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ACE -- Gods and Masters Kickstarter Campaign

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  • ACE -- Gods and Masters Kickstarter Campaign

    I haven't posted much here in a while. Been busy with the writing and development aspects of things.
    Gods and Masters is far enough in development that I can confidently announce a Kickstarter campaign this fall. The tentative date is September, but that has yet to be determined. The layout is close to done right now. Basically all I am waiting on is some of the art. I have several stretch goals planned out, and guest authors such as Dustin Smith (Atomic Ninja Studios), Charles White (Fabled Environments), and Eric Lamoureuxe (Just Insert Imagination) to write some scenarios if we are funded.

    If you haven't played it (free JumpStart here), G&M is "urban guerrilla fantasy." It was not inspired by pastoral European history or traditional fantasy tropes. We drew our inspiration from the urban guerrilla conflicts of the last century. Dokaro is a city populated by legionaries, war drakes and winged dragoons instead of riflemen, tanks, and helicopters. But the setting has more in common with the Second Gulf War or the Spanish Civil War than any conventional fantasy setting. Dokaro's soldiers, partisans, and religious fanatics are all armed to the teeth and ready to spill blood in their war for control, with civilians caught helplessly in the middle.

    The faction system is a prominent part of the game. Players choose a faction together, and that opens up additional gear, Edges, and Hindrances. Each faction also has Advantages and Disadvantages, which are like Edges and Hindrances that apply to every member of that faction. Each one will play very differently, even while using the same scenarios. Here is a preview of our layout, which varies for each faction. As you can see, every faction is color-coded for easy page reference. They also have their own banners on the side:

    Click image for larger version

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    I know that most Savages will want to know what a new setting offers that hasn't been done before, or what is applicable to other settings. Here are some of the features I think y'all might find the most interesting:

    1) Elemental Magic Overhaul: The Arcane Background (Magery) does magic differently than the core SWADE rules. Starting mages pick an element (currently we have seven options), and they get a set of power modifiers with which to imbue their powers. Some of them are optional. Others cost nothing, and are in effect with every casting. Some of them are even disadvantageous in certain situations, and overpowered in others. This makes the use and acquisition of every element an important tactical consideration.

    2) Interrogation: The Interrogation Mechanic is a rule subsystem, in the vein of Deadlands' dueling. When PCs have a captive (or have been taken prisoner), this mechanic provides a tangible way to determine how much they are able to keep their mouths shut, and how many secrets they reveal. Crafty prisoners can also provide false information along with the truth, so their is some unreliability to the situation. There is no joy like seeing players think they have a full intelligence report of an enemy/location, only to walk into something the prisoner lied about.

    3) Dramatic Stealth: Dramatic Stealth is another rule subsystem, this time more in the vein of the Chase Rules or Dramatic Tasks. It is suitable for any game where stealth plays a major component. Dramatic Stealth provides a mechanic for sneaking around and staying unseen in spite of swarms of guards and sentries. Players are rewarded for using lighting and cover to their advantage, and moving intelligently, but there is still a component of randomness. The more ambitious their actions, the more likely it is that the heroes will be spotted. It works especially well on a game mat, but is perfectly usable in theater of the mind.
    Dramatic Stealth perfect for scenarios involving infiltration, assassination, kidnapping, or a heist. It's simple enough that it can stack with combat, without making things too complicated. Basically, if one person in a group of infiltrators sees their cover blown, they can provide a distraction while the others continue to move unseen. There is also a bit of margin for error. It takes more than failing Stealth once to escalate things into combat.

    4) Arcane Background (Occult): This Arcane Background is basically the polar opposite of the Arcane Background (Miracles). The deities of Gods and Masters are rather specific to the setting, but the basic principles are easily adopted for any setting. Occult magic is blatantly more powerful than other magical paths. There are no morality requirements, nor is there a risk of backfire. However, the characters must make sacrifices to their dark masters. The more powerful they wish to become, the more they must pay for it with monstrous actions. Users must pay a great deal, but they get what they pay for.

    That's all I'll say for now. I'll try to make some other updates, and go into some specific details in the coming days. If anyone has any questions about the setting or the crowdfunding run, I'm happy to answer them here.

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