About this project
Thank you to all our Sojourner backers for an absolutely incredible journey! The kickstarter funding has successfully concluded ... but the journey of our game is only beginning! Come visit our website and see how you can become part of Sojourner Tales!
If they combined the power of tablets, smart phones and ebook readers...with the joy of storytelling and board games.
Welcome to Sojourner! I'm Tracy Hickman. I'm an International and New York Times Best Selling author and game designer. For over thirty years, my wife Laura and I have been writing novels and designing games ('Dragonlance', 'Wayne of Gotham', 'Ravenloft', 'Dragon's Bard'). Now we're thrilled to invite you on our latest adventure: to bring interactive adventure storytelling to families and hobbyists alike.
In Sojourner Tales, you will use strategy and wits as you discover and collect the pieces of your mysterious story as you strive to be the first to complete the epic adventure. The tale is different every time you play ... or you can download new Sojourner Tales to explore from our website!
- Number of Players: 2-6
- Playing Time: 60-90 minutes
- Age of Players: 12+ (requires minimum reading skills)
- Setup time: 5-7 minutes
- Teach the rules: 3-5 minutes
Almost everything you need to know in order to play the game is contained in our basic game play video right here.
Can I play without electricity?
Absolutely! The Sojourner Story books are designed so that you can use either a print version of the adventures or the e-book version although the electronic versions make the game faster and easier to play.
The first person to collect all five of their Chapter Disks and fulfill the final win condition of the story wins that game!
There are other rules clarifying the random setup of the board and when you turn over a face-down Chapter Disk but you already know enough rules right here to play the game.
We've created a board game like no other: the first to integrate download content for tablets such as iPads, smart phones and e-reader devices such as Kindles, Nooks and Kobos.
- Unique Ebook Story Modules: The story told in every Sojourner Tale is designed to be contained entirely in the electronic mobi or epub files. You also have the option to download the adventure in PDF format to print out and use with the game if you do not have a tablet or other device that supports the electronic book formats. However, the use of any touch-screen device provides a magical experience in storytelling and helps the game move faster.
- Adaptable Design: The game components that come in the box and the rules of the game itself are specifically designed to be adaptive to a broad spectrum of storytelling. Each Sojourner Story Module contains information on which location tiles are to be used on the board with that particular story, thereby changing the look of the game board depending on the story being told. All of the flavor, setting, characters and narrative of the adventure are contained in the downloaded module ... meaning the game can adapt to any story you want to live.
- Innovative Storytelling System: The board keeps track of your location in the epic story, making certain that the game flows back and forth between the board and the ebook with the story continuity left intact. For random encounters, an innovative 'Twisted Tales' system lets the players draw two twisted cards and one tales card and then 'stack' them in such a way as to make a phrase -- a phrase which takes them to a specific adventure entry for that combination of cards.
- Grass-roots Licensing: We want YOU to write adventures for our game and so we are even providing you with a 'grass-roots licensing option whereby you can not only create your own Sojourner Tales games but (with our license) also sell those adventures on our official website.
Anything is possible! Since the story and complexity of the game is designed to be contained entirely in the Sojourner Story Module, it is entirely up to the module designer.
The book contains our 'secret recipe': a matrix of entries designed specifically to interface with the game. You play the game under the same basic rules but once you enter the book, whatever the story's author creates will plunge you into that story. Some stories are simple and created for quick play and families. Others may be complex, intended for more serious hobby gamers.
Our stretch goals list two additional modes of play: Improv and Theater play. Improv is a way of using the game to make up the story collectively as you play. Sojourner Theater play has each person at the table downloading the same book ... but with each player taking a different speaking part as the game progresses.
In our initial release of the game, we will include components for six genres of story:
Additional themed components representing further genres are certainly possible. What would you like to see?
We're packing a lot of awesome in every box.
