Conquer the global market of this satirical, darkly comic Business RPG by turning imagination into a weapon. Read more
This project was successfully funded on March 20, 2012.
About this project
For those of you unfamiliar with Stretch Goals, these are special NEW goals that will add more rewards to backer packages as we hit them! As Avarice Industries receives more funding, we're able to do more stuff!
See below for the new rewards!
If we reach $5,000, then everyone who contributes $10 or more to the project will receive the game's first supplement, entitled "Tooth & Claw," for free in digital form when it comes out.
This exclusive Kickstarter T-Shirt will feature the cover art of the Avarice Industries book -- a piece we like to call "Business Victim." The shirt will be made available to everyone who pledges $25 or more to the project!
When executives are in a tough situation, some of the dice that they are entitled to will "corrupt" into d6s. On these dice, only rolling a 6 gets you a success. Rolling a 1, like above, will still generate a critical failure. These dice are something you don't want to find in your dice pool.
These custom dice will be red (symbolizing "loss" in business) and feature their custom artwork on the 1 and the 6 sides.
"I made one mistake when I created the first DREAM Generator. I forgot that imagination was the world's deadliest weapon." -Delton Wildfire
Well hello there! My name is Seraphina Brennan, and I'm the writer and creator of Avarice Industries. The fox buried in mathematics and rules behind me is Lorin "Xavier" Grieve, the game's main mechanics designer and rules lawyer. If you watched the video above, or laid eyes on the "who are we" image right above this paragraph, then you've already met our lead artist, Anya "Chinny" Ewing! With our two freelance artists, Kurt Taylor and Bryant Paul Johnson, we make up a small group known as Chronosis Laboratories. We're here on Kickstarter to try to raise money for our first pen-and-paper roleplaying game -- Avarice Industries.
As you may have noticed, Avarice isn't your usual roleplaying game. When I first began to create this monstrosity, it was as a Alternate Reality Game (or ARG) back in 2004. Since then, I've kept the setting in the back of my mind, trying to figure out what to do with it.
At the same time, I always thought it would be fun to make a pen-and-paper roleplaying game that had a modern day business theme. Making dirty deals, constructing elaborate plans, and putting everything on the line to create a profit seemed like things that could be used to tell great stories. There's so much there! Corporations already have to deal with customers, public opinion, stockholders, lawsuits, and politics in addition to the woes of internal problems like production errors, work relationships, management issues, and more. However, my one fear was that it would, simultaneously, be a little too boring -- especially if there were no combat mechanics.
Eventually, as I was driving in my car in Pittsburgh on one sunny afternoon, I was smacked in the face with a very simple idea that became the core of Avarice Industries -- "What if corporations could create anything in their imaginations? What would they do with it? How would they make money? What would happen?" It was a perfect merger of real-world problems with fantastic ones. What would you do if your latest project just teleported half of Cleveland to Mars? How do you PR spin that? How do you fix it? Do you fix it? What if it's too expensive to fix? How do you inform your boss you teleported half of Cleveland to Mars? This sounded like fun!
I began writing up the rules immediately for a more story-based game that anyone, even RPG newbies, could jump into with relative ease. Yet, I still wanted to create rules that would allow for a wide variety of character customization. Eventually, an early prototype of Avarice was born -- a simplistic statistic system that defined players by their personalities, combined with a dice system that changed as players earned special "traits."
It was through these early playtests that I brought in my best friend and amazing rules-smith -- Lorin Grieve. He took my early system and quickly built upon my initial vision to create the system we now call "Seven Virtues." As he worked on Seven Virtues and slowly created the game's many traits and rules, I put the finishing touches to the setting.
Avarice Industries is a bright, but broken, world of dreams. I, and the rest of the Chronosis Labs team can't wait to have you join us in the city of Burning Forest.
If you'd like to read a transcript of an example session of the game, click right here!
