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Gather: Children of the Evertree is a roundtable freeform worldbuilding and roleplaying game from the designer behind Ten Candles.
Gather: Children of the Evertree is a roundtable freeform worldbuilding and roleplaying game from the designer behind Ten Candles.
462 backers pledged $19,189 to help bring this project to life.

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Gather: Children of the Evertree

$19,189

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* Video music is "Relic" by Reeder, used with permission

The days of another year have spun away and returned to us.

The Evertree has marked its passing. The skyward blossoms have burst forth, fallen, and bloomed yet again.

The leaves have passed from verdant greens to a thousand shades of amber and crimson. They have fallen, and they have returned. And so, we Gather.

"Beautiful, well-crafted, and profound." -Rebecca Slitt

Gather: Children of the Evertree is a roundtable live action roleplaying game for 2-8 players. It has elements of improvisational storytelling, worldbuilding, and ritual. Gather requires no pre-game preparation, and is played without dice or character sheets - just a deck of tarot-sized cards. It is inspired by games like The Quiet Year by Avery Alder, Microscope by Ben Robbins, The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen by James Wallis, the collected works of Jason Morningstar, and other GM-less freeform tabletop and live action roleplaying games. 

The Gather has come again, and a Speaker has been chosen by each Kinship to travel the vastness of the Evertree so that they can attend the annual meeting. The Gather is a place to share the affairs of the previous year and to speak of the months to come. It is a time for announcement and declaration, to share knowledge, to learn of dangers and opportunities, or to scorn those who have brought war. However, this meeting is not an easy one - steeped as it is in ritual and requirement. 

Gather: Children of the Evertree is intended for one-shot game sessions, and contains Legacy elements that will continue to grow the game from session to session.

The Team: 

  • Stephen Dewey, designer
  • Ashleigh La Porta, content editor
  • Maria Vazquez, copy editor
  • Nicole Gustafsson, artist

    Stretch Goal Designers

  • Meguey Baker 
  • Aura Belle
  • Emily Care Boss
  • Caroline Murphy
  • Hannah Schaffer
  • Markeia McCarty
  • Laura Simpson
  • Dev Purkayastha
  • (To Be Announced)

Gather: Children of the Evertree consists of a deck of tarot-sized cards. These cards contain the seeds of the game's setting, the full game rules, as well as the Question cards needed for play. While only 20 Question cards are needed for a game session, 50 Question cards are included with the game to support replayability, allowing for a new assortment of questions every time you play.

To begin, players are given a few simple but evocative facts about the world they live in - in this case, the Evertree: a massive worldtree upon which scattered Kinships and communities make their homes. Each player has come to the Gather as a representative of one of these Kinships, to speak on their behalf.

However, the ancient laws of this meeting make communication difficult. No open discussion is allowed. Instead, Speakers must communicate through answers they give to communal questions. Further, because no one Kinship is more important and no one voice any more valuable than another, Speakers must present the answers to these questions in unison. 

Not all is lost however, for once these answers are given Speakers may present their fellow attendees with tokens of interest, allowing them to speak further on their answer. In this way, through questions, answers, and elaboration, the world surrounding the Gather is built - it's shape and substance designed through the resulting discussion.

Following this campaign's success I will be working with Nicole Gustafsson, the US-based artist who will bringing Gather: Children of the Evertree to life.  

Above art is a sampling of Nicole's work, used with permission.

Nicole has worked on projects such as David Peterson's Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard series and The Adventure Time comic series. You can view more of Nicole's work on NIMASPROUT, her website and online gallery. For obvious reasons, I am thrilled to be working with Nicole as her work and artistic interests line up perfectly with the aesthetics that I'm looking to bring to Gather.  

"In case you haven’t noticed, [Stephen] has one of the most original voices in #ttrpgs right now. Gather hits that sweet spot of evocative writing and elegant mechanics that is totally my catnip." -Ross Cowman, game designer (Fall of Magic, BFF!, Night Forest)

"It was challenging to play a character without a personal sense of risk in a meeting, but a huge risk for all of her people. It was intense and I loved it. If you can play Gather, do it. If you can facilitate Gather, also do it." -Kate Bullock, playtester, Gauntlet Podcast, game designer

"This is a very good game." -Tim Hutchings, playtester, game designer

"It's weird, will make you ask yourself 'What even is this?' and will be one of the more immersive and pensive and affective game experiences you can have." -Karaktakus the Mad, playtester

"Like 'Candles' and 'Hunger', Gather paints a visceral setting in minimal space... Stephen Dewey is the President of Atmosphere." -Tom Nesbitt, playtester

Brie Sheldon: Five or So Questions on Gather: Children of Evertree. Brie and I chatted about Gather and she asked some great questions. Check out the whole interview here!

Adventure Party: Full discussion of Gather, and an overview of how to play. Our discussion about Gather begins at 22:00.

