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Inspired by Kickstarter’s make/100 initiative, I’m sharing a few tools that I’ve been using at my home games with great success.
The Chronicles RPG Kit is a series of system-neutral, old-school booklets with tools to help you run well organized, dynamic roleplaying games. These booklets are meant to be written in, helping you and your players organize your games for maximum fun!
Each booklet is digest sized (5.5”x8.5”) and approximately 56 pages. The Chronicles RPG Kit consists of four booklets:
- Book 1: Malloy’s Almanac — Fantasy calendar with 20 sets of encounter tools to help you run ad hoc adventures
- Book 2: Imaginarium — Idea log with blank dungeons, encounter worksheets, and adventure design tools
- Book 3: Session Planner — Gamemaster tools to plan and track game sessions
- Book 4: Game Diary — Player tools to log adventure notes, experience, and group treasure
If this first Kickstarter is successful, the long-term plan is to produce another set of these volumes each year to allow you to write in these various books and annotate them during the game. The booklets have generous areas for notes and checkboxes next to key entries so you can easily scan and see what entries you've already used.
Book 1: Malloy’s Almanac
The first book in the Chronicles line is Malloy's Almanac. It is optimized for use at the table and is an invaluable tool to create on-the-fly adventures.
Malloy's Almanac has many of the features of a traditional almanac, but is tailored for the needs of tabletop roleplaying games. The Almanac will include:
- Sunrise & Sunsets
- Moon Phases
- Celestial Events
The real core of the book is its random encounter tools. Unlike many tools that have random tables, this book is meant to be written in so you can track story elements as you use them.
The tools have separate dice roll methods which let you choose encounters for either low-magic (think Middle-earth or Game of Thrones) and high-magic (think Forgotten Realms or Greyhawk) settings. The twenty encounter tools are broken into four sections:
- Travelling — 1. Travelers, 2. Forage, 3. Hazards, 4. Misfortunates, 5. Hostiles, 6. Landmarks, 7. Hunting, 8. Campsite, 9. Relics, 10. Dreadlands, 11. Warbands, 12. Omens
- In Town — 13. Towns, 14. Shops, 15. Taverns, 16. Wanted Posters
- Loot — 17. Books & Tomes, 18. Magic Items, 19. Personal Loot
- Verse — 20. Riddles
The final section is composed of tables of characters by race (Humans, Elves, Dwarves, Halflings, and Orcs), with checkboxes next to each name to note when you've used them. It includes unique names, distinctive features or quirks for the character, and some motivations for each NPC which can themselves drive further adventures.
Book 2: Imaginarium
The second book is called the Imaginarium and is an idea log used to plan game sessions. Blank dungeons are ready to fill in with your ideas. Encounter worksheets provide tools to help you create tactically interesting maps for combat scenes. There are also campaign worksheets and adventure design checklists to help you craft on-the-fly game sessions as well as help you plan between games for adventures which incorporate player’s backgrounds and secrets.
The book contents will include:
- 6 blank dungeons you can annotate
- 12 encounter worksheets with fill-in graph paper
- 3 campaign worksheets which use an Apocalypse World-style Fronts technique
- Adventure design guidelines with tips and checklists
- Secrets tracking sheets
- Adventure Seeds tracking sheets
- Ideas & Notes tracking sheets
Book 3: Session Planner
The third book is a Session Planner. Gamemasters can use this tool to plan games (often using ideas and maps from your Imaginarium) and to take notes during the game sessions. It will feature two-page spreads for each game session and will allow you to track 25 different game sessions. There is also a section called ‘People, Places & Things’ to track PCs, NPCs, and key places or things that come up during game sessions.
Book 4: Game Diary
The final book in the Chronicles Kit is a Game Diary. The gamemaster can give this booklet to a player to record notes on what happens in each game. Appoint a player as a quartermaster or chronicler and they can then track group treasure, experience, and other key information that comes up in each game session.
Our goal is to reach $1,000 which will allow us to complete the text and layout of the four booklets, and to print and ship these products to our fans as soon as possible.
Note that we are limiting our pledge level to 100 backers. In the second half of this year, if this current Kickstarter is successful, we plan to do a second set of volumes which will allow our customers to continue to use these tools for their ongoing campaigns. The Volume 2 set of the Chronicles RPG Kit will include all-new encounter ideas, adventure seeds, dungeon maps, and more!
