My Kingdom for a Kickstarter

Remember months ago when a bunch of you playtested Kingdom? Well it has not been sitting idle. I've been hammering away at in a deep dark cave, honing it to a sharp edge and making sure it did exactly what I wanted. Now the Kingdom kickstarter has gone live:

Kingdom Kickstarter

So if you want a game where you make a community, fight over what it's for and then (perhaps) weep as it burns to the ground, this is your lucky day.

Any questions? Curious how the asymmetrical rules for each role affects balance in play? Or the most pressing question for any game: can it do Star Wars? Ask away!


  • Can it do Star Wars?
  • Crap! I was hoping you wouldn't ask that…
  • edited May 2013
    See now you've got me thinking. If I was going to do a Star Wars Kingdom, which community would I pick? The obvious choices are the scrappy young Rebel Alliance, moon of Yavin days, deciding whether to risk an attack against the approaching Death Star or just bugger out (that's a nice Crossroad), or the Empire weighing the backlash of annihilating Alderaan.

    But there lots of other angles: A single Imperial Star Destroyer. A squalid Mos Eisley-style frontier town that's coming under the Empire's thumb (do we resist? do we shelter the rebels hiding in town or sell them out?).

    Someone would definitely do the Jedi Order but those guys seem pretty boring to me. They're so flat in the prequels but you could actually throw down some great Crossroads (do we intervene and overthrow the government we know is corrupt? etc.)
  • I've played Kingdom twice.

    The first time I was Rick, the cruise director on a space cruise that had been marooned in deep space for several years. It was my job to keep the passengers happy and docile and ensure that bingo stayed on schedule. I went kind of nuts and abandoned control to a teenager named Piper, who started conscripting the passengers to repair the big hole in the ship's hull and rationing mai tais.

    The second time I played, I was Short Ed, the driver of the gold convertible belonging to the Master of a mysterious cult that seemed to be the front of a pot-growing operation. Also nobody had seen the Master in months. I was the wheelman when one of the other players, the official cult wordsmith, lost his cool during a drop with our distributors and shot a guy. In the end I flipped to the feds and abandoned the cult compound.

    So yeah Kingdom is pretty great. I've only played one-shots but I think the game could support many sessions of play, spanning many generations if you wanted it to. (And there are no dice, there is no GM, and your character sheet doesn't have any numbers on it.)
  • But there lots of other angles: A single Imperial Star Destroyer. A squalid Mos Eisley-style frontier town that's coming under the Empire's thumb (do we resist? do we shelter the rebels hiding in town or sell them out?).
    Clearly, then, the answer is obvious: Bespin. Cloud City. Lando Calrissian. Government exchanges hands by gambling. Vader comes to visit.
  • Congratulations, Ben!

    I'm fascinated to know how the game has changed since the last playtest draft I looked at, back in December. I know you got a lot of feedback from a lot of different groups. Were there some interesting common themes they reported back to you? And how did you tackle the rewrite?
  • You bet I backed. :)
  • Man, these indie games Kickstarters go from zero to funded in no time. Congrats! I may back when my work decides to give me more monies.
  • edited May 2013
    As a Perspective (and play-tester), I knew it would fund instantly. Ben threw down with his Power and made me back it. But it's what the people wanted anyway, so...

    PS Check out the deal to get a copy of Microscope as well. Sweet!
  • Hhahahaha, you know, when we playtested Kingdom, we did the Sith Empire. We had to face a Jedi revolt and a overpopulation of ewoks. Kinda finished fast since we ended up sending ewoks to concentration camps, training and brainwashing them into killing machines and sent the lot into the jedi revolt. And the citizens of the empire were pleased. The dark side rulz.
  • I went kind of nuts and abandoned control to a teenager named Piper…
    You didn't go nuts, you invoked SPACE LAW! Oh wait, you also went nuts. All Piper wanted was to go to Space Harvard like a normal teenager, but noooooo, she had to spend her adolescence trapped on a lost cruise ship watching people play Space shuffleboard. With her Mom! And her Mom's schleppy new boyfriend! Oh the teen angst! Oh the injustice!

