About this project
A cosmic event removed every major superpowered hero and villain on the planet. A few of their secret labs, headquarters, and lairs were raided, but many more remain hidden. The secrets of gaining superpowers began to leak out. A new class of self-empowered "base raiders" emerged. Many abandoned bases still wait to be discovered. Treasures, unique artifacts, and secret knowledge can be found in the bases, prizes worth risking death from the traps and guardians left behind.
Superhumans used to keep the world in balance. A small but elite class of heroes and villains wielded power like modern gods, but their greatest legacy was to create a status quo where no one else would threaten their position. They thought it was better to accept a flawed world than risk destruction by changing too much. No longer. Their secrets have spilled out.
The next generation of heroes and villains to appear were not government, corporate, or criminally backed soldiers. They were amateurs in the purest sense of the word. They had no fear of experimenting with the new discoveries, had no hesitation with altering themselves and had no shame in proving that they had learned how to become more than human. Most of all, no one thought these amateurs would share what they had learned. They did. The secrets of gaining superpowers began to spread among the fringes of society.
Where once there were a few, now there are many. The superhumans of today are not enforcers of an old status quo. They want to change the world in ways that can’t be easily categorized as good or evil. They are visionaries, madmen, idealists, fanatics, heroes, villains, and base raiders. Join their ranks. Change yourself. Change the world.
About the RPG
Base Raiders will use the FATE RPG system (Spirit of the Century, Dresden Files, Kerberos Club) and offer several new features like:
- A Base Creation System to easily generate unique and exciting bases to raid. A base can be the setting for an adventure or the goal itself. Create traps, populate the base with guards and throw in competing base raiders!
- A Superpowers System that allows characters to add, change, or remove powers. You may find ways to give yourself more powers, but how will they interact with your existing ones?
- A Goals System so your character can change the world. Instead of advancing your character after an adventure, you can invest in a goal that will affect the game world in some way. Perhaps you want to reduce crime in your home city or build a secret base of your own. This gives your character something to work for, other than personal power.
Reinventing the Dungeon Crawl
The dungeon crawl is usually thought of as an exercise in tactical combat, mapping, trap detection and disarming, and logistics, but it can be more than that. A great dungeon is a setting for an adventure that defies the expectations of the players. It is a miniature world, a new frontier to explore, with its own unique themes and logic. Dungeons give the GM a chance to create an adventure not bound by the overall setting.
For example, take the crew of a spaceship on a mission to explore the galaxy in a sci-fi RPG. In game terms, every planet they set down on is no different than a dungeon. They will have to overcome challenges like hazards and traps, monsters or NPCs. There is often a unique story behind that planet and the crew is rewarded with new knowledge or other resources once they explore it. Rethinking of what a dungeon is a useful tool for the GM.
Base Raiders will take the idea of a dungeon crawl and run it through the superhero genre. This means virtually anything can be found in a base - pocket universes, gates to parallel realities, or places where the laws of physics break down. Instead of endless corridors with locked doors, imagine a massive testing facility controlled by a mad AI or an underwater city built by laissez faire capitalists.
The story of the base is more important than the exact placement of its traps and guardians. The base will become a character, as the raiders deal with its challenges and learn its secrets. Even after the raiders clear the base of dangers, it will still be important in the game. Base Raiders will show you how fun dungeon crawls can be.
Table of Contents:
Character Creation and Powers: Normal, well-adjusted people don’t risk life and limb to break into secret hideouts filled with death traps. Base Raiders can be good, evil, or just plain crazy, but they are never boring or mundane. What do you hope to accomplish as a base raider? How did you meet your fellow raiders?
Combat and Rules: Everything you need to run a game of Base Raiders. Based on the FATE RPG engine, Base Raiders will be fast and flexible, yet will allow enough complexity to satisfy most gamers.
Then and Ragnarok: A history of superhumans from their public appearance in World War 2 up until the mass disappearance of all major heroes and villains during the cosmic event known as Ragnarok. This is an open ended history, allowing GMs to easily integrate their favorite NPCs into the game as the former movers and shakers. You will be able to take your existing superhero campaign and make it into your version of Base Raiders.
The World Now: One year later, the world is a very different place. Minor superhumans like former sidekicks and henchmen have become major players. Thousands of brave (or foolish) civilians have gained powers, mostly by looting the bases of the missing superhumans. New factions of idealists, fanatics, and malcontents have sprung up. The governments and other powerful institutions are only now beginning to react.
Powers Done Dirt Cheap: This chapter explains how base raiders get their superpowers. Some raiders buy their powers on the black market while others cobble them together from a variety of disparate sources. How much will you risk for power?
Base Raiding: For decades, heroes and villains have both built an amazing number of bases to support their work. These bases were almost always built with cutting edge technology (often alien in nature) or powerful magic. This chapter covers how they are built, what’s in them, and how to generate your own base for the game.
