Jump to content
smiorgan

Jackals: Bronze Age Fantasy Roleplaying powered by OpenQuest

Recommended Posts

7 hours ago, Leketh said:

Hey everyone,

John-Matthew here. Someone reached out to the Iconic podcast about Jackals, and mentioned they heard about the game on this thread, and I came straight over. I wanted to say how exciting it was for me to see a thread about Jackals on the BRP forums. It was surreal to find it here! 

If you have any questions, I will answer them if I can.

J-M

J-M,

Just to let you know people at the RPG Pub have also been asking about Jackals. You can find the discussion here -> https://www.rpgpub.com/threads/jackals-bronze-age-fantasy-roleplaying.4535/

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm mostly curious about the setting, how geographically specific it is and how closely it follows history vs. myth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is from Jackals Amazon listing...

The Zaharets, the land between the Vori Wastes and the Plains of Aeco, is well-known as the Land of Risings. Dominated by the rising city-states of Ameena Noani and Sentem, facing each other along the great War Road, the Zaharets has always been home to powerful civilizations. Beastmen ruins dot the landscape, a constant reminder of the Kingdom of Sin and the fragility of the Law of Men. Even older are the great ruins of the Hulathi, the legendary sea peoples, and the Hannic mansions sealed beneath the mountains, awaiting those who would seek out the Lost Folk. Scars abound from the wars between ruined Keta in the north and Gerwa in the south. And, far to the east, the legends of Muadah still beckon occultists and Jackals who seek to plunder its corrupted ruins.

Inspired by the myths, cultures, and history of the Ancient Near East, and by such ancient texts as the Iliad, the Epic of Gilgamesh, and the Old Testament, Kalypsis is a Sword & Sorcery roleplaying game set in a Fantasy Bronze Age. With mechanics based on the popular OpenQuest system, Kalypsis places players in the role of Jackals--adventurers, explorers, sellswords, and scavengers--and sends them out into the peril-filled land of the Zaharets to make their fortune… or perhaps fulfill a greater destiny . . .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Woah, that is a lot of responses. I will try to start sharing what I can! (Thank you for reaching out and letting me know about this and the RPGpub thread).

OpenQuest is the core of the rules system. As for why OQ and not 13th Age, I love d100 gaming, and for Kalypsis—the setting of Jackals—the super heroic nature of 13th Age was not a good fit. I tried several other systems (d20 based) while developing the setting and none fit the setting and theme as well as my old love OQ!

I ended up with some minor changes to character creation and combat options. Looking at the ANE epic poems, I wanted something that felt like the back and forth combat of Homer and others. So. I built a Clash mechanic. You have a pool of points to turn attacks into opposed rolls, which if you win, you deal damage to the attacker. Monsters have a smaller pool of points to do the same thing. There are also other ways to spend these points to affect rolls, damage, and other things. Playtesters seem to like all the interaction and choices.

Magic is lower in Jackals and the rites (spells) are unique. They are tied to culture and traditions. The setting is humanocentric, with cultural skill bonuses for the culture you are from. The setting, the cultures, the religions are all very analogous to their historical counterparts: Luathi (Israel post-Exodus), Ger (Egypt), Trauj (desert tribes), and Melkoni (Greek). 

As for influences and origins—I have a love of fantasy and the ANE world & languages—so I wanted to blend the two for the setting. I also run a lot of Glorantha, so fantasy Bronze Age is in my gaming DNA. Thematic influences for the setting and campaign include: the Baal cycle, the books of Judges and Samuel, Gilgamesh, Homer, the Hittite cycles, and Bakker’s Second Apocalypse.

I have never heard of Zenobia, but it is now on my radar!

As for pdf options, that is in Osprey’s hands, but I know they are known for their electronic versions.

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great thanks for sharing!

So, once this thing goes live, where will be the online touchstone for support, fan stuff, etc.?

Understanding that Osprey has its own rules and ways (I speak in ignorance, not in criticism), is there any material that you can share or discuss beyond the write-up? Like a downloadable character sheet or more specifics regarding deviations from whatever version of OQ is your baseline?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's our understanding that you are also working on a campaign for the game. WIll it be available in English? I ask because I think the preorder is on Amazon Italy...

Edited by rsanford

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Leketh said:

 Bakker’s Second Apocalypse.

Now that's interesting! I kind of love to hate these books - they drew me in like little other fantasy I've ever read, but there's also a nearly ritualistic repetitiveness to some elements of them that feels like it's truly grinding the reader down ("Scranc to the horizon ... and more Sranc, and even more Sranc ...")... and the highly violent nature of the story (and I'm not just talking gore, it's really terribly violent on so many levels) is hard to digest. Still, I couldn't put it down and kept buying each new volume. Great author, great prose. I'm really curing about how it informs Jackals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FYI Osprey is a publisher of some renown of military history books and a number of games in recent years. Its part of the Bloomsberry Publishing Group best known for publishing Harry Potter. So, it won't be POD and it will be hardback. And in English.

 

Hope this helps.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dimbyd has it correct. I would point to the formats for Romance of the Perilous Land and Paleomythic for insight into the Jackals format. And both it and the campaign it will be in English.

