The Retroverse lives! Welcome to an exciting new 5E universe from Lasers & Liches! It is an unbound universe bursting with half-faded memories, barely remembered songs, lost childhood friends, outdated styles, vaporwave, abandoned dreams, lost playthings, vaporware, and time corroded nostalgia. A place both strange and familiar. A place for adventure,chaos, friendship, and the magic of yesteryear. In short, a place that combines your love of the present with your adoration of the past.
Do you feel like your 5E game might be missing something? Maybe a little Retro-Futurism? We did too! It's time to get weird, time to get crazy, time for more freaking laser corgis! Lasers & Liches mixes untethered creativity with sci-fantasy and wraps it in the veneer of yesteryear. Expect neon swords, Code Dragons, Pizza Slimes, and so much nostalgia inspired world building. Don't worry though, we know that your memories are sacred, and that's why we're going to treat them with care. This was our childhood too and we are giving it the respect it darn well deserves. Callbacks are easy, and this ain't gonna be easy.
So, what is the Retroverse? Technically speaking, the Retroverse is an unstable plane. It is constantly expanding, contracting, and gaining new extensions. It wobbles on an uneven axis among the other planes of existence. Because if this, it eventually intersects all realities in one way or another. There is no point in time when it is not linked to multiple realms at once. Where the Retroverse ends, begins, or even exists at any given time is an impossible question to answer.
This means that you can take anything, from any 5E setting, and mash it together. Classic 5E content, mixed with Retroverse classes and species, fighting other 3rd party monsters, across a setting from your favorite cartoon?! You betcha! This doesn't overhaul 5E with a bunch of revised rules, it just makes the game cooler in every way.
Our Website: LasersAndLiches.com
We are creating a full 5E universe and need your help to bring it to life. This Kickstarter is focused on finalizing our content and bringing it all together into a two-book PDF format. (Why only PDF? See below) These will include new classes, playable species, spells, monsters, magic items, mechanics, deities, story, and a bunch more! We have been tirelessly pouring over our art and design to give you the best possible 5E experience and just need your assistance to bring it to light. The two PDFs we want to bring to you are The Player's Mix and The Game Master's Beats. Both will be filled to the brim with beautiful art, fun new options, and a few surprises. We have a minimum idea in mind for each and some really exciting features to include if we hit certain stretch goals.
To those that have followed our project so far, you know what you're getting into. We released our First Test Wave of content for free on DriveThruRPG. Well, we are happy to announce that we have the Second Test Wave ready to go! It is well over 400 pages of new or revised content just waiting for you to play. Backers will get this content within a few days of the campaign ending in successful funding. You can play with all our new stuff almost as soon as the campaign ends!
The Player's Mix: This PDF will be everything a player needs to bring their Retroverse character to life in their own world. It will feature at least 4 new classes, 4 new playable species, 4 new backgrounds, 40 new spells, 8 new feats, new sub-classes and sub-species for classic 5E, and a few other surprises!
These numbers begin to jump dramatically as we unlock more stretch goals. We also have a few more surprises to add in that we think you'll enjoy.
The Game Master's Beats: This PDF will dive deep into the lore of The Retroverse. It will offer new rules, a full campaign, 40 new magic items, 40 new monsters, a world map, and rules for adapting and creating your own settings in the Retroverse!
Just like the Player's Mix, this will receive a huge boon if we hit certain stretch goals. Which includes but is not limited to: An expanded campaign, remixed questlines, more magic items, more monster stat blocks, and we will release a very unique type of lich upon your world!
If you have been following our project, you may know that we tried a Kickstarter once before. We were well on our way to funding but overestimated some things. So, after only 4 days, we pulled the project before anyone was charged. We've written at length about why but the TL;DR version is that the extra goals we had in place would not be worth it to backers and pull too heavily from the project, making the whole thing suffer. So we went back to the drawing board, spent around a year improving our product, and are coming back with a more focused goal. This Kickstarter is almost entirely geared on just finishing the project in the most affordable (for us and backers) way possible.
The biggest changes to the game have already been made and are in our second test wave. The content now includes: 5 new playable species, 6 new classes (4 with 3 new sub-classes), 7 new backgrounds, 80+ new spells, 70+ new monster stat blocks, new sub-classes for core 5E classes, improved corruption, a new cliche mechanic, more deities, expanded basic equipment, and a bunch bunch more.
You may notice that this is above some of our previous stretch goals and even above our base content offered in this Kickstarter. That's because we are committed to not just delivering, but over delivering on this project. If we only hit the base funding, we will scale the project back a touch and include just a little more than you hoped for. With every new stretch goal, we increase the content coming towards you and bring an even more insane experience to your table. It's up to you to decide the final outcome!
If we already have a base product, why Kickstart it? There are 3 major reasons but the biggest one is editing is expensive. Lets break down all 3.
- Editing: Editing costs money, editing a lot of content (such as our game) costs a lot of money. Properly paying an editor is way beyond our meager capabilities, so we need your help to get there. This is where the bulk of all funding is going.
- Not Done: While we have a ton of content created, we are not quite where we want to be. We are still in development and our team has families and bills. Creating in our off time has spawned a huge amount of content, imagine what we could do if we could worry a bit less about food.