The Status Quo: Ragnarok took the governments of the world by surprise, allowing individual citizens a chance to get superpowers for themselves. This won’t last. Alarmed by the reports, they’ve heard about base raiding and task forces are forming to stop this threat. Some are concerned with the possibility of terrorists or criminals causing mayhem with superpowers. Others see this as an opportunity to clamp down on dissenters and create a permanent police state. Base Raiders have to keep their powers secret or risk arrest or worse.
The Underground: Not all beings with superpowers are human. Magical entities, aliens, robots, and even stranger creatures exist. They hide in the shadows, no government has granted them legal citizenship or protection under the law. They’ve banded together to form the Underground. A few think they can get civil rights, others want to form their own country, and some look for a way off Earth.
Adventures and campaigns: Advice for creating your own Base Raiders campaign, plus adventure seeds, encounter ideas, and more.
Magicians the Language Learning RPG: Base Raiders is both a world of super-science and magic. If you like magic and learning in your role playing games, you should consider getting Magicians: The Language Learning RPG, also currently on Kickstarter. Kyle Simons and I have teamed up to create Base Raiders content for Magicians! The hidden mansion of a missing sorcerer is discovered. Many rush to the mansion to find the sorcerer's treasure first.
If you back Base Raiders at the $15 level or higher AND Magicians at the $10 level or higher, you will receive the EXCLUSIVE card pack inspired by Base Raiders for Magicians. This pack will only be made available for Kickstarter backers!
You also get a PDF of three Korean-myth themed base raiders: a magician, a dragon in human form, and a kumiho (nine-tailed fox spirit). The team searches bases for a lost mystical treasure and can be allies or enemies in your campaign.
Noir City: A stranger with inside information enlists the help of Noir City's defenders to help him investigate the abandoned Valor Tower - former base of the Forces of Valor - where a mysterious signal has begun to transmit in Morse code. Could an old ally be trying to rally heroes to the tower or is this a trap?
Want to get this adventure for your campaign? RPPR podcast fan favorite and writer Cody Walker and I have set up a new crossover promotional reward for people that back both of our projects. It is an exclusive adventure for Base Raiders, written by Cody and I and will be given out to every backer that backs Noir City at $5 level or higher AND Base Raiders at the $15 level or higher. The adventure will be released as a PDF.
About the Rewards:
Task Force Darknet: A Kickstarter backer exclusive adventure with a folder of handouts for high level backers!
The US government has put together a task force to take down black market dealers of super soldier technology and other means of self-empowerment. A friend of the player characters has gotten a hold of some documents from the task force, part of an ongoing investigation of a black market dealer of super soldier technology. The dealer got his inventory from a secret base, but he won’t say where. With these documents in hand, the player characters could figure out the location of a base, but it won’t be easy. They’ll have to dig deep and if the government finds out they’re looking for it, the full weight of the task force will drop down on them.
The Task Force Darknet folder will contain several unique handouts for players including:
- Print outs from Darknet, an underground network for buying and selling superpowers.
- Surveillance photos of the dealer
- Memos and investigation reports from the task force
This adventure is only available through this Kickstarter.
"Pariah" - Short Story: A story showing the price of gaining superpowers. A runaway teenager finds a way to gain tremendous power by attuning her mind to the Dark Pariah, an immensely powerful psychic entity. She can channel part of its power but at a terrible price - the entity manifests around her at random intervals, endangering everything around her. It haunts her, tormenting her with nightmarish visions. It’s worth it in order to give herself a chance to find a way to cure her sister of cancer by raiding bases of super-scientists. Can she find the cure in time and keep the authorities from finding her?
Actual Play Previews: I run a podcast called RPPR Actual Play, where I post a new recording of a role playing game session each week. There’s a large backlog of game sessions and it often takes months or even years before a game makes it from the table to the podcast. However, if you’re a podcast fan, you’ll be able to preview episodes months in advance as I make 10 game sessions, including part of the Heroes of New Arcadia campaign (the superhero game that inspired Base Raiders) and Know Evil (a popular Eclipse Phase campaign). The episodes will be made available after the Kickstarter concludes.
Bonus eBooks: All high end backers ($50 and above) get all of my previously published ebooks and any ebooks created from the stretch goals. Right now, the bonus ebooks are:
- Zombies of the World (PDF)
- Zombies in Afghanistan
- The Heretic Cycle: Hunted
This will be updated if this Kickstarter reaches certain stretch goals. Every new source book will be given out as a PDF, with options for Print on Demand.
Playtest Access: The main rules for the game will be available as a playtest document by February 2012 at the latest. High end backers will be given early access to the game so they can try it out before everyone else. If you provide feedback on the playtest document, you will be credited as a playtester in the final game.
