Americana is an RPG set in a fantasy, inclusive 1950s small town, somewhere in the United States. Your best friend is dead, and you think it's murder. Gather their other friends, follow the clues and investigate your town full of magic, wonder, gangs and risks to track down the killer and bring them to justice.
The game takes place in a 50s vastly different than the one we're used to. For a start, the world is full of magic. Orcs and Dwarves are going steady at the drive-in, Elves and Dragons are taking a trip to Look-out Point and your principal is a kindly skeleton that fought against Charlemagne. The world is also massively more progressive than the 50s ever was, systemic oppression of marginalized people is an alien concept in the world of Americana.
For a taste of the world of Americana, and to get a feel for the kind of stories you can tell in this game, check out Tom's Dead, a short audio drama about a gang of kids investigating the death of their friend, juggling their responsibilities and trying to avoid getting grounded.
This project will be using DriveThruRPG PoD Coupons to deliver the final product, please remember to factor in the print and postage costs of the final product when you pledge! We expect the printing costs of the hardcover to be around $15!
You play as something new and incredible in this world; a Teenager. Never before has the world been in a place that allowed for a long adolescence, and as the first of these strange creatures, you make a lot of people uncomfortable with your wild clothes, your loud music and your strange habits. Players choose from one of 6 teenage archetypes - Jock, Nerd, Artist, New Kid, Outsider, Royal - each with their own strengths and place within the high school ecosystem. You'll also pick from one of 9 fantasy species, each with their own unique backstory and history within the world.
As a teenager, your time is not entirely your own. You have obligations to your family, your job, school, maybe even your sports team. You'll have to manage those and the repercussions for ditching them with your investigation if you don't want to raise too much heat from the adults.
As players, you'll use our town creation system to build your very own small town, populate it with fantastical gangs of teenagers, give them some incredible locations to hang out in, and some dangerous activities they get up to. You'll also create the murder victim, Your Dead Friend, as a character just like your own, whose skills and relationships will help you directly, and whose history with you will be a core part of your game.
Investigation in Americana is all about ties. Ties represent relationships that people, places and things have with Your Dead Friend. Throughout the game you'll follow these ties, chasing down clues and recording the leads on the Your Dead Friend Sheet, creating a living record of your investigation, as well as Your Dead Friend's relationships with the various gangs, adults, places and leaders you and your table have created.
Our system places a strong emphasis on relationships and building these ties through roleplay, from the flashback mechanics to the importance of assist rolls, Americana is all about getting to know the world you made, and the characters you're playing, as well as, most importantly, Your Dead Friend.
The RPG Academy Show and Tell - "This hits a lot of things right on the nose, I've very excited to see how well this goes[...]You've got a backer"
Bonus Experience - "This is cool as hell [...] I'm already counting down in my head, who can I get to play this with me?"
Tom's Dead is a short audio play produced by the Sandy Pug Games team to give you a feel for the world and the kinds of stories Americana is designed to tell. Like the show? Check out our stretch goals section to learn more!
Geek and Sundrydid a fantastic little write up of the project on their site!
Five or So Questions - Brie Sheldon over at Thoughty did a fantastic interview that covers a lot of the game. Check it out!
brhfl.com - "But a good rulebook lends itself to a good experience, and from ensuring that all the players are engaged and invested in the narrative to establishing basic safety nets and boundaries for players, Americana lays the groundwork for a great experience... Now I get to be a crime-solvin’ pink non-binary dragon, and all I can say is heck yeah."
Q&A At GMShoe -A great Q&A where we go over a lot of really interesting and deep hitting parts of the game.
Encounter RolePlay - Encounter Roleplay will be playing Americana on the 12th and again on the 19th of October right here!
The Americana Team Plays American - The Sandy Pug Games team sits down to play a session of Americana. This was taken from our second session in an ongoing playtest, so the town is already established. The sound is also a lil quiet here and there, sorry about that!
Americana's world is a beautiful place, and we're filling the book with stories and art to flesh out this fantastical world that never was, but at this level we can do something really special and flesh out the pilot episode of Tom's Dead, the audio drama we made, into a full 6 episode series following the adventures of Balthazar and the crew as they try to uncover the truth behind who killed Tom, win the big race and maybe even make it to prom without getting killed themselves!
At this level we can afford to unleash one of our coolest ideas on the world. It's Americana, but not as you know it.
These teens don't have a murder to solve, they're doing something much much more important - saving the world from wild and wacky monsters with their hidden powers and massive robots they pilot as a fearless team. Super Americana Magic Force GO is activated!
This will be a digital PDF detailing additional mechanics, new character sheets and everything else you need to have that 1950s, fantasy tokatsu adventure you never knew you needed until now!
For our final stretch goal, we're moving the timeline forward a little, and taking Americana to the shadows in our alternative setting; Americana: MIA
Delve into a fantasy cold war that never existed, take your team of spies across enemy lines, secure top secret information and uncover the conspiracy behind it all. Use high tech gadgets, classified magical powers and make deals with unspeakable beings to claim a victory no one will ever see. The Magical Intelligence Agency needs you!
This will also be a digital PDF detailing a whole host of new rules and mechanics, shifting the game from a murder mystery to exploring a conspiracy.
Americana is being developed by Sandy Pug Games, a small indie RPG design collective.
Sandy Pug Games was founded by Liam Ginty, the designer behind Orc Stabr, The Boughs and Mirror. Liam has been designing games for 4 years, and playing them for as long as he can remember. He's particularly fond of bridging the gap between narrative driven, emotional focused experimental games and more traditional RPGs.
Making up the rest of the Sandy Pug team is our primary artist, Andi DiSpirito, a comic artist, illustrator, and full-time appreciator of throwing weird dice around.
Secondary artist, Sarah Ginty who, quote "draws stuff, and really likes dogs"
Keith Evans, part time streamer, games dev and full time layout wizard.
Chief editor and certified fantastic ideas person, Kate Jeanne who will defend the Oxford comma beyond death.
Our creative writer, Gabriel Komisar who writes when he can, stage manages plays when they ask for him, and holds big cats as often as possible.
And Pumba. Current holder of the coveted role of Sandy Pug Games Official Mascot. A Good Boy.
Big thanks to Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) for the use of Cool Vibes and Malt Shop Bop and Spy Glass. Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
Risks and challenges
Sandy Pug Games has been producing content for years, and is full of incredible, talented people. We have all worked together to create some really incredible games in the past and have a fantastic collaborative working energy. We've proven ourselves capable of making great stuff, and delivering it.
That said, every project is at risk of complications. The main risks for this project include delays with layout or art production. Stretch Goals also represent a risk, and while we're absolutely certain of our ability to produce them, historically they have been risky for other kickstarters too.
While we're very experienced at producing solid, professional quality content, SPG is still a small group, and we've only had limited experience delivering physical products. Orc Stabr was our first real project involving physical rewards, and while that went great, we still had some minor hiccups at the shipping phase. To avoid any problems with delivery, we'll be using DriveThruRPG PoD coupons. This has a number of benefits - firstly, it means the game is much cheaper, only $35 total for a hardcover book. It'll also get into your hands faster, and you can rest assured that one of the biggest delivery companies in the TTRPG world is fulfilling your order. We'll be doing an extensive proofing process to ensure that the books that get into your hands will be of the highest possible quality.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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