About this project
Magic is dying, and the Magus is dying with it. We travel together to the realm of Umbra where magic was born.
Fall of Magic is a game of collaborative storytelling where we play a group of travelers in the company of the Magus. The game follows a literary tradition of the fantasy journey where the character’s relationships, transformations, and experiences take center stage.
The game features an elegant rule set and stunning presentation including a canvas scroll which unrolls as we travel, revealing perilous roads, strange hosts, and fantastic locales. The scroll is over 5’ (1.5m) in length and is masterfully illustrated by award-winning artist Doug Keith.
"I think it's safe to say few gamers will have played anything quite like it." EscapistMagazine.com
"Genuinely genre shaking... an experience that you will kick yourself for missing out on" BoardgamersAnonymous.com
"Our family really enjoys great storytelling games. Fall of Magic not only has a novel and beautiful game mechanic but also brings a fresh yet familiar fantasy setting and theme to the storytelling genre that we thoroughly enjoyed." GeekDad.com
"Ross brings his A-game when it comes to the physical look and feel of his games." – Emily Care Boss, creator of Breaking the Ice and Misericord(e)
"One of the coolest, most interesting games I've seen in years. The affordances alone blew my mind, and it's so beautiful the way the game's format (the scroll) cleanly and elegantly contributes to gameplay while simultaneously setting tone and putting play in a wonderfully ritualistic context. " – Jason Morningstar, creator of Fiasco and Night Witches
"You'd think that once you played you'd have seen everything. Nope. Not only are there forks in the road and paths not taken, but for picking three words the characters are REALLY different. As soon as we were done we were talking about what we'd play on the second pass." – Stras Acimovic, creator of Atlas Reckoning
“I am at work SCREAMING at the top of my lungs in glee.” – Andrew Henderson, creator of Mystwood and Treehouse Dreams
The following Stretch Goals will be added to all reward levels. Digital backers will receive digital versions. Go to the bottom of this page for a full description.
$15 - Digital Edition (included in all reward levels)
- Print and Play version of the completed game in color and b&w
- Digital portfolio featuring the art of Fall of Magic
- Print and Play preview of Fall of Magic.
This print and play works fine on various paper sizes. The map is printed in three sections. You will only need to supply the tokenss, a die, and some notecards or paper.
The digital portfolio includes high resolution scans of all of the game's artwork.
The preview will be released to all backers as soon as the game funds. It is a complete playable version of Fall of Magic, just not the final version.
$65 - Scroll Edition
- Everything in the Digital Edition
- Scroll Edition of Fall of Magic including: Canvas Scroll, Box, 5 custom metal coins, Die, Instructions
- 12 Oversized Lost Island cards
The total unbound area of the canvas scroll is 6' x 13" with a burgundy serger stitch along two sides. The ends are bound using stained dowels, hot glue, and upholstery nails. A 2' leather cord is used to wrap and bind the scroll. The map is silk-screened using water-based ink in three 13"x20" sections with two colors per section. It has an earthy smell to it. Mostly due to the cotton canvas.
The box is a boardgame-quality setup box. It measures 15"x4"x2.5" with a full color printed wrap on the base and lid.
The coins are manufactured by Campaign Coins using a zinc alloy and given and antique gold, silver, and copper finish.They will measure approx 25-30mm x 2-3mm with custom designs by Fall of Magic artist, Doug Keith.
The Instructions are a full color tri-fold, fitting nicely in the box.
$130 - 2x Scroll Edition
- 2 copies of the Scroll Edition
Two complete Scroll Editions shipped together. You save %30-%50 of the shipping expenses depending on your region.
$260 - 4x Scroll Edition
Four complete Scroll Editions shipped together. You save %40-%60 of the shipping expenses depending on your region.
$375 - The Magus
- Everything in the Digital Edition
- Everything in the Scroll Edition
- One of the original pieces of Art (first-come first serve)
- One of the prototype black-bordered Scrolls mailed to you in June.
Fall of Magic is an evolution of the system behind Life on Mars, a game I published in 2013. The mechanics are simple, but the play is deep.
To make a character, each player chooses a name and title from the list provided and writes them down on a notecard.
You will end up with something like: Vago - Fugitive of Stormguard, Kabu - Apprentice of Ravenhall, or Fawn - Fox of the Mistwood.
