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$32,192
pledged of $15,000pledged of $15,000 goal
585
backers
16hours to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, November 21 2019 3:22 PM UTC +00:00.

Against the Darkmaster

An Epic Fantasy tabletop RPG inspired by the great classic fantasy sagas, built for heroic action and Heavy Metal combat.

Against the Darkmaster

An Epic Fantasy tabletop RPG inspired by the great classic fantasy sagas, built for heroic action and Heavy Metal combat.

$32,192
pledged of $15,000pledged of $15,000 goal
585
backers
16hours to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, November 21 2019 3:22 PM UTC +00:00.

About

Against the Darkmaster is a traditional tabletop Epic Fantasy roleplaying game, inspired by great classic fantasy sagas and designed to bring heroic action and heavy metal combat to your table.

If you put together works like The Lord of the Rings and The Wheel of Time, sprinkled them with a bit of Labyrinth and Dragonslayer, and put everything in a blender together with a healthy dose of classic Heavy Metal, you’ll get a typical Against the Darkmaster game session.

Will you stand against the coming Shadow? Will you heed the call to adventure? 


In Against the Darkmaster, you and your friends will take the role of a fellowship of valiant heroes, standing together against the seemingly overwhelming power of Darkness. 

You will travel to distant lands, face terrible dangers, uncover ancient items of power, and gather the armies of the world under your banner to defeat the great Evil that threatens your world: the Darkmaster.

Against the Darkmaster isn’t tied to a single fantasy setting, but it’s written with a specific sub-genre of fantasy fiction in mind. It draws inspiration from the classic Epic Fantasy Sagas,  and we’ve tried to capture the feeling of those stories, embedding some of their core thematic elements into the game system.

This makes Against the Darkmaster the perfect game for setting your adventures in the world described by your favorite fantasy author, or in your very own quasi-medieval world.

But above all, Against the Darkmaster focuses on the characters you create, the Passions driving them, and their choices. Because heroes aren’t measured by the number of enemies they defeat, but by the choices they make to reach their goal.

Prepare to venture forth the High Road of Great Adventure!

The game is built around a single simple underlying mechanics: you roll a d100, add your bonus, and confront the result on a table to see the outcome of your character’s actions. This makes the game quick and easy to master even for new players, without having to sacrifice detail.

With 12 different Kins, 13 Cultures, 6 Vocations, and dozens of different Background Options, Against the Darkmaster doesn’t just let you make the character you want; it also helps you create a hero that will feel as if it sprang straight out of the pages of an Epic Fantasy Saga! 

Flesh out you character thanks to hundreds of different combinations of Kins, Cultures, Backgrounds, and Vocations!

Venture forth into a high fantasy world besieged by the forces of Evil. Wander through wilderness and Darklands. Face dangerous hazards, and find refuge in those few Safe Havens that still manage to resist the pernicious influence of the Darkmaster. Against the Darkmaster’s detailed travel system transforms each journey into a true adventure!  

Explore far, perilous, and exciting places. Bring the battle up to the door of the Darkmaster!

Maim, stun, and kill your foes! Deadly attacks and vicious Critical Strikes make combat fast and brutal like a Speed Metal solo! Every blow could be lethal, so pick your fights and tactics wisely.  

In Against the Darkmaster, combat goes full Heavy Metal!

Forge you character’s destiny exclusively through your choices, bringing your motivations and goals into play without compromising roleplaying immersion, with the Passions & Drive system.

Dabble into spell casting, or become a true master of magic, Warping your spells to create extraordinarily powerful effects, but beware the ever-watchful eye of the Darkmaster!   

Weave mighty spells to cast the horrors summoned by the Darkmaster back into the Pit where they belong!

Check the video below for a quick glance at the game's inspirations, features, and contents.

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Open Ended Games was born as a group of friends who met online playing and discussing our favorite games. In fact, Against the Darkmaster started as a simple “hack”, a collection of house-rules and procedures to be used in our online and face-to-face games.