I will run special Q and A sessions online during the playtest so you can provide feedback more easily and rule issues can be clarified more quickly.
Online One Shot Game: I will run a one shot game online, using Skype or a virtual tabletop program, for you and up to four of your friends. I will run the game in Base Raiders or any other system I have run before - see the RPPR Actual Play podcast to see a list of these systems.
This allows you and your friends to pool your money together and only get the rewards you want. Once the Kickstarter campaign concludes, I will contact everyone at this contribution level to arrange scheduling for the game.
Podcast Q and A session: Shortly after the Kickstarter campaign ends, I will host an online Q and A session with co-host Tom Church where you can talk to us and ask us questions about the podcast and gaming. Pick our brains for ideas for your own game! Ask Tom to bless your dice so they roll as well as he does! Only contributors at the $100 level or higher will be invited.
Add a Character to the Setting: If you would like to add a hero or villain to the game, this is your chance! I will work with you to integrate your idea into the Base Raiders RPG. If you want to immortalize your PC from a superhero game or a memorable antagonist, you can in the Base Raiders setting. I will have art made for your contribution, as appropriate.
Online mini-campaign: As with the online one-shot game, but I will run a 5 part game in a system of your choosing for you and 4 of your friends.
This allows you and your friends to pool your money together and only get the rewards you want. Once the Kickstarter campaign concludes, I will contact everyone at this contribution level to arrange scheduling for the campaign.
Personal game: You get an online mini-campaign, as above, but then I will fly to your house and run the finale of the campaign for you! I will arrange the details with you after the Kickstarter campaign concludes. I will bring 5 print copies of all books (Base Raiders, Zombies of the World, plus any stretch goal books) and give 5 PDFs of all of my titles. All books will be autographed.
List of Base Raiders: Everyone that contributes may opt in to be listed on the Base Raiders website as a raider. Pick a hero or villain name and a primary superpower and I will roll under a customized trivia table to give you a unique trait. Please note that I retain final editorial control over names and powers.
The base goal for this project is $6,000. That gives enough funding for a black and white book, some art, and a small print run. If Base Raiders reaches higher levels of funding, more will be added to the project! More content for the RPG, a comic book, and new source books are all possible. As the project reaches higher funding levels, more stretch goals will be revealed!
ACHIEVED! $7000 - Wild Talents conversion guide. Free as a PDF download.This will provide you all the rules to run a Wild Talents in the Base Raiders setting.
ACHIEVED! $8000 - Mutants and Masterminds conversion guide. Free as a PDF download. This will give you all the necessary information run a Mutants and Masterminds game of Base Raiders.
ACHIEVED! $9000 - Savage Worlds conversion guide. Free as a PDF download.This guide will let you run a game of Base Raiders using the Savage Worlds rule set.
ACHIEVED! $11,000 - Add the zombie factory A superhero base gone awry and overfilled with zombified clones of other superheroes. It needs to be shut down before the zombies break out! This will be included in the Base Raiders RPG as a new chapter.
ACHIEVED! $13,000 - Add 10 NPCs to the Base Raiders RPG - An assortment of new heroes, villains, and other characters of note. Find out why some base raiders risk everything to delve the depths and who’s trying to stop them.
$16,000 - Add Omega One base and starting adventure! A Supervillain base with unique guards, traps, and more
$18,000 - Add the Leviathan Prison as a new base in the main book, written by Caleb Stokes of Hebanon Games!
$21,000 - Base Raiders comic: a 40 page full color comic- free digital version for all backers $5 print comic for all print backers or $10 stand alone.
??? - STRETCH GOALS LOCKED
Stretch Goal Descriptions
Zombie Factory: A new chapter for the Base Raiders RPG, which will include maps, stats for NPCs and traps, and adventure hooks.
The Biomancer, a super-scientist and hero, went missing during Ragnarok, depriving the world of a great doctor that saved millions of lives from alien diseases and deadly bio-weapons created by villainous scientists.
Unfortunately, in order to conduct the research he needed to do to achieve this, Biomancer took more than a few ethical shortcuts. Thus, his research lab was filled with monstrous experimental test subjects and cloned superhumans and now they’ve broken loose. What’s worse is the most dangerous test subject; Death Token, a powerful mutant able to reanimate corpses and grant them super powers.
While they are still trapped within the lab, it’s only a matter of time before they get loose. This base is filled with valuable research data, bleeding edge biotech, and state of the art cloning vats. There’s just the small matter of the army of angry mutated test subjects and zombie superhero clones in between the base raiders and the player characters. Heroic characters might try to destroy the base in order to guarantee Death Token’s destruction while more pragmatic characters can try to loot the base while avoiding or fighting the inhabitants of the base. Evil characters can either free the undead mutants or join forces with them.
Omega One: This stretch goal will add a second base to the main game, with maps, NPC stats, and adventure hooks.
