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Vicious Crucible games are short RPGs set in detailed corners of a fantasy world. You can vote on what the next game will feature.
72 backers pledged $2,152 to help bring this project to life.

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$2,152

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The Vicious Crucible of Verdigris Valley has been released as a free download. Players have already taken Alistair and Anise through the gauntlet of desperate pressures, crushing obligations, and entangling relationships. They've come out the other side transformed. Now the question is: what's on the other side?

When you become a backer, you get to vote on where the next Vicious Crucible game will take us. Will we travel to cut-throat Villa Argentate, climb the dangerous trails to Cinereal Lake, or ascend to the top of the sorcerous Eburnean Tower? Whichever game wins the vote will be released as the next free download.

The Vicious Crucible of the Eburnean Tower will feature:
  • the mysterious school of sorcery in the Eburnean Tower, where a dangerous magister seeks to subvert a terrible curse by summoning something even worse…
  • Beulah the Sorceress, Benjamin the Hedge Wizard, and four more playable characters
  • the Sorcery rules module
  • sorcerous tools and implements
  • enchanted, summoned, and demonic monsters
The Vicious Crucible of Villa Argentate will feature:
  • the rich, cut-throat, and corrupt city of Villa Argentate, torn in the upset between the council of aldermen, the guild of courtesans, and a vampire puppetmaster.
  • Carmichael the Council Negotiator, Cynthia the Courtesan, and four more playable characters
  • the Bargaining rules module
  • the accoutrements of civilized discourse, negotiation, and bribery
  • things that go bump in the night
The Vicious Crucible of Cinereal Lake will feature:
  • the mining town of Cinereal Lake, terrified of the monsters that have infested the mines… and unaware of the battle being fought below the ground.
  • Danae the Smith and Dominic the Apothecary
  • the Crafting rules module
  • masterwork weapons, armor, and tools
  • all manner of subterranean menaces

What Is Vicious Crucible?

Vicious Crucible games are a line of situation-first roleplaying games that put the player characters into a brutal web of relationships, obligations, and events. The only way out is through, and the only way through requires a painful transformation into something new. You might start the game as a half-breed wilderness guide trying to find a place to call home and come out the other end as a conquering warrior princess. Your outspoken guardsman might become a masterless wandering trickster, haunting the fringes of civilization searching for redemption. Or your travelling merchant might… well, you get the picture.

Pete Figtree, an awesome guy who uses RPGs in his classroom, has this to say about Vicious Crucible:

"I love the tightness of the game, the predetermined relationships of the characters. I long for this type of storytelling powder keg that comes to the table ready to explode with excitement and replay power.

I don't play video games really, but isn't this what they offer? Strap in and Gooooooooo! 

I also adore all of the simple, meaningful moving parts that keep the game topped-off and players engaged. This is the kind of game I want to see more of; this is the type of game that makes it to the table over and over and over again."

…And It's Free

All Vicious Crucible games are released as a free download under Creative Commons licensing. I use a "ransom model" for funding the project: once generous backers help us meet our Kickstarter threshold, I publish the game for everyone to enjoy.

I've added one little twist to the basic ransom model: the Franchise.  Backers like you tell me which way to go in developing the game line by voting for which game — and which new set of rules — you want to see most. Whichever game gets the most votes is the one I publish next.

So the question is: which game do you want to see next?

Post Actual Play, Get Stuff!

When you post an Actual Play report—describing your experience playing the game—on a blog or forum or what-have-you and shoot me a link here in comments, I'll bump you a backer tier for free!

Kicking It Forward

This project participates in the "Kicking It Forward" initiative.  Five percent of our profits will go right back into other deserving projects on Kickstarter.  See http://kickingitforward.org/ for more details!

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    The Franchise! You get to vote on which game gets released next: Eburnean Tower, Cinereal Lake, or Villa Argentate. You'll be able to download the winner when it's released for free.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Pre-Release PDF and the Franchise! Get the PDF of the game two weeks earlier than the release date, plus vote for which game we release.

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    20 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Print copies of The Basics and the Next Vicious Crucible, plus the Franchise! I print 'em, fold 'em, staple 'em, sign 'em, and ship 'em your way (in the US; international backers, please add $5). And of course you get to vote.

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    12 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Print copies of The Basics, the Next Vicious Crucible, and Verdigris Valley, plus the PDF Pre-Release and the Franchise!

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    3 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Deluxe Print of The Basics and the Next Vicious Crucible, plus the Franchise! Get re-usable character sheets and throw-around-the-table laminated rules sheets, the Pre-Release PDF, and the Franchise.

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    1 backer
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    Deluxe Print of The Basics, the Next Vicious Crucible, and Verdigris Valley, plus the PDF Pre-Release and the Franchise!

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    7 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Ad Space and the Franchise! This tier is intended for retailers, but is open to all. In addition to a 4"x5" ad placed in the game, get your name listed as a Sponsor. Snap up a Deluxe Print of The Basics and both Vicious Crucibles, the Pre-Release PDF, and the Franchise.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Big Ass Sponsor! All of the above, plus you're mentioned as the game's primary sponsor in every press release related to the game AND I'll GM the game for you and up to five of your friends, either at a con we're all at or over Google Hangouts.

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Funding period

- (25 days)