself.  
  • 9 Core Hero Classes can be selected to play.  
  • Combine all 45 Specializations to create your own Hero Class with more than 14 thousand possibilities.  
  • Multiple Development Paths for your heroes by learning from 450 Class Skills and 13 Common Skills.  
  • Practice-Makes-Perfect (PMP) leveling mechanism fully embodies the theory that the more you use it, the stronger you grow.  
  • Goodness and Honor System affect both your hero's abilities and NPC's attitudes, even change the way the quest or story is going. 
  • Achievements and Reward Mechanism give the heroes more aide to help them to cope with all kinds of challenges.  
  • Multiple Health Indicator - Head, Torso, Arms, Legs, and Sanity are used to represent the hero’health instead of one Hit Point.  
  • Attack Effectiveness, Magic Resistance and Multi-Body Parts Defense system leads fighting to a sophisticated tactical combat.
  • Random Dungeon Generating System makes every game different. 
  • Intelligent Difficulty System automatically adjusts the game difficulty according to the Number of Heroes, the Dungeon Depth, and the Game Difficulty you selected. 
  • Over 20 types and more than 400 pieces of Basic Items, combining hundreds of Magic Prefixes and Suffixes generate countless enchanted items - Magic, Rare, Unique and Legendary. 
  • Map Drawing according to the Mapping Table can be a great fun while dungeon delving. 
  • Advanced Artificial Intelligence Engine gives different behavior patterns to each monster. 
  • Epic Boss Fighting. Inside each dungeon lurked a specific Boss who has unique abilities, skills, minions and own combat behavior.
  • Key Word System offers the heroes a variety of alternative solutions when resolving encounters. 
  • Global Quest Tracking System is used to follow the long quest and your choices will lead the game to different ways.  

Do you want to know more details?

Hero Sheet
Hero Sheet

Class

There are 9 core hero classes can be selected by the players. They are Warrior, Rogue, Wizard, Cleric, Bard, Ranger, Druid, Paladin, and Warlock. 

Images of Heroes
Images of Heroes

Each class has 5 specializations and each specialization has 10 skills. But only 3 of 5 specializations can be chosen for any one hero. That means even if you just play the core heroes, there are still a total of 90 combinations (10 for each class) can be chosen to build up a unique party.  

Core Classes and Specialization Matrix
Core Classes and Specialization Matrix

Alternatively, should you want more customization for your group, you can name a new class and select 3 specializations across all 45 from the matrix and create your own hero! There are more than 14 thousand possibilities depending on your choice! How exciting is this? Let's check out some examples here.

Sample Classes
Sample Classes

 Level up

The hero has four attributes which represent the Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, and Wisdom. These attributes affect all the hero's actions, including fighting, using skills, saving throws, etc. After a hero resolves an encounter, the most used attribute gains experience. When 20 experience points are earned, the attribute raises a level (adds one point to the base value). This is called the Practice-Makes-Perfect (PMP) mechanism.

The hero's level is represented by the total value of all four attributes. It will be compared with the Dungeon Difficulty Rank when you chose a dungeon to explore. If the difficulty rank of the dungeon is lower than your hero's level, he/she will not earn the experience from that particular dungeon.

Goodness and Honor

Be good or evil. Stand in honor or live humbly. Your choices not only affect your hero's abilities, but also NPC attitudes toward you. Choices you make can even change the way the quest or story is going.

Basically, a good man gets luck - adds a modifier to certain dice rolls; an evil person gets power – increases their attack rolls. Honor grants protection - adds defense, while humbleness lets you be as cunning as a fox - increases attack speed.  

What kind of hero do you want to be?  

Health

Unlike other games, in MMA, the life of the hero is not represented by one indicator. There are five of separate values to show how healthy a hero is. They are the Head, Torso, Arms, Legs, and Sanity. 

The Head, Torso, and Sanity ultimately will cause a hero to die, while injuries to the Arms and Legs cripple heroes, decreasing combat or defensive rank. Heroes will take damage during an encounter either randomly, or as instructed by the game’s AI structure.

Attack and Defense

  • Attack

To make an attack, a hero just needs to roll a die once to get the result from five attack effectiveness results - Miss, Min, Half, Max and Critical according to the hero’s attributes.