How do you support this project? It's very easy, simply click "Back this Project." Since this is a small product, we’ve made things simple and have only one pledge level:
- $40 — CHRONICLES FAN: Receive one physical set of the four booklets as well as digital PDF copies of the four booklets.
You’ll get the PDF copies of the booklets as soon as we have them ready (likely in February). We expect to ship the physical booklets in March.
At the following stretch goal levels we have additional products we will unlock. Want to print a worksheet and stuff it into a pocket or purse for gamemaster planning on the go? These stretch goals are just the thing you need!
$1,500 UNLOCKED!!! — Session planner worksheet (PDF)
$2,500 UNLOCKED!!! — Session log (PDF)
$3,500 UNLOCKED!!! — Encounter worksheet with fill-in graph paper (PDF)
$4,000 UNLOCKED!!! — Campaign worksheet (PDF)
- Shipping Costs — Kickstarter will collect shipping costs for physical products as you checkout. Shipping costs are $5 per set of four booklets in the US and $15 per set for Canada. International shipping is $25 for one set of four booklets.
- VAT and Duties — International customers are responsible for any VAT, customs fees, or duties that may be due at time of delivery. We are unable to estimate these fees. These fees are solely the responsibility of the recipient.
- Ship Dates — Final physical product sets will ship as soon as we have the products available, in late February or March.
Rogue Comet is an RPG company formed by fans of the hobby who want to create time-saving GM tools to make gaming easier. Together with a hoard of helpers and supporters we strive to create fantastic products for everyone! This will be our seventh crowdfunding project, and we look forward to expanding our product lines. Together with a hoard of helpers and supporters we strive to create fantastic products for everyone!
Can I just buy a set of digital PDFs?
For this limited-pledge level Kickstarter we’re keeping it simple and having just one product: a print + PDF bundle.
Is this specifically for D&D or Dungeonesque 5e products?
This is a system-neutral product that will work well with just about any system. The only thing with mechanics that might require some quick conversions are the Forage and Magic-Item sections of the Almanac, which have some simple mechanics that will work in just about any d20-based fantasy game with little or no conversion effort.
Is this tied to the Dungeonesque White Box products? The covers look similar.
Yes, we’ve used the same parchment cover style and booklet format that we use in the Dungeonesque White Box booklets. If you use these Chronicles booklets with the Dungeonesque White Box booklets, they’ll look great together! However, you can use the Chronicles booklets with any RPG system you want, since these booklets are system-neutral.
Is the content completely new?
Almost all content in the Almanac is new. There is some content (a few of the 20 Towns and 20 Magic Items) which appeared in a previous Rogue Comet product (Adventures in Varria: Volume 1) which we are reusing due to the low funding target of this Kickstarter.
How does the Almanac support both low and high magic?
There are 20 types of encounters, and each encounter section has twenty entries. For each table, the first 12 entries are low-magic events that work well in both low or high magic settings. The next 8 entries are specifically for high-magic settings. If you’re playing in a low-magic game setting, roll a d12 on the tables. For high-magic settings, roll a d20.
I want to buy your other White Box style products from prior Kickstarters. How do I do that?
The Red and White Box products from our previous Kickstarters should be shipping around March. For this Kickstarter, we’ll send out a pledge manager survey in February at which time you can add-on other related products to go along with these Chronicles booklets, if you so choose.
Why would I use these instead of just scraps of paper and a large GM book?
In my prior career I was a human-centered-design expert for many years. Table-top ergonomics are a big focus for me. I want the content to be easy to scan, easy to understand, and easy to thumb through to find the content you want. I’ve been testing the method I’m presenting in these booklets for many months, and I have found that this system works really efficiently during the game to find and record information. Having concise and usable tools at the table will help you run fast-paced, well-organized, on-the-fly games and get the most out of your roleplaying games.
Risks and challenges
The majority of the booklets are laid out. All the art is complete. Only some additional text and layout remains. We think we can deliver this project without problems.
However, as with any manufacturing process, things can go wrong. Delays in layout or print production could happen. So we have allowed additional time in our schedule as a buffer to enable us to avoid such delay issues. If all goes as planned, we may even be able to deliver the project a little sooner.
We understand the printing process, as our founder has published several RPG books before and has worked with multiple printers.
No matter what problems occur, we will always keep our backers and supporters informed of any issues that arise so you will be aware of the situation and how we will be handling it.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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