RPG Bard: RPG Book Creation for GMs, Writers, and Fans
RPG Bard: RPG Book Creation for GMs, Writers, and Fans
We’ve ended early in order to implement backer requests. Follow the project at: www.rpgbard.com
We’ve ended early in order to implement backer requests. Follow the project at: www.rpgbard.com Read more
About this project
RPG Bard is a cross-platform roleplaying game development tool that allows users to quickly and easily create pro-quality RPG books, export them as a print-quality PDF, and then use, share, print, or sell them.
- Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
- Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition
- D&D 3.x/OGL, 4.0, and 5.0 (Next)
- automatic system-based formatting of text and images
- selectable design "theme" libraries
- robust cover designer
- pre-populated and user-created stat-block libraries
- pre-populated and user-created artwork libraries
- stat-block library database import
- integrated PDF exporter
RPG Bard will be fully compatible with Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition, scheduled for release later this fall. This means you will be able to create official material for Chaosium's Monographs Series, which specializes in works by new and aspiring authors and where the author handles all layout and artwork. See what Mike Mason of Chaosium Inc. has to say:
Call of Cthulhu is a Registered Trademark of Chaosium Inc., and is used with permission.
Besides the time it takes to write the actual story and fluff text, RPG books can be created in a matter of minutes to just a few hours.
1. Select a system: This will set your core cover designer, interior layout, fonts, and colors to set your stat-block types and general look and feel.
2. Select a theme: This will further modify your cover designer and interior layout, as well as set all fonts, colors, and other variables to make them theme specific.
3. Customize your front and back covers: Import your cover art and logos, then set your title, subtitle, supplement type, authors, and other information.
At this point, your cover might look something like the following:
4. Create your pages: Create your publication structure and associated pages.
5. Import your stat-blocks: Import your monsters, items, traps, and other stat-blocks from your personal stat-block libraries.
6. Import your art: Import your interior maps, charts, illustrations, and photos from your personal media library or upload them directly from your computer, tablet, or mobile phone.
7. Write your text: Quickly add your interior cover, credits, and table of contents text, then spend your time working on what is most important: the story.
At this point, your interior might look something like:
8. Create your PDF: Save your finished publication as a fully-styled, print-quality 300dpi PDF by clicking the "Create PDF" button.
All designs are print-friendly, with artwork extending all the way to the edges with a supported bleed up to 1/4" with more able to be taken off the top if necessary. This allows for full-page online viewing, as well as trimmed down print and print-on-demand publication.
All game system materials have common design elements that tie those materials together and help players and game masters navigate their content easily, accounting for formatting everything from the covers to the stat-blocks to even the smallest text on the credits page. A theme further customizes those elements and is used to tie together a particular product, product line, campaign setting, or adventure/module series.
Each system implemented in RPG Bard will have its own theme library, made up of individual themes you can choose from to quickly customize your layouts, colors, fonts, stat-blocks, etc. These themes can then be further customized using the cover designer, which will not only update the cover but also the corresponding interior content to insure design consistency throughout your release.
For your inspiration and ours, we have assembled over 1,500 examples of cover art on Pinterest into system-based libraries.
Ruxed LLC is the Seattle-area software and web development company founded in 2012 by Shyloh Wideman and Dan Steeby. Trusty Sword is our gaming division.
Shyloh Wideman, Creative Director brings over 20 years of design, communication, and project management experience in IT product development, deployment, adoption, and support.
Dan Steeby, Development Director brings over 15 years of lead development experience designing, developing, and maintaining corporate and government software, websites, online applications, databases, and servers.
Chaosium Inc. (Charlie Krank and Mike Mason) is one of our Alpha Company backers and we are working with them to make RPG Bard fully compatible with Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition and to provide integrated Monographs Series formatting and export.
Wolfgang Baur, editor-in-chief of Kobold Quarterly and winner of five ENnie Awards, multiple Origins awards, and the Diana Jones Award for Excellence in Gaming.
Matthew Spange, owner of Mongoose Publishing and publisher of Traveller, Legend, and hundreds of d20 titles (including the Slayer’s Guide, Encyclopedia Arcane, and Quintessentials series).
Jennifer Brozek, of Apocalypse Ink Productions and winner of both the Origins and ENnie awards for her contributions to RPG sourcebooks for Dragonlance, Colonial Gothic, Shadowrun, Serenity, Savage Worlds, and White Wolf SAS.
