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The newest expansion to the bestselling Deadball, Deadball: Year III celebrates baseball's notorious scoundrels and cheats.
270 backers pledged $5,306 to help bring this project to life.

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Deadball: Year III is an expansion to the bestselling Deadball: Baseball With Dice, a fast-paced game for one or two players that uses real statistics and RPG dice to bring the ballpark to your tabletop. It requires the original game to play.

Inspired by the cheats and scoundrels of baseball history, Year III features Steroid Era all-stars, rules for throwing the World Series, and fully-updated rosters for the wonderfully bizarre Southern Circuit. It also introduces tweaks and updates designed to make the most elegant baseball game on the market even easier to play.

I don't put projects on Kickstarter until they are nearly complete. As soon as you back the project, you'll find a 38 page preview of the new book in the first backer update. The PDF rulebook will be released at the end of June—just in time for the All Star break—and the hardcopy will be available soon after. You will not wait long to play this game.


What Is Deadball?

First introduced in 2017, Deadball is a lightweight baseball simulation designed by W.M. Akers (that's me), creator of the RPG Comrades and author of the mystery novel Westside. Popular with old school baseball cranks and children just learning to love the sport, it allows you to play a game starring players from today, the past, or your own imagination in around 30 minutes. 

If you’re new to Deadball, check out the free quick start guide and back this project at the $25 level to get the original game at a steep discount. If you love baseball, this is the game you've been waiting for.

One hundred years ago, a group of Chicago White Sox players attempted to throw the World Series, creating a scandal that ended their careers and changed the sport forever. It is an ugly chapter of baseball history—and one Deadball couldn't wait to explore.

Deadball: Year III allows you to simulate a game or series in which one or more of the players on the field are deliberately trying to lose. They will swing at bad pitches, get thrown out on the bases, and turn easy outs into horrendous errors. And with every mistake they make, the crowd’s suspicion will grow.

These new rules are designed to put you in the heads of Shoeless Joe Jackson and Eddie Cicotte, who threw away Hall of Fame-quality careers in hopes of a dishonest payday. How did they feel when they tried to rig the fall classic? In Year III, you will find out for yourself.

Along with the rules for fixing a series, Year III includes:

  • An oddities table that seamlessly integrates incidents like balks, fan interference, botched calls, and animals on the field—without slowing down play
  • New rules to simulate modern bullpen usage
  • A revised Deadball scoresheet that makes it easier than ever to keep track of the action
  • Rosters for the notorious All Stars of the Steroid Era
  • A history of baseball’s bans and blacklists by John Thorn, the official historian of Major League Baseball; a meditation on losing on purpose by USA Today’s Ted Berg, and a poem about the dead ball era by Nicole Callihan

In Year III, cheaters never prosper—but they still have a marvelous time.

In all of baseball fact or fiction, there is no league quite like the Southern Circuit. Fully co-ed and unapologetically eccentric, it features teams like the Paducah Red Birds, the Charlottesville Flycatchers, and the notorious Knoxville Grackles. 

Its players, owners and managers are drawn from the ranks of past Deadball Kickstarter backers, and it has been designed for fans who love the game's losers and weirdos as much as they do the all-time greats. 

This book includes complete recaps of last season, previews for the coming year, and two brand new Nine Game Pennant campaigns, which drop you into the climax of a pennant race and ask you to seize the championship or die trying.

More than a fictional league, the Southern Circuit is an evolving story that you will bring to life. Pledge $40 to join the league as a prospect with a chance to appear in future books and redefine the Circuit forever. 

Everyone who pledges $10 or more gets a digital copy of the game, plus all the digital supplements and stretch goal materials, including:

  • The redesigned scorecard, including pre-filled lineups for all the Southern Circuit teams
  • An updated Quick Reference that puts all the new rules within easy reach
  • A Steroid Era Quick Reference that allows for truly astonishing slugfests
  • A partially-blank Oddities Table that you can fill with all the weirdest baseball stuff you can imagine: 10¢ beer riots, disco demolitions, and whatever else you desire
  • Schedules and scorecards for the 2019 and 1911 Nine Game Pennant campaigns

Pledge $15 or more to get the PDF plus a code to buy the print book from DriveThruRPG for the at-cost price of $4.96, and pledge $20 to write your name into the history books by naming one of the record-breaking legends of the Southern Circuit's Steroid Era, who are presented here in lineups for the 1999 All Star Game. This is limited to 25 spots, and the most talented players will go first. 

