EVENT - Minimalistic, Story-driven Tabletop RPG

#1
Hello everyone,

I would like to announce that I've just published my latest tabletop Role-Playing Game project, which is called EVENT. It's a story-driven, minimalistic RPG released under Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) and thus freely available for download and play.

You can find the download links, together with a 3 minutes presentation video and a review of the game, in this post.

Here's the presentation video:


Let me know what you think about it!

In case you like the game, you can also support our crowfunding campaign on Kickstarter, which we launched few days ago to provide EVENT and their players with some additional content, a Paperback Edition, proper artwork, a community website and much more!

If you want to know more about the project, the Kickstarter page is quite self-explanatory, however here's a brief introduction explaining the game concept and key features.

Anyone with some RPG experience knows that the above aspects can play a decisive role for a successful session: complex ruleset, slow mechanics and slow system of resolution of actions and interactions are often cause of frustration, thus resulting in a disappointing gaming experience for gamemaster and players.

To address these issues, we came out with the following:

  • A skinny manual (less than 30 pages);
  • A limited amount of core rules, easy to learn & remember;
  • A distinctive Character creation System, based upon a sharp Questions & Answers mechanics;
  • A strong narrative premise (the Event) that will motivate the players to act as a group, providing their characters a common goal.
  • A brand-new character creation system (The Three Questions) that will allow players and gamemasters to build PCs and NPCs in few minutes using a narrative-based approach.
  • An efficient Actions & Interaction outcome resolution ruleset, featuring a hybrid approach containing a mix of narrative choices, auctions and dice rolls;
  • Innovative contest-resolution mechanics that will force players to choose between winning a contest or narrating its outcome (or try to do both things), similar to those featured in most auction-based Board Games.

The last two points are especially important, as they both empower the players with the chance to partially take control of the story, thus becoming the gamemaster for a short while to conceive and narrate what happens. This “collective management” of the game’s story is definitely the most interesting aspect of the game: such innovative approach is also well highlighted within the manual, starting from the first sentence:

"EVENT is a game system designed to collectively manage the actions and interactions of a variable number of characters played by players and / or the gamemaster from a given event. The combination of these factors will lead to the natural definition of a story within the context of reference, which is called the setting."

In order to play Event you’re going to need: a group of friends, a handful of 6-sided dice, some paper sheets and at least one pencil. As in most RPGs, one of the players, known as the gamemaster, will take care of the core elements of the story, while the others, to whom the manual simply refers as players, will play the role of a single character apiece.

The Creative Common edition of the game manual, containing everything required to play, is available for free download in italian and english language: the PDF links are available in the Kickstarter project page.

Have a good game!
 
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#2
When this campaign is fully funded in just under two months, it will be nice to look back on how it all started with 1 Euro (or 1 GBP at the Kickstarter exchange rate). :)

kickstarter_event_minimalist_rpg_first_backer.jpg
 
#3
Problem I have right, is that I see this in the same thread, for the same price:

Bundle Of Holding: Symbaroum
This bargain-priced offer of English-language .PDF ebooks includes the complete rules, supplements, adventures, game aids, and artwork — everything you need to explore the depths of Davokar. Pay just US$14.95 to get all five titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $48) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the full-color 264-page Symbaroum Core Rulebook, the Advanced Player’s Guide, the Map Set, the Abilities & Powersreference cards, and Adventure Pack 1 with two introductory scenarios.
 
#4
Problem I have right, is that I see this in the same thread, for the same price:

Bundle Of Holding: Symbaroum
This bargain-priced offer of English-language .PDF ebooks includes the complete rules, supplements, adventures, game aids, and artwork — everything you need to explore the depths of Davokar. Pay just US$14.95 to get all five titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $48) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the full-color 264-page Symbaroum Core Rulebook, the Advanced Player’s Guide, the Map Set, the Abilities & Powersreference cards, and Adventure Pack 1 with two introductory scenarios.
I am not sure I follow how Symbaroum is related to this EVENT Kickstarter? Wrong thread, probably?
 
#7
I think he may be suggesting that 20 euros for a 30 page pdf, or 50 euros for a 30 page paperback is a little steep.
The 30 page PDF is already available and completely free of charge. The Kickstarter edition will definitely have additional content, as the kickstarter says... more samples, campaign settings, original artwork, and so on.

