Galaxies in Peril: Superhero Roleplaying Forged in the Dark

Created by Samjoko Publishing

Superheroic roleplaying Forged in The Dark; Wrest back control of a galaxy in peril!

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Progress!
29 days ago – Sun, Aug 23, 2020 at 11:25:46 PM

Hey all,

Time for a quick update! The short and skinny of it is Jonathan's working on the comic and I've just sent the draft over for editing. I'm going to add some stuff to the playtest docs in the hopes that they eventually turn into the reference sheets that are used with the finished game. Stuff I've got on my list to add to the reference sheets: more info on resources & stash, development & hold, the faction game and faction status. Feel free to shoot me an email at samjokopublishing@gmail.com with any playtesting feedback or anything else you'd like to see in the reference docs. 

I'm still noodling around and playtesting and kind of getting conflicting feedback on whether to make it easier to recover from stress, and whether it should be easier to "learn" a power. I suspect I'll probably stick with it as is, and have a sidebar option for making either easier for tables that want it to be since there is a huge range of fiction that I do want people to be able to cover. Keep the feedback coming, though! 

Lauren thinks she'll be able to get everything edited for the end of September. Once that's done, we'll move things over to layout and I'll start putting together an art-free draft that has what we've got of it so far, plus stuff blocked in and we'll be able to keep feedback going while art is still rolling in. Hopefully that means everything is so perfect for when art wraps up that we can shoot this sucker over to print right away.

ART

It always blows my mind to see the art process at work. When thumbnails come in, it almost makes me think that I could be an artist. Of course, I quickly realize that isn't the case as soon as the process progresses.

Thumbnails for pages 1-8
Page 1 Roughs
Page 1: Roughs
Page 3: Roughs
Page 3: Roughs

Playtesting & Art
about 2 months ago – Mon, Jul 27, 2020 at 12:41:33 AM

Art

So this is the style I asked Jonathan to do for the chapter splash pages. I really dig the two tone and think it'll go nicely with the rest of the book. The writing is all from before InDesign crapped out on me (and we haven't gone to editing yet either) so it's all old stuff. I thought I was pretty smart moving to google docs but we lost internet for a week (turned out to be a defective modem) so it's been slow going; typing on my phone has been excruciating and I'm so happy I have internet again. In any case, it's the art I wanted to show off! The rest of the book will be full color, but I wanted the chapter spreads to be different and eye catching so they're easy to get to for reference. Again, far from finalized of course, but here's a peak at what I've got planned:

Jonathan is working on the comic right now since that isn't contingent on the writing and editing being finalized. Once that's done he's going to be doing the concept work for the backers at the "Your Hero or Villain in the Book" pledge levels, and then we'll move on to doing all the interior artwork.

Playtesting

I want to say thank you to everyone that has sent emails in so far! I've got some great feedback and some interesting choices to make. Advice for pacing missions and stress are my biggest takeaways. Forged in the Dark games leave a lot up to the GM and stress can build up quickly in the beginning with players wanting to bust their powers out frequently and often. I think it works pretty well so far, but I'm considering taking off the stress cap (originally I had it so they could only train once per session to get another stress box) so that players that want to can get a little more resilient a little faster in games where the tone matches that (Explorers or Rebels).

Keep the feedback coming if you've got it! I'm sure most people are waiting for a final draft to read and finalized reference sheets before they start playtesting and that's cool, too. Once Lauren's done with editing I'll make a mostly-art-free PDF while I play around with layout and pop in the finalized text so that playtest docs are more useful. I'll put up a document for people that want to help out with typo hunting a couple weeks before we go to print after playtesting is all wrapped up.

Writing

I've gone back and rewritten the setting stuff for the city three times now, I'm still working things out but I think I've finally found a place that allows for a Zero Day event taking place in modern times, faction with interesting motivations and clocks on the table for GMs to implement as they like, reasons for the world changing into a comic book world pretty rapidly and ways to have groups set their city wherever they like and still have it "fit in" without it being a 1:1 analog with an existing city.

I plan to turn a bunch more of the stuff I cut into tables if I end up with enough space for groups that want to come up with their own comic book world that has been comic booky from the start. I think the tables will still be useful for bringing in stuff as needed, especially for Explorer type games where you're pushing and expanding the boundaries with each mission, and I added a bunch of tables to the playtest docs because I'm always excited about tables and I do think they help, especially with no text to reference, even though they can be a lot of work.

My goal is to have all the writing done in the next couple weeks so that I can get it off to Lauren for editing early next month. That means that backers who want their hero or villain in the game who haven't gotten back to me yet will want to do so before the end of the month (there are only two of you left now I believe).

