Just over four-hundred years ago a wormhole leading to a star system far from humanity's homeworld opened. It was the stroke of luck or divine intervention that so many had been praying for-- the over-populated homeworld was slowly dying, and humanity had been searching to find a way to survive.
Generation ships had begun to depart for long-shot locales across the galaxy, but humanity's true last hope was to find a paradigm shift, a new technology, a new resource to change their fate.
Desperate and brave spacefarers traveled through that wormhole, and what they found there changed everything.
The star system on the other end of the wormhole was home to one hospitable planet, and on that planet, the first explorers found a miraculous compound. A new element made of hard light they called Luminescence; it was infinitely renewable with an energy yield that defied all expectation.
Once word got out that humanity's last hope had been found, people and companies of all sizes took to 'vortexing' through the wormhole in the hopes of striking it rich on "Old Lu."
The planet the media had dubbed Manifest for its abundance and sudden appearance, was harsh and populated with alien flora and fauna, but no sentient life. And it didn't take long for humanity to realize this planet didn't have to be a temporary home.
In addition to the “Lucy Rush,” people of all sorts began traveling to this new world, eager to start a new life free from corporate control, overcrowding, and pollution. Manifest was a literal world of possibility for anyone who could find a way to seize the opportunity.
The first cities seemingly popped up overnight, their skylines visible across the lusher areas of the planet, dubbed The Garden, but it wasn't long before eight huge mining megaplexes filled with hundreds of thousands of people appeared all over the temperate climes of Manifest.
Scientists had studied the wormhole thoroughly, and its size and stability indicated that it could stay open for nearly one thousand years. However, just over a year after its appearance, the wormhole began to collapse. Ships in orbit around Manifest traveled at breakneck speeds to make the return trip before it was too late, abandoning everyone planetside to their own fates. This event would come to be known as ‘The Departure.’
Once the post-Departure chaos calmed, the mining megaplexes transformed into huge factory-towns, safe from the wilds, but filled to the brim with organized crime and vast income inequality.
It didn't take long for some people to leave from the restrictive factory-towns for a new future out in the wilds of Manifest. There they found freedom in exchange for exposure to greater dangers. To combat this danger, many established remote settlements with communities that looked out for each other, while others built homesteads to live peaceful, if somewhat solitary, lives.
However, not everyone has a temperament for settling down. There are those who wander Manifest uniquely equipped to survive the dangers of the planet. These transient and highly skilled travelers are known as drifters.
DRIFTING, FOR GOOD & ILL
The life of a drifter can call to anyone with the wanderlust or misfortune to leave a quiet, simple life behind. These exceptional individuals come from every walk of life. They could be a righteous gunslinger seeking vengeance for their dead mentor, a smooth-talking grifter in search of one big score to retire on, or even an illuminated outcast shunned from society due to their strange psionic powers.
The one thing all drifters have in common is the ability to survive. They possess talents and skills beyond the ken of the average denizen of Manifest. Drifters hone these skills throughout their travels, push their luck, and often cause as many problems as they solve.
When a problem is too much for a town to handle, they'll be lucky to find a drifter to solve it. The right drifter can use their prodigious skills to fix any issue, from retrieving stolen property from a gang of bandits to completing emergency repairs on a town’s long-range communication tower.
A drifter might have their own agenda, or they may simply be moving from town to town on the whims of the wind. One thing is certain: when a drifter comes into town, most folks hope that drifter isn't coming for them.
Manifest is a tabletop roleplaying game deeply entrenched in the Sci-Fi Western genre. Players take on the role of drifters, highly skilled travelers who use their skills to help those in need or to seek out their own fortunes. As drifters, they'll take part in shootouts, investigations, heists, mysteries, and so much more. There's something for everyone on Manifest, especially if you're bold enough to venture forth and take it.
Your drifter will travel from town to town, seeing if they can not only survive the problems they face, but thrive amidst the threats of the natural elements, bandit companies, malicious illuminated outcasts, zealous cults, factory-town militia, and whatever other unknown adversaries and obstacles may stand in their way.
But What Makes a Drifter?
Every drifter is comprised of five things: their history, path, talent trees, attributes, and skills.
- History is where the drifter comes from. Their history provides starting gear and a static boost to a drifter's attributes as well as a talent tree.
- Path is where the drifter is heading and how they interact with the world. Their Path gives the drifter a skill boost, another talent tree, and provides them with their choice of advancement triggers.
- Talent Trees contain the special abilities that can set a drifter apart. As a drifter levels up, they gain access to increasingly powerful talents via their three talent trees.
- Attributes are the base of a drifter's stats. They also determine the number of dice a player rolls during any given test.
- Skills are the way a drifter specializes. They also determine the target number for the dice rolls during any given test.
Fistful of D20s
Manifest features a new game engine, called The Fistful of D20s system. This new system utilizes a tiered success metric encouraging a more dynamic conflict resolution system rather than the typical binary success/fail result employed by many other RPGs.
