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$920 pledged of $10,000 goal
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About this project

Continue to follow Forge of Valor at forgeofvalor.com. We will refine, refocus, and relaunch the game when it is ready. Thanks for your support.

Forge of Valor is a tabletop roleplaying game that focuses on characters navigating a world ravaged by warring factions and a fracturing landscape. Characters are deeply customizable, combat is brutal, and the game revolves around your goals, relationships, and sense of duty.

Forge of Valor games have a tough, heroic tone. Characters are strong, but they aren’t paragons of power. Anyone can die from poison or a hidden dagger at any level. Heroes are forged under constant pressure, and sacrifice themselves for their friends, family, and honor.

Characters fight for powerful factions or create their own. Seek justice and deliver judgment as an Iravar Arbiter, protect civilization from the horrors of the wilderness as a B’Nakar Warden, or operate as a freelance mercenary, spy, or assassin as part of the Syndicate.

Tempted by vices, steeled by virtues, and compelled by loyalty, you forge your own legend. In a fragmented civilization of tangled alliances and secret guilds, will you fight with valor?

Forge of Valor is set in Ashkhar, a fantasy world inspired by fables and mythic cultures through history. Magic is common but taxing, the gods are silent, and conflict stems from the daily struggle of the world's inhabitants. This conflict is driven by the interplay of intelligent species, their cultures, and the dangers of living in a savage landscape.

Ashkhar is vibrant and tumultuous, with abyssal rifts and soaring plateaus rising and falling through its history. A whole continent may hide for centuries behind imposing terrain, isolated from the outside world, only to be exposed as the land shifts without warning. Enterprising nations and factions fight for dominance on this constantly changing frontier. It’s a time of exploration, conquest, and technological advancement.

Ashkhar is populated by six sentient species with many diverse cultures, deep religions, and powerful factions. The species are the perceptive Anduin, the passionate Grohlkin, the pragmatic Inohkshi, the massive Koht, the resilient Krolog, and the industrious Humans.

All life on Ashkhar is bound to an energy field called vohk. Vohk is the source of food’s sustenance, it defines the soul, and it gives people the power to Control the world around them. It can be harnessed and influenced, but never subjugated. Vohk provides strength to the body, mind, and spirit, and those most gifted in its use can bend reality.

Forge of Valor includes rich descriptions of Ashkhar’s major regions, cultures, ideologies, and notable organizations. Much of the setting is presented as a series of hooks and seeds, giving plenty of opportunity for your group to explore and fill in the details.

Forge of Valor's character sheet. It guides you through creation and gameplay
Forge of Valor's character sheet. It guides you through creation and gameplay

Forge of Valor uses a 3d6 plus modifiers roll to determine an attempted task's success. The amount the roll beats the task’s difficulty is the action’s degree of success. Every roll is modified by the character’s Attributes, Skills, and Specialties. Characters train in Skills, and over time focus in Specialties.

Each Skill covers a broad area of expertise, like Coordination, Knowledge, or Awareness. Skills are comprised of three Specialties, which more narrowly define a subset of that Skill. Training in a Skill applies to each of its three Specialties, while training in a Specialty only applies to its specific niche.

For example, an athletic warrior trained in the Might Skill will be good at the Melee Combat, Strength, and Speed Specialties. As the warrior focuses on combat and engages in battles, the Melee Combat Specialty would start to pull ahead of Speed and Strength.

You’ll play characters that are broadly competent and focused in their chosen specializations. A guileful assassin capable of blending in with the crowd? No problem. A pragmatic tactician that uses deduction to cut apart foes? Sure. An inspiring leader that can swing a halberd and launch enemies with telekinesis? Absolutely.

Defining Your Character

Characters in Forge of Valor have a core Trait, one or more Vices, and one or more Virtues to define how they view and interact with the world. Short and Long term Goals operate as a character’s personal motivation and connections. Characters earn benefits when pursuing their Goals and acting on their Traits, Vices, and Virtues.

You’ll form Relationships with multiple Factions, which provide missions, resources, allies, and enemies. During character creation, players pick a positive, negative, neutral, or complicated relationship with at least one Faction.

Factions

Players can make their own Faction with goals, motivations, abilities, and resources. Factions and characters directly affect one another; characters successfully completing a mission might boost their Faction’s resources or connections, while a Faction-scale conflict might embroil the characters in an unexpected battle.

Characters often have to choose between their personal motivations, resisting their Vices, or sacrificing their Virtues in order to uphold their duty to their Faction. GMs are given hooks, seeds, and guidelines on how to create compelling and challenging Faction-character relationships.

