Zafir: Tactical Roleplaying Game is an all-new tabletop RPG set in a world of airships, magic, and strategic gunfighting action.
DOWNLOAD THE RULES PREVIEW HERE: Zafir Preview v0.1
Zafir: Tactical Roleplaying Game is a brand-new tabletop RPG and campaign setting. Set in a world on the brink of war, it has much in common with Earth in the 1930's, but instead of mundane technology powered by steam, coal, and oil, this world is powered by magic, enthralled daeva, and lightning! Imperial superpowers teeter on the edge of cross-continental conflict, while beautiful and deadly airships patrol the skies. Adventurers wield both machine guns and magic, spirits haunt the desert night and the dead have been known to walk again. Seek out adventure, mystery and great fortune as an elite soldier, a powerful mage, or a cosmically-attuned spiritist!
The game will feel very familiar to fans of tabletop roleplaying games like D&D and Pathfinder. The players each control characters in a made-up world while the GM helps tell the story and describe how the world reacts to the players. Zafir play sessions are separated into missions, and each mission is 2-5 combat encounters. Encounters take roughly 20-35 minutes depending on number of enemies and complexity, and in playtests players feel like they're able to make smart strategic decisions without holding up play. In general, combat in Zafir feels like playing a cooperative boardgame or skirmish wargame.
When we set out to develop the combat of Zafir, we were reacting to traditional RPGs like D&D and Pathfinder. In these games, combat often feels simplistic, leaving the players with very few tactical decisions. For many characters, the optimal play is simply to move toward an enemy, then strike them with your weapon until they drop. The decisions a player makes on the battlefield don't feel nearly as impactful as they should.
Zafir is much more nuanced. As well as being played on a three-dimensional, one-inch grid where verticality and elevation are critical, it boasts a cover system that rewards careful movement and and gives bonuses for attacking targets caught out in the open.
Every turn, each player will weigh up a host of tactical considerations. Should you move out of a defensive position in order to get an attack advantage? Should you hunker down into full-cover and lob grenades? Or maybe it's time to grab the high ground and gain that elevation bonus. Zafir creates an experience where every move and every attack is so much more meaningful, and one critical decision or tactical error could change the outcome of an entire fight.
Contained in its hardcover rulebook is everything you need to play!
- Streamlined Character Creation: Build your character quickly and efficiently, using starter classes to help you learn the game as you launch into your first mission. There's no need to understand every rule in the game before you hit the table to play! Zafir's characters develop as you play, the complexity evolving gradually.
- Six Playable Species: Zafir is home to six sapient species, each with their own cultures and national identity: insaan (humans), hinn (elves), ath'enki (subterranean orcish folk), rhuthari (lionfolk), dyn (foxfolk), and jaan (lizardfolk).
- Six Character Classes: Choose one of six main classes, each with a different battlefield expertise featuring over 140 class abilities: Recon, Sharpshooter, Arcanist, Grenadier, Adept, Acolyte
- Twenty-Four Class Specializations: As your character levels up, they gain further class specializations that enhance your abilities and provide further special bonuses.
- Clear, Concise Rules: A brand-new, unique combat system focusing on gun combat, cover mechanics, and tactical battlefield decisions, that plays as fast and exciting as an action movie!
- Guns, Equipment, Airships, & Artifacts: Access to a wide array of weapons, armor, vehicles, equipment mods and abilities to kit out your character exactly the way you want!
- Lore, Locations, History, & Cosmology: A fully fleshed-out campaign setting, including extensive information on the people, the gods, the nations, and the history of Zafir.
For Game Masters:
- Villains, Minions, & Monsters: A compendium of bad guys, with over 50 enemy unit descriptions and abilities (including many monsters based on Zoroastrian and Persian mythology!), plus all the tools to design your own.
- Starting Mission: A detailed starting mission to help you teach the players the game and introduce them to the combat of Zafir.
- Recommended Battlefields: A series of pre-designed battlefields, for when you don't want to prep your own.
- Tips for Running Games: Zafir might play a little different that other RPGs, but we've got a section chock full of great tips to help GMs run amazing games of Zafir.
- Encounter Generators & Loot Tables: A plethora of helpful tools to design great encounters for your players and give awesome, balanced rewards
Like many of our favorite RPGs, we've designed six iconic characters as inspiration to players and as examples of the different playable species and classes.
Check out the project updates for details on the revealed Iconics!
- Vishtek Okam'ran (she/her) - Ath'enki Adept (More Info)
- Dalinus (they/them) - Jaan Sharpshooter (More Info)
- Kira (she/her) - Hinn Trencher (More Info)
- TIz (she/her) - Dyn-errad Arcanist (More Info)
- Tyrain (he/him) - Insaan Acolyte (More Info)
- Lotoku (he/him) - Rhuthari Sapper (More Info)
Zafir Games is a one-person team currently being funded from personal savings. So far, we've contracted some absolutely fantastic art and writing from contract team members (see below) and we're absolutely certain this game is super fun and will make people happy to play it. However, finishing the game, paying artists for more beautiful art, editing the book, and printing and shipping it world wide will require significant funding.
Currently, 100% of the rules, 100% of the character and class abilities, and about 70% of the GM's guide and campaign setting are already written. Your pledge will go towards the following:
- Beautiful art
- Short stories by guest writers
- Professional copy-editing
- Graphic design
- Document layout
- Printing & Shipping
The Zafir team is headed by lead designer Randy Knapp, a ten-year video game industry veteran, trying his hand in the indie TTRPG space for the first time. The narrative design team is comprised of Paul Dean and Matthew Medina. Helping Zafir become a reality through crowdfunding, our marketing coach is Justin Giddings, the Kickstarter guy.
Paul is a writer and RPG designer who helped found Shut Up & Sit Down and SHUX, its associated convention, who has written thousands of articles about games of all sorts and who is featured annually at the Games Developers Conference.
A highly experienced designer with decades of expertise across several disciplines in the game industry, Matthew brings his narrative design expertise to the Zafir project.
Many wonderful artists have contributed to Zafir's visual design:
- Chad Jacobsen - Graphic Designer
- Angela O'Hara - Gods & Spheres Cover Image; Tiz, Tyrain, Lotoku Portraits
- Marzena Nereida Piwowar - Kira Portrait
- Sam White - Delard City Landscape
- Julia Nguyen - Vishtek Portrait
- Alexandre Honoré - Dalinus Portrait
- Oriana Menendez - Azi Zahhak Portrait
- Henry Ng - Shearwater Airship
- Matthew Leavens - Cinematographer
The team also includes many playtesters and design consultants: Ryan Durand, Johnathan Preshaw, Jon Hunt, Colin Armstrong, Nate Heiss, Sam Beattie, Alexis De Girolami, Sean Richer, Morgan Mulhall, Samantha Rose, Laura Knapp, Bruce MacLean, Max Forbes, Conan Chamberlain, Terry Franguiadakis, Robert Marriner-Dodds, Mara Patton
Thank you for reading this far. Please do us one last favor and share this project with everyone you know who loves roleplaying-games. We can't make it happen without you!
Risks and challenges
100% of the rules, 100% of the character and class abilities, and about 70% of the setting is complete. The design team will be finishing that work after the campaign with the help of Beta Testers and an editing team.
If the project funds, the book will get printed with all the art that the team can afford. Printing of the books will be on-demand (unless the offset-printing stretch goal is reached, then we'll print with PrintNinja, a very reputable printer).Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)