With time, we realized that our collection of rulings had grown to become a full-fledged game. We decided to embrace it, and started rewriting and reorganizing everything we had, distilling it in what would become the core of Against the Darkmaster. From that, we produced a Quickstart Rules document, and uploaded it first on our website, then on DriveThruRPG. 

Your response was amazing. Hundreds of people downloaded our Quickstart that quickly became one of DriveThruRPG best sellers. We’ve received a huge amount of love and support from you, and we listened to your feedback to further improve and correct the Quickstart Rules.

 Meanwhile, we kept expanding and playtesting the core rules, until we were confident that what we had wasn’t just a fantasy game, but exactly THE fantasy game we wanted. 


This Kickstarter will fund the production of the physical edition of the Against the Darkmaster rulebook. We're talking about an approximately 600 pages long, 8.5"x11" hardcover tome of arcane knowledge, including everything both the GM and the players need to play, plus the three-parts campaign module Shadows of the Northern Woods.   

A tentative page spread of the book's interior: high quality offset print on heavy matte paper.
The book itself, a hardcover 8,5' x 11' tome containing the Core Rules of the game and the three-part campaign "Shadows of the Northern Woods". Dice not included!

Shadows of the Northern Woods, included in the Core Rules, is the perfect module to introduce your group to Against the Darkmaster. In this epic campaign, a group of heroes will be summoned to the peaceful town of Willow Lake, where they'll uncover a diabolical plot, unearth ancient secrets, and stand against the armies of the Darkmaster Himself!  

Watch a live play of the first part of the campaign The Beast of Willow Lake, courtesy of Matt Jowett and the Grim and Perilous gang! 

What perils lurk behind the peaceful facade of the town of Willow Lake?

Together with the book, we'll produce two different versions of the Against the Darkmaster GM Screen.

A four panel GM Screen, made with strong laminated cardboard and featuring a beautiful illustration on the players' side, will contain the most frequently used tables of the game, and will feature a 24-pages booklet filled with a rules recap and other useful tables. 

GM Screen mockup, the final design of the product may change

A limited edition, Kickstarter-exclusive Wooden GM Screen, composed by three solid panels. Handcrafted with care and passion, this top-quality accessory doesn't just look great on any table, but also has anything a Game Master could ask. And it comes with the same 24-pages booklet of rules and tables included in the regular GM screen. Very limited quantity available!     

GM Deluxe Screen prototype. Please note these are handmade; each product may differ slightly from what shown.

If you're backing the project at the Hero Level or higher, you can add items from the Add-Ons list below to your rewards without changing your pledge level.

  • Extra Core Book: 55$
  • Game Master Screen and Rules Booklet: 30$
Grab any additional copy of the core book you and your gaming group will need, and save on shipping costs!
Enhance your games of Against the Darkmaster with the exclusive, heavy cardboard-made, 4-panels GM Screen - Including a 24 pages booklet containing any useful tables in the game!

You can choose your Add-Ons by clicking on the Manage Your Pledge button on this page and increasing your pledge by the amount needed without changing your pledge level. After the Kickstarter ends, if we are funded, you'll receive a survey to manage your Add-Ons. Please note that adding items to your rewards will influence your shipping costs.


Risks and challenges

While heroes risk their lives in the battle Against the Darkmaster, we don’t want you to risk your wallet! We’ve backed and followed our share of projects, and we know what waiting months, or sometimes even years, for a project you supported to deliver means. That’s why we didn’t launch this Kickstarter until our game was fully written and playtested.

We wanted to have everything ready, to be sure to be able to fulfill our promises, and make you wait as little as possible to receive your books.

Still, we’re a very small company and this is our first Kickstarter, so there’s a risk we’ll go unfunded.
If this happens, it’ll mean we won’t have enough money for additional artwork and professional editing, but we still plan to make the Full Rules available through a print on demand service.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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    Gorcrow

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    As a subtle Gorcrow you get to spy on the fight Against the Darkmaster, receiving all the campaign updates!