Characters start simple and develop through play, like how we learn about a protagonist over the course of a book.
Each player gets a token to represent their character plus one more for the Magus. The Magus starts at Ravenhall which is where our journey begins.
We take turns telling a part of the story. During your turn, other players can contribute, add details, even play another character or themselves, but you get final say over what happens. Also, each player gets final say about what is true about their own character.
1. Choose a Scene
Each turn you choose one of the Scenes listed under the Magus’s current location. Then you describe the Scene to us from your character’s perspective. Tell us what it looks like, what is going on, and what you’re doing there.
2. Describe the Story Prompt
Beneath each Scene is a Story Prompt: an additional element you will need to describe before your turn ends.
Traits, Perils, and Changes
There are three special kinds of Story Prompts: Traits, Perils, and Changes.
A Trait is added to a character’s notecard. Either your own or that of another character. After adding it, describe why you think this is true about that character.
A Peril has two parts. Describe the first prompt, then, when you are done, roll a die and describe the result.
A Change requires that your remove or change something on your own notecard. Either your Name, Title, or a Trait. Then describe how this is true about your character.
If your token is already on the map, you may opt instead to move the Magus along the dashed road to our next location. Remove the other character’s tokens from the map. Describe the Scene and Story Prompt as usual, but from the perspective of the Magus.
There are different paths to take on our journey. In our playtest experience, it takes about 4 hours of play to reach Umbra, where our story reaches it's conclusion. Though a game could easily last several sessions. If you've only got a couple of hours to spare with some friends or at a convention, just end somewhere along the journey, you'll end up with a good first episode.
Fall of Magic does a good job of evoking the feel of the fantasy journey without directly referring to any of it’s tropes. This helps all of the players to feel comfortable making up their own story without fear of contradicting the vast canon of existing Fantasy lore. The names of the locations, the artwork, and the kinds of characters are chosen to give enough to get started while leaving plenty of room make him our own ensuring that no two games of Fall of Magic will ever be the same.
Stretch Goal Details
UNLOCKED! Fall of Magic will be expanded to include 12 Islands designed by 12 olympia designers and illustrated by Taylor Dow. Each island is printed on an oversized card and tied into the mechanics for crossing the Sightless Sea. The Lost Islands will become an integrated part of the game included in all reward levels.
Lost Islands development team:
- Ali Baker: novelist
- Robert Bruce: creator of Letting Go and Graveyard Girls
- Orion Canning: creator of Dragon and Warrior and 400
- Terri Cohlene: poet and children’s book author
- Ross Cowman: creator of Fall of Magic
- Taylor Dow: author of Abruption and Butt to the Future
- Caroline Hobbs: creator of One Missed Call and Downfall
- Marc Hobbs: creator of One Missed Call and Eden
- Gary Montgomery: contributor to Apoc Toys series of rpg supplements
- Mo Omeh: expressive arts teacher
- Veles Svitlychny: creator of Shades without Mirror
- Jackson Tegu: creator of Silver and White and Monsterhearts Second Skins
UNLOCKED an additional 13" x 20" map section will be added featuring 5 new locations co-designed by Rachel E.S. Walton (creator of The Long Orbit), Jason Morningstar (author of Fiasco, and Night Witches), and Ross Cowman. The locations will be illustrated by Doug Keith.
20 Backer Comment Requests unlocks the DIGITAL EDITION translation for that language. This translated PDF will be bundled together with the Digital Edition rewards and made available to ALL backers.
35 Backer Comments Requests unlocks the SCROLL EDITION Translation for that language. All Scroll Edition backers will have the option to select this language in their backer survey at the end of the campaign. If you are receiving multiple scrolls, you can pick a language for each scroll.
Risks and challenges
I have worked in the publishing industry for over 10 years and have delivered on dozens of projects. This is my 5th kickstarter and I have a good track record and many satisfied backers.
I have sourced parts and labor for the first 1,000 units and am confident I can deliver within the stated timeframe. If demand for this game is significantly more I will have to secure additional suppliers which may increase delivery time and result in some slight variations between print runs though I will do everything I can to ensure that the quality is held to the same high standard.
At the end of the project I will provide backers with a production timeline including milestones and dates. I will post production updates at least monthly until all rewards are delivered.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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