If we reach our $3000 Stretch Goal, our writing team for the Rulebook will add the stories of Skeap, Ronnie Bowfingers and Sir Ser, the most famous Lyres in Yarnolth!
“Adventuring? You must be kidding me. That sounds dangerous… not to mention plain unsanitary!”
Cheaters never prosper... but Lyres end up rich and famous!
Do you want to escape skeleton hordes by jumping from the highest castle tower using only a pair of very large underpants as a safety chute? Go for it!
Would you like to single-handedly defeat pillaging bandits with a head of cabbage, a baby goat and a smile? You go for it, mister!
Have you ever said to yourself, "This adventuring malarkey is sweaty, takes up all my day and ruins the shine on my new boots. I love an amazing quest but some days I'd rather sit at the pub and have a cold pint!"?
Well, brothers and sisters, I have something that will let you do both. In Era: Lyres you get to create an adventure; making it daring, mind-blowing and, best of all, hilariously phony!
In Era: Lyres, the players tell a combined story to the GM, who listens and assesses its believability. He controls the audience's reactions, depending on the story - ending in applause... or a bar fight.
Wondering what a story might sound like? Check out one of our example stories!
Wondering what the game is like? You're not alone! Dice and Stuff have done 3 gameplay podcasts!
A little short on time? Here's a highlights reel to convince you it's worth listening to!
In this game, you are Bards, Rogues and Warriors in the medieval city of Yarnolth. You need to make a living, just like everyone else... But you aren't dumb enough to go fighting Skeletons and Zombies in crypts, or to tangle with Vampires.
Instead, you stay in the cities (the bars and brothels, mostly!), entertaining people with your stories of adventure (which are almost certainly completely untrue... probably!).
This is a Low Fantasy setting. There is no magic, but there are monsters out there... At least people believe there are, and are afraid enough of the possibility to be manipulated by groups of storytellers. Thus, the "Lyres" were born.
A lot of money can be made and reputation gained in the City of Yarnolth by the right group working together!
Video Gameplay Session
Here is a video of a full play session (slightly edited!) - playtime 54:40.
- I am not a skilled video editor, I did the best I could!
- We had to use 3 cameras, so the visuals change between them. Apologies, we ran out of camera battery!
Here's a couple of Character Creation videos, requested by you guys; it should help to explain some of the rules as well as the basics of creation!
Character Creation 1: Sir Bob, the "Goodly" Knight
Character Creation 2: Ronnie Bowfingers, the Drunken Dwarf
This adaptation of our Era d10 ruleset is designed to allow you to tell and scrutinise stories in a way that is as unobtrusive as possible without being misrepresentative - the perfect balance of detail and playability.
Persuasion isn't all that counts here! Being able to talk about a fist fight requires Brawl, describing how you used an anvil and forge to craft a sword from a legendary material requires skill in Blacksmithing, and so on!
Does this sound a little odd? Here's the reasoning behind it:
When you're telling a story about your great physical prowess and you're a thin and bony woman with no visible muscle, people might question you. At that moment, you might pick up a chair with a person sitting on it to prove your strength. These rolls, when called for, signify this sort of demonstration without breaking the narrative of the story.
By choosing your skills carefully, your character can describe anything they might want to in a realistic way. Working as a group, the players can tell any story they want and be rewarded for it - they just have to convince the audience (played by the GM)!
Levelling up: Ronnie Bowfingers
The rules could be generally described as "a Success-counting dice pool system where you roll Attribute + Skill in d10s and the difficulty of the task determines which numbers count as Successes. Most rolls are opposed, with whoever gains a greater number of Successes being deemed the winner."
Too brief or jargony? Here's a brief video showing some rolls:
The system is based around multiple dice - the more skilled you are, the more dice you have - and a variable goal based on activity difficulty.
Using an Attribute and Skill system which each define their own areas of influence, you roll your dice depending on what you're attempting - whether Dexterity + Blacksmithing for creating a piece of jewelery, Intelligence + Blacksmithing for assessing the strength of a blade or Luck + Blacksmithing for a complete long shot, you'll be able to adapt to your circumstances and focus on your strengths.
Although you roll more dice the more skilled you are, the number you are attempting to attain varies depending on the difficulty of the action - if you were pickpocketing someone who doesn't know you are there, the GM would ask for a 7. If that person was blind, more likely a 5. Walking up to a guard, giving him a good shove and cutting away his purse at the same time while trying not to be noticed would be a 10!
