About this project
Cascade is a supplement for The Veil RPG. A cyberpunk roleplaying game Powered by the Apocalypse successfully Kickstarted last year.
In The Veil, humanity has the technology to perceive both the digital and the physical in a blended, hybridized reality via neurochips that are implanted into almost every denizen of society. This veil that has become the new reality is ubiquitous and pervasive.
It gives you everything you need to extrapolate a cyberpunk future from our present and places interesting, compelling characters that drive the fiction at the center of it all while enabling everyone at the table to contribute what they like about cyberpunk to the fiction.
- A futuristic Taipei setting with a quick adventure-starter baked into it, inspired by the iconic cyberpunk novel: Altered Carbon.
- More character archetypes and their playbooks!
- "Plugins" for archetypes that modify characters in new and interesting ways and allow for more character growth and expansion.
- Construct fiction with a strong baseline while increasing your knowledge of cyberpunk more than ever before! A genre deconstruction of both cyberpunk and post-cyberpunk, written by Clare Wall, a PhD candidate writing on contemporary Posthumanism.
- An all new reward/improvement system focused on emergent play.
- A new mechanic to unravel emergent mysteries the players themselves come up with for their characters.
- Even more stunning art by fan favorite artist Alessandro Rossi.
- An expanded chapter on building your own setting, with multiple methods to choose from to best suit the play style of you and your group.
- Short-term play mechanics and set-up for one-to-two-session play.
- And more!
Cascade adds a ton of additional content that brings a lot of value to the original game while also working well as a standalone resource for anyone interested in making their own cyberpunk setting.
There are static elements ingrained in Cascade to help solidify any setting you generate in the fiction. This allows for an ideal place to springboard a new game from, or move an existing campaign to. For those who don't want to generate a new setting, we've got you covered: a futuristic Taipei is prepared and ready for you to delve into, along with a diabolical murder mystery inspired by Altered Carbon.
In Cascade you play the protagonists of your own story, where neurochips are used to download and upload the human consciousness into people without a mind occupying them. These "empty" bodies are called Slacks. You play relics of a time gone by, fully digitized minds preserved in neurochips and recently decanted into a new, unfamiliar body. You are a mind imprinted on an out-of-date neurochip and missing the memories that comprised who you are or perhaps, who you used to be.
As you play to find out what happened to you and what happens next in your story, you also play to find out how the world has changed and how being in a body different from the one you were born with affects who you are.
Cascade can be an expansion for characters that were played in The Veil as well. This is the opportunity to bring back a character you previously played in The Veil with a new twist. Explore them in greater detail, find out how they have changed along with the world they once knew in The Veil!
The FREE Quickstart GLITCH CITY for Cascade can be found here to download. It features two new playbooks to be included in Cascade, an all-new flashback mechanic, a fast-paced example adventure designed to guide both the person running the game, and the players into the system inspired by Ghost in the Shell, and more!
The thing most requested by people getting ready to play The Veil was more resources regarding setting creation. In Cascade, you'll not only get a chapter dedicated to extrapolating the present day into the future so you can build your own setting, you also get a complete, ready-to-play scenario as an example for using those world-building tools.
Taipei in this future has turned into one of the massive cities we know from most cyberpunk fiction, but with a twist that plays up some tropes and subverts others. In this multi-tiered city the affluent and rich dwell at the bottom, where green spaces, bio-tech, and eco-friendly practices are the norm, while undesirables are exiled or worse. Radicalized authorities demand a "perfect" eco-friendly city from the citizens they protect and, at the center of it all, is a omnipresence in the form of a giant, pervasive tower belonging to a predominate corporation in the area. Those living at the greatest heights are the least fortunate, staring down at the fusion of hybridized natural and manufactured structures sprawling harmoniously below them, forever out of grasp.
You're decanted into Slacks by a very old and very dangerous person in order to solve their own murder, you are not only brought forward from the past, but also placed in unfamiliar territory. You'll have to race to uncover a deadly murder plot, while also working out who you are in a new world, and how important your old body and new one is to your identity.
Cascade shows you how the example adventure starter and setting that is New Taipei was created and provides a template and resources to empower you and your friends to bring to the table whatever kind of future you envision and want to game in.
In addition, Clare Wall, a PhD candidate writing on contemporary posthumanism is going to deconstruct the genre, both cyberpunk and post-cyberpunk, so that everyone has a strong bedrock to build their foundation.
There are a few more playbooks in development but here are two that are really exciting and are included in the free quickstart above!
The Aesthetic: Define what counter-culture looks like in the future as you rebel against society,disassembling the system one piece at a time using one of the only things you have left, your art. After all, beauty is truth and truth is beauty, and your art is undeniably beautiful.
The Percipient: Weaving in and out of digital perceptions, you're the tip of the spear. Conditioned to soak up local culture like a sponge, you are meant to become just another face in the many crowds of the future.
These are thematic extensions of playbooks that also add an additional layer of complexity to a book, designed to draw out evocative elements in the fiction. They are provide a new avenue for character growth and advancement.