Melee - Strength, Ranged - Dexterity, Magic - Intelligence or Wisdom.

Every fifth attribute level increases attack effectiveness. The higher the hero’s level, the higher chance to he/she has of making a more powerful attack.

Attack Roll
Attack Roll
  • Defense

Since there are three kinds of attacks in MMA - Physical, Mental and Magical - three kinds of defense are needed.

The physical attack is defended by armor, which only protects the corresponding body part. The helmet does not provide the defense to the torso, and so on. However, a shield adds the defense to all body parts.

A mental attack is an extreme emotion which damages a hero's sanity; this includes fear, sadness, shock, helplessness, sorrow, etc. There isn't a certain defense type to protect sanity. In most situation, a test of Intelligence or Wisdom will be required to defend against a mental attack.

A magical attack will be defended against by a hero's Magic Resistance. There are seven kinds of magic power in MMA - Fire, Cold, Lighting, Arcane, Nature, Shadow, and Holy. Each magic power has a corresponding magic resistance and they can only defend that particular kind of magic. For example, a strong fire resistance value can never repel a cold magic attack.

Skill

There are two skill categories - Common Skill and Class Skill.   

The Common Skills represent a hero’s general abilities such as acrobatics, diplomacy, medicine etc., which are unrelated to hero classes. They normally help the hero to overcome non-combat situations.

For Class Skills, they are linked to specializations which represent how skillful a hero is at that professional field. For each specialization, there are 10 exclusive skills can choose to learn. As each hero can only choose three specializations, they have a total thirty Class Skills to arm themselves.

The Class Skills are divided into four categories - At-Will, Encounter, Adventure and Passive.   

The At-Will skills can be used as often as the hero wants.  

The Encounter skills can only be used once per encounter. Use them to give a most critical blow to the enemy.  

The Adventure skills can be used only once per game. So, save them only for the worst situation.  

The Passive skills do not need the hero to cast it. They are always in effect after the hero learned them.

 Achievement

Achievements represent that your hero is good at dealing with handling kinds of situations, hunting certain types of monsters, or mastering particular skills. 

To complete an Achievement, chooses an achievement as an objective just like a quest, then follow the requirements and keep track of and record your hero’s accomplishments during the course of the game. Achievements typically need a long time to complete and may span multiple dungeon ranks, or even gaming sessions. 

Achievement
Achievement

After completing an Achievement, the hero will receive a corresponding reward. The reward generally has a lasting effect, which can last throughout the course of the game. The hero can choose to complete multiple achievements at the same time, but only three Achievement rewards can be activated at one time. At the beginning of a game, a hero can combine any three of the Achievements that he/she has unlocked. A strategic use of Achievements according to different situations can be a great aide to the hero and help them to cope with all kinds of challenges.

To play an MMA game, you can choose to play a random dungeon crawl, or specifically select a quest to complete; even take a long journey to experience an epic adventure. 

In a random dungeon crawl, the dungeon is generated randomly according to the Setting Tables. The objective of the game is to find the boss of each dungeon and defeat it to get the treasures. The different bosses each have a certain probability to drop specific fascinating items. This should give you a compelling reason to start a random dungeon crawling game. Playing such game, a hero may delve into the dungeon for multi-levels, or need to complete random tasks(small quests), but it never needs to enter another dungeon.

Also, you can choose to complete a quest as a game objective. Most games play like a random dungeon crawl except that each quest has a number of specific Setting Tables that vary the dungeon setting, like new dungeon tiles, new items, new monsters or new bosses. Some of them may have the entire replacement of the original tables, making the game entirely different than just a random dungeon crawl. Playing a quest game, it may need the hero to enter different dungeons to find out the clues to complete the quest, but the hero will not be required to enter a dungeon with higher or lower difficult rank.

If you are not satisfied with a random game, or with just completing a single quest and you want your hero to face more challenges and experience a long journey, then you can play an adventure game. An adventure consists of several quests, usually all connected by at least one main storyline, with each quest affecting each other with lasting consequences. Also, it could be an epic tale of one main storyline + few side quests, or even multiple storylines running in parallel. An adventure is to be played across difficulty ranks, meaning the heroes will go through different dungeons of varying difficulties, to complete a variety of quests, leveling up as the game progresses.