Control

With enough willpower, characters can exert their Control on the world and subtly bend reality. Controllers weave energy, sculpt matter, or manipulate the minds of others. The system limits a controller’s potency, and rewards characters for applying the Laws of Control as creatively and efficiently as possible.

There are three schools of Control that a character can focus on: Energy, Matter, and Mental. Bend light, influence gravity, concentrate heat, or enervate an enemy with Control Energy. Shred flesh, turn stone to mud, purify metal, or seal wounds with Control Matter. Create illusions, speak telepathically, strip memories, or block the senses with Control Mental.

Additional Character Abilities

Characters gain additional abilities called Assets and Techniques.

Assets provide bonuses or automatic successes when attempting certain tasks, and are broken down into Combat and Noncombat Assets.  

For example, if a character is particularly skilled at making multiple attacks, he might take the Combo Attack Asset, allowing him to attack twice with less penalty than normal.

And if a character is exceptionally good at following tracks, she might take the Tracker Noncombat Asset, which allows her to successfully track her quarry up to a certain difficulty without ever having to roll.

A Technique is a set of combat maneuvers, styles, stances, or weapon proficiencies. One Technique is selected at character creation, with the opportunity of improving it or learning new Techniques as the character advances. Each Technique is triggered under different circumstances or when using a particular weapon.

For example, Toogan Harbeck has taken the Stealth Technique. Because of his Technique, any time that he moves with stealth or fights unaware enemies he gets to pick from a handful of benefits, such as improving his roll, making his attacks more deadly, lessening a penalty, or applying an Impact.

Technique Impacts deliver an extra effect to your friends or foes: knock your enemy prone, heal your ally, combine multiple actions together, or minimize the amount of energy spent to unleash Control. There’s plenty of sample Impacts in the book, as well as rules for how to make your own.

Check out a detailed example of Techniques here.

Character Advancement

Characters improve through failing tasks and completing goals. When a character attempts an action that isn’t trivially easy, the player has to roll. If the roll fails, the Specialty for that roll earns an Experience Point (XP). Earn enough XP for that Specialty, and it improves. Improve enough Specialties, and your character Levels Up. When Leveling Up, characters can improve their Skills, acquire new Assets, and upgrade their Techniques.

Game Master Tools

Forge of Valor has been designed to make it easy for the GM to react to the unforeseen actions of the player characters. Obstacles, combat, game concepts, adventure seeds, improvisation advice, and a variety of other tools and rules are given in the book. The system gives GMs inspiration and easy-to-use rules, without cluttering up game time. Enemies use a quick, modular system making it easy to build battles on the fly.

Sigil Stone Publishing has forged an excellent team of dedicated, talented people to bring its first project to life.

Design

Forge of Valor was principally conceptualized and designed by Ben Dutter. Ben has been tinkering with roleplaying games for nearly 20 years, and has been actively developing Forge of Valor for the last two. Innumerable people have contributed to Forge of Valor’s design, each playing a significant role in its development and playability.

Art

Keith Seymour is heading up the art for the project. Keith is a talented, established fantasy concept artist, and has been working with Ben to define Forge of Valor’s look and feel for the last year. Ben and Keith feel that a unified artistic vision is crucial to creating an immersive experience, so Keith is ready to complete all of the beautiful full-color art in the final book.

Layout

The layout for Forge of Valor will be designed by Tiara Lynn Agresta, a highly skilled layout editor with years of experience in the RPG industry. Her works include the Smallville RPG, Razor Coast for Pathfinder, and many others. Tiara Lynn’s eye for clarity and functionality will ensure that the book is legible, organized, and easy to comprehend.

Editing  

Joshua Yearsley is taking on the editing duties, helping shape the manuscript while trimming down any excess. He has a keen eye for system design and digestible information. He has edited many RPGs, including Nova Praxis, and currently works for Evil Hat Productions. More than a copy editor, Josh is an integral part of the design team and guarantees a clean and smooth read.  

Playtesting  

No game should ever get to market without thorough playtesting. Forge of Valor has had extensive internal and external testing, one-shot events, long-spanning campaigns, and games in a variety of fantasy sub-genres. Special thanks goes out to our core group of dedicated playtesters and design contributors: Alan Meddley, Andrew Taylor, Derek Dozier, Greg Ventura, Jason Germino, Matt Hacker, Matt Wilson, Seth Dutter, and Zandy Powlesland.