Here are some visualizations of the plugins by Alessandro:
The Veil and Cascade both run on the award winning Powered by the Apocalypse system which used in many games like Apocalypse World, Monsterhearts, Masks, Night Witches, Urban Shadows, and tons of other fantastic games.
The Veil takes that framework and modifies it to work with the cyberpunk genre. There are many changes so feel free to check out the free version of The Veil or the free quickstart of Cascade, the kickstarter for The Veil, or the actual play videos posted on this page.
The Gauntlet Gaming Community on G+ recently ran The Veil, check out the actual play 2-shot of the game here:
Cascade is going to be around 100 pages for sure, but the page count will increase as stretch goals are unlocked. We plan to include any stretch goal content in the book proper, which is the main reason for giving ourselves plenty of time to incorporate any additional text as needed and still meet our deadlines. There are multiple stretch goals lined up that upgrade the book for all backers, such as more art by Alessandro and a higher word count!
Like The Veil, Cascade will be a softcover, graphic-novel sized, full color, premium quality, beautiful book that will be produced in an off-set print run in South Korea.
Kyle Simons runs Samjoko Publishing with a little help from his friends. He has used kickstarter to self-publish two of his own games - Magicians, and Worlds in Peril, as well as his brother's The Veil. He is committed to making quality, affordable books.
Fraser Simons is the designer and writer of The Veil RPG, Young at Heart, and now Cascade. He is a cyberpunk enthusiast and is currently consuming as much of it as he can, in all its forms and iterations.
Alessandro Rossi is an Illustrator and concept artist. With a background in architecture, he is a self-taught artist. He illustrated The Veil RPG and worked on several projects with cyberpunk settings.
Clare Wall is a PhD Candidate at York University and is writing her dissertation on contemporary ecological posthuman fiction. Her interests include the intersections and evolutions of technologies, bodies, subjectivities, and ecologies of the future. Her paper “Here be Monsters: Posthuman Adaptation and Subjectivity in Peter Watts’ Starfish” appears in The Canadian Fantastic in Focus: New Perspectives. Clare has been an active member of the RPG community since a teenager and is very excited to have the opportunity to merge that passion with her research interests, especially in a cyberpunk setting.
Sarah Jane Keller is a freelance editor, archaeologist, and aerial silks instructor. She worked on edits for the final manuscript of The Veil. Although an avid nerd and fangirl, she is just getting into RPG games now, and the experience is new and exciting.
Oli Jeffery is a graphic designer, game designer and all round RPG nerd. He's put together the layout for the Glitch City quickstart that you can download for free above, and will be helping our on the layout of the main book too. You can find more of his work in The Gauntlet's Codex zine, the upcoming RPG Dust, Fog and Glowing Embers from Scablands Press, and his own games which he publishes under his Sinister Beard Games imprint.
Introducing a brand new Add-On: Official Cascade Soundtrack. 14$ buys 180 minutes of content split into two groupings; Ambiance and soundscapes and soundtracks. Created by YG Mitchell who did all of the production on the Comic Strip AP podcast episodes Young at Heart.
Here's the sample track he put together, with the first half being ambiance and soundscapes and, around 10 minutes or so in, transitions to soundtrack music. These tracks will be separated in the final version.
At $8,000 CAD we will increase Alessandro's art budget and have even more double page spreads and full pages of art!
At $9,500 our word count for the book will go up, along with our budget for Clare's deconstruction of cyberpunk and post-cyberpunk.
At $12,000 CAD we will commission Kira Magrann, designer of Resistor, Strict Machine, and Twilight Dames. for an adventure starter and setting in the same vein as the Glitch City quickstart released for free for this project. And it will be included in the Cascade physical copy of the book.
"Swim Baby Swim" is a counterculture heavy QuickStart that follows a school of mervamps trying to "swim" their hot new modded fins to the next wet club. It ain't easy being merfolk weirdos tho, and the cops, the eel gang they used to date, and the norms who hate mer modders are all trying to harsh the flow. Can these fin freaks make it to the party or what?
At $14,000 CAD we will commission Dana Cameron, designer of CyberKittens: Project Bakeneko for use with The Sprawl, for a setting that includes an adventure starter. And it will be included in the Cascade physical copy of the book.
"Upcycle" will explore what happens when both technology and human flesh fail, forcing the denizens of The Veil to find new ways of existing that rely on neither. Spoiler, people use cats.
Emotions are power. The more of any feeling you have, the more you can do with it. They say anger fuels some people? Or love? Fucking right it does. And we’ve figured it out. From Clairsents to Emo-jacks to Feels Markets, the world has figured it out. The more of something you have, the more you can do with it. Buy, sell, steal, and burn the emotions you have. Don’t wanna be sad? Fucking sell that shit. Need to convince someone you love ‘em? Jack up a few bits of happy and be on your merry. There isn’t anything you can’t do with the right feel.