It's 2016, and the world has fundamentally changed. Five major corporations now possess the ability to make anything in their imaginations. While all five have a golden public image, there's a very different world that only industry professionals get to see. It's a world where the five are constantly trying to corner every aspect of their new markets, no matter who or what gets in the way.
That's not even the worst of it. This new technology, DREAM Technology, also has a habit of creating "failed prototypes" -- broken or dangerous items that have a tendency to threaten corporate employees, innocent consumers, and large chunks of the known world. Dimensional tears, untrustworthy weaponry, homicidal bananas, and more have already come out of the DREAM Generators. It's just another hazard of being in the business.
You're a Special Executive in one of these five corporations. Your job is to deal with the problems that the other parts of your company cannot. Contract negotiations, lawsuits filings, assassinations, sabotage, theft, fraud, public relations, consumer care, and more are potential options on your daily schedule. Succeed in your job and you'll be highly rewarded for your efforts.
But you have a secret weapon that no one else can match. You're allowed to commission whatever you want from the company. That means your watch might be able to turn-back time, your designer shoes might let you walk up walls, and your glasses might hypnotize the person in front of you.
You make your company look good on the 5 o'clock news, you save consumers from your latest prototype, you forge contracts with competitors, and you might just choke your rival to death during your 30 minute lunch allotment.
Just remember that the other companies pay people to do the exact same thing you do. Your rivals might just have the same powers, or worse, up their white-cuffed sleeves. They might be sent to simply hammer out a contract, or erase you from existence. You might not live past 5 PM.
It could be worse though. Your job could be boring.
Where Do Your Virtues Lie?
Our proprietary game system, Seven Virtues, defines characters through their personalities instead of their physical statistics. Each virtue stands for a different generalized sphere of influence, such as physical skills or intelligence/knowledge. When you begin a skill check, your GM immediately decides which two Virtues should be combined to adequately explain what your character is doing.
This allows storytellers and players to change skill checks by simply describing their actions differently. We believe that a character ripping apart a room to find an item and a character meticulously picking through a room should have unique checks that reflect what they're really doing, instead of lumping them both under a "search" skill.
This also allows characters to be successful at a variety of tasks as long as they stick to their character's personality. Burly characters can search by smashing a room apart (an ability usually reserved for intelligent/deductive characters) while intelligent characters may be able to use mathematics to ricochet bullets in combat.
All Executives Are Unique, Blood-Soaked Snowflakes
Instead of relying on a class based system, Avarice Industries lets you define their character through Traits -- special skills that can be used both inside and outside of combat. While Traits fall into specialty groups like Accounting, Public Relations, Marketing, and more, players aren't restricted from combining Traits from multiple specialties. Create the character you want to create!
Luck Is For Suckers and Small Business Owners
Make use of your executive's most powerful tool: Motivation. This limited energy source represents your character's will to succeed in any situation.
After rolling dice to determine the outcome of a situation, you can spend motivation to "adjust" the dice to your specifications. Each point of motivation spent raises or lowers a die by 1. Your motivation can turn a critical failure into a bare success, or turn a normal success into an outstanding one!
Motivation is also used to power your special Traits. Want to read someone's mind or bolster your teammates in their time of need? You're gonna have to be a little Motivated.
Beware, however, as motivation is a limited resource. You can only earn motivation back by impressing your game master with fun roleplaying. Spend your energy wisely, or you might find yourself out of motivation when you most desperately need it.
You Don't Need Experience To Be Successful, Just A Huge Wad Of Cash
Surviving the work day means that your executive gets paid! Use your cash to continue to customize your character by buying more traits or by creating DREAM Items -- weapons, armors, and miscellaneous devices that can turn your executive into a god of business. That's right, cold hard cash has replaced experience totals.
DREAM Items are pieces of equipment that are fully customized by you! Interested in a tie that can strangle someone from across a negotiating table? How about a pair of shoes that let you phase through walls? Lipstick that puts kissed victims to sleep? Hair dryers that act as flamethrowers? A limousine that turns into a tank? All of these things, and more, are possible through our DREAM Item creation rules.
