MEET THE TEAM
This Kickstarter Campaign relates to a 3rd Edition Corebook of the Cursed Empire RPG, a related Card Game and a Miniatures Board Game.
The aim being to introduce new players to the Dark Fantasy setting, revisit it for those who have supported us before and provide a degree of interchangeability with the different game components. The Corebook will be a full colour 540-600 page hardcover book.
WHY LAUNCH THIS NOW?
ORIGINS OF THE PROJECT
Chris has always enjoyed gaming and had decided many years ago to publish his own RPG. This happened in 2003 and was launched at a great UK based gaming convention called Conception.
The 500 copy first Edition had indie fan art and Chris did the layout. The 1000 copy second Edition was a US launch at Origins in Columbus Ohio and featured a hardback spot UV colour cover book, professional layout with black and white pages and professional artwork.
A subsequent set of sourcebooks and a full colour graphic novel were then released, as were over 40 white metal unique game miniatures.
His team travelled around the UK, France, Germany and the US to run demos and sell the game and totalled up 29 conventions over 10 years, including his own indie press publisher convention (indiecon) for 9 years in a row up until 2015 to assist other game developers to playtest and present their creations.
Cursed Empire had a regular following but suffered a major website hack that trashed its forums and the site was then also hacked even after the forums where turned off some months after. This was a major blow to the community and very disheartening.
Chris has been thinking about doing the 3rd Edition for over 10 years and with the impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic lockdown, it triggered him to revisit that project and kick-off something creative.
This was a very strong urge that he had to balance his time between remote working and his spare time. He made contact with eight of the original contributors to the previous editions going back many years now and is glad to say that they all offered to get involved again in the new venture and some new ones have joined the team.
It is also the opportunity to expand the discovery of the world setting of Thargos, where the Cursed Empire game is set, through other game types, hence the card game and boardgame variants.
In the past, Chris has always completed a book, fronted the full costs then gone to numerous gaming conventions to run demos and promote it.
With the travel restrictions and limitations due to social distancing with Covid-19, Kickstarter an even more valuable way to raise awareness of creative projects and get backing to make them a reality.
Chris and his team will be chomping at the bit to actually get back out on the convention circuit once this has blown over and meet some of you in the flesh.
Chris Loizou has loved sharing the atmosphere of his setting of Thargos over the last 30 years and some time ago when he was very active on the convention circuit, he estimated that he had around 4-5,000 players and MT (Masters of Tales) involved in Cursed Empire in either regular games as part of a campaign or one shot evening sessions & conventions.
Gamers either loved or hated the game mechanics of the first two editions but he broadly got a lot of support for the setting and many gamers gave him feedback that this was a major strength to the game and would benefit much wider exposure.
This is why 3rd Edition has come to be with a rules lite option as well as a bit of “crunch” for those who liked it before, a complete rewrite, full colour layout and a stack of new art as well as a host of new creatures to encounter from some of the wilder regions of Thargos.
With support from backers, he wishes to be able to take this further than ever before, having a card game variant for rapid play, a miniatures boardgame for a longer and fun gaming session as well as the full-blown RPG.
He loves the idea also of some degree of interchangeability of some of the different game components.
There will be more to follow on that when the campaign launches
WHAT WE PLAN TO DO
Aim is to go to press for the 3rd Edition Corebook 1st quarter 2021, then the Card Game the third quarter and finally the miniatures boardgame the 4th quarter. Currently art for the Corebook is 70% complete, the manuscript is 95% done and will go for typesetting by end of November 2020. The Corebook printers have been sourced and quotes are in including shipping to the US warehouse at Studio2Publishing. I am identifying a reliable fulfilment hub in Europe too.
The Card Game rules manuscript is 80% done, Card art will use some of the Corebook art plus new pieces, the boardgame rules manuscript is 70%, Scenarios need writing-up:fine tuning and card + tiles art need doing. Options on miniatures under review for the boardgame with the sculptor who did the original white metal miniatures.
All games have been extensively playtested. On the note of playtesting, when you see that for example on the cardgame this does not seem complete, it is because this is iterative process and we still want to run it by a wider beta test group after enough of the artwork is done to send them a representative prototype.
Also, you may wonder about the timing of the campaign and release dates. Well for the card art, floor tile art & miniatures sculpting, these are major cash outlays so I need some funding to start flowing in so we get the necessary momentum to progress these.
3rd Edition Corebook
Minatures Board Game release
Card Game release
You tell us!
The funds from the campaign will support the first print run of 2000 copies of the full colour 3rd Edition Corebook, over 80 pieces or original artwork and possibly more, layout and written contributions/editing.
Chris has already invested from his own funds to get the art rolling (60 pieces already) as well as towards written contributions and the first miniature sculpts.
The estimates we have now that this book will be between 540-600 pages with the manuscript version we have in hand. They will also cover a full colour poster size Thargos world map for Kickstarter backers.
The Stretch goals will cover a part of the costs for 1500 copies of the Card Game then 2000 copies of the Boardgame which is set to include 30 different miniatures and an additional 10 with stretch goals.
The backing on the Card Game will accelerate the art requirements being met and for the miniatures boardgame, We can commission the task of getting the art for the tiles/tokens done and the base 30 miniature sculpts.