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    Adventurer

    As a brave Adventurer, you'll receive the PDF version of the Against the Darkmaster Core Book, complete with Shadows of the Northern Woods, an epic campaign in three parts.
    Your name will also be mentioned in the credits as one of the project's backers.

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    Hero

    True Heroes will be equipped with everything they need to face the forces of Darkness.
    You'll receive an Offset Print Hardcover copy of the Against the Darkmaster Core Book, including the Shadows of the Northern Woods epic campaign.
    You'll also get the PDF version of the Core Book and a PDF file of the Game Master's Screen, to be used with your favorite customizable GM Screen.
    Your name will be mentioned in the credits as one of the project's backers.
    SHIPPING NOT INCLUDED! See Shipping section for details.

    Includes:
    • Against the Darkmaster Core Book PDF
    • Against the Darkmaster Core Book Print Edition
    • Digital Game Master Screen PDF
    • All digital stretch goals
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    Defender

    Proud Defenders will receive everything included in the Hero level, plus a physical version of the GM Screen (including a small booklet filled with useful tables and a rules summary) to shield their secrets from the eyes of the Darkmaster.
    They will also be mentioned as backers of the project in the credits.
    SHIPPING NOT INCLUDED! See Shipping section for details.

    Includes:
    • Against the Darkmaster Core Book PDF
    • Against the Darkmaster Core Book Print Edition
    • Digital Game Master Screen PDF
    • Physical Game Master Screen plus Rules Booklet
    • All digital stretch goals
    • Your Name in the Credits
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    Champion

    As one of the legendary Champions lending their strength to defeat the Darkmaster, you'll receive everything included at the Defender level, and your character (or another subject of your choice) will be granted immortal fame by our artists with an exclusive full-page custom illustration, that will be sent to you both in digital and physical form, as a high-quality print.
    Your name will also be mentioned in the credits as one of the Epic Supporters of this project.
    SHIPPING NOT INCLUDED! See Shipping section for details.

    Includes:
    • Against the Darkmaster Core Book PDF
    • Against the Darkmaster Core Book Print Edition
    • Digital Game Master Screen PDF
    • Physical Game Master Screen plus Rules Booklet
    • All digital stretch goals
    • Character Portrait
    • Your Name in the Credits
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    Merchant

    Took an arrow in the knee? This is the pledge for you!
    This pledge level is reserved to verified retailers only.
    You'll receive six Offset Print Hardcover copies of the Against the Darkmaster Core Book.
    SHIPPING NOT INCLUDED! Shipping fees will be confirmed after the campaign.

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    Chosen One

    As foretold by prophecies, Chosen Ones will join the battle wielding mighty spells and powerful items of power.
    You'll receive everything included at the Champion level, plus a Limited Edtion wooden Game Master's Screen, exclusively made for this Kickstarter.
    Your name will also be mentioned in the credits as one of the Epic Supporters of this project.
    SHIPPING NOT INCLUDED! See Shipping section for details.

    Includes:
    • Against the Darkmaster Core Book PDF
    • Against the Darkmaster Core Book Print Edition
    • Physical Game Master Screen plus Rules Booklet
    • Digital Game Master Screen PDF
    • Character Portrait
    • Exclusive Handmade Wooden GM Screen
    • All digital stretch goals
    • Your Name in the Credits
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    Defender (Early Bird)

    Proud Defenders will receive everything included in the Hero level, plus a physical version of the GM Screen (including a small booklet filled with useful tables and a rules summary) to shield their secrets from the eyes of the Darkmaster.
    They will also be mentioned as backers of the project in the credits.
    SHIPPING NOT INCLUDED! See Shipping section for details.

    Includes:
    • Against the Darkmaster Core Book PDF
    • Against the Darkmaster Core Book Print Edition
    • Physical Game Master Screen plus Rules Booklet
    • Digital Game Master Screen PDF
    • All digital stretch goals
    • Your Name in the Credits
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