    Oh my god that game still cracks me up. That was maybe my second or third "comedy" Kingdom game. At first it seemed strange that Kingdom could work with serious settings but also Fiasco-like craziness, but now it makes complete sense: so long as the characters are tied to the Kingdom the dynamic works no matter what tone you pick.
  • Pretty excited for this. I have observed Ben playtesting this with his beastly level of diligence. Sure to be rock-solid.
  • After watching the video and reading the Kickstarter more thoroughly, I backed this excitedly! In fact, it's got some eerie similarities to a game that I've been thinking about making... I can't wait to learn a lot by playing this.
  • @Zelbinian: Excellent! "You made the game I wanted to make" might be one the highest compliments in game design. We'll see how close I came to the mark.
  • Oh, please tell me the "Rigel IV" goal was partially inspired by FarScape...
  • Oh, please tell me the "Rigel IV" goal was partially inspired by FarScape...
    No, I never watched much FarScape, though I thought the whole idea of using puppets as aliens was genius.

    Which coincidentally enough segues into today's playsets, which include muppets. It's some kind of vast conspiracy!
  • edited June 2013
    Oh yeah, for anyone who hasn't looked at the Kingdom kickstarter recently and is wondering why we're talking about muppets, over the weekend a bunch of stretch goals for playsets were set up and knocked down. There are already eight Kingdom playsets listed, including:

    Eye of Osiris: Wealthy seekers and would-be mystics in 1920s high society. If money can't buy you happiness, what about secrets from beyond the Veil?

    Daily Sentinel: A once-great newspaper and bastion of journalistic integrity, in danger of becoming a dinosaur in the age of digital media, sound-bites and factoid reporting.

    Partisans of Rigel IV: The human colony struggles under the thumb of alien invaders but the Resistance refuses to kneel. For Rigel! For Freedom!

    Kid's Television Workshop (KTW): A small public television studio devoted to making positive children's programming like "Helicopter Junction" and "Little Blue House on the Corner". M is for Muppet!
  • edited June 2013
    We reached those stretch goals already. Wake up and show me another stretch goal!
  • edited June 2013
    @Mathalus: Your wish is my command!

    Tell me if this is crazy: I've got a playset in the queue where the Kingdom is everyone involved in D&D (well, a fictional D&D analog). Devoted players, the people making the game, online pundits: pretty much everyone who cares about it, worldwide. Edition wars, retro clones, clamping down on unlicensed fan products (or embracing them, depending on whether you're going 90s or 00s style).

    Can you make the perfect next edition or does the Kingdom collapse under the weight of its own splat books?
  • Crazy brilliant... :)
  • It is acceptably crazy.

  • edited June 2013
    Ha! Now you owe me PDFs of both Microscope and Kingdom - and you shall pay. Yessss, you will pay...

    When the kickstarter ends.
  • Actually I'll pay you the Microscope PDF immediately. How cool is that?
  • Ooh. I just saw this thread. I love Microscope. Kingdom sounds rad. Backed.
  • Backed .... Was interested in the concept.
  • edited June 2013
    The Grottos & Griffons kingdom has been unleashed as a stretch goal:
    The game that started it all, G&G is adored by fans world-wide. Which might be why so many people would fight tooth and nail over its fate. Edition wars! Retro clones! Lucky dice! And possibly a short-lived Saturday morning cartoon.
    I'm wondering how many people will get the Banana Republic reference.
  • edited June 2013
    I'm pleased to say, the people have spoken: Grottos & Griffons is a go. And folks got the Braunstein reference. My faith in humanity is restored.

    There's also a deep Kingdom Q&A thread on RPG Geek. If you want to get into nitty-gritty of how Kingdom works, that's the place to look.
  • The Kingdom kickstarter is closing tonight, but even before it does I have to say to everyone involved: wow. The interest in Kingdom from all around the globe has been inspiring. So many thanks.
  • Ben, I'm super impressed with the level of support on that Kickstarter, and also proud that Lost in Luxury Space will be in print. It looks like there will be plenty of other playsets where I can invoke Space Law…
  • Congratulations, Ben!
  • I increased my pledge to the physical product last night. I'm looking forward to this. Good going!
  • I thought about increasing my pledge, but I really wanted one that was just Microscope and Kingdom. I didn't see that option.
  • BTW .... really excited to see you hit all of your goals.!
  • I thought about increasing my pledge, but I really wanted one that was just Microscope and Kingdom. I didn't see that option.
    Wasn't that the FRACTAL KINGDOM option?
  • It was, that was me being incorrect at too early of a time. What I wanted was a physical Kingdom and a PDF of Microscope, which if still there .... sorry I missed.
  • Oh, I'm with you. By contrast, I wanted a physical copy but already had the PDF!
  • Congrats Ben!
  • Thanks everybody! That was a pretty fantastic mob of enthusiastic gamers.
  • Totally psyched for Battlestar Orion. Glad that stretch goal was reached. :-)
  • Yeah that's one I really want to play.
Sign In or Register to comment.