About this project
Pockets of Earth are decimated by nuclear war in 1969 after the Bay of Pigs escalates into World War 3 and atomic weapons are unleashed across the planet. The alter sapiens of the world put aside their differences and use their abilities to create safe havens across the globe, saving those they can from nuclear devastation. Almost a century and a half has passed since the atomic apocalypse and through tireless scientific effort, areas of the world are becoming livable once more and civilization is creeping out to seek out life once again under the sun—though doing so means surviving in the Wasteland and many believe they were better off locked away in their shelters.
Help us make a 120+ page campaign setting source book for taking your D&D game into the apocalyptic future of an alternate Hypercorps 2099!
I'm just going to get this out there: I am a hopeless addict of the apocalypse genre. I've had serious Fallout-related issues in the past (it was cited frequently when my college girlfriend broke up with me), I adore movies about dreadful futures, and when something gritty and intriguing comes along I seize upon it. For a while things were okay but then I got my hands on Fallout 4 and after basically losing about two weeks of my life, I crawled back out of my game-hole and thirsted for more—but on my tabletop.
Some of my ideas for how best to do it have been around for a while (see Cleveland in the core Hypercorps timeline, the mutant race, the Luck attribute, the doctor alternative healer class, and the powerframe-wearing mechanic class) but others—radiation negating magic, a feat for aiming your shots, custom weapon building, a system for making and maintaining settlements—have since joined in for a very awesome sourcebook. I've even got some killer artwork for it already!
What I am asking you for and what I will do with it
1) Hire Savannah Broadway: I am juuuuust smart enough to know that a second set of dedicated eyes will pick up on opportunities I have missed in my immersive methodology to RPG design. You will be hard pressed to find better eyes for that purpose than the two orbs in Savannah Broadway's head. If you don't know Savannah already (she worked on the original Hypercorps 2099 and Mists of Akuma as well) she is all over the RPG industry, has served in the esteemed offices of Paizo, and when this Kickstarter funds she'll be on board to improve and expand on the material I've written thus far.
2) Hire Artists: I am a freelance author and game designer—getting artwork together is easily the biggest barrier when it comes to making new material. While I know a slew of great, talented people, getting the money to pay them from my contract gigs is a pretty daunting task. One or two pieces? My wallet can handle it. 30 pieces? That's outside the scope of my personal budget. When this Kickstarter funds, Indi Martin, Jacob Blackmon, Nathanael Batchelor, Naiche Washburne,and Sara Shijo are getting art orders to fill the book with amazing illustrations that bring it to life!
3) Finish the Book: More than 80% of the book is already written (see WARLORD VOTING below) and when the funding deadline hits, as long as we're past $3,000 all backers at $10 or above will get access to the Hypercorps 2099: Wasteland Playtest PDF. After a period of a few months for a wider playtest, the designing of warlords, a little time for Savannah to implement her genius, and a window for the artists to do their illustrations, I'll put this through the layout process.
What makes Hypercorps 2099 Wasteland different?
This isn't going to strictly be a campaign setting book, it's going to be a campaign setting source book.
A TOOLBOX FOR THE GM - There is no world map, each region doesn't have a ruler with details on how they govern, and aside from some global rules (expressed largely through three new attributes) one game set in the Wasteland might be vastly different from another. My goal here is to make a book that helps you generate a customized Wasteland for your group! When you sit down to start a campaign in the Wasteland the party make their survivor PCs and the GM consults them on what general geographic location (continent) they want to emerge in, then rolls to determine the available resources in the first region. Each time the group enters a new region, the GM does so again, gradually building a personalized world map as the game goes on. If you're on a time crunch there are tables you can roll on to randomly generate what each resource is, and the campaign takes on a vastly different tone—one that encourages exploration as much as it does adventure.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF D&D - In Hypercorps 2099 we brought superheroes into your D&D but this time we're changing the basic assumptions of the game to a very different bent—we're making it longer. Short rests are 1 day, long rests take 1 week, and with the Settlement rules (tied to the resources discussed above) the very nature of play fundamentally shifts. Not every fight should be meted out in the moment when healing might be further away than a quick nap, and not every secure door hides treasure behind it. The rules in this book will make survival as important as glory in your campaign, though for the truly heroic there won't be any shortage of folks that need saving!
