About this project
"I loved the ease of the system. Simple to pick up and use."
"Straight forward and nicely balanced in complexity."
"Really fun and unique."
"Very simple and adaptable."
"Great for a beginner to acclimate to a gaming system."
"Having combat phases execute simultaneously lends itself to significantly more cerebral, methodical pace-making decisions; and larger, long-term plans are rewarded over spontaneous decisions."
"Removes the 'What is the optimal move?' discussion from the table"
(On the topic of running combat) "It is very simple and straightforward to run. I was thinking 'There's got to be more to this.' It is surprisingly easy."
Pythòs is a high-magic fantasy campaign setting, but one shrouded in a mysterious veil of powers beyond mortal control. Gods are most certainly real, but their powers are limited and their ways unknown. Very few mortals can grasp their intentions, but everyone has their own beliefs. The practice of every form of worship (or lack thereof) can likely be found somewhere.
Even more terrifying than the gods, titans of colossal size and enormous power have existed since before the first dawn on Pythòs, longer even than the gods themselves. Many believe them to be physical embodiments of the forces of nature; their immense presence is only ever felt when they awaken from slumber for short periods of seemingly mindless destruction.
The people of Pythòs, referred to as mortals, are as diverse as the people of Earth. Mortals vary in size, features, skin color, temperament, and ideals; even more so with the existence of magic and mysterious heritages. There also exists vast cultural and technological diversity, with only a couple civilizations having discovered the strength of steel, while others having not yet realized the utility of iron or even bronze.
Much of this world was inspired by mythologies and ancient cultures on Earth. Some names of locations, peoples, monsters, gods, and titans can be easily recognized by those with an eye for history and culture, while other influences are more subtle. The result of this melting pot of ideas is a unique world where many mythologies come together to bring out fantastic stories of heroes and legends, war and magic, terrible devastations and glorious triumphs.
Pythòs isn’t just a new campaign setting. In fact, this whole project started with the idea that simultaneous action combat can be implemented without being complicated or difficult to learn.
Why simultaneous action? There are multiple things that simultaneous action does better than the alternative (turn-based combat):
- It’s more realistic. In real combat, everything happens at once. Gamers often mock turn-based combat for the lack of realism it portrays. In Pythòs, a combatant can be killed in the same moments as its slain opponent.
- It’s more intense. In the uncertainty and chaos of battle, making decisions simultaneously limits the amount of knowledge players have about the outcomes of their actions.
- It saves time. With everyone at the table making their decisions at the same time, there is no waiting for the GM and each player (one-at-a-time) to analyze the situation, look up spells or abilities, and finally make up their mind.
- It keeps everyone engaged. During each player’s turn in a turn-based game, what is everyone else doing? Some players wait patiently for their next turn, while others get distracted or become a distraction for others. With simultaneous action, there is almost no downtime for any one player.
The combat mechanics were designed to be simple and easy to learn, but simplicity doesn’t mean it gets dull. With so many possible combat situations and tactical options, simultaneous combat can be a challenge to master. It’s one of the reasons Pythòs has been praised by both brand-new RPG gamers as well as long-time masters of tabletop gaming.
Here are a couple videos showing how this works. The first is a brief tutorial outlining the steps, while the second is an example of a combat round and how to use the Action and Maneuver Cards. (I apologize in advance for my poor video skills.)
Dice: The only dice you'll need are a couple d10s (ten-sided dice).
Attacks and Talent Checks: Any time you need to determine the success of an action (such as an attack) you simply roll a die, add a number, and compare the result against a target (such as defense). In some cases, you may be rolling two dice and taking the highest or the lowest. Quick and easy.
Character Creation: Character creation was also designed to be simple, yet offer opportunities for a variety of character concepts and the potential for complex strategies. Here are a few key features:
- Multi-classing is as easy as choosing to take a level in a different "Archetype". The game maintains power balance without complicated multi-classing rules.