If you ever get stuck, remember our motto: Cash solves all problems! If the problem is still there, you didn't throw enough cash at it!
There's A Workplace For Everyone!
The City of Burning Forest is full of DREAM Corporations... and that's a nice way of saying that the city is full of problems. Our core rule book will not only come with Burning Forest as a potential setting for your games, but it will also break down how you can create a wide variety of varied objectives for your players.
To boot, each of Burning Forest's five DREAM Companies has a different way of approaching DREAM Technology. Storytellers can use the companies to tint the game's setting with other genres, and players can create genre characters by embracing corporate philosophies.
The corporations are:
Wildfire Industries -- Creativity burns bright! Wildfire executives are flamboyant and idealistic, preferring to bend DREAM Technology to its absolute limits. These executives wield devices and weapons that are mistaken for pure magic, as their power edges towards the truly surreal.
The Rainman Group -- Cold and calculating, Rainman executives are in it for the power and fame. Conspiracy and cover-ups whisper in the dark corners of this government backed think tank. Turn your executives into war machines and raise hell until you get your way. Or perhaps you may want to just buy and lie your way into power? Just be careful where you step: Even the red tape is razor sharp!
Infinity Corporation -- Perfection is the ultimate goal. Beauty is the path to success. Infinity executives splice and modify themselves with the power of their company's proprietary biotechnology. Rip open your executive and modify yourself with new genes and chemical pumps until you become something better than human.
Green Dragon International -- Why wait for tomorrow when you can have it today? Green Dragon executives are the masters of technology and cybertech advancements, living their lives with one foot in the virtual world and one foot in the real. Wield the weapons of the future, and steal secrets over wi-fi. Information is power, and Green Dragon holds the keys to all of the doors.
Industrialized Industrial -- Dominate with elegance and mandatory tea time! Industrialized executives are refined, graceful leaders that surround themselves with the beauty and ingenuity of the Victorian era. Equip your executive with fantastical machinations of brass and steam, and remind other corporations that "eco-friendly" does not mean "less deadly."
So, what can you get for supporting us in our endeavors? Good question, good question! Currently, besides the book, you can get the following special swag. More cool stuff will be added if we start hitting goals beyond $2,000!
Pledges of $25 or over get: The "Velociraptor Launcher Coffee Mug." This design will not be re-sold in the future -- it's unique to our Kickstarter campaign.
Pledges of $40 or over get: The "What Have I Done?" Unique Kickstarter Poster. This design will not be re-sold in the future -- it's unique to our Kickstarter campaign. To see a larger image of the poster, click here!
Pledges of $70 or over get: The opportunity to build a unique DREAM item into the game's canon.
Pledges of $150 or over get: The opportunity to create a unique canon lore character that will appear in the back of the book with unique art. To see a larger version of this character sheet, click here!
Pledges of $300 or over get: Everything above, all of the future Avarice Industries books in the game's First Edition, and a thank you note from happy-go-lucky DREAM Technology creator Synestasia Wildfire.
So where do we see this going? Well, we see this going a couple places.
First of all, if the digital edition is successful, we want to pursue a print edition. Now, we understand that's a little backwards, but we honestly want to make sure that people are interested in our game before we set off into the wild blue yonder. If people really like what we're presenting here, we very much want to get our rule book into your hands -- physically.
But, we don't want to get just ANY rulebook in your hands. We want to make sure that our rule book is as high quality as we can make it. We want to make you, our players, a full-color, hardbound rulebook that's worthy of sitting on your table and commanding a presence. However, we know that making that type of book is expensive and somewhat niche. That's why we want to make a beautiful book at a lower price point first -- so you can see what you're getting in our digital edition and you can judge the hardback book from there.
