It’s 1919. The great war is over, and times they are a changing. What is your role in this new world? Maybe you are one of the women in the United States who is receiving her first taste of freedom with hidden speakeasies and now having the right to vote. Are you a deserter from the Russian Civil War, tired of fighting for a cause you don’t believe in. Perhaps you are one of the 283 women that serial killer Henri Landru had romantic correspondence with during the war, but never killed. You could be just a regular plug (person), trying to survive. But you like all these other people have a secret. You now know that the rest of the world is in quite a jam, because magic and the supernatural is real. You are the member of a secret society and take the fight to wherever evil shows itself.
Fellowship of the White Star is an investigative-heavy role-playing game where you portray a member of a global secret society devoted to eradicating evil and protecting the innocent from the supernatural threats that lurk in the shadows, undetected by the common person. The first era of the setting, Legacy of the Rose, was published by Thenodrin Presents, and was set historically in the years 1905-1914 using D20 rules. We have licensed the setting from them, and are producing the second era, Beacon in the Dark. Beacon in the Dark will begin in 1919 and go for 5 or 10 years to be decided based on various factors. with a new rule set. For the first era, we used the D20 rules to focus on getting the setting and story right. Now that we have a rich history on which to build, we have developed a rule system to better complement that setting.
The campaign setting for Beacon in the Dark is designed to be played in both private games and as a worldwide shared campaign. A private campaign is a group of players who meet on a regular basis and are not required to strictly follow the rules in the handbook. Because these games are for the players enjoyment, the GM and players are able to implement any home rules and other materials they wish. A shared campaign is run from adventures written by the campaign team for GMs to run at conventions or other locations all over the world. One adventure you may be with one group, but the next one with a completely different group. A shared campaign can be played at home, by purchasing the adventure modules online and running them for your local group. Remember the Choose Your Own Adventure Books you read as a child, kind of like that but the options are limitless because you aren't tied down to just the couple of options the author gave you. To make this fair and enjoyable for everyone, guidelines are established to make the math behind the game more balanced. Now we all know, that sometimes the dice can make the game terribly unbalanced. We also can't allow house rules to keep equity in the game.
Our game uses mostly-historical settings so that makes researching new cities, counties, countries, or continents easy for your group. The setting encourages the use of mythical, legendary, and even historical people, places, and events. As a few examples, the first iteration of the Fellowship saw the heroes convince JP Morgan that Nikola Tesla’s Wardenclyffe Tower was a worthwhile investment, travel to Pellucidar in the center of the Earth, and even save the Titanic from its watery fate. That is one of the things that our players love the most about our world, is knowing that the decisions of their characters can change history for the better, even if only in a game
Beacon in the Dark will be building on the history of the Legacy of the Rose era. The shared campaign for that setting lasted from 2007-2018. Beacon in the Dark begins this year at Origins Game Fair. This will be the 1919 game year. 2020 will be game year 1920, and so on.
Creating a character is a fast and easy process. You get a specific number of builder points depending on the style of campaign your game master desires: low, average, or high heroism. It is recommended that average is used unless you are going for a particular theme. For example, if you are looking at old monster movies for inspiration where the hero is a scientist or a detective or an archaeologist, you are probably going to want an average hero. But, if you are looking for a game where you play the normal person caught up in events beyond his normal capabilities, doing whatever you can to survive, you are probably going to want a low hero. To make this even easier, we have a spreadsheet character generator that will be made available for free on our website. It works in Microsoft Excel, and we will be testing in Google Sheets as well. We also plan to make a more traditional PDF character sheet.
Players can play any type of character that they want. The concepts are unlimited. Police Officer, Big Game Hunter, Explorer, Business Tycoon, Gangster, Politician, Stage Magician, Circus Performer, Actor (film, stage, street), Grifter, Barnstormer, Eastern Mystic, and so on. We have created six archetypes, that offer a diversity of play styles. These can be uses for pick-up play if you don't have the time to sit down and create a character or just to play so you can get an idea of what the game is about. These are an Archaeologist, an Athlete, a Mad Scientist, a Private Investigator Detective, a Smuggler, and a Veteran. We are excited about the artwork being drawn for this. Below are the rough pencil sketches.
As your character progresses, they earn experience points. The game is designed to reward an average of 10 experience points per play session (of course, your individual game master may adjust this average.) These experience points may be spent to increase skills or attributes, buy off disadvantages, or buy in new advantages. Disadvantages and advantages are character traits that are not skills or attributes that help personalize the character, such as Code of Honor which allows you to resist mental commands that go against your nature, or Active Duty which eats up your spare time.
The game system is easy to learn and encourages role-play by eliminating some of the randomness found in other games. In our system, if you are good at a task, you are good at it all the times, not only 25-50% of the time.