- Spells: Instead of a catalog of complicated spells, spellcasters learn sets of themed spells. These are written to be easy to use and minimize page-flipping, yet flexible enough for creative applications. The use of mana (rather than spell slots) allows more flexibility and an easy way to enhance spells with scalable effects.
- Items and inventory rules are brilliantly realistic, simple, and intuitive. No tracking weight or volume!
Your Name in the Core Book: Exactly what it says. Every backer that pledges $5 or more will have their name placed in the credits at the back of the book as a thank you for your support.
The PDF Package: Includes all of the following items...
Your Name in the Core Book
One PDF copy of the Pythòs Core Book (bookmarked and hyperlinked for easy navigation)
One PDF copy of the Starstruck Mountain adventure module, designed for 1st level characters. Approximately 32 pages, full color.
PDF Print-and-Play versions of the Action and Maneuver cards
PDF Form-Fillable Character Sheets
Full-Size image files for the Pythos World Map and Acragaia Citadel Map
All digital rewards unlocked as stretch goals
The Pythòs Core Book: Approximately 200 pages, high-quality, full-color, fully illustrated. It will contain everything needed to play, including plenty of setting material and resources for the GM to create and run adventures. The physical version will be printed perfect-bound softcover, but if we reach the $10,000 stretch goal, all books will be upgraded to hardcover for free!
Action Cards: A perfect supplement to the game, action cards can be used to reveal actions simultaneously and/or as a reminder of declared actions. A couple quick-reference cards are also included for key information. Sturdy poker-sized cards with linen finish. One set is enough for one player. Two sets are included in the "Game Master Package" to help the GM run multiple monsters and NPCs. Also offered as an add-on for $10 each (plus shipping if outside the US).
Maneuver Cards: Like action cards, these help with declaring actions each round. Also linen finish. Since each player won't likely need a whole set of maneuver cards, this set is included at the "Game Master" level, intended to be shared by the group. Also offered as an add-on for $12 each (plus shipping if outside the US).
Retailer: *Must verify store's physical location
Your store’s name in the core book
Everything included in the "PDF Package" (for in-store use)
Six (6) physical copies of the Pythòs core book
Six (6) sets of Action Cards
Four (4) sets of Maneuver Cards
Send us a message for discounted add-ons
Virtual Pythòs with the Creator: Invitation to play Pythòs with the creator (Gareth Johnson): This 4 to 6 hour game will take place online with the Roll20.net virtual tabletop platform, with an EXCLUSIVE storyline. All invitees will receive a copy of Gareth's GM notes after completion. The date(s) will be announced around the same time the books are shipped and will take place sometime in summer 2018. There will be some flexibility in scheduling.
Backers at this level also have their Core Book signed for free!
Legendary Hero: Contribute one legendary character to be included in the Pythòs core book as a fully-playable example (as a player character, NPC, or villain). An illustration of the character will be produced to accompany its description in the book. This is subject to approval. Inappropriate and off-taste contributions will not be accepted.
Backers at this level will also receive a set of cards featuring all of the legendary characters that were created and have their Core Book signed for free!
Simply add the dollar amount of each add-on to your chosen reward level. Don't forget to add shipping if you are outside the US.
A survey will be sent out after the campaign to collect information about chosen rewards and add-ons.
(+$40) Additional Pythos Physical Core Book (Free US shipping. Please add $15 for shipping to Canada, or $24 anywhere else.)
(+$10) Set of Action Cards: Might be a good idea to get an extra set or two if you want to make sure everyone at the table has one. (Free US shipping. Please add $6 for shipping to Canada, or $11 for anywhere else)
(+$12) Set of Maneuver Cards: An extra set may come in handy if playing at high levels or with more than four players, or just to have a set for yourself if you don't want to share. (Free US shipping. Please add $6 for shipping to Canada, or $11 for anywhere else)
(+$10) Signed Core Book: If you are receiving a core book, you can have it signed by adding $10 to your pledge. (No Additional Shipping). "Virtual Pythos" and "Legendary Hero" backers have this included for free.
