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A patron-based roleplaying game set in Norman England during a time of civil war.
A patron-based roleplaying game set in Norman England during a time of civil war.
174 backers pledged $4,782 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$4,782

174

 If you've already backed. Click the image above to download the current draft of the game.

Stretch Goals

Goal #1: Normandy Expansion: If we fund at $4,400+, Paul will add 5,000 words to the book detailing Normandy as a setting for the game.

Goal #2: Advanced Patron Rules: If we fund at $5,500+, we will include advanced patron rules that include mechanics for influencing the outcome of the civil war.

Age of Anarchy is a role-playing game set in Norman England at a time of civil strife which lasts for two decades. It's a game grounded in real history, but not constrained by it. It's a time of knights and castles, war and politics, commoners and priests.

In the game, you play the most trusted vassals of a low-ranking noble who seeks to rise up through the ranks of feudal society. You benefit when they rise and suffer should they fall. You go on missions for your patron such as winning a band of outlaws over to their cause, rescuing prisoners from a castle, sabotaging the plans of their noble rivals, or leading their forces when they go to war.

The Anarchy

Every chieftain made castles and held them against the king; and they filled the land full of castles. They viciously oppressed the poor men of the land with castle-building work; when the castles were made, then they filled the land with devils and evil men. Then they seized those who had any goods, both by night and day, working men and women, and threw them into prison and tortured them for gold and silver with uncountable tortures, for never was there a martyr so tortured as these men were. - The Peterborough Chronicle

The Anarchy is a period of English history two generations after the Norman Conquest, when King Stephen of Blois and the Empress Matilda both claim the throne. It is a period of strife between factions, and a time when powerful feudal lords are created and destroyed.

The Anarchy is full of dramatic events, The King of Scotland launches an invasion to support Matilda's claim to the throne. King Stephen imprisons bishops who oppose him and confiscates their castles. The Empress Matilda's forces take King Stephen prisoner, and his wife Maud leads the forces still loyal to the king.

This turbulent period of history is dramatized in Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael novels, and in Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth, both turned into successful UK television series.

What the Players Will Do

In Age of Anarchy, you play the trusted advisors and problem solvers of a lord or lady, your patron. Your fortunes rise and fall with those of your patron. You have to deal both with your own issues and opportunities, and those of your Patron.

Will you and your patron fall or gain power and prestige? War and the ambitions of rivals can present both deadly danger and a chance to rise in wealth and influence. It is a time of unmatched risk and opportunity. Plot and fight your way to victory!

 

We developed the Perpetual Motion Engine (PME), especially for this game. The system is based on the "patron" (or cause) that the player characters serve. The goal in a PME game is to increase the power and influence of the Patron you serve.

The entire table, including the game master, generates the Patron together by coming up with the Patron's "issues." Missions undertaken to resolve a Patron's issues will determine whether the patron gains power or loses influence.

When a player character is challenged during a game of PME, the player rolls dice (1 or 2 six-sided dice), adds a modifier, and tries to beat a challenge level. Success means the player gets what they want; failure means a consequence occurs.

Everything from combat to a social conflict is built from the core challenge mechanic, making the system quick and clean in play.

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Why We Need Crowdfunding

The game is written, and being edited. We need the Kickstarter money to pay for art and layout, and see the book over the finish line.

You can help us by backing this project financially, or by sharing this project with your networks on social media.

If the game funds, we will announce stretch goals, expanding the setting beyond England, and giving further options for game play.

Rewards

The Core Book

(Not the final cover image) 

Every tier gets access to the full-color PDF of the core book, featuring all of the rules and setting information that you need to play a game of Age of Anarchy.

Declare Your Loyalty: Backers of the "Serf" tier or higher will get to claim which side they support in the civil war: Stephen or Matilda. Their loyalties will be expressed, along with their title (Serf, Noble, etc.) on the "Backers" page in the final draft of the book.

Print Options: All tiers will receive a voucher to print the book at the printer's cost. All tiers can print the book in softcover (standard color), while "Noble" and "Baron" tiers also have access to a Kickstarter Exclusive version of the book, with an exclusive cover, in hardcover (premium color).

See Fulfillment (below) for information on how print options work.