If you’ve missed out on past Deadball titles, this is your chance to get them at the steepest possible discount. Pledge $25 to get Year III along with PDFs and at-cost codes for the original rulebook, Deadball: 1909, and Deadball: Year II: an $80 value! Pledge $35 to get all four past books and to name one of those 1999 All Stars as well. (Limited to 25 spots.)

Dreaming of a call-up to the big leagues? Pledge $40 to name one of the new class of Southern Circuit prospects. Use your own name, a loved one's, or the classic baseball moniker you’ve always wanted to see in the box scores. This is limited to 32 spots. The sooner you pledge, the better your prospect will be, and the more likely they will be to stick on the roster next season. As always, all rosters are coed.

Prefer a spot on the bench to a place in the field? For $50, you can name and describe one of the eccentric skippers who rule the clubs of the Southern Circuit, one of whom is profiled on every team page. Join the ranks of Fay Harbaugh and Doc Pawlowski, and reshape the league in your own image. 

The at-cost price for past rulebooks is as follows:

  •  Deadball: Baseball With Dice — $3.24
  •  Deadball: 1909 — $3.24
  •  Deadball: Year II — $4.31

This does not include shipping or the cost of dice, which you can purchase for a few dollars online or at your local game store. Any set of polyhedral (or RPG) dice will have everything you need.

Finally, if you're interested in trying Deadball but financial constrictions make the cost prohibitive, email me or message me on Kickstarter and I'll send you a free PDF of the original game.

Stretch Goals

At $5,000 (UNLOCKED!), I'll release Ancient Era Deadball rosters inspired by the larger-than-life characters of my novel Westside

At $10,000, I’ll release All Star rosters for the Southern Circuits of 2019 and 1911.

At $15,000, I’ll record a “Let’s Play!” video for Deadball, explaining the basic rules and giving a peek at how I play the game.

Risks and challenges

I’ve been working on Deadball: Year III since the week I finished Year II. As always, my primary goal has been to minimize the risk to you. The book is fully written, proofread, and laid-out. Even the art is finished. I’ve already seen a proof from DriveThruRPG, which looked letter-perfect, which means the only thing missing is you.

When the campaign wraps, I'll ask the backers who've chosen to name players or managers to get me the names of their fictional characters within 48 hours. Once that's done, I'll add their names to the book and create the PDF that will be released by the end of June. When the PDF is ready, I’ll send out for one more proof from the printer. Barring an error on their end—which does happen—the print book should be finalized and ready for release about a month after the campaign closes. I've put the release date as August just to be safe.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    The PDF

    Get the PDF for Year III, featuring new rules, new rosters, and all the digital supplements.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    The Book

    In addition to the PDF rulebook and stretch goal materials, you’ll receive codes for at-cost purchase of the softcover print edition from DriveThruRPG.

    Note that you will need to pay print and shipping costs when you choose to get the print book. The book is expected to cost $4.96 to print. Shipping costs vary—more information about shipping available at DriveThruRPG.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Star of the Steroid Era

    All the benefits of, "The Book," plus you get to name one of the notorious Southern Circuit All Stars from 1999—the height of the Steroid Era.

    Please note that this is the same reward as "1999 All Star Team," but for backers who only want a copy of Year III and not the earlier Deadball books.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Deadball Complete

    You get PDFs and codes to buy at-cost copies of Year III, plus PDFs and at-cost codes for all the original books: Deadball, Deadball: 1909, and Deadball: Year II. See “What You Get” for more information about pricing.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    1999 All Star Team

    All the benefits of "Deadball: Complete," plus you get to name one of the notorious Southern Circuit All Stars from 1999—the height of the Steroid Era.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    I'm a Prospect!

    You get PDFs and at-cost codes for every Deadball title, plus the chance to name one of the new Southern Circuit prospects for either 1911 or 2019. Back quick—the sooner you pledge, the better your prospect will be.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Skipper

    You get PDFs and at-cost codes for every Deadball title, plus the chance to create one of the managers for the Southern Circuit teams. Describe their personality, history, and style, and I’ll profile them on the team page.

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Funding period

- (15 days)