Beyond a print edition of the book, we have already laid the groundwork for two to three more expansion books that add in new rules, new traits, and a few new companies to the game. While we don't want to give everything away immediately, we will say that our first planned expansion for Avarice Industries, should this Kickstarter be funded, will be Avarice Industries: Tooth & Claw.
This first expansion will cover new rules and traits for monsters, adversaries, and player executives of the anthropomorphic variety. Yes, that's right, you could make a fox/human hybrid executive (yes, I know you're happy about that, Lorin), or a cat-girl executive (if you're big into "the Anime.") This addition will also add the information for the first of the "shell companies" -- BioEvolution Ltd, a division of the Infinity Corporation -- and the company's bloodthirsty CEO, Noche Wulf. (Yes, he's literally a black wolf in a nice suit.)
Well everyone, that's a wrap. If you like what you've seen and read, please donate today. We'd really appreciate it, and we can't wait to get our game into your hands!
International friends, please add in $10 to your pledge for overseas shipping. Thank you!
As I originally stated on the http://RPG.net boards:
"At this point, I too am wondering if perhaps we should include some sort of print copy of our game in with our Kickstarter.
So I'm going to look into this. However, I'm going to say that last statement with a few caveats.
My main worry in doing this would be producing a book that isn't up to my own personal level of quality. As of the current moment, all of Avarice's art is in full-color. Even the trait icons, which are mostly black and white, all use a hint of color in their designs to signify which skill group they come out of. Converting the art to black and white may just not look that good unless the art is re-done to support a black and white feel. I'm not sure how much time that would take, as I'd like to get it out at the time I have stated to my backers (Apr. 2012).
The second thing is that I'm currently laying the book out with a magazine design rather than a standard rule book design. Because I'm taking tablets and monitors into account, the layout of the art is being built with those things in mind. If we went to a book, I'd probably want to change the layout around so it can take advantage of a printed, physical format. Not to mention the fact that an index would need to be generated. Currently we're going to try to make our electronic version as friendly as possible with interactive keywords, chapters, and so forth. Again, the book is attempting to inherit the advantages of the format that it's in.
However, I'm certainly not writing off a printed version. I absolutely want Avarice to be in print before the end of the year, most likely in a full-color paperback version (this one being the "more affordable" one) and a full-color hardback version (this one being the "probably going to be expensive" one). I don't know how feasible those wishes are at the moment, but it's certainly a goal of mine.
So, in conclusion to this slightly rambling post, I'm going to look into converting the e-book into a black and white paperback version for those who like physical products. If it works out, I'll make an announcement and you guys can jump right on in to the Kickstarter! However, if it appears that it will not work out, I simply won't add it to the Kickstarter and I'll work on getting an awesome physical book out later this year for people to purchase. The best part about having the Kickstarter fully funded is that this project will come out in April, and you'll only have to wait for me to get the physical book done down the road. ~Seraphina"
Pledge $1 or more
Part-Timer -- Your name will be listed in the acknowledgments section of the final book with the title "Part-timer." Your dollar will go towards making the world a better place through fantasy violence between imaginary companies. Thanks for dropping by and helping us out! (And who said you couldn't do anything with a dollar these days. Psh!)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $10 or more
Full-Timer -- Your name will be listed in the acknowledgments section of the final book with the title "Full-timer," and you'll get a electronic copy (PDF) of the book! Normally we charge $15 for these things, but two things changed our mind. One, we love that smile of yours. Two, props to that keyboard. Call us later.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $25 or more
Over-timer -- You'll get your name in the acknowledgments section of the final book with the title "Over-timer," a electronic copy (PDF) of the book, and you'll receive the Avarice Industries "Velociraptor Launcher" Coffee Mug! You'll be the swankiest person in the office by sipping java out of a mug that none of your co-workers will be able to remotely comprehend. Why is that? BECAUSE YOUR MUG IS TOO AWESOME FOR THEIR PRIMITIVE MINDS! RAWR! (No, really, you should RAWR! at us on Twitter! We're @avariceind.)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $40 or more
Human Resources Rep -- All of the previous tiers, your title will become "Human Resources Rep" in the acknowledgments of the book, plus you'll receive a signed copy of the "What Have I Done?" poster, featuring Sarah Angela Wildfire. (Please be aware that this poster may make you sad, and we do not include tissues in your backer package. We are not responsible for any damage caused by free-flowing, unpredictable tears.) This poster will be unique to Kickstarter backers and will not be sold in the future. The poster will feature the signatures of game creator Seraphina Brennan, lead designer Lorin "Xavier" Grieve, and lead artist Anya "Chinny" EwingEstimated delivery:
Pledge $70 or more
DREAM Engineer -- All of the previous tiers, and you'll be able to create an item/weapon/armor that will be printed in the DREAM item examples. This unique item will credit you as the inventor, and you'll work with Seraphina Brennan and Lorin Grieve to get it made! Your title will also change to "DREAM Engineer" in the acknowledgments of the book. Those people that laughed at your laser cheesegrater won't be laughing for long after you cheesegrate their face for 4 damage! Then again... you could just do that with a normal cheesegrater... and that's probably far cheaper to make... But, moving along!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $150 or more
5 backers All gone!