Also, in my humble opinion Kickstarter rewards shouldn't be compared with DriveThroughRPG Bundles, as they are completely different things.
 
#9
The 30 page PDF is already available and completely free of charge. The Kickstarter edition will definitely have additional content, as the kickstarter says... more samples, campaign settings, original artwork, and so on.

Also, in my humble opinion Kickstarter rewards shouldn't be compared with DriveThroughRPG Bundles, as they are completely different things.
Good luck to you, and you are right I am comparing it to a bundle, but end of day it is the same denomination of cash for RPG material. When I referred to the same 'thread' I meant the same section of this forum, as they were both next to each other. I just think your price point is wrong. However, proof is in the pudding as they say and I hope you and Remi prove me wrong.
 

Guvnor

Administrator
Staff member
#10
Good luck to you, and you are right I am comparing it to a bundle, but end of day it is the same denomination of cash for RPG material. When I referred to the same 'thread' I meant the same section of this forum, as they were both next to each other. I just think your price point is wrong. However, proof is in the pudding as they say and I hope you and Remi prove me wrong.
Maybe next time say this first, and reference something to support your arguments.
But I know sometimes posts can come across harsher than intended, I have done it myself.
Hope all are calm.
 
#11
Maybe next time say this first, and reference something to support your arguments.
But I know sometimes posts can come across harsher than intended, I have done it myself.
Hope all are calm.
Yes, apologies to Darkseal, I wasn't intending to come across as harsh and should have explained myself better. *noted for the future Guv!* btw I am all for these one-person bands breaking into the industry, but by heck they have a huge hill to climb, and more power to people like Darkseal :)
 
#12
Hi Valerio,

I'm sorry to have to say this, but your pricing is significantly out of line with typical kickstarter pricing. I suspect this is why after 2 days you are only trending towards 3% of your goal (https://www.kicktraq.com/projects/darkseal/event-a-minimalistic-tabletop-role-playing-game/). This Kickstarter is going to fail. This is a shame because having downloaded and read the game it looks pretty sound.


Working from the basis that you are offering a 30 page rpg. Your pledge levels are:

  • €10 - Name in the book. Does not include a copy of the book
  • €20 - Digital copy of the book
  • €30 - Digital copy of the book, an email address and webmail
  • €50 - Digital Copy and Paperback copy of the book

And if we compare that to another Kickstarter we can see this is very significantly higher than typical going rates. I've chosen the Black Hack as at 20 pages 'The Black Booklet' is a similar sizes small book. This kickstarter also offered the 124 page 'The Black Hack rules':

  • £1 - No reward, just kept informed
  • £5 - PDFs of both The Black Booklet and The Black Hack rules, plus PDFs of the 3 panel GM's screen and Character Sheets.
  • £12 - All PDFs as above, 20 page The Black Booklet in print, 3 panel GM's screen in print, 4 character class sheets.

The price of printing a perfect bound US Trade 32 page premium softcover through Lulu.com, using the highest quality paper (118 gm), with full colour throughout is £6.57. This drops to less than £6 if you get 60 or more printed. Lulu isnt the cheapest printing service, but it is the most convenient to price up. I presume your printing costs will be less than this.

Now I appreciate that on top of this you need to factor in warehousing, shipping, art costs, taxes etc. but if no one backs it you're not going to make anything.

I would suggest you:
  1. drop the price for the Digital only tier to €5 (or at most €10)
  2. drop the price for the Digital only tier to €15 (or at most €25)
I suspect more than 4 times as many people will invest €5 in a pdf copy of an unknown game as will invest €20, and the cost to you of a extra digital copy zero.

The physical copy is harder to price is harder to justify, but again if you price too high you'll get zero backers. Better to cost with lower margins and actually get some backers.

Also, if you are going to restart the kickstarter better to do it now rather than at the end.
 
#13
Hi Valerio,

I'm sorry to have to say this, but your pricing is significantly out of line with typical kickstarter pricing. I suspect this is why after 2 days you are only trending towards 3% of your goal (https://www.kicktraq.com/projects/darkseal/event-a-minimalistic-tabletop-role-playing-game/). This Kickstarter is going to fail. This is a shame because having downloaded and read the game it looks pretty sound.