Forge of Valor is being produced with the highest quality standards. The game’s production value is an absolute priority: it will be an artifact you’re pleased to hold, read, and own. It will be hardbound, Smyth sewn, and full color. Based on the current manuscript, which has seen five major drafts (including a broad edit), we’re looking at around 220 8.5x11” pages. It is currently going through the final editing phases to ensure a smooth read.

All of the artwork, graphic art, and layout will be beautifully detailed and full color. We anticipate including about 25 pieces of Keith’s art, and will incorporate more as funding allows.

We at Sigil Stone believe in simplicity. There’s only five pledge levels for the Forge of Valor Kickstarter, so that everyone knows exactly what they’re getting up front.

$1 Contributor: You’ll gain immediate access to the current draft version of the game, access to the exclusive backer updates, and special thanks in the book. 

$10 Ore: You get the full-color PDF of the final book at a reduced early-bird price, backer updates, and thanks in the book. (Limited to 100 copies) 

$15 Ingot: You get the full-color PDF of the final book, backer updates, and thanks in the book. 

$40 Steel: You get the hardbound full-color book at a reduced early-bird price, the PDF, backer updates, and thanks in the book. This price includes shipping in the US. (Limited to 100 copies) 

$45 Hammer: You get the hardbound full-color book, the PDF, backer updates, and thanks in the book. This price includes shipping in the US. 

We genuinely hope you support Forge of Valor and have as much fun playing it as we have.

As with our pledge levels, our stretch goals are nice and simple to ensure we can deliver the book on time and within budget. This is our first Kickstarter and we would hate all of our hard work to spiral out of control by promising stretch goals that simply weren’t attainable.

That being said, with additional funding we will be able to spend more of our effort on artwork, editing, and layout. Additionally, for every $4000 beyond our funding goal, we’ll add 5 more pieces of Keith’s beautiful artwork.

  • $14,000: +5 pieces of artwork (30) 
  • $18,000: +5 pieces of artwork (35) 
  • $22,000: +5 pieces of artwork (40)

If you’re not completely satisfied with Forge of Valor within one month of receiving it, ship it back and we will completely refund your Kickstarter pledge. Digital copies will be refunded upon request. As a new company, we want to mitigate any hesitation or lack of confidence in our first book, and we deeply appreciate your support.

Unfortunately, physical copies of Forge of Valor are only available for shipping in the United States. International shipping rates are egregiously high (sometimes more than the book itself) and vary so much from month to month that they are impossible to plan for in advance. Sadly, this forces us to preclude any international physical copies during the Kickstarter.

If Forge of Valor is successfully funded, Sigil Stone Publishing plans to work with various international distributors. Once this becomes a possibility, speak with your local gaming store to place an order through the distributor. We will keep you updated throughout the entire process, posting that information on our website and social media. We’re terribly sorry for the inconvenience.

The manuscript has gone through several complete, edited drafts and is currently going through the final editing phases. Once complete, Josh will pass it along to Tiara for layout, and then off to the printers. We are optimistic that the books will be shipped in 2014, and by Spring 2015 at the latest.

As soon as the PDF is completed (estimated Winter 2014), all backers at levels of $10 and up will receive an email with a download code. This is our first Kickstarter as a company, but most of the team is experienced in their respective fields. We want to ensure that everything goes smoothly and is delivered on time, but our priority is the quality of the product. We’re working with a highly capable and efficient domestic printer to get the books printed quickly and with the highest quality standards.

We love to talk about Forge of Valor! If you have any questions about the game, system, setting, team, process, or anything at all, feel free to email us directly at contact@forgeofvalor.com or reach out to us @ForgeofValor on Twitter, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/forgeofvalor.

Risks and challenges

The largest risk involved with the completion of Forge of Valor would be if any of the core Team became ill or unable to work on the book. Since the manuscript itself is completed, Ben's involvement will be simply to refine and hone the book, as well as manage the project.

The other members of the team are all crucial, but contingencies have been arranged in the case of Keith, Josh, or Tiara being unable to complete their portion of the project.

Printing, shipping, and manuscript issues could also provide for delays in the delivery of the final product. Our printer is based in the US, and is well respected within the industry for their quality and expediency. Measures have been taken to ensure the manuscript (and its elements, such as artwork) are completed on time and to the appropriate quality standard.

Shipping has been budgeted and planned in detail, with additional copies being printed to ensure that if any are damaged or lost, replacements can be sent immediately.

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Funding period

- (35 days)