Special Deal on International Shipping: If you back at a pledge level that has its own shipping cost ($25 and up), AND you pay shipping for one more set of cards, shipping for additional sets of cards is free. Please message me when you take this deal to avoid potential confusion later. See the FAQ for more information.
If we surpass our initial funding goal, additional money we raise will allow us to provide even more rewards to our valuable backers. As the rewards below are unlocked, more stretch goals will be added.
The Eternal Stretch Goal: There are many creative projects like Pythòs that would never be possible without crowdfunding. That is why we will be participating in the "kicking it forward" promise. After all the costs of making Pythòs have been paid, we will donate 5% of what's left to other Kickstarter projects.
$8,000: Digital Wallpapers. Every backer (including those at the “Supporter” level) will receive two high-resolution digital wallpapers: “The Acragaia” (the core book cover image) and “Starstruck Mountain” (the adventure module cover image).
$8,000: Kickstarter Exclusive Maneuver Card. All backers receiving a physical product will also get a bonus Standard Maneuver Card to commemorate this campaign. Usable in the game or as a keepsake.
$10,000: Hardcover Upgrade. All physical copies of Pythos will be upgraded to high-quality hardcover for free.
$12,000: Tomb of the Dead Titan. A second PDF adventure for backers at the "PDF Package" level and above.
$16,000: Physical Starstruck Mountain. The “Game Master Package” will also include a softcover adventure book for Starstruck Mountain. Will also become available as an Add-On.
$20,000: Gates of the Apocalypse. A third PDF adventure for backers at the "PDF Package" level and above.
...more stretch goals to be announced.
Phase 1 (September ~ October)
Final Writing: The remaining sections of the game text will be finished, and any stretch goal material will be written. "Legendary Hero" backers will be contacted to provide their input during this time.
Art: Our artists will be busy creating beautiful art to fill the core book and adventure module(s).
Phase 2 (November ~ December)
Editing: We will go over every last detail of the material. Typos, power imbalances, confusing rules, and anything lacking will all be painstakingly corrected.
Layout: As everything comes together, we will share pictures of what the inside of the book will look like.
Phase 3 (January ~ March)
Printing: After submitting our files to the printer, they will provide us with a digital and physical proof. We'll check the quality, and when everything meets our high standards, we'll give them the go-ahead.
Phase 4 (April ~ May)
Logistics: All of the products will be sent by freight to a warehouse, checked, and packaged.
Delivery: Physical products will be shipped out to everyone around the same time, though certain add-ons may be shipped separately. It's possible that digital products could be sent out somewhat earlier than the physical items.
When you select your reward level, you will be asked to choose your region. There are three regions: USA, Canada, and the Rest of the World.
Shipping to the USA is included in the reward price. International shipping is subsidized by the same amount.
For add-ons, please don't forget to add shipping to your pledge.
Risks and challenges
As some of you are aware, this is actually a relaunch of a project attempted last year. After launch, it quickly became apparent that the funding goal was set far too high, which discouraged many potential backers. We've learned a lot, and this time around we're doing things a little differently.
While our every effort is going to be spent getting a high quality product created and delivered on-time, there is always the risk of unforeseen delays.
Pythòs has already been developed into a fully-playable game. The steps remaining include illustration, layout, and printing. We are maintaining contact with several printing companies, so in the event our first printer choice has an issue, we can easily switch to another.
Because of the timeline of this project, there is a risk that paper and/or oil prices may fluctuate before the time of printing. But if there are any cost overruns, you, our backers will still receive your rewards. We will gladly accept the risk of losing money in order to make this project a reality.
The game's designer, Gareth, is running most of the show. He's acting as writer, editor, publisher, and project manager. His credentials include a Master of Business Administration degree and over five years of engineering project management experience.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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