Two Bats Gaming Podcast: Interview about Gather and Ten Candles. Our discussion about Gather begins at 23:39.

Drunk Dice Podcast: Interview about Ten Candles and Gather. Listen here! Our discussion about Gather begins at 25:28.

3W6 Podcast: Interview about Gather. Listen here! Our discussion about Gather begins at 3:49.

This is the second game I have brought to Kickstarter, following my tragic horror tabletop roleplaying game Ten Candles. This is a very different type of game, if only for the fact that I am publishing this game entirely as a deck of cards - not a softcover rulebook.

I have come to Kickstarter to help fund: beautiful full cover artwork for the game box and the card backs, the initial print run of 500+ copies of the game, and to hire an editor. The more support I receive through Kickstarter the larger this initial print run can be, and the more reasonable the costs. 

Following the successful funding of this project, all future sales of Gather: Children of the Evertree will help contribute to a fantastic charity: One Tree Planted. For every game sold, I will be donating a portion of proceeds to One Tree Planted, a Non-Profit Organization based in Shelburne, Vermont. With their help, for each game sold, a tree will be planted. 

At the conclusion of the Kickstarter, all future sales of Gather will be counted toward the Evertree Pledge. One Game Sold = One Tree Planted. And, all Kickstarter backers will get to vote on the location that the first year of sales will be donated to!

Want To Support With Your Pledge? Due to Kickstarter's restrictions, no funds raised through Kickstarter can be contributed towards this charity. All funds raised as part of this Kickstarter will be going toward the project, so this pledge can only apply to future sales. However, if you're eager to help, don't worry! I will include an opportunity for you to plant a tree as part of the BackerKit add-on sales following this campaign (subject to BackerKit's rules and restrictions).

Note: Backer Reward levels do not include shipping costs. Please see the below "Shipping & Handling" section for more details.

I have worked to keep backer levels simple, straightforward, and understandable. You don't have to worry about any early-bird discounts, or multi-faceted levels here. Check out the simple reward system laid out below.

Prices do not include shipping costs!  

Gather: Children of the Evertree is a game in a box, not just a book like with many tabletop roleplaying games. With ever-fluctuating shipping costs, I want to make sure that when the time comes for shipping, you're charged as little as possible. So, when your package is ready, I'll be charging all shipping and customs fees though BackerKit. This will help make sure that no one is being overcharged, and will allow me time to work with distributors to try and get everyone the best deal possible.

If you need a rough estimate based on current rates, get in touch with me, either here on Kickstarter or at stephen@cavalrygames.com.

  
                 

Risks and challenges

This will be my second Kickstarter project. My first, Ten Candles, was successful and has been completely fulfilled.

The main risk with this project is that it will be my first game that relies on production much like a card game (as opposed to my previous games which are books). As such, I am working with new printers and production companies. However I am looking to work with companies with a longstanding record of quality to try and avoid any unexpected setbacks. As this likely means production overseas, this can lead to unexpected delays.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    The SPIRETRUNK

    THANKS & UPDATES: You'll get a personal message of thanks for helping to make this project possible, as well as project updates as the campaign continues. Additionally, you'll have access to BackerKit to pre-order the game or purchase other add-ons after the campaign.

    Includes:
    • Note of Thanks
    • All Project Updates
    • BackerKit Access
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    20 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 15 or more About US$ 15

    The UMBRAL ROOTS

    DIGITAL GAME & STRETCH GOALS: You'll get a PDF Print & Play copy of Gather: Children of the Evertree as well as a PDF Print & Play copy of all stretch goals and additional digital content.

    Includes:
    • Core Game PDF
    • Stretch Goals PDF
    • All Project Updates
    • BackerKit Access
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    92 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 40 or more About US$ 40

    The ASTRAL CANOPY

    You'll get a physical copy of Gather: Children of the Evertree, including a beautifully illustrated box and full-color cards, including a physical copy of all stretch goals.

    Includes:
    • Core Game
    • Stretch Goals
    • All Project Updates
    • BackerKit Access
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    132 backers
    $
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 45 or more About US$ 45

    The QUIET CROWN

    ALL PHYSICAL & DIGITAL REWARDS: You'll get a SIGNED physical copy of Gather: Children of the Evertree and all stretch goals, plus a digital copy of all PDF Print & Play rewards.

    Includes:
    • Core Game
    • Stretch Goals
    • Core Game PDF
    • Stretch Goals PDF
    • All Project Updates
    • BackerKit Access
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    186 backers
    $
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    The EVERTREE

    You'll get everything from the GATHER level, plus the opportunity to work with me to craft your own question that will be included as a card in the final game.

    Includes:
    • Core Game
    • Stretch Goals
    • Core Game PDF
    • Stretch Goals PDF
    • Help Write A Question
    • All Project Updates
    • BackerKit Access
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    Limited 26 backers
    $
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Funding period

- (30 days)