This game uses opposed rolls to assess the likelihood of players' claims. The member of the audience most qualified to dispute your claims rolls their dice against your Attribute + Skill dice and whoever gets more Successes (attaining the required number) wins.
If you win, you have convinced them and can continue your story without difficulty. If they win, anything could happen - from them walking out shouting that they don't believe you to a full-on bar fight!
Would you like to know more? Check out our Playtest Packet!
Here are a few examples of Page Spreads from our Prototype book:
Things about the book... well, firstly and most importantly, we'll be printing in the UK and in the US, so...
...and, equally, USA Friendly!
The rulebook is around 80 pages in length and contains background stories, everything you need to create characters, equip them and use them to tell stories, earn reputation or gold and get into bar fights in the City of Yarnolth.
It's got everything you need to run hundreds of games of Era: Lyres!
This Kickstarter will be the only chance to get this version of the rulebook for a while - this "deluxe" edition is specifically for you backers! The version that will be on sale after the Kickstarter will not have all of the same content.
We're offering the reward of premade sessions on some reward tiers. There are three of these - one based in the Market Square, one in a low-end Tavern and one in an aristocracy party as hired entertainment.
Each is a unique adventure in its own right, and great fun!
Anyone who knows Shades of Vengeance will know by now that we love to offer a comic with our rulebooks to help expand the universe.
Era: Lyres is no different - we've got a great story for this 7-page comic to accompany the Rulebook, about a famous group of Lyres and how they "met"!
We've got the inked and coloured first page of the comic right here! It'll be in colour soon, we'll post that as an update as soon as it comes in!
The "Yarnolth and the Surrounding Lands: A Traveller's Guide to the Kingdom" PDF will not be less than 10 pages, including a double-page map of the surrounding area and providing details on a minimum of 8 towns and areas near to Yarnolth. The more people who take this Add-on, the more pages I will be able to add - the price will not change!
Postage is not included for any locations outside the UK and the US (Sorry!). Please send a message if you want to know postage for your location.
I've been asked for several add-ons, and the above are what I've been able to offer!
I will be placing a question in the survey at the end. In that, you will just need to identify whatever Add-on you have chosen.
Please feel free to leave questions in the comments or send a Message if you're unsure about anything.
Some of you may already know of Shades of Vengeance, from our first game, Era: The Consortium, or from Order of the Link (where we worked with the creator to help create his game!). Since creating Era: The Consortium, I've been asked in several interviews if I have more plans, and I always said I did.
A great team who worked with me on Era: The Consortium, and I had an idea about reversing the role of the GM and the players. I sometimes think it was so I could have a bit of a rest from talking all the time!
With the help of the rest of the team - Amy Allworden for writing, Keith Draws for layout and cover art and Sophia Michailidou for interior art - we've grown this into Era: Lyres - a game I'm really proud to have created.
When we are funded, this will give us the money we need for a print run of this book in the UK and US, so that we can take it with us to conventions and sent it out to the stores that carry Era: The Consortium!
Our team is small, but we love the game we're creating. We're each submitting to a Q&A in turn so that you can find out more about us!
Ed Jowett (Q&A) - Creator, Writer, Rulesmith, Project Manager
Keith Draws (Portfolio) - Cover Art, Layout
Stefan Schloesser (Portfolio) - Lyres' Map
"I like this whole 'one person screws up, it affects the rest of the party' thing. This is how all games should be - it's called consequences, people!"
"Never have I had so much power in an RPG, and yet been at the complete mercy of my own words!"
"I like the rule set, I find that the skill and attribute system is fantastic for this scenario!"
"The idea behind this game is phenomenal."
"Pretending to go on adventures; more fun, less work, just as stressful! Lyres is the first game I've ever played of its kind, and provided a whole new take on 'roleplaying'!"
"Era: Lyres is a fresh and innovative take on traditional Role Playing Games, proving that tabletop gaming is still as exciting as ever!"
We are funded! A special thank you from Ed Jowett, the game's creator:
Have some more questions? We did a Q&A over at the RPG.net chatrooms. Check it out or ask in the comments!
Risks and challenges
The book is almost done - with the exception of the Stretch Goal material, of course! It has undergone Beta testing and had positive feedback on all fronts.
The team working on this book are experienced from Era: The Consortium, another Tabletop RPG, so we really see little risk in this project!
If you're looking at our profile and have noticed our comic Kickstarter, Counting Down From One (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/shadesofvengeance/counting-down-from-one), then don't worry! We have two teams in our company: one set of people are working on the comic while another works on this Kickstarter!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (41 days)