MAD SCIENCE IS THE WORD OF THE DAY - Aliens that crawl into your brain and control you or otherworldly visitors dropping off abductees from the Colonial Era? Ray guns and mechaframe armor and atomic flashlights? Androids and mutants and smart walkers? If you have said "yes" to anything in the previous sentences, you are tuned into the same crazy awesome that we are.
THE NITTY GRITTY - Here's a quick rundown of the content in Hypercorps 2099 Wasteland.
- An alternate timeline for how this world differs from the Earth of Hypercorps 2099.
- Four new classes: the doctor (a scientific healer), freak (survivors mutated by radiation, mechanic (intelligent warriors protected by mechaframes), and scrapper (technological wizardry at its best).
- Class archetypes for every standard class ranging from the apocalypse scout ranger to the atomic puncher wizard tradition and wasteland warrior monk.
- New character backgrounds for alien abductees, feral raiders, shelter captains, and more!
- Four new races: synthetic androids, grayman gaxians, enormous mutants, and desiccated smart walkers.
- New equipment including atomic flashlights, walkie-talkies, and weapons both from antiquity and (of course) mad science.
- Custom weapon building rules whether you're dealing out death by hand or at a distance.
- New feats and spells to aim for headshots (or arms or legs), regain HP from radiation, discover its lurking presence, or make the most out of what you can find out in the Wasteland.
- New rules for dehydration, starvation, and radiation (which disrupts all magic save for necromancy). Use the awesome power of the Luck attribute, inspire fear with a heightened Irradiated attribute, and see how far word gets around with the Reputation attribute!
- Resource and Settlement rules for generating the campaign world as the PCs discover more of it, then getting them invested in the towns and perhaps even cities they build from the rubble!
- Hazards of the Wasteland to destroy those settlements! Attacks from the Wasteland, EM Storms, Unexpected Detonations, and more.
- 20+ new Wasteland monsters to depopulate those settlements! The atomic mutant, brain slug (including slug-brained template and slug-brained wastelander), 3 new elementals (nuclear, pollution, psionic), experimental subjects, irradiated bear (and irradiated template), mega mutant, mordor, mutant, purple people eater, rad-daddy, rad-drake, radioactive dragon, robots (four models!), The Wyrm, and walkers.
- Surviving Operators and Warlords of the Wasteland because not every NPC from the core timeline has died or ceased to exist, and there are still men and women with the will and drive to try to take over their own territories in the apocalyptic future.
We want you—the backers of this project—to truly feel like you have a voice in the direction of Hypercorps 2099 Wasteland. As mentioned above, a section of the book will be devoted to different factions and organizations the survivor PCs can interact with and YOU will get to vote on which you like best!
These are the Warlords of the Wasteland we've drummed up so far but which ones make the cut will be determined by you! Each will include a spread covering several pages, giving you grunt NPCs, commander NPCs, major NPCs, and the warlords themselves (see the free Hypercorps 2099 Wasteland: Settlement Rules PDF below for an example). All of them will have a map of an important locale or installation as well (a prototype map for The Bureau is above).
- Axkrazdhi, Gaxian Masterlord (alien conspiracy)
- Chainbeard’s Roadmasters (death on wheels)
- Cult of Slaarsh (alien brain slugs)
- Dean Josephine Higdensteen (robot professor gone rogue)
- DJ DX-45 (mental manipulating musician)
- Glort the Corroded (feral savage)
- Kalar the Lizard Lord (smart zombie dinosaur)
- Major Bridgette Beauregard and the Atomic Army
- Merlin the Technomage (yes, that Merlin)
- Napolean the Great (irradiated Animal Farm)
- Psionicus (mad cult)
- The Bureau (shady government)
- Varasuul the Enslaver (necromancer)
- Zivrasa of the Truest Green (demented druid)
AT-COST PRINT VOUCHERS
Every WASTELAND WARRIOR ($15) backer and backer at the WASTELAND HOARDER ($30) level or above will receive an at-cost voucher for a print copy of Hypercorps 2099 Wasteland: your Kickstarter pledge will pay for the PDF and when the book is done, you can get a physical copy for the cost of the ink, paper, glue, and shipping.