In MMA, the dungeons you explore have a difficulty rank from 1 to 20. This value represents the challenge level of each dungeon. You should choose the dungeon with the difficult rank according to your hero's level (yes, that means the hero in MMA could grow up to level 20). Otherwise, your hero may suffer a tragedy if they enter a dungeon that’s too difficult, or on the flip side, gain no experience and be unable to level up if the dungeon is too easy.

Each difficulty rank corresponds to a set of Setting Tables which include the Mapping Tile, Encounter, Treasure, Searching, Magic Property, Obstacle, Trap, NPC, Enhancement, Task, Monster, Leader, Boss and more to randomly generate dungeons. 

Because of how the Setting Tables are used, you will never enter two dungeons that are exactly the same while you playing MMA. It's not rule-less randomization, though, which can make a dungeon unbalanced with extreme difficulty, or full of unreasonable encounters. Every game session is a new experience, which gives MMA high replay value.

Without making (drawing) a map, how could you call yourself a map maker? 

In MMA, before you encounter any monsters or make skill tests like in other RPGs, you need to draw the map for the dungeon you just explored according to the Mapping Table. You'll even draw the map elements (map keys) and the symbols of events. 

Mapping Table
Mapping Table
Map Drawing Example
Map Drawing Example

There are 10 types of dungeon in MMA. They are Cave, Tomb, Ruin, Tower, Sewer, Fortress, Labyrinth, Jail, Cellar, and Sanctuary. Each type of dungeon has different dungeon tiles (mapping).

Dungeon Types
Dungeon Types

“But I’m a horrible artist”, you say? Don’t fret! There is no need to worry about your drawing skills. All map tiles, elements, and symbols will be broken down to simple units to make them easy to copy and reproduce freehand. You'll become a professional map maker and create fascinating dungeon maps for each of your adventures.

Drawing step by step
Drawing step by step

I'm a complete rookie at drawing, so if I can do it, then you can too!

Of course, if you don't like to draw maps, you can just skip this part and record the necessary information in your own style.

Rough Drawing
Rough Drawing

There are over 20 types and more than 400 pieces of basic Items that can be found in this game. Some examples are below.

Basic Items
Basic Items

These items are normal items without any magical effects. But based on these normal items, mages and smiths imbued arcane energies to craft many pieces of magical equipment to protect people from evil. Magical items are noted by a prefix, suffix, or both, to its name. These items have a magic bonus value to one or more attributes that will give the item 1~4 magic properties to enhance it. 

Just because you have a magical item, doesn’t mean you can use it right away, though. An item’s magical power will not become effective until it's identified by using an identify scroll (skill) or paying for such service to an NPC. The identification randomly generates the magical properties according to the magical prefix, or suffix. 

There are four levels of enchanted items. They are Magic, Rare, Unique and Legendary. A Magic item is the lowest and has just only one magical property. Then each higher level gets one more property. A Legendary item has 4 magical properties!

Magic Items
Magic Items

By combining hundreds of magic prefixes and suffixes you can generate countless different magical items, so it is very rare that you find identical items in the game. I can't wait to see how excited you’ll be to discover magical items for your hero!

The monsters in MMA are not static, their attributes, abilities, even the behavior and actions are changed in every game according to the Monster Hierarchy, the Monster Role, the depth of the dungeon you delve into, the number of heroes, and the game difficulty. Let's check some details below:

Monster Hierarchy affects monster's attributes.
Monster Hierarchy affects monster's attributes.
Different roles act differently.
Different roles act differently.

These features bring variety and reasonable amounts of balance to MMA. A varied group of monsters makes for a more interesting and challenging combat.

Combat Sheet
Combat Sheet

In the world of MMA, we use a Key Word System to offer the heroes a variety of alternative solutions when resolving encounters. Whether fighting a monster, dodging or disarming a trap, or making a saving throw to overcome a threat, the heroes can use a weapon, tools, or skills with the same Key Word as the monster, trap or the threat in order to prevail.