Manifest is a brand new system from cover to cover, inspired by the facets of gaming we've loved the most throughout our many years of RPGing.
The Fistful of D20s system was created to perfectly blend a narrative focused game with a robust set of mechanics. We've worked for years to hone the system into the elegant engine it is today: one that is sure to satisfy RPG enthusiasts of all types.
But don't take our word for it...
You Can Also Listen to Manifest in Action on the Latest Series of the Essential NPCs Podcast!
You can experience Manifest through this entertaining and informative podcast! During every episode of Essential NPCs, the lead designer of Manifest, Tommy Cottin, expands on an element of the game. There is just no better way to learn about Manifest before it's released than to listen to it in action!
UNLOCKED!! - 2:13 to Waypoint Module (Kickstarter Exclusive)
Our first official Manifest Module. It involves bandits and a high stakes heist, all while traveling across the badlands of Manifest in a high speed hover train! Includes up to 12 hours of play!
UNLOCKED!! - Waypoint Lore Guide
This guide to the capital of drifters includes everything you need to know about the largest settlement in the badlands! From important citizens to the locales every drifter worth their salt knows, this guide contains everything you need to posse up and get your own Manifest campaign started.
$27,500 - Additional Art and Upgraded Book Quality
We've already lined up some astounding work from our artists, but we want want more! Everything from drifter portraits to the critters of Manifest, our artists will bring this world to life in the most amazing ways!
$30,000 - The Gunslinger Novella: The Story of Juliet Hunt
A gunslinger abides by what is right, not what is law. They deal in justice and hard caliber and don’t bat an eye at the guilty. A good gunslinger serves as a paladin of the Badlands, traveling to protect those who cannot defend themselves, and an evil gunslinger slaughters those who stand in the way of their twisted righteousness. A gunslinger of any kind lives and dies by their code, and feels no remorse at the results of their zeal.
The first in a series of 16 novellas, The Gunslinger Novella follows Juliet Hunt as she transforms into a capital G gunslinger.
$32,500 - The Devil's Trail Module (Kickstarter Exclusive!)
A much needed shipment of supplies is late, and it seems like the Devils have taken it. Drifters follow the trail of the missing goods across the Badlands, and perhaps further in order to retrieve them for a town in desperate need. Includes up to 16 hours of play!
$35,000 - Liberty City Lore Guide
This guide includes everything a drifter needs to know about the high tech, high stakes world of Liberty City. The densest city on Manifest, Liberty City is the seat of power of the recently destabilised, but highly volatile O'Malley Family. Drifters will need to know the ins and outs of everyday life in order to avoid their wrath, and steer clear of any trouble. Liberty City has something for everyone, if you know the right people and are willing to pay the price.
$37,500 - Even More Art & Manifest on Roll20
We'll be able to commission more beautiful art for our bestiary, core rulebook, and novellas!
We'll be able to put Manifest on Roll20. Backers will receive a code for Manifest art packs, all unlocked stretch goal modules and many other assets so they can play Manifest online with Roll20!
$40,000 - The Peddler Novella: The Story of Cyrus Finch
The path of the peddler is for those that understand the value of a good product, or better yet, understand how to convince someone that a piece of garbage is a good product. Not all peddlers are con artists, but they are all of them business savvy. A peddler must be able to overcome any obstacle and then walk into each new town with a smile and a sales pitch. Whether peddling snake oil or miracle medicine, rusty parts or high-tech weaponry, the peddler must always be on their game or else they're playing by someone else's rules.
The second in a series of 16 novellas, The Peddler Novella follows Cyrus Finch as he travels the Badlands in pursuit of the deal of a lifetime.
LRC Call Sign - $1
The one thing everyone on Manifest needs is a Long Range Communication Call Sign. It's the only reliable way to send messages across the badlands, and find the places that are looking to hire a drifter.
A $1 pledge keeps you up to date on all things Manifest!
You'll be invited to join Manifest's members-only Discord channel, and you'll receive all the Manifest related emails. This is the best way to keep up with when Manifest will be available at your friendly local game store!
Badlands Settler - $20
Badlands settlers are the heart and soul of Manifest -- eking out a living where few thought it could be done. To make it in the Badlands, everyone has to rely on each other: from general store owner to rancher to blacksmith, everyone has to pull their own weight.
A $20 pledge gives you what you need to play the game.
You'll receive a PDF copy of the Manifest Core Rulebook as well as any unlocked digital stretch goals. You will also receive the Quickstart Rules as soon as the project is funded plus an invitation to the Manifest Discord channel.
Lone Drifter - $50
There's something special about drifters that put them a cut above the rest. Immense talent, quick wit, or pure instinct may be one of the many things that let a drifter survive alone in the badlands... or it may be that iron on their hip.
A $50 pledge gives you the physical resources you need to thrive in your game of Manifest.
You'll receive a full-color, hardcover version of the Manifest Core Rulebook. You'll also receive all stretch goals, plus everything included in the Badlands Settler pledge level.