Captain of Industry -- All of the above, and your likeness will be used to create an example character in the corporation of your choice. Your character will appear both in the book and at the end on a unique character sheet featuring items you create and stats you choose. You'll work hand-in-hand with Seraphina Brennan and Lorin Grieve to set up the character. Your title will also change to "Executive of X Corporation" (where the corporation is the one you choose) in the acknowledgments of the book. Additionally, this tier comes with a benefit that we like to call "Didittude." If your GM ever asks you to create a character, just open the core rulebook to your character sheet, lay it out in front of you, put your feet up on the table, and say "Did it." (We are not responsible for any table enmity you may recieve for using "Didittude.")Estimated delivery:
Pledge $150 or more
2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)
Corporate Predator (Tooth & Claw Special Level) -- This reward level offers the same rewards as the "Captain of Industry" level, EXCEPT your art will be a part of Avarice Industries: Tooth & Claw, which will come out later this year. Create the Furry Executive of your dreams, and tear your competition to pieces! Or, stick with a human executive and become embroiled in the politics of BioEvolution Ltd. Please note that while you'll get your physical rewards now (and a copy of the core Avarice Industries rulebook + Tooth & Claw), you'll create your lore character later in the year once Tooth & Claw is closer to fruition.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $300 or more
5 backers All gone!
Friend of Synestasia -- All of the above, including the "Captain of Industry" level, and you'll receive every future addition/expansion for the first edition of Avarice Industries in any form they come out in (such as print and PDF forms). You'll also receive a lovely handwritten thank you note from Synestasia Wildfire and her cyborg companion, Kitty. (Please be aware that Synestasia grabbed a box of scented markers just now and is awaiting her thank you notes with glee. Don't worry, we'll make sure she doesn't go too overboard with drawings and stickers.) Your title will also change to "Friend of Synestasia" in the acknowledgments, and you'll be featured in the credits of all future first edition Avarice Industries books.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $300 or more
1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)
Running With The Pack (Tooth & Claw Special Level) -- This reward offers you the exact same rewards as the "Friend of Synestasia" level, EXCEPT your art will be a part of Avarice Industries: Tooth & Claw, which will come out later this year. Create the Furry Executive of your dreams, and tear your competition to pieces! Or, stick with a human executive and become embroiled in the politics of BioEvolution Ltd. Please note that while you'll get your physical rewards now (and a copy of the core Avarice Industries rulebook + Tooth & Claw), you'll create your lore character later in the year once Tooth & Claw is closer to fruition. Additionally, instead of getting a message from Synagoga, you'll get a personal letter written to you from the CEO of BioEvolution Ltd., Noche Wulf. This letter will confirm you as a member of his personal inner circle, "The Hunting Pack."Estimated delivery:
- (22 days)