Cost Estimate for Hypercorps 2099 Wasteland Standard Color 120 Page Softcover
US Printing ($) $5.99 —————|————— UK Printing (£) £4.56
Cost Estimate for Hypercorps 2099 Wasteland Standard Color 120 Page Hardcover
US Printing ($) $11.16 —————|————— UK Printing (£) £7.86
Please note: These are estimates from the end of November 2016—the price for ink, paper, glue, and the like fluctuates—and they may change slightly before Hypercorps 2099 Wasteland is released. This doesn't include shipping costs or increases to cost from an increased final page count (the price calculator is located here).
Why not have more pledge levels for a print book reward?
After running Kickstarters that fulfilled rewards both ways I'm convinced this is the most efficient option and these are the two big reasons why.
- A bigger, better book - Having to cover a 60 page cost increase for an individual could be two dollars, but doing that for 200 books adds up to a different monster that wrecks the budget. I know that I like to overdeliver as well; Veranthea Codex was almost double the planned size, and Mists of Akuma has almost 50% more content than originally estimated. Even the last time I did a print-reward Kickstarter with direct orders (Hypercorps 2099) I added 20 pages. It's very important to me that we make the best book that we can possibly make and using at-cost print vouchers definitely encourages that—the project's focus shifts entirely to the generation and refinement of the book's contents, getting more custom artwork, and truly capturing a vision of another world.
- Fewer obstacles between you and the book - It adds a level of complication between you paying for the book and receiving the book (IE: it becomes a queued task that may be delayed like any other type of work due to unexpected circumstances, addresses need confirmed to catch people that have moved, etc.), and given my experiences with this, issues of incorrect prints and so on are less likely when individuals make orders for the book with the fulfillment service (in this case, DriveThruRPG). It also means that as soon as the print proof is approved, you can order the book at your leisure!
Note Backer levels at $100 above include online gaming sessions done via Roll20.net--you can check out a few live plays I've recorded and put up on YouTube to get an idea of what you'll be in for (or check out the amazing campaign log from the Hypercorps 2099 Backer Game).
$3 - Hypercorps 2099 Wasteland VTT Map Pack: Both GM versions (with keys/titles) and player versions (no reveals!) of every map in Hypercorps 2099 Wasteland. The total number of maps depends on how much funding is received for the book.
$10 - Bally N' Tour Introductory Adventure PDF and Print Voucher (An introduction to Hypercorps 2099 Wasteland for 4-5 PCs of 1st level): Bally N’ Tour will be an adventure of at least 24 pages (knowing me, that’s honestly probably going to be more like 50 pages :p) for GMs that want to dive directly into running their first Wasteland game. The survivors emerge in “Bally N’ Tour” on the coast of Scotland to a scorched earth with a hidden clan of dwarves, an industrial refinery repurposed by a now-dead mad scientist, a tribe of savages known as the “Shake Spears”, and more! Everything the GM will need to run the game (NPCs, monsters, maps, and even pre-generated characters) will be included in this introduction to the apocalypse!
We do have more stretch goals in mind already but we're only revealing the first one (because how couldn't we? He's so darn cool):
$4k (Locked) - COVER ARTWORK by world-renowned illustrator CLAUDIO POZAS!
To give you an idea of the immaculate kind of work he does, here are the last two covers he did for my projects:
Who are these people?
I'm in the center there and Savannah (whom is spoken about above) is looking intensely at either the cat or Claudio (or both). But the rest? That's the art team! I've worked with all of these illustrators on various projects over the years, most recently on Mists of Akuma. They keep doing splendid work and I look forward to seeing their visions for the apocalyptic future of Hypercorps 2099 Wasteland!
Risks and challenges
Many Kickstarters experience setbacks, from unanticipated increases in costs to backers dropping out or being delinquent of payment after the Kickstarter has closed, and myriad other issues. As I have in my four previous successful campaigns, I'll handle every unexpected issue as they come while at the same time making sure you remain aware of the situation and up to date on the development of Hypercorps 2099: Wasteland. You are the reason this fantastic project can happen, and I am keen to make every possible effort to keep you happy and informed from the day you pledge until you receive your rewards! Happy Gaming!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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