Open Playtest
3 months ago – Fri, Jun 19, 2020 at 06:15:55 PM

Hey all,

I've had a few emails from backerkit people that don't like being excluded from updates, and that have also had issues accessing digital content within the system. I want to apologize for that, I shouldn't have made the update private; I'm going to post public updates going forward (and I will continue to update the files on backerkit as well, if you've pre-ordered on backerkit) so that everyone has access to the same info.

In the last update I posted a link to a particular file, but this time I'll post a link to the folder where everything is so I can keep the same link up and update files without needing to throw a new link up each time. I've added a couple maps and some stickers for people who want a little more help with setting ideas than what's in the random tables. Again, I'm still working on getting the factions and the timeline to the point where I'm really happy with them (that's all that's left to write in the book, too!). Since factions are tied to districts in particular, that's why I'm waiting on releasing setting-specific play aides. 

Here's the link: playtest docs (with the maps & stickers added for those that want to use them when playtesting as well).

In the coming days I'll add another sheet to help with order of play/game structure, GM principles, best practices, and actions and maybe player best practices, too, since I can see how people unfamiliar with Forged in the Dark games might struggle without that there.

Playtest Docs
3 months ago – Wed, Jun 17, 2020 at 12:03:32 PM

This post is for backers only. Please visit Kickstarter.com and log in to read.

One Month In!
4 months ago – Tue, Jun 02, 2020 at 04:56:16 PM

Quick and Dirty

  • The funds came in on May 14
  • Backerkit Pre-Order is now set up! Please do share: https://galaxiesinperil.backerkit.com/hosted_preorders
  • Jonathan started putting together concept art for characters in the book & comic
  • Jonathan is working on getting chapter opening artwork done and then will be moving on to concept art for the Your Hero or Villain in the Book pledge tier so please respond to your survey or get in touch if you're at that tier and haven't yet (there are still 5 of you that need to get back to me ASAP!)
  • Almost finished the text, enough so that I'm going to work on getting playtest stuff out within the next couple weeks

The Longer Version

As to be expected, we did end up having a bit more pledge drops than usual - about 2%, which still doesn't seem all that bad considering the state of the world, especially at the time of funding, but is a good chunk of change. 

It took me awhile and ate up way more time than I thought it would just to get the Backerkit set up (and I definitely won't be using a pledge manager again). On the plus side, though, that means that if you missed out on the kickstarter or would like to share the campaign around, there is now a way to do so and I'm hoping to both make up the Backerkit fee (3% of the total kickstarter) as well as dropped pledges as that would be ideal.

I used the kickstarter survey to get information from people who I needed info for up front—backers who went in for Worlds in Peril, or who pledged for getting a character of their making in the book. Because these characters need to go in the book I do need to hear from you sooner than later if you're at that tier, please respond to your survey or shoot me a message!

I thought I was being clever by writing the game within InDesign so I could noodle with graphic design and ideas for layout as I went, but I soon realized it was eating up a lot of my time when I should've been concentrated on just writing. Not to mention, I needed to send the text to Lauren for editing later and it would be cruel and unusual punishment to make her edit off a PDF. I used a plug-in to export all the text, but it corrupted my InDesign file. I did have a backup that I went back to and extracted the text from it manually but I ended up losing a couple chapters. 

I ended up totally re-writing and changing up the final Setting chapter, though, and I think it's better for it. Before, I had the "Zero Day" of supers emerging set up back in the '50s and a timeline leading up to the present so that we had a very different present that looked somewhat analogous to a modern day Marvel or DC comic book thing going on. 

Instead, on re-writing it, I decided to put Zero Day in the present (early next year) to make the game easier to pick up and play and to avoid that "samey" feeling you get when reading supers settings; Setting books are great for mining ideas, but I kind of hate running them as the canon setting either needs to be learned at the table or needs constant revision during play. By putting the setting at the present, you can sit down at the table and say, "supers have just emerged and the world looks like it does now, let's go."

One of the best parts about Blades, in my opinion, is how quickly you can get a game of it going—it's even faster than PbtA games in that regard because players (mainly the GM, sure) don't need to get caught up on basic and special moves. The core is there for any FitD games and you can just dive in with all those player-facing tools and making the setting something both implicitly understood (it's our world right now so let's play), and something unsure (what happens when supers start popping up and how are we going to have it change our world to look like a comic book world?)

Instead of all that stuff going down in the past we need to try to care about, I've got a timeline of the next couple years that players can use for inspiration for introducing new factions and NPCs or to incorporate events into their world via Faction Clocks or stuff going down in the background to help keep things feeling organic. 

Because the setting stuff is interwoven throughout the game and mechanics, I've got to back through and change stuff up, but I plan to prioritize that so that we can get some playtesting going on while I'm cleaning and finishing all the setting information and how to present stuff in such a way that it also scales well for the players at the table. 

Give me a couple weeks to get that done and I should have a playtest packet for anyone interested in kicking the tires!