- Immortalize You: The Retroverse has been a community project since its first inception as a string of tweets. We love how much people enjoy our universe and the different ways they interact with it. This Kickstarter gives us the chance to get you into the universe canonically, making you a permanent part of this world.
When we went back to the Kickstarter drawing board, we decided we wanted to keep the next one very tight. This was our way of focusing on the project without lots of fees, taxes, shipping, and other headaches nibbling away at the funds until nothing was left. Once the PDFs are finalized and fully distributed, we will be running another Kickstarter for the hardcover books (in addition to some other cool merchandise) but that is not this Kickstarter. The focus now is project completion and giving you a hand in development. The hardcover copy Kickstarter will have awesome rewards, but none that get you in the main books like this one.
Print on Demand through DriveThruRPG (which is who will be fulfilling the PDF distribution) is a great option for many creators but is not the route we want to take. There are some surprises we have planned that they simply cannot do. We know there is a great desire for physical books, and we want them as well, but not as much as we want to bring you the best game possible. Without this Kickstarter campaign, a physical book will continue to remain beyond our means. We need your help now to bring this project from a dream, to your table.
The Nostalgia Blaster stretch goal is the only tier that will have physical rewards. We're saving some of the details until it is unlocked but it will include a set of our Tesla Dragon dice (below), some exclusive slap bracelets, an exclusive laser corgi pin, and a few other surprises. This will be the only way to get these items as well, as only the dice will ever see a reprint and not for a long time.
Looks like we have unlocked the Nostalgia Blaster tier! It is available as a full tier or as an add-on. If you are at the Tester tier or higher, simply add $25 to your pledge and its added automatically. Anyone backing us over $100 already has this pack added to their tier at no extra charge. It's our way of thanking you for backing us big and early. Shipping will be charged in BackerKit once the campaign ends. We also unlock extra stuff for the pack each time we hit a new stretch goal. What stuff? Keep up with our updates to find out!
What are some of the new Classes we want to introduce? The full base game will include the Holo-Knight, Synth Weaver, Henshin (formerly Goreangyr), and De-Fragger! You can see pictures of them below. We also hope to expand the roster (with your funding help) to include the Apogee (formerly Code Warlock), Glitch Hunter, Datamancer, and Icon. We promise to work on them until they are as fun as can possibly be!
All the classes available in the First Test Wave have been broken apart, injected with essence of cool, and put back together with 3 new sub-classes! The Holo-Knight now has the Hard, Soft, and Quantum Light sub-classes. The Synth Weaver now has the Beat Booster, Beat Mixer, and Beat Breaker possibilities (as well as a complete backbone overhaul). The Henshin now includes three mask types, Power, Magic, and Speed, depending on which type of spandex warrior you want to employ. And the De-Fragger has the Vaccine, Data, and Virus sub-classes, depending on how you handle corruption. We've spent a ton of time working on them (and taking your feedback) to make them even cooler than they already were.
There is a lot to the Retroverse. A LOT. In order to make it manageable and to continue to be able to test new and exciting features (and sleep!), we are breaking the testing period into waves. It also allows you to play with our stuff as its being developed, no waiting for the final versions to play! When the Kickstarter ends (if we are funded) we will release the second wave to anyone over a certain backer level (this will be the only way to get this content for now). It includes well over 400 pages of brand new content! You can play with some of the new classes and sub-classes, playable species, magic, monsters, magic items, and rules almost immediately! It also comes with the next chapter in the Warren's Grove campaign, giving you two missions (3 with our free Halloween special) to play! Each new wave will have an additional quest, growing to the eventual full campaign to be included in the Game Master's Beats. (There will also be some missions in the Game Master's Beats that are not available in the test waves.)
In a few months time we will release the third test wave. There is not a set date for this as the amount of content within the third test wave is highly dependent on how successful the Kickstarter is. We want to make sure that, even though we are still testing it, we release quality content to you. We are not going to rush this project. If there needs to be more test waves, then we simply do more.
As a backer you will have full access to the development process with frequent updates. You will know exactly when the third (and maybe more) test waves are coming!
If you would like to try a sample of what we are making, head on over to our DriveThruRPG page and download the Silver Best Selling (NOW ELECTRUM) First Test Wave or our Halloween Special. They're 200+ combined pages of pure awesome. Did we mention they are free?
You can also see some live play sessions of our game here.
Here's what some people have been saying about the Retroverse!
As we hit certain stretch goals, we will reveal more specifics about each one.
Chris Lock and LLuis Abadias are the powerhouse duo that comprise the entirety of the Lasers & Liches team. After bonding over a mutual love of the absurd nature of retro-futurism, a general malaise for traditional fantasy, and a love of lasers, they began working on the Retroverse project. Their love of the silly, love for their community, and love for each other has pushed this project to places neither of them would have thought possible. Between the two of them, they have run years of games, created several mildly successful projects, and generated a ton of free content for the TTRPG community. They both live on twitter. Chris: @Snickelsox LLuis: @LluisAbadias
Risks and challenges
The hardest thing about making this project has been balancing life around it. It is a two man team and yet we have a ton of content already created. We are not just creating a supplement, we are creating a brand new universe. We need your help to take this from a side project, to a main focus. If funded, we will create exactly what we have promised. There will certainly be some challenges we will face but we have made it this far with next to no funding and working in our spare time. Limiting our scope to just a PDF for now will ensure that we will deliver.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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