"Sorry fellas. Y'oughtta know gamblin ain't allowed."
Marian shrugged her duster, the hazy light glinting off of her sheriff's star as she reached for the pile of coins on the table. Spurs jangled and leather creaked as the gamblers shifted in their seats. "Marian, that money's mine." The saloon went stone silent.
Guns flew from holsters, hammers cocked. Marian kept her barrel trained on the hard man sitting at the head of the table. They shared a smirk while the others kept their sights locked on the sheriff.
Marian held a single coin between her fingers. "Let's flip for it."
Clink is a tabletop RPG about drifters, the creeds that bring them together, and the history that drives them apart. Tell a story inspired by spaghetti westerns, ronin tales, and shows like Firefly or Supernatural.
Whether you're taking down the Crimson Dusk gang, uncovering the Oracle's mysterious treasure, or saving your partner from the lawbot's gallows, you'll have to expose the secrets of your past to overcome the dangers of the present.
Clink tells a non-linear story, crisscrossing between your characters' flashbacks and the risky business of the day. It's a flexible system that can support nearly any setting, so long as there's room for folks who aim to misbehave (six-shooters and door-kickin's encouraged too).
Clink draws inspiration from a long lineage of story games, and like its predecessors allows the players to deeply influence their world, their characters, and the shared story created around the table.
That said, Clink is unique in its focus on the inherent risk of flipping, spending, and accruing coins. The more you're willing to risk your character and put them between a shotgun and a hard place, the more you're able to command the action and develop your character.
Characters begin as rough sketches of the shifty sort you'd see in an old Western or Noir film. By spending hard-earned coins, the player is able to reveal more and more of their Drifter's personality through flashbacks and bitter memories.
The player flashbacks add spice to any setting, allowing the players to build out the world and support the story. This makes the GM's job easier, and gives every character a chance to shine.
In a world with no place for you, you have to find your own reasons for pushing on.
When you begin a game of Clink, you and your group will come up with the creed that drives the action. Maybe it's "Dodge the law and reach Haven," for a game of fugitives on the run. Maybe it's "The Crazy Dog Clan will pay," for a game of hard-won justice (or revenge).
Your creed is your reason to fight against the world's trials. Whenever your character presses towards their creed despite the obstacles, you're rewarded with a coin -- a chance to reveal your past and overcome the odds.
It's a cruel world, and as your drifter gains scars, they're in danger of losing sight of their creed. Drifters can only resist their wanderlust for so long; if everyone loses sight of the creed, their camaraderie dissolves and the game ends.
What kind of life have you lived? Who fears you, hunts you, loves you?
When the game begins, your drifter is a mystery. All we know is your name and the mementos you carry. Singing Raoul, who never makes a sound except to play his copper harmonica. Jessica Hard-Heart, whose locket clatters against her metallic torso.
As you play, you'll earn coins from following your creed and roleplaying your character's habits. These coins give you the chance to narrate a flashback of your past, and use that memory to tackle the troubles of the present.
Watched by the slavering beasts controlled by the Overseers, Madeleine recalls her years in the diamond mines, giving her the strength to strike her shovel into the hard tack once again.
Because players are creating these flashbacks on the fly and giving context to the current action, the GM doesn't have to worry about creating overly-intricate plots or fleshing out every detail of the world. They can provide the action, and the players will give it a deeper meaning. This means less time for prep and more time playing.
Any drifter worth their salt knows that survival is one part experience and three parts luck.
When push comes to shove in Clink, it's time to start flipping coins. A "heads" gets you what you're going for, but every "tails" sends you deeper and deeper into trouble. The details all depend on what we've learned about your drifter's past.
If you're an experienced sharpshooter, you can be sure you'll hit the target you're aiming for. But when the coin lands on "tails," you might be hit with the troubling memory of that shot you wish you had missed. That scar will eat away at your resolve, and with enough scars you'll lose sight of your creed.
If you're a greenhorn with a rifle, you can't be sure you'll even pull the trigger. Even if you flip a "heads," something'll go wrong; maybe you made the shot, but tumble off your perch from the surprise of the gun's recoil. Each time you flip poorly, the situation will escalate even further. Roll three "tails" and you might find yourself hightailing it out of town with an angry mob at your heels!
Resolution in Clink is fast, full of narrative punch, and always leaves you with new and dramatic and situations. It's a system that rewards gutsy action and in-genre character development.
Read the Draft
The game is written and thoroughly playtested. If you want to give it a shot and see how it works, you can read the draft here.
The book will be laid out by Evan Rowland and illustrated by Per Folmer. The PDF will be optimized in RGB for screens, with internal linking and bookmark for each section within the table of contents.
The physical book will be offset printed by Nocturnal Media through its printing partners in Hong Kong (who have done literally thousands of books and cards for SSP and Nocturnal to this point). The book will be 5.5 x 8.5" and roughly 80 pages.
Risks and challenges
This'll be SSP's seventh Kickstarter, and we have a proven track record of completing our projects on time and to expectation. David's a seasoned writer (having completed several RPGs, and Kickstarted one before), and has already put in a ton of work to ensure the game plays and reads smoothly.
All we're really waiting on is art and print production, which can fall to Stewart Wieck (business partners with Ben Dutter through the SSP / Nocturnal Media collaboration), or Ben's dutiful partner and wife Jessica.
The greatest risk comes in the form of some calamity with our artist, Per Folmer, or with our printing partners in Hong Kong. If either of those happen we'll be sure to communicate early, transparently, and often. We have teams of artists that can swap in and out if we need to, so even if Per wasn't able to complete the project as planned, it wouldn't slow production too much.
We're confident we can continue our history of releasing fun, affordable games in a timely manner.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)