Omega One was a research and secure storage facility, hidden at a remote island in the Pacific Ocean and built by the super villain and dictator Omega. It was made to accommodate his work into blending magic and super-science into a new discipline. It houses many of his ‘failed’ experiments and one of his greatest successes, a fabricator with a magical power source that granted it effectively unlimited energy. He called it the Meta Forge. After his disappearance, the guardians left behind split into factions, each vying for control of the Meta Forge.
When the player characters arrive, they will have to deal with both supernatural and high-tech enemies and traps. Canny raiders will find a way to exploit the rivalries between the factions in order to find their way to the Meta Forge. The machine is built into the base so it can’t be moved, but even gathering some data could be worth a fortune.
Leviathan Prison: This stretch goal will add a third map to the Base Raiders RPG with trap stats, NPCs, and adventure hooks.This base is written by Caleb Stokes of Hebanon Games!
Sometimes, everybody knows the asylum walls will fail to contain the madman again. Sometimes, the VIP’s want more than the average dose of justice to avenge their loved ones. Sometimes, it turns out a vaunted institution is responsible for a particular murderous freak, and they’re willing to pay to keep it secret. On those occasions when the government needs a deep dark hole to lose a supervillain down, Leviathan is the answer.
Located beneath the crushing depths of the Marianas Trench, Leviathan is the most expensive prison ever constructed. Borrowing equally from alien planets and alternate dimensions, its diamond-alloy walls are coated in magical blasphemies and quantum-entangled deathtraps. Even for immortal meta-humans with the power to pierce reality itself, Leviathan is a life sentence. No trial. No parole. Just despair
But with all the superhero wardens gone, who is left to protect all that fancy, restricted tech? What’s to stop someone from stealing all the juicy state secrets locked within? And, most importantly, who has been feeding the inmates?
Base Raiders comic: a full color comic that will follow a team of base raiders hired to rescue a captive from the depths of Omega One. It will be approximately 40 pages in length. However, further stretch goals may increase the page count and expand the story. All backers will get a free ebook of the comic and a print version will be available as a reward add-on.
Errant, a high-tech knight and vigilante, leads the way, cutting a path through anything in his way. Iconoclast, a super-scientist cloned from a missing villain but with a different personality and ethics, is the brains of the team. Beatrice, a magical construct and leader of the Underground, will take care of any mystical threats. Finally, the tracker and mercenary Bloodhound will guide the team through the many traps and obstacles of the base. It won’t be easy, even for the most skilled base raiders. The base is guarded by bound spirits, zealous cyborg bodyguards of the missing dictator and a powerful AI overmind.
If this comic is made, you’ll see firsthand the depths of Omega One and its insidious inhabitants. You’ll find out why these outcast heroes resort to risking their lives to raid bases. You’ll find out who the captive is and why the mission is so important.
If you’re intrigued by the Base Raiders setting, this comic will be the perfect introduction. Show any potential players the comic to get them on board. Every stretch goal that adds pages to the comic will add depth and more action to the story. More of each character’s back story will be revealed. Splash pages of Omega One will be shown and more!
About the Author
My last book, Zombies of the World, won four national book awards for its writing. My last RPG book, Road Trip, was nominated for an Ennie last year for best adventure. My podcast, Role Playing Public Radio won an Ennie this year for best RPG podcast.
Base Raiders is based in part on material from the Heroes of New Arcadia, a Wild Talents campaign on the Role Playing Public Radio Actual Play Podcast. I decided to switch to the FATE RPG system because I felt it could handle certain aspects of Base Raiders like power switching and mixing than Wild Talents.
The setting was created and written by Ross Payton. That’s me. You can see my writing portfolio here, which lists all of my professional work to date.
I am capable of writing and designing a book ready for print, but I need money for editing, artwork, printing and shipping. You can judge the quality of my writing and graphic design skills from Zombies of the World and my game design skills from my podcast and RPG work. I have successfully completed 5 Kickstarter projects in the past, all of which are available as free PDFs on the RPPR web site and the Killsplosion site.
Risks and challenges
While I will write and design Base Raiders, I will need a lot of art for it. However, if the artists I hire fail to meet their deadlines, this will push the eventual publication date of the book back, which is always a risk. This also applies to the printer that makes the book. Depending on the circumstances, I may or may not be able to reassign work.
More importantly, as I am the central author, if something happens to me then I will be unable to complete the project. Of course, I don't foresee any dangers in that regard, but there's always a slight outside chance injury or sickness could delay publication.
While I am very confident that I can get the Base Raiders RPG out on time, the source books will be partially written by other writers, so they can be completed on time as long as they meet their deadlines. So, if we reach certain stretch goals, the source books promised in those stretch goals may be delayed as well, depending on how timely every contributor is.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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