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A roleplaying game Powered by the Apocalypse designed to tell compelling, challenging cyberpunk stories in a sandbox setting.
A roleplaying game Powered by the Apocalypse designed to tell compelling, challenging cyberpunk stories in a sandbox setting.
A roleplaying game Powered by the Apocalypse designed to tell compelling, challenging cyberpunk stories in a sandbox setting.
665 backers pledged CA$ 21,073 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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The Veil: Cyberpunk RPG

CA$ 21,073

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You can download a copy of the beta quickstart, the playbooks, and reference sheets by clicking on the download banner above. All sheets will be redone by our layout artist, Brennen Reece, if the kickstarter succeeds. The quickstart is for AW veterans and is a pared-down version of the text with very few examples and less detailed explanations. The draft document is available as well, but is currently in development editing, and will be further edited over the next few months.

The Veil is a new cyberpunk roleplaying game that uses the Apocalypse World engine to facilitate the creation of a future setting where breakthroughs in technology force humanity to redefine itself. The download link above has all the documents we've been using to playtest.

You can listen to a couple examples of play here; be warned there is some explicit language:

Part 1 (character creation)

Part 2 (gameplay)

This kickstarter is to get art, layout, print and ship The Veil. The book will be graphic novel size, full color, softcover, and somewhere around ~250 pages depending on art and layout. I'll be using the same printer as my last two books - if you backed Worlds in Peril, it will be very similar except softcover, and most likely a higher page count.

Cover Mock-Up
Cover Mock-Up

The added benefit to backing the game on kickstarter

For international backers in particular, the kickstarter is the best time to pick up the book. Once the kickstarter is finished, all remaining books will end up at Indie Press Revolution, which is based in the states. Being based in the states means really high shipping prices anywhere outside of the U.S. By getting in on the kickstarter, you're sidestepping more than $25 just in shipping. Even backers based in the states will end up paying less now. I also like to price my digital PDFs a bit cheaper than after the kickstarter as a thank you to early adopters.

The Veil uses the Apocalypse World system, but there are many changes inspired by cyberpunk media, recent hacks, other games, and what we like to see at the table. At its heart, the Apocalypse World engine uses 2d6 to determine in which direction the story heads and with how much difficulty a character accomplishes what they set out to do, if at all. When a character does something that triggers a move in the fiction of the game world (when we need to go to the dice to see what happens), 2d6 (+ a modifier) is rolled and if the roll results in 10+ the character does what they set out to do; on a 7-9 they do it, but at cost; and on a 6 or less, the GM decides what happens.

The Seeker playbook; layout not final
The Seeker playbook; layout not final

There are 9 playbooks, with 2 more in development that we'd like to add to the book. They need a few more weeks of playtesting and art if we get to that stage in the kickstarter. The 9 playbooks are:

  • The Apparatus: is a newly awakened Artificial Intelligence struggling to learn about the world and their place in it.
  • The Architect: is armed with a powerful, enhanced cyberbrain; they can shape and manipulate digital environments, including aspects of the mixed reality everyone lives in.
  • The Attached: is both enhanced by and beholden to their own creation; they are a Frankenstein that may, or may not have, created a monster.
  • The Dying: suffers from a disease that will kill them, but that also allows them to see and do things that no one else can.
  • The Empath: is able to interact with emotions as if they were tangible things capable of manipulation.
  • The Honed: refuses to believe in, or integrate with, technology and cybernetics.;They train and sharpen their body into a tool with which they can accomplish amazing things.
  • The Honorbound: enforces the rigid code of Giri - the social currency that is duty, honor, and face.
  • The Onomastic: searches for the true names of things and knowledge lost, corrupted, or hidden behind the Veil.
  • The Seeker: pursues enlightenment and sees the world through the lens of their faith.

Some of the other things that we think are cool about The Veil:

  • States as stats. Six emotional states urge players to stay in sync with their characters and add evocative details; when a player triggers a move they must think about what state their character is in so that they can add the appropriate modifier.
The Dying, by Alessandro Rossi
The Dying, by Alessandro Rossi
  • Giri as debt. Duty, obligation, and face play important roles in the setting and have mechanics that support them.
  • Playbooks that contribute to the fiction, and that are tied to certain elements of it, push players to take the lead and have authority over elements central to their character.
  • Tags as fictional positioning; an easy, flavorful way to modify cybernetics and technology, how the characters interact with the world, and speed up character creation.
The Onomastic, by Alessandro Rossi
The Onomastic, by Alessandro Rossi
  • Beliefs as advancement. Protagonists are constantly changing, reevaluating how they see the world, and being rewarded for it.
  • Support for MCs designing scenarios that aim to get at the heart of important questions about humanity and being at the heart of all classic cyberpunk media.
MC reference sheets; layout not final
MC reference sheets; layout not final

Of course, there are a set of basic moves to facilitate cinematic, cyberpunk gaming, relationships and cred to flesh out the world, and everything else you'd expect from a game Powered by the Apocalypse.

The Seeker, by Alessandro Rossi
The Seeker, by Alessandro Rossi

Like most games that are Powered by the Apocalypse, The Veil has a soft setting that is meant to be developed in play and fleshed out by everyone at the table. That said, there are some assumptions that the game makes. All of these concepts can be tweaked and require the players to define how they work in their world.

