Godbound: A Game of Divine Heroes – Kickstarter Pick, 032316

This one is a surprise hit that a lot of folks are talking about. It’s from Sine Nomine Publishing, and they do serious quality work!

Your name is a Word of Creation. Your will is the shadow of God on Earth. Wield the fire of fallen Heaven in this new tabletop RPG.

Godbound is a tabletop role-playing game of newborn divinities awakening to unimaginable power. These men and women find themselves bound to the Words of Creation, the primal powers of a fallen cosmos where the Throne of God stands empty.

The world is shattered, its scattered realms racked by the aftershocks of the Last War and the final terrible struggle of the Made Gods who strove to replace the vanished Creator. Some realms have been reduced to nothing more than blasted wastelands and silent bones, while others still endure in faded splendor and growing hardship. Their natural laws flicker, for the great engines of Heaven have begun to fail from lack of care. Their angelic guardians were long ago dispersed by the Made Gods and now nurse a bitter hatred of humanity’s usurpation.

There are heroes still, and shining cities, and peaceful villages where a son may grow old in his father’s trade, but these things darken with each new year’s passage. The world winds down by slow inches. Into this twilight age have come the Godbound. Some say that it is the decaying husks of the Made Gods that give them their power, gobbets of divinity falling like rot to congeal about the souls of humankind. Others believe that it is the work of the Creator, reaching out from Their silence to touch Their creations with new light. Most do not pretend to know why it is that a common peasant girl should ignite with the sun’s own brilliance, or a grizzled old soldier should suddenly find half an army falling before his notched blade.

The Godbound bring hope and terror in equal measure. Even the freshly-awakened among them have incredible powers, able to hurl thunderbolts like lesser men throw stones, or spit curses that kill five generations of their enemy’s kin. They are burnt to ashes, and rise anew. They are buried under hillsides, and shout the stones apart. They sing up gold from barren earth or pour out an autumn harvest from their saddlebags. They work miracles, and men tremble.

Yet they are men and women, with the dreams that men and women dream. Some are saviors, determined to lift their people from their hardships and lead them to a better day. Others are mercenaries, lending their aid to whatever lord or sorcerer-prince can pay them in suitable coin. And some, of course, are blind fools who wield their powers with the recklessness of children, building their dreams on the bones of the poor mortals around them. There are few who can gainsay a Godbound’s will.

Even so, such terrible powers do exist. In the wilderness the wretched parasite gods swell on stolen celestial power, sucking the world’s blood from its wounds. Grim eldritch adepts plumb nameless secrets and forge pacts with the monstrous Uncreated for power enough to tax even a divinity. Hulking Misbegotten shamble from the darkness and bring their numberless spawn behind them. These and other foes can force a Godbound to flee or perish if the newborn wielder of the Words hasn’t the help of a faithful pantheon of allies.

The heroes of Godbound are hurled into a world unprepared for their coming. They will shake the pillars of fallen Heaven and scar the thrones of the kings of earth. Some will seek adventure, others the pleasures of rule, and a few no more than the small and homely things that fate would conspire to deny them. Yet what they will find, in the end, only you can say.

What Does Godbound Offer?

Godbound is a tabletop role-playing game from Sine Nomine Publishing built specifically to support the tremendous deeds and realm-changing ambitions of demigod PCs. Forget zero-to-hero; characters in Godbound start off as legendary powers. From the very first game session they have the gifts and abilities necessary to fulfill their role as throne-shaking wild cards in a world that is slowly crumbling around them.

Yet this support isn’t just for the players. Godbound is built in the classic Sine Nomine Publishing style, fabricated from the very start with the tools, techniques, and resources a GM needs to actually support demigod PCs and their doings. Godbound doesn’t leave you alone to guess at the sort of things these heroes might be challenged by, or invite you to handwave the results of their deeds and ambitions. It gives you solid mechanics and clear tools to make a GM’s job a pleasure rather than a grim test of ingenuity.

Godbound’s mechanics are inspired by the classic old-school role-playing games of the early eighties, streamlined in ways informed by more modern design trends. While the single core book contains everything you need to play a campaign, you can also pull in content from these other old-school games and slot it swiftly into your campaign. You won’t run out of content for your far-faring heroes when you can draw from forty years worth of creative effort to flesh out your campaign world or divert your players.

Even those GMs who don’t actually want to use the mechanics that Godbound provides can get value from the book. The faction system that handles PC interaction with kingdoms and cabals and the change-creating system that manages their efforts to induce large-scale alterations in a place are both easily lifted and exported to other gaming systems. There are dozens of pages of GM tools for building noble courts, perilous ruins, or interesting obstacles to a goal, all system-neutral as well, and all meant to be slipped in conveniently into almost any fantasy role-playing game.

While I’m proud of the playability and flexibility of Godbound, I recognize that some GMs will want to use other systems with the tools I provide. In the traditional Sine Nomine Publishing fashion, I’ve made a point of building the book so it’s still useful to people who prefer to use other systems, and still gives them their money’s worth in resources and toolkits.

The funds raised with this Kickstarter will support the creation of a free PDF version ofGodbound containing everything necessary to play the game, much as I have done with my award-winning Stars Without Number sci-fi RPG. This free version will help ensure that you have an easy time picking up additional players for your table. Beyond this, there will be an additional deluxe version that backers will receive as part of their pledge. In this deluxe edition are about 40 more pages of content, including:

  • Rules for creating mortal PCs, both common men and women struggling to survive and those heroes who can threaten even the Godbound.
  • Guidelines for the theotechnical cyberware of the Bright Republic and the enchanted clockwork augmentations of Vissio.
  • The terrible godwalkers of the Last War and the rules for building and running these titanic humanoid engines of sorcerous war.
  • The dread Witch-Queens of the Ulstang Skerries and their draugr thralls, both as opponents for your Godbound PCs and examples of how to create major enemies.
  • The True Strifes, divine martial arts patterned on the primordial conflicts of nature and passion. A half-dozen styles are described for the use of PCs and enemies, with each style trimmed with a premade NPC nemesis for easy campaign use.
  • Rules for building divine Paradises as citadels and soul-refuges for the Godbound and their worshipers. Defend your heavens against the machinations of your immortal foes!
  • Themed Godbound, for campaigns and settings that have particular flavors and styles to individual types of Godbound. These rules help you build your own types for your campaign, or use pre-made varieties for heroic paragons of human capability, primordial shapeshifters, refugees from hostile destinies, or elemental scions.

2 Comments

  1. Jason Blalock March 23, 2016 5:59 pm  Reply

    You really shouldn’t be surprised at anything Mr. Crawford does being a hit, considering hit batting average thusfar. 

    • spfannon March 23, 2016 6:06 pm  Reply

      A more than fair assessment, Jason!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.