For instance, you come to a locked wooden door. The Key Words of the door are, "Unlock: 13; Strike: 18; Burn: 10; Explode: 8." Therefore, whether you are playing a rogue who is good at picking locks, a warrior who likes to use brute strength, a wizard who is skillful at fire spells, or an alchemist who is adept with the explosive staff, they all can use their own way to solve the situation. 

In another example, due to the difference in the summoner, the ritual, the spell, even equipped items, a skeleton enemy could have totally different Key Words: "Flame: +3", "Frost: -5", "Shield Strike: -2", "Regeneration", "Lighting Immunity". To fight against monsters, you will have to choose different strategies to achieve victory. Otherwise, you will be ruined, without a doubt. 

The Key Word System is also used to make a distinction between Game Difficulty levels. There are five levels of difficulty in gameplay and as the level increases, harsher, or an additional quantity of Key Words are added for monsters or other encounters. 

As a result, the game becomes very diverse and enriches the gaming experience even in the absence of a DM.

Each difficulty rank will contain 3-5 quests and 1 adventure in each adventure book. 

To track the quests, especially for an adventure, since the quest may affect each other with persistent effects, the global quest tracking sheet is used to follow the questing progress. The decisions you make, the sequence of quest completion, or the passing of time are all factors that could affect the way of the game progresses. So even when you play an adventure more than once, you will experience different gameplay. 

MMA offers a variety of game difficulties. Whether you want an easy experience of an old school RPG game, or if you seek some real challenges, there is always a level to meet and satisfy your needs. The five game difficulties are Normal, Hard, Nightmare, Hell and Purgatory. 

The Game Difficulty in MMA is no longer a simple increase of the monster's HP or the damage it deals, but rather conducts a series of adjustment on the game mechanism and makes the overall change in the process of the game to bring you a completely different experience. Refer to the example of Death Penalty. 

Game Difficulty
Game Difficulty

Increasing game difficulty, not only makes the game more challenging, but also reaps major rewards by increasing the drop rate, magical property levels, or the enhancement effect of various items.

  • 1 Rule Book, about 110 Pages. Full-color cover, black and white inside.
  • 4 Adventure Books, about 130 Pages each. Full-color cover, black and white inside.
  • All books are A4 size.
Pledge Level
Pledge Level

If you want more than one copy, please pledge one physical copy first,  then add the corresponding amount to your pledge or wait for the later pledge (pledge manager) phase to add more. 

Shipping cost will be charged before fulfillment. It will be calculated based on the actual product's weight and the shipping rate from the service provider. 

As the estimation, the softcover may weight 2 kg and the hardcover may be 3 kg (packing weight). Check the prediction of the shipping fee (US$) as a reference for most countries.

Shipping Estimation
Shipping Estimation

I do pledge games on KS, so I know you will care about the shipping cost. I'll try my best to get a good price. And please note if more backers participate in this campaign, the shipping cost may drop lower.

Cover Art: Claudio Pozas, Daniel Comerci

Interior Art: William McAusland, Daniel Comerci, Daniel F. Walthall, Blackie Carbon, Yin Hua

Mapping Art: Yin Hua

 

Risks and challenges

The book set of MMA will contain over 600 pages of contents. As we can see, the insufficiency of testing, the quality of language expression and the progress of book printing would be riskiest parts which will require the most attention.

To ensure the sufficiency of game testing, we are planning to release a beta version of the base game (game rule and adventure level 1~5) to the backers within three or four months after campaign success. That would involve more players in the beta test to expand the scope of testing. Then with the aid of backers, we should have almost half a year to polish and perfect the game.

As I'm not a native speaker, the expression of the English would be a problem especially for the project with a large amount of text. So we will work with one or more native speakers to go through all the text. Not only correcting the English but also make it more native and fluent.

For the quality of printing, we are going to choose the manufacturer which we have worked with before. They are very professional in printing work and also have a very rigorous working process to ensure product quality.

Additionally, I have been working in the Project Quality Assurance area for more than 15 years. I'll define a reasonable developing schedule, communicate with backers regularly to share the developing progress and listen to backer's feedback.

I've learned, from the last two successful campaigns, much when it comes to designing, developing, communicating with backers and the manufacturer, producing, shipping etc. I have confidence that I can do it well again. Trust and support me, please! Let's make this wonderful game real, together!

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