Path of the Deputy - $60
Only the most intrepid on Manifest are fit to wear the tin. Sheriffs are the first line of defense for most settlements, and they have to trust their deputies implicitly. The Path of the Deputy is for those with the mind and will to interpret and shape the law, making the ultimate call between right and wrong.
A $60 pledge puts you in the know as you join the ranks of our playtest network.
You'll receive a full-color, hardcover version of the Manifest Core Rulebook, and a draft PDF of the next Manifest book when we're ready for feedback. And if you playtest the new content and send us your feedback, we'll add your name to the special credits in the book! You'll also receive all stretch goals, plus everything included in the Badlands Settler pledge level.
Riding Shotgun - $95
Not all drifters go it alone, in fact, some of the most legendary drifters moseyed on in pairs. Cyrus Finch & Juliet Hunt, Malcolm Fly & Alice King, and Dietrich Storm & Jericho Beetle all partnered up to watch each other's backs and split the profits in the fairest way possible.
A $95 pledge gives you and a friend a chance to grab some discounted loot before the opportunity passes you by.
You'll receive two full-color, hardcover copies of the Manifest Core Rulebook. You'll also receive double all the stretch goals, plus everything included in the Badlands Settler pledge level.
Wagon Train - $180
Moving across the vast distances of Manifest is always risky, anything could go wrong. The threat of bandit attacks or surprising a fearsome critter on the way make traveling together the most sensible option.
A $180 pledge gives you and three friends a chance to grab some discounted loot before the opportunity passes you by.
You'll receive four full-color, hardcover copies of the Manifest Core Rulebook. You'll also receive four copies of all stretch goals, plus everything included in the Badlands Settler pledge level.
General Store - $180
(Brick & Mortar Retailer Only)
The average settler needs a place to buy or barter for all of the best goods that they can't make themselves. They rely on the nearest general store to have all the things they need on offer.
A $180 retailer pledge provides your store with just the essentials so that you can provide your customers with what they need most.
You will receive 6 copies of the hardcover Manifest Core Rulebook, as well as access to all the digital resources through the bits-and-mortar.com web portal.
Legend of Manifest - $200
Once in a lifetime there comes a drifter so above the rest, their name becomes legend.
A $200 pledge provides you and up to three of your friends the opportunity to play Manifest in a creator-run game before it's released to the public!
You'll receive a full-color, hardcover copy of the Manifest Core Rulebook . You'll also receive all the stretch goals, plus everything included in the Badlands Settler pledge level. Finally, you'll receive a draft PDF of the next Manifest book when we're ready for feedback. When you playtest the new content and send us your feedback, we'll add your name to the special credits in the book!
Andrew Thompson is the brilliant mind behind our eye catching cover art, and Crystal Sully will be bringing our bestiary to life with her considerable talents. We also have other extremely talented artists lined up to help us bring Manifest to life! Keep an eye out here for when they pop up!
Head Writer Lead Designer, Creator
The team from Waypoint Game Designs is proud to bring Manifest the RPG to Kickstarter!
We're happy to ship Manifest the RPG anywhere in the world!
We will be charging shipping as we fulfill each item. YOUR PLEDGE DOES NOT INCLUDE THE COST OF SHIPPING. We use a pledge manager to collect information and handle add ons and pre-orders, you'll pay for shipping after the project is successful.
Estimated Shipping Costs
- United States Domestic Shipping: For USPS shipping, expect $5-10 per package. We’ll have upgrade options to USPS Priority, UPS, etc.
- CA/EU/AU Shipping: Expect the cost to ship the package to be $10-15. We will offer upgrade options that include tracking, priority, and more.
- Everywhere Else: We expect shipping everywhere else to be roughly $15-20 per package. We will offer upgrade options that include tracking, priority shipping, etc., however upgraded shipping rates will likely start at $50.
If you are a retailer and own a brick & mortar FLGS, please contact us. We are happy to offer you an option to purchase more copies at the wholesale rate after we have verified your business. Please encourage your customers to back this project at the $1 level to receive all the fun updates along the way. You will receive your books at the same time as the rest of our backers but with a wholesale discount. Please contact at manifesttherpg [at] gmail [dot] com with the subject line "Brick & Mortar Kickstarter (Your Store)."
Risks and challenges
Waypoint Game Designs is a small two-person shop, and while this puts a heavy burden on us to organize logistics and information, we've been preparing for this Kickstarter for over three years. We've been entrenched in the gaming community for over ten years, and have enlisted the help of our many contacts to make sure that we have the support and infrastructure to make this Kickstarter, and Manifest as a whole, a success.
While there are always risks associated with any campaign, we will make sure that we communicate any delays or challenges we may experience along the way. We have nearly finished with the project already and do not expect any significant delays. If we do experience delays, they will likely be in shipping. If there are any unexpected hurdles, we will give you regular and detailed updates regarding any issues.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (33 days)