- 1 Gameboard
- 50 'Twisted' Cards
- 50 'Tales' Cards
- 36 'Destiny' Cards
- 6 Player Tokens
- 6 Six-sided Dice
- 1 'Lead Player' Marker
- 1 'Chapter' Marker
- 1 'Scene' Marker
- 32 Story Disks (6 each in 6 colors)
- 6 Journal Display Boards
- 15 Location Tiles (creates 6 unique board configurations supporting fantasy, sci-fi, horror, mystery, romance/steampunk, superhero and holiday themes)
- 1 Sojourner Story Module (print edition with additional access instructions for downloading PDF, Kindle Mobi or iPad epub files)
- 1 Rules Book
Could you write a game just for your son's birthday? Maybe a game specifically for your parent's anniversary? What if you want to write fan-fiction Sojourner Story Modules of your own?
Great! We want to help you!
We will be providing through our website tools to help you create your own Sojourner Tales adventures for your own, personal -- as in non-commercial -- use.
But what if you want to SELL that amazing Sojourner Story Module that you polished to perfection?
Great! We want to help you do that, too!
We will sell you a license to produce official and sanctioned Sojourner Tales adventures which you can sell with our blessing. The license initially will be for from one to two years. Anything you produce during the period of the license that meets our standards, is licensed for five years after the end of the license. You should notice that there are Backer levels which include this license. You'll need to adhere to our standards policies regarding content and quality. If you have a license from us, we will not only allow you to sell it but will even host it on our Sojourner Tales website.
Risks and challenges
Laura and I have been creating and producing game and story content professionally for over thirty years. You might remember us as the original creators of 'Ravenloft' and 'Dragonlance' -- both of which became enormously successful both in books and in games. We've taken that thirty years of experience to create something unique and new.
This project does not use new technologies but it does utilize established and known technologies in new and innovative ways. Our costs are known yet we expect the unexpected and are planning ahead of time to insure that we will be in a position to address them as problems arise.
After all ... we've been creating and sharing our dreams for over three decades.
YES! We will include solo play rules for the game. We are also looking at two new innovations for the game which we are calling Improv and Theater modes.
Our current plans are to have three different adventures included in the game with additional adventures available for download from our website online from the day that we ship the game. How many additional adventures will be available to you will depend upon the level of funding since these will be related to the stretch goals of the project.
I've been writing adventure games for over thirty years. Replay value is important to me and Sojourner Tales embraces that fully. At each step of the story, the players face choices -- similar to a 'Pick-a-path' or Choose Your Own Adventure' -- as to which course the plot should take. So the course of the plot changes with the decisions of the players in every game.
There are actually two integrated story systems in the game: the Epic Story and the Twisted Tales. Epic story deals with the main story of the game you are playing while Twisted Tales represent additional random story events spicing up the plot. Couple this with the strategic movement on the board that also effects who has control of the story at any given time and you have a unique experience every time you play.
Laura and I want to make it as easy as possible for authors and adventure game designers just like you to write Sojourner Story Modules and to be able to profit from your creativity. That's why we decided to do what we call 'Grass-roots Licensing': offer a license to anyone who wants it under terms that would allow them to quickly see a profit from their work.
This benefits all of us: it allows you to sell adventures that you write for the game not only on our website but anywhere else -- including Amazon's KDP, iBooks, Kobo's self-publishing or on your own website. It allows Laura and I to keep our ownership of the Sojourner Tales intellectual property strong (by establishing a clear path for any authors to create commercial product). And it provides a clearly defined line between 'fan fiction' (written for fun and personal use) and licensed products.
'Grass-roots Licensing' is an exciting aspect of Sojourner Tales that allows you to be a part of its growth.
NO! Anyone is free to write a Sojourner Story Module (SSM) for their own private use and, for that matter, give it to others for their private use as well. We'll provide you with all the tools you need to create your own adventure for your next Family Reunion or Special Occasion.
If, however, you want to SELL your SSM to someone else and profit from the exchange ... then, yes, you would need a 'Grass-roots License' from us.
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