Working from the basis that you are offering a 30 page rpg. Your pledge levels are:

  • €10 - Name in the book. Does not include a copy of the book
  • €20 - Digital copy of the book
  • €30 - Digital copy of the book, an email address and webmail
  • €50 - Digital Copy and Paperback copy of the book

And if we compare that to another Kickstarter we can see this is very significantly higher than typical going rates. I've chosen the Black Hack as at 20 pages 'The Black Booklet' is a similar sizes small book. This kickstarter also offered the 124 page 'The Black Hack rules':

  • £1 - No reward, just kept informed
  • £5 - PDFs of both The Black Booklet and The Black Hack rules, plus PDFs of the 3 panel GM's screen and Character Sheets.
  • £12 - All PDFs as above, 20 page The Black Booklet in print, 3 panel GM's screen in print, 4 character class sheets.

The price of printing a perfect bound US Trade 32 page premium softcover through Lulu.com, using the highest quality paper (118 gm), with full colour throughout is £6.57. This drops to less than £6 if you get 60 or more printed. Lulu isnt the cheapest printing service, but it is the most convenient to price up. I presume your printing costs will be less than this.

Now I appreciate that on top of this you need to factor in warehousing, shipping, art costs, taxes etc. but if no one backs it you're not going to make anything.

I would suggest you:
  1. drop the price for the Digital only tier to €5 (or at most €10)
  2. drop the price for the Digital only tier to €15 (or at most €25)
I suspect more than 4 times as many people will invest €5 in a pdf copy of an unknown game as will invest €20, and the cost to you of a extra digital copy zero.

The physical copy is harder to price is harder to justify, but again if you price too high you'll get zero backers. Better to cost with lower margins and actually get some backers.£

Also, if you are going to restart the kickstarter better to do it now rather than at the end.
These are very valid points, that I think Darkseal must consider in good faith, even though they may seem like harsh criticisms now. :unsure:

Another very important consideration is your funding target of 20,000 Euros, which seems too high for a first time creator, compared to similar projects on Kickstarter.

To put this into context, I just backed another Kickstarter called Esoterica, just to mine it for ideas for my more preferred systems (like Monte Cook's Cypher, which funded in hours). Please, notice that the Esoterica RPG had a much lower funding goal of $4,000. and yet even that took close to three weeks to fully fund.

So once again, like Whirlmeister already suggested to you, review other Kickstarters and try to market yourself competitively including much more attractive pricing, so you may truly have to consider a relaunch with some of these suggestions adopted, hopefully, for success.
 
#14
Whirlmeister, negromaestro and zackspacks,

Thanks a lot for the awesome suggestions and constructive criticism: I've followed most of them and revamped the whole Kickstarter project description, which now shows a lot more info (and infographics) regarding what EVENT is and the huge differences between the Creative Commons Edition (30 pages, freely available) and the Kickstarter Edition, which I described in the following way:

Just to be clear, the EVENT Kickstarter Edition - the one you'll get by selecting some rewards - won't be the 30-pages Creative Commons Edition that you can already get for free. It will be a brand-new product of around 120-160 pages featuring awesome artwork, a lot more Actual Play examples and - most importantly - a huge amount of additional optional rules, perks and mods that I'm currently writing during the playtesting phase. This should also explain why the price range is slightly higher than other tabletop RPG projects.

I also followed your valuable advice to lower the reward prices: I can't touch the digital format price cause it already has backers, but I added a "PDF-only format" for 14€ and lowered the paperback format, as well as all the other rewards. The new PDF-only format should definitely be more appealing than before, without letting down those (well, the single guy) who already backed the digital format.

Rest assured that I'm not doing that for the money, but paying for the artwork, printing the paperback edition, creating the community website and the brand identity will require that amount of money from the little business plan I made.

Please let me know if the project looks more reasonable now of if in your opinion it's still a no-no: I would really appreciate your feedback, hints and advices.
 
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#18
Definitely a move in the right direction :)

I've backed it (although only at the pdf level - August is always a poor cash flow month).
Thank you :)

@negromaestro: I've had a rather long e-mail talking with Dan Davenport, which seems to be interested in EVENT: we're trying to schedule a Q&A session for the upcoming week. I also contacted the Kickstarter RPG group, which should review it during next week,

Last but not least, I've published an updated version of the CC Edition featuring 4 new optional rules which just came out from the playtesting phase - with great results, I'd like to add! You can read the full details here:

https://www.kickstarter.com/project...stic-tabletop-role-playing-game/posts/2260247
 
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