At these levels, you will be able to create adventures for the systems listed and save out your finished publication as a PDF. Each system will come with a theme library with up to 5 selectable cover and interior page themes and a robust cover designer. You will also be able to create your own monster, item, trap, artifact, and artwork libraries which you can then drop directly onto the page you are working on and have permanently available to you for reuse in other publications.
At these levels, you will also be able to create campaign settings, character sheets, pre-generated characters, player guides, game master guides, monster guides, race guides, class guides, and any other type of RPG core book or supplement.
In addition, we will add up to 5 new themes to each library so users have even more options for formatting their content just the way they want it.
At these levels, we will be adding new features that expand RPG Bard’s capabilities and provide additional time savings.
- Enhanced Cover Builder with expanded font support, image layering, layout control, opacities, and more
- Database Import for import of your D&D 5.0, 4.0, 3.5, Pathfinder, and Call of Cthulhu stat-block databases and spreadsheets
- Pre-Populated Stat-Block Libraries of official Open Game License (OGL) monsters, items, and traps for use with Pathfinder and D&D 3.5
- Free Art Libraries for D&D 5.0, 4.0, 3.5, Pathfinder, and Call of Cthulhu
- Company Accounts with employee and freelancer account management, real time product review and feedback mechanisms, and inter-company sharing of company-only stat-block and artwork libraries
Funding above $170k will unlock new system and feature goals.
Backers at all levels will get to vote on the next three systems to support! Choose from Warhammer 40k, Star Wars, Dragon Age, Iron Kingdom, Fate, Shadowrun, Mutants and Masterminds, Savage Worlds, Traveller, AD&D, GURPS, etc.
You will be able to write in your candidates if we do not already have them listed as an option. Votes will be "weighted" by backer level and by first, second, and third choice. Based on your selection, we will implement support for those gaming systems. Please note that we cannot guarantee that all backer’s choice systems will be implemented if licensing requirements apply that cannot be met.
Rewards include alpha and beta access, public release access, our eternal thanks, and more...
We have brought together a collection of books from three award-winning authors that address game development and the RPG industry from different angles, providing a comprehensive set of tools and information for prospective and current game developers, publishers, and writers.
Industry Talk: An Insider’s Look at Writing RPGs and Editing Anthologies by Jennifer Brozek covers freelance writing for the RPG and science fiction/fantasy industries.
I am Mongoose, and so can you! Or working with RPGs for fun and profit by Matthew Spange addresses RPG publishing and self-publishing and includes cost and sales projection tools for both print and PDF releases.
The Complete Kobold Guide to Game Design, The Kobold Guide to Board Game Design, and The Kobold Guide to Worldbuilding, all ENnie or Origins award-winning titles by Wolfgang Baur, provide extensive information on all aspects of RPG and board game design and building compelling environments and story arcs for your customer base of publishing companies, game masters, and players alike.
We will also be releasing a packet of never-before released content that will include adventures, artwork, templates, and other RPG resources (such as a free font bundle pack and downloadable style guide) for all systems implemented, that you can use at the game table or in developing your own content. These resources will not just be usable with RPG Bard, but in other software applications such as Microsoft Word and Adobe Photoshop.
As part of this pack, we will be soliciting material from Alpha and Beta backers for inclusion in the Adventurer’s Pack and the "examples" area of the RPG Bard site. Selected material will be professionally illustrated, mapped, and laid out on our dime in the style of whichever system the submission was for. This is a great way to give back to the community as well as instantly create a professional portfolio piece for authors new to the RPG market.
The Beta Monster, Beta Character, and all Alpha backers will also be invited to contribute a monster, item, or trap; a pre-generated character or NPC; or a combination of both. These will also be included in the Adventurer’s Pack and may be professionally illustrated as well.
Risks and challenges
At the base funding level this project is relatively straight forward but it has the potential to grow very large with the addition of many new systems and themes, supported book and content types, features, resource libraries, and other supporting products. As projects grow, there is the increased risk that things will take longer than expected.
However, we lack many of the risks associated with an average game or software project:
• we are experienced software and web developers with a 16-year track record in product development and project management for clients that include Microsoft, Sony, Amazon.com, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
• we have developed prototypes of nearly every feature or have implemented the features for our other clients, allowing us to verify the technical viability of the project as well as obtain accurate cost and timeline estimates
• we are working directly with system creators and publishers on some of the supported systems to insure final PDF output meets official design standards
• all backer book rewards have already been published so there will be no delays caused by manuscripts waiting to go to the printersLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
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