Future Seoul example scenario map
Future Seoul example scenario map
  • Everyone is always plugged in to a form of mixed reality called the Veil that sits atop the physical world. It takes a great deal of skill to be able to pierce this illusion and see the reality beneath.
  • As well as the persistent illusion, the Veil encompasses the digital world. The players can dive into it and treat it as physical space ripe for creative exploration. How information is perceived and interacted with, as well as the incredible physical and mental feats possible in a world where your mind is the only limitation, is up to you and your friends.
The Honorbound, by Alessandro Rossi
The Honorbound, by Alessandro Rossi
  • While there are varying types and degrees of quality, cybernetics is common place.
  • Giri, a form of social currency, is important to the people in the setting.
The Honed, by Alessandro Rossi
The Honed, by Alessandro Rossi
  • There is still a form of currency, called Cred.
  • Certain playbooks add further implications for the setting - the Honorbound has a lot of creative control over Giri, the Architect sets scenes in digital environments, and so on.
The Empath, by Alessandro Rossi
The Empath, by Alessandro Rossi

You may have noticed that the cost of shipping is only $5 for anywhere in the world, except Korea, where there is no cost for shipping at all. The reason we're able to make the book affordable to anyone is because the books are being printed in South Korea (with the same printer I used for my last two kickstarters).

I've also partnered with a local store in Seoul, Korea, called the Dice Latte. They will be handling kickstarter fulfillment for all backers that are based anywhere outside the United States. This is great news because shipping costs are much cheaper in Korea and everything beyond your $5 for shipping can be absorbed by us.

If you're based in the U.S. you'll be getting your book delivered to you by Indie Press Revolution. Here again, we've decided to subsidize shipping costs to keep it cheap for everyone.

Kyle Simons: I run Samjoko Publishing with a little help from my friends. I've used kickstarter to publish two of my own games - Magicians, and Worlds in Peril. For this project, aside from getting to playtest, I'm handling editing, and product management all the way up to publishing and fulfillment. I'm committed to making quality books that are affordable to everyone, regardless of where they live.

Fraser Simons: I designed, wrote, and playtested The Veil because I really wanted a game that was more about the compelling questions, but still had all of the action and thriller, that cyberpunk fiction has. I'm a first time designer, but long time gamer and am totally committed to seeing The Veil published.

Alessandro Rossi: I'm a Junior Architect at Venice University and self-taught artist. I'm interested in digital medias and representation, transposing what I know from my academic background into my work as an Illustrator and concept artist.

Brennen Reece: A multidisciplinary artist, musician, and typography-obsessed graphic designer. He is best known for his illustration and book design work with Bully Pulpit Games and Half Meme Press, and making character sheets that look like mid-century modern Swiss tax forms. Among his non-professional obsessions are single-malt scotch, camping, 1960s Italian Gothic horror films, and playing obscure board games with his seven-year-old son.

Risks and challenges

This is my third kickstarter, though it will be the first under my newly-minted publishing company. I will be using the same printer in South Korea, the only difference this time around is that I will be using a middleman in Korea to handle the packing and shipping since I am no longer living there.

My last two kickstarters ran a bit overdue so I've built an even more manageable timeline this time around to allow for any life complications that may arise for any team members we need to get the book out. I've found that first-time artists working on books tend to underestimate how much time they'll need to do a huge chunk of art so I've made this timeline more flexible to account for that and that's what caused slight delays on my last projects.

Shipping prices are stable in Korea so I don't foresee any issues - 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. I've got fall back options both in Korea and in America if the need arises though, just in case.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 1 or more About $0.79

    THE ONOMASTIC:

    Spool up your terminal and begin collecting data. You get access to all updates. You will be listed in the back of the book as an Onomastic.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 13 or more About $10

    THE SEEKER:

    Open your mind in your search for true enlightenment. You get a digital PDF of the game. You will be listed in the back of the book as a Seeker.

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    229 backers
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    Pledge CA$ 30 or more About $24

    THE ARCHITECT:

    We live in realities you create. You get a copy of the book and the digital PDF. You will be listed in the back of the book as an Architect.

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    Reward no longer available 50 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 35 or more About $28

    THE APPARATUS:

    Awaken into a new world. You get a copy of the book and the digital PDF. You will be listed in the back of the book as an Apparatus.

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    343 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 70 or more About $55

    THE HONORBOUND:

    Leave your mark. You can use the rules in The Veil to create a piece of technology that will appear in the book. You get a copy of the book and the digital PDF. You will be listed in the back of the book as a Gearhead.

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    15 backers
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  6. Reward no longer available

    Pledge CA$ 100 or more About $79

    THE HONED:

    Strive to be more. Fraser Simons, designer of The Veil, will run one game for you and up to four of your friends online. He lives in Calgary, AB and we'll contact you to schedule your game. You also get a copy of the book and the digital PDF. You will be listed in the back of the book as a Honed.

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    Reward no longer available 5 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 250 or more About $197

    THE EMPATH:

    Learn everything there is to know. Fraser Simons, designer of the The Veil, will run a short campaign of three games for you and up to four of your friends online. He lives in Calgary, AB and we'll contact you to schedule your game. You also get a copy of the book and the digital PDF. You will be listed in the back of the book as an Empath.

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    Limited 1 backer
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 300 or more About $237

    THE ATTACHED:

    Become a part of our reality. Our artist, Alessandro Rossi, will use your likeness for one of the character pieces featured in the book. You get a copy of the book and the digital PDF. You will be listed in the back of the book as an Attached.

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    Limited 2 backers
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Funding period

- (31 days)