The new rule system runs from eight-sided polyhedral dice (D8), with the occasional use of six, ten, or twelve-sided dice as well. When you want to perform a task that has a chance of failure, you collect your Dice Pool and roll all the dice at once, looking individually for 5s or higher. These are successes. The more successes you generate, the greater an effect you have at performing the task. The D20 and D% dice are not used in our system.
The 5 is a constant, even if the die shape changes. This means that you normally have a 50% chance of success. But, if you have a circumstance that causes you to roll a D6, you drop to a 33% chance. If you get to increase to a D10, you move up to 60% chance of success. And, at a D12 you enjoy a 66% chance of success. The D20 is not used in our system.
One of the things that has kept us laughing during this project is all the funny slang used in the roaring twenties. The Big Cheese is the person who is in charge.
Our production team consists of five people.
- · Victor Long - President and Plot Manager
- · Bruce Finch - Research and Development
- · Peter Parker - Lead Game Designer
- · Jamie Myers - Marketing / Business Manager
- · Misty Long - Technology Design
Around Twenty years ago, Victor, Bruce, and Peter met through an organization called the Role-Playing Gamers Association (RPGA). The RPGA focused on shared campaigns. While each of them played in various campaigns offered by the RPGA, the all had a special place in their heart for a gothic horror campaign set in 1890's earth. Midway through that campaign, Misty joined the campaign and fell in love with it. When the RPGA campaign ended, many of the gothic horror players were sad to see the campaign ending and knew this meant that they would likely not see some friends anymore. This saddened them. Victor, along with two other friends started Thenodrin Presents and developed Fellowship of the White Star: Legacy of the Rose. While not partners in the company, both Bruce and Peter were still active in the development of that setting.
Misty moved from Ohio due to family issues, where she met Jamie. The two became close friends. After the death of Misty's mother, she moved back to Ohio missing most of her Ohio friends. After life dealt Jamie some rough life blows, Misty eventually got her to Ohio. After a few times playing, she was hooked. Now she runs, writes, and manages for us. (Insert evil laugh here...)
Many of you may be wondering, if so many of the people are still involved why not keep everything under Thenodrin Presents. That was a hard decision, but it was made just to simplify accounting. The previous partners from Thenodrin Presents, look forward to playing in Beacon in the Dark, but being outside of the business aspect of things.
Thenodrin Games is a company of gamers that are involved in all aspects of the products they create from plot lines to running tables at conventions. This is a company that loves what they do. With decades of role-playing gamer experience as players and gamemasters in both private and shared campaigns, we have a team of creative minds that understand what makes a great plot and keeps the gamer involved. Our products are an experience like no other. Where else can you chase a mummy, save the Titanic, or negotiate with Dracula, all in the same story-arc?
Thenodrin Games will be handling all pledge fulfillment. All electronic materials will be sent by e-mail. All physical materials will be shipped. United States shipping will be via USPS flat rate boxes, with the $10 cost added to your pledge. All other shipping will be billed separately, with costs determined on a case by case basis.
We are excited about everything we are able to offer our backers. While our Game Designers are working hard on the books, the manament has been reading comments here and on our Facebook and looking at ways to make sure our backers get wat they want. For this, we have decided to add a few Add-Ons. If you have already ordered, just adjust your pledge amount.
For those new to Kickstarter, if you would like to purchase one or more Add-Ons, just calculate the total price for your order and pledge that much above your minumum pledge amount with shipping. (You can also do this for packages, if you would like more than one package.) We will take care of all the totals with the buyer survey at the end of the Kickstarter.
This was going to be posted just as un update, but for somereason Kickstarte doesn't want to let me add graphics in the update section tonight. Here is the shot glass from Hyde's Den. Many of our players remember have lots of things to say about Hyde, the Londen Information Broker.
If you are looking at our largest rewards, you may want more information about them. Why is it worth $500 or $1000. Let us give you a little more details about these packages. First, for your secret society, you will work with our plot developer to create a society that has its own goals, members, and history. The plot developer will make sure it works in support of current goals and mission for the current campaign, but beyond that you will have a lot of input. For the friendly society, if you like you can design a major NPC, setting, or item dedicated to your society. For the enemy society, you can choose two of these. We will also write one module about your society, and maybe more depending on player interest.
Risks and challenges
As this is our first Kickstarter, the learning curve is a challenge. Every time we start to think we have a handle on things, it seems like something we see something else we missed. It's kind of like packing for a convention. Our new game system premieres at Origins Game Fair June 12-16, 2019. We have a booth to sell books and games to run. We are committed to providing an epic game system for our players and feel we have a team in place that can handle this challenge.
Our biggest challenge during this project has been life itself. During the past year, our team has had life throw us one curveball after another. At times it has been hard to stay focused on everything we had to do to make our project succeed. This is one of the reasons why every person on our team is of equal importance because when one crisis attacks like the rest of us are there to lift them up and pick up the slack. This project has taught us the importance of leaning on each other in times of need.
- (41 days)