At $18,000 CAD we will commission Quinn Murphy, designer of Five Fires, Community Radio, and Underworld, for a setting that includes an adventure starter. And it will be included in the Cascade physical copy of the book.
"Welcome to Sentax" is a setting about incarceration, but also about transformation: how do you hold on to yourself without compromise, and can you bear the cost? It's main inspirations are Clockwork Orange, Psycho Pass, and Bitch Planet.
"Welcome to Sentax" is a setting designed to work as a standalone setting or in conjunction with another setting if the characters are ever caught and sent to a correctional facility.
Caitlynn Belle, designer of A Real Game (winner of the IGDN game of the year), Bugfuck, Our Radios Are Dying, and many more fantastic games, will contribute a setting for Cascade at $20,000!! It will be in the physical copy and the PDF, along with all of the stretch goals.
"Mirror" A decades-old, massive, decommissioned social media company suddenly stirs to life, and avatars of who you were and what you used to believe gain physical life and roam the streets. What are they here for, and when you finally meet that long-ago-you, what will you say?
At $22,000 Hamish Cameron, designer of the cyberpunk roleplaying game The Sprawl, is going to do a setting for Cascade as well. And as with all of these settings, they will be included in both the PDF and the physical copy of the book:
μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε, πολλὰς δ᾽ ἰφθίμους ψυχὰς Ἄϊδι προΐαψεν ἡρώων, αὐτοὺς δὲ ἑλώρια τεῦχε κύνεσσιν οἰωνοῖσί τε πᾶσι, Διὸς δ᾽ ἐτελείετο βουλή, ἐξ οὗ δὴ τὰ πρῶτα διαστήτην ἐρίσαντε Ἀτρεΐδης τε ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν καὶ δῖος Ἀχιλλεύς. τίς τ᾽ ἄρ σφωε θεῶν ἔριδι ξυνέηκε μάχεσθαι;
Define Protocol: Thea.Calliope; Initiate playback of rage.exe | target = Peleus.Achilles; Set rage.accursed = 1; Set rage.woes.target = Users.Achaeans; set rage.woes.quantity = 10000; Set Peleus.Achilles.permissions | userdeath = allowed | victim.corpse.permissions = all | if target.state.valour > 100 then sendsoul = dir/Cosmos/Hades.
Log message for operator.Zeus // Operation complete // // Conflict
Warning! // Thea.Calliope reports that initiating playback of rage.exe on target Peleus.Achilles [current status = godlike] will initiate strife.exe between target and Atreus.Agamemnon [current status = king of men]. Do you wish to proceed? [y/n]...y // Access restricted. Please input superuser credentials…
After Kate and Clare attended the Academic Conference on Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy, both as guests and Clare presenting her own paper (congrats!!!), the duo have teamed up to create a new playbook!
The Futurist playbook is going to become a reality when and if we reach $23,000! The name of the playbook may change, but the source material is what will inspire it.
Sometimes a digital reskin of reality just isn't enough. Sometimes you need to go analogue. Leave yourself behind and enter a another world, unlike any you've been to before. Don't just meet the stars. Be the stars.
You're young, you're fit, and people say you're good-looking, so when things got bad you started trading days for quick cash. But this time, the coma's worn off and you're not back at the office. Who's the dead guy on the other side of the room, and why is there a gun in your hand?
Newly-invented neurosignal transmitters make it possible to see the world through someone else's eyes, or even walk a mile in their shoes. Go beyond The Veil and clothe yourself in borrowed flesh with this cyberpunk version of Being John Malkovich. Spend a day as someone else, or give up yours and get paid without even having to work for it. Just don't get hacked--or you might end up in the wrong end of the underground fighting pits with someone else inside your brain.
WITH ALL THE STRETCH GOALS UNLOCKED WE WILL ALLOCATE THE MONEY TO MORE ART FOR ALL THESE EXTRA SETTINGS AND MAKING THE BOOK THE BEST PRODUCT IT CAN BE.
THANKS SO MUCH FOR HELPING US HIT EVERY SINGLE STRETCH GOAL, AMAZING!
Risks and challenges
This will be our fourth kickstarter, second under the Samjoko Publishing name. I will be using the same printer in South Korea, the same fulfillment services (The Dice Latte and Indie Press Revolution). We've also got much of the same team in place for art and editing.
International backers (anyone outside of the U.S.) will receive their packages from Korea, from the Dice Latte game cafe in Seoul. Anyone in the U.S. will be receiving their packages from Indie Press Revolution and I have every confidence in both of them. We had some issues shipping stuff on Chinese New Year with The Veil so we plan to avoid any chaotic shipping times like that again.
The text itself is complete, but we do hope to add material written in stretch goals to the book proper rather than as a separate digital only offering so we've built in some extra time to facilitate that. We have time booked off with our artist and editor so the main possibility for delay is in managing and getting additional stretch goal material into the book. Contributors are well aware of this however, so we're hoping any delays will be minimal.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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