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$1,150 pledged of $30,000 goal
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By Ruxed LLC
$1,150 pledged of $30,000 goal
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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 printers

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    BACKER: Thank you for backing RPG BARD! By doing this, you are showing your support for a tool that will let DMs, writers, and fans create new, professional RPG material for the game systems you love. Your pledge will also allow us to keep in communication with you as a backer on Kickstarter, through regular email, and with special backer-only offers. You will receive backer-only wallpapers, thanks in the Adventurer’s Pack and RPG BARD credits, and have the opportunity to vote on the next 3 systems we support. VOTE WEIGHT x1

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    ADVENTURER: You’ll receive all the BACKER rewards. In addition, you will receive the "Adventurer's Pack" of new adventures and resources for RPG development, including stat-block database templates, free font libraries and style guides, and other goodies. VOTE WEIGHT x4

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    EARLY BARD: You’ll receive all the BACKER rewards. In addition, you will receive a 3-month subscription to RPG BARD and your RPG BARD author profile will feature the KICKSTARTER BACKER BADGE. (Note: this does not include the ADVENTURER'S adventure pack.) VOTE WEIGHT x5

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    EARLY BARD ADVENTURER: You’ll receive all the ADVENTURER and EARLY BARD rewards. In addition, you will receive a PDF copy of Origins and ENnie award winner Jennifer Brozek’s book, “Industry Talk: An Insider’s Look at Writing RPGs and Editing Anthologies,” covering freelance writing and anthology editing for the RPG and science fiction/fantasy industries. VOTE WEIGHT x10

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    BETA: You’ll receive all the EARLY BARD ADVENTURER rewards. In addition, you will receive an invitation for 6 months of Beta access, your subscription to RPG BARD will be increased to 6 months, your RPG BARD author profile will feature the VIP BACKER BADGE, and you will receive a PDF copy of Origins and ENnie award winner Matthew Sprange’s book “I am Mongoose, and so can you! Or working with RPGs for fun and profit,” covering RPG self-publishing and working with a publishing house, including cost and sales projection tools for both print and PDF. We will also have an open call for alpha and beta backers to submit adventures they would like to have published. Selected works will be professionally illustrated and mapped and released as part of the Adventurer’s Pack backer reward. (Submission details will be provided at the time of the alpha release.) VOTE WEIGHT x20

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    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    BETA BUDDY: You’ll receive two copies of all the BETA rewards, including two copies of each PDF book and an invitation for two for 6 months of Beta access. VOTE WEIGHT x35

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    BETA MONSTER: You’ll receive all the BETA rewards. In addition, your subscription to RPG BARD will be increased to 1 year, your RPG BARD author profile will feature the GOLD VIP BACKER BADGE, and you will receive a PDF copy of Origins and ENnie award winner Wolfgang Baur three books “The Complete Kobold Guide to Game Design”, “The Kobold Guide to Board Game Design”, and “The Kobold Guide to Worldbuilding”, providing a deep analysis and recommendations for compelling RPG and board game design and development. You will also be invited to help us create one monster, item, trap, or artifact for the system of your choice. Your monster, item, trap, or artifact will be included in the Adventurer’s Pack and may be selected for professional illustration or inclusion in the permanent canon of selectable material within RPG Bard itself. (Names, statistics, and descriptions you provide will be screened by Ruxed, which reserves the right to reject inappropriate or anachronistic content.) VOTE WEIGHT x60

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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    BETA CHARACTER: You’ll receive all the BETA MONSTER rewards, your subscription to RPG BARD will be increased to 2 years, and you’ll be invited to help us create a pre-generated character or NPC for the system of your choice instead of a monster, item, trap, or artifact. Your character will be included in the Adventurer’s Pack and may be selected for professional illustration or inclusion in the permanent canon of selectable material within RPG Bard itself. (Names, statistics, and descriptions you provide will be screened by Ruxed, which reserves the right to reject inappropriate or anachronistic content.) VOTE WEIGHT x80

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    BETA PARTY: You’ll receive six copies of all the BETA rewards, including six copies of each PDF book and an invitation for six for 6 months of Beta access. VOTE WEIGHT x100

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    ALPHA: You’ll receive all the BETA MONSTER and BETA CHARACTER rewards. In addition, you will be invited to participate in the exclusive closed Alpha, your subscription to RPG BARD will be increased to an unlimited lifetime account, and your RPG BARD author profile will feature the LIFETIME BACKER BADGE. US backers will also receive a SIGNED PRINT COPY of the “The Complete Kobold Guide to Game Design”, “The Kobold Guide to Board Game Design” , and “The Kobold Guide to Worldbuilding” by Wolfgang Baur and “Industry Talk: An Insider’s Look at Writing RPGs and Editing Anthologies” by Jennifer Brozek (shipping included). VOTE WEIGHT x200

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    Pledge $1,750 or more About $1,750

    ALPHA BUDDY: You’ll receive two copies of all the ALPHA rewards, including an invitation for two to participate in the exclusive closed Alpha, an invitation for two for 6 months of Beta access, two unlimited lifetime subscriptions to RPG BARD, an invitation to submit two monsters, items, traps, or artifacts, an invitation to submit two pre-generated characters or NPCs, and two copies of each PDF book. US backers will also receive two SIGNED PRINT COPIES of each print book (shipping included). VOTE WEIGHT x350

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    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    ALPHA THEME: You’ll receive all the ALPHA rewards. In addition, we will spend up to a week porting your existing look and feel to an RPG BARD theme or creating a new one for you. This is the perfect package for a self-publisher requiring a design team to deliver a truly unique look and feel. VOTE WEIGHT x600

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    ALPHA PARTY: You’ll receive six copies of all the ALPHA rewards, including an invitation for six to participate in the exclusive closed Alpha, an invitation for six for 6 months of Beta access, six unlimited lifetime subscriptions to RPG BARD, an invitation to submit six monsters, items, traps, or artifacts, an invitation to submit six pre-generated characters or NPCs, and six copies of each PDF book. US backers will also receive six SIGNED PRINT COPIES of each print book (shipping included). VOTE WEIGHT x1000

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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $8,000 or more About $8,000

    ALPHA SYSTEM: You’ll receive all the ALPHA rewards. In addition, we will implement adventure creation support for the RPG system of your choice and spend up to a week building a proprietary theme for that system for your exclusive use. This is the perfect package for a publisher requiring adventure creation support in a different RPG system and a professional design team to deliver a truly unique look and feel. VOTE WEIGHT x1600

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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    ALPHA COMPANY: You’ll receive ten copies of all the ALPHA rewards, including an invitation for ten to participate in the exclusive closed Alpha, an invitation for ten for 6 months of Beta access, ten unlimited lifetime subscriptions to RPG BARD, an invitation to submit ten monsters, items, traps, or artifacts, an invitation to submit ten pre-generated characters or NPCs, and ten copies of each PDF book. US backers will also receive ten SIGNED PRINT COPIES of each print book (shipping included). In addition, your RPG BARD author profile will feature the CORPORATE BACKER BADGE and we will spend up to a week porting your existing look and feel to an RPG Bard theme or creating a new one for you. This is the perfect package for a RPG company or publisher looking for their team to hit the ground running with full access and an already implemented theme. VOTE WEIGHT x2000

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Funding period

- (30 days)