A story game designed to evoke the films of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli.
What It Is
How would you like to play through a Hayao Miyazaki movie with your friends? That's exactly the purpose of The Whispering Road, a tabletop role-playing game I built. It not only mimics the stories of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli, it's also a simple story game that anyone 8 years old and up can play, not just traditional role-players.
I've already playtested the rules, so I know the game works. But this game deserves more than a plain PDF release. It deserves a beautiful, full-color art book.
The Basics of the Game
The players begin by defining their heroes. Each hero is composed of a few pieces:
An Archetype (a little like a class in D&D) -- Ordinary Hero, Special One, Mentor, or Rascal. Each archetype has a general goal, so Special Ones protect someone, while a Rascal needs to prove himself or herself.
A Need -- Something that the hero wants, but is prevented by someone else.
5 Traits -- Special abilities that your hero possesses. The game comes with over 30 traits, including Amazing Durability, Burst of Courage, Calm in the Storm, Fiercely Protective, Insatiable Curiosity, Pacifist, Shapeshifter, and of course, So Cute!
The game comes with a story framework that makes it easy to tell a Miyazaki-like story. It includes scenes and ideas for traveling to an alternate world, meeting allies and enemies, and resolving the problems you face. You can follow this closely if you're not feeling particularly creative, or travel down whatever paths you want.
When the heroes get into a conflict, the players first figure out how that conflict applies to the heroes' Needs. Each player can then tap his or her hero's Traits to satisfy the hero's Need or someone else's Need. Each tapped Trait gives you a d6 for a normal trait, or a d8 for a highly applicable Trait (like using Pacifist to argue someone out of fighting). If any of your dice roll 5 or higher, you satisfy the Need you identified.
However! What you roll is added to your Good Karma if you were helping someone else's Need, or added to your Bad Karma if you were helping your own Need. If your Bad Karma overwhelms your Good Karma, you will not leave this alternate world.
What This Kickstarter Funds
This Kickstarter will fund full-color art drawn by the amazing Kaitlynn Peavler (a.k.a. thedandmom). She draws precisely the style of art that fits this project, and will illustrate each part of the game.
If the Kickstarter funds, I'll make an 8"x8" paperback rules book (and a PDF version, of course). I've chosen this format specifically to make it straightforward to produce and easy for people to carry around. It's an ideal size for slipping into a backpack or a binder without smashing it up, and it'll be very lightweight.
What You'll Get
At the $5 level, you'll get the full-color PDF, formatted as a square.
At the $20 level, you'll get the PDF plus the full-color, glossy paperback. That includes shipping around the world. And yes, I've checked my prices.
Also, because the rules are already done, when the Kickstarter funds you'll get a no-art PDF of the rules the very next day.
When You'll Get It
The full-art PDF and paperback will ship in April of 2014.