Assets and Paths Deck 

 At "Freeman" and above, every tier gets access to the full-color PDF of the Assets and Paths deck of cards, which make keeping track of your abilities, equipment, and companions much easier.

Print Options: All tiers with access to the A&P deck will receive a voucher to print the deck at the printer's cost. "Noble" tier and above have the option of printing on premium stock, while other tiers with access to the A&P deck can print on standard stock.

Kickstarter Exclusive Path

The Baron tier will receive a Kickstarter Exclusive Patron path: The Royal Bastard. This path is attached to the Patron and grants benefits for the entire party to explore. 

(No other patron paths currently exist for the game.)

Fulfillment

We will be using DriveThruRPG.com's Kickstarter fulfillment program to distribute all of your rewards. We used it to fulfill the Shadowcraft Kickstarter with great success.

Here's how it works.

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The rewards you purchase during this Kickstarter are the digital products (the PDFs), as well as the option to print those products at the publisher's cost. All money that we collect is from this Kickstarter; what you spend to print and ship your documents is between you and the printer, at the same price that we would pay (typically around $6 for standard color books; $23 for premium color).

Who Are We?

 

Click either image to be taken to the creator's respective website.

Thank you for your support!

 

Risks and challenges

This project has already been written and playtested. After funding, it will go through editing, art, and layout.

Unless something catastrophic happens to the design crew, there is no reason to suspect that the project will not fulfill as expected.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Ally

    At this level, you just want to support the project and receive updates. Thank you!

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Serf

    Get the Age of Anarchy core book in PDF, with the option to print the book in softcover at cost, via DriveThruRPG.com.

    (See main page description of the "at cost" print option offered through DTRPG.)

    Includes:
    • PDF of the core book
    • Option to print a softcover (standard color) copy of the book
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    57 backers
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Freeman

    Get the Age of Anarchy core book and the Assets and Paths deck in PDF, with the option to print the book in softcover (standard color) and the deck (standard stock) at cost, via DriveThruRPG.com.

    (See main page description of the "at cost" print option offered through DTRPG.)

    Includes:
    • PDF of the core book
    • PDF of the Assets and Paths Deck
    • Option to print a softcover (standard color) copy of the book
    • Option to print A&P deck on standard stock
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    61 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Noble

    Get the Age of Anarchy core book with a Kickstarter exclusive cover in PDF, and the Assets and Paths deck, with the option to print the book in hardcover (premium color) and the deck (premium stock) at cost, via DriveThruRPG.com.

    (See main page description of the "at cost" print option offered through DTRPG.)

    Includes:
    • PDF of the core book with a Kickstarter exclusive cover
    • PDF of the Assets and Paths Deck
    • Option to print a hardcover (premium color) copy of the book
    • Option to print A&P Deck on premium stock
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    15 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    Baron

    As "Noble" (PDF with exclusive cover and the Assets and Paths deck, with the option to print both in hardcover (premium color) and premium stock). You will also have a Kickstarter exclusive path for Patrons: the Royal Bastard.

    (See main page description of the "at cost" print option offered through DTRPG.)

    Includes:
    • PDF of the core book with a Kickstarter exclusive cover
    • PDF of Assets and Paths deck
    • Option to print a hardcover (premium color) copy of the book
    • Option to print A&P Deck on premium stock
    • Kickstarter exclusive path for patrons
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    20 backers
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  6. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Sovereign

    As "Baron" (PDF with exclusive cover and the Assets and Paths deck, with the option to print both in hardcover (premium color) and premium stock, Kickstarter exclusive Patron path).

    (See main page description of the "at cost" print option offered through DTRPG.)

    Also, Age of Anarchy author Paul Mitchener will run an Age of Anarchy game session for you and your friends, either at a convention you and Paul are attending, or over the internet at a mutually convenient time.

    Includes:
    • PDF of the core book with a Kickstarter exclusive cover
    • PDF of Assets and Paths deck
    • Option to print a hardcover (premium color) copy of the book
    • Option to print A&P Deck on premium stock
    • Kickstarter exclusive path for patrons
    • Age of Anarchy game session with the author.
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    Reward no longer available 4 backers
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Funding period

- (27 days)