The touch stones for the campaign are things like The Darkening of Mirkwood (as a campaign set over many in game years) and the unification of Israel under Saul as seen in Samuel. Essentially, the goal of the campaign is to take the Luathi from city states to (hopefully!) a kingdom. Your campaign will vary of course!

It has been suggested I start a sub-reddit for Jackals. I plan to engage with fans, work on new supplements, and interact as I am able. As for expanded fan material, that is something that will have to be discussed with the publisher in the future. 

Bakker's material - I hear you about the love to hate and hate to love them. The violence is raw and ever-present, and I think his commentary on violence in our culture and media is worth considering. Especially as you interact his philosophy and cognitive science background. For me, it is less the Second Apocalypse and more the First in Earwa which inspires me. The bronze age of his world is realized and deep and informs the future. Perhaps the reason it dug so deep into my writing is because I read it during my studies, so they are linked in my mind.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I’ll preorder. I’d like to see a map and character sheets. You could start things off here with us mate. I mean, it is part of the BRP family.

Also in a year and change (inshallah no societal collapse) I return to the states, either to Omaha or the Springs. I foresee possible deep nerdery about the Bronze Age Collapse in our mutual futures. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will see what I can share. I do have some early maps and art which are mine... 

Ooooh. The Springs does have a lot of Bronze Age Collapse gaming right now ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I second Heirophantx's suggestion... You might consider talking about your project here. A forum is a lot easier to use than Reddit (in my estimation) and every BRP player in the known universe already hangs out here (okay - that might be a slight exaggeration).

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all,
Been meaning to post here for a while, not sure why I never got round to doing so. 
I've been keeping an eye on all things Osprey RPG since the line was announced and was lucky enough to pick up Paleomythic and Romance of the Perilous Realm at Dragonmeet 2019.
Since then I've been gathering information on all the current and upcoming games. I've just done a post of all that on Enworld forums (and one at RPGNet) - here.

Really looking forward to this game and was really happy to see there is a follow-on campaign book, which is a first so far for the Osprey RPG line. 
Also great to see John-Matthew here and all your feedback, amazing stuff :)

Edit: And as a massive TOR/AiME fan/collector I applaud any book that does Darkening of Mirkwood style, because the C7 stuff is amazing, and that book was up there at the top. I am looking forward to where Fria Lagan take the franchise after C7 dropped it.

I am UK-based so keep an eye on Amazon UK rather than the US one, unlike most posters here I think. The Amazon UK has just shifted the release date for the core book from 24 Sep 2020 to 11 Feb 2021 (link) and the campaign guide expected 23 Feb 2021 to 18 May 2021 (link). Bloomsbury UK site is currently unchanged.
Is that right John-Matthew?

Also, I hope it's not getting anyone in trouble, I found the following links in my search for Jackals info, since Osprey usually only release closer to the time.


I found mention of a playtest here: https://skrifa.wordpress.com/category/game-recaps/zaharets/

And snippets of art here: https://kellybennett.art/jackals

Really looking forward to this game! :D

Edited by timbolton
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, timbolton said:

Hi all,
Been meaning to post here for a while, not sure why I never got round to doing so. 
I've been keeping an eye on all things Osprey RPG since the line was announced and was lucky enough to pick up Paleomythic and Romance of the Perilous Realm at Dragonmeet 2019.
Since then I've been gathering information on all the current and upcoming games. I've just done a post of all that on Enworld forums (and one at RPGNet) - here.

Really looking forward to this game and was really happy to see there is a follow-on campaign book, which is a first so far for the Osprey RPG line. 
Also great to see John-Matthew here and all your feedback, amazing stuff :)

Edit: And as a massive TOR/AiME fan/collector I applaud any book that does Darkening of Mirkwood style, because the C7 stuff is amazing, and that book was up there at the top. I am looking forward to where Fria Lagan take the franchise after C7 dropped it.

I am UK-based so keep an eye on Amazon UK rather than the US one, unlike most posters here I think. The Amazon UK has just shifted the release date for the core book from 24 Sep 2020 to 11 Feb 2021 (link) and the campaign guide expected 23 Feb 2021 to 18 May 2021 (link). Bloomsbury UK site is currently unchanged.
Is that right John-Matthew?

Also, I hope it's not getting anyone in trouble, I found the following links in my search for Jackals info, since Osprey usually only release closer to the time.


I found mention of a playtest here: https://skrifa.wordpress.com/category/game-recaps/zaharets/

And snippets of art here: https://kellybennett.art/jackals

Really looking forward to this game! :D

This is great! Thank you! And Welcome!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/13/2020 at 10:38 PM, Leketh said:

That is a really good point. Plus, it is the BRP forum.

Please do. I think a Jackals forum belongs here.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will do so! I am checking with Osprey on what can be shared and what can't be. I have some art I commissioned I can share, as concept designs for the game.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/30/2020 at 6:32 PM, timbolton said:

The Bloomsbury page for the games has updated with a cover image for the second Jackals book, "Jackals: The Fall of the Children of Bronze."
Looks rather nice, very exciting :D
 

https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/jackals-the-fall-of-the-children-of-bronze-9781472837691/

It is labeled "A Grand Campaign". That's grand (as the Irish say)! We need more grand campaigns.

And the "Fall of the Children of Bronze" has a very nice Bronze Age Collapse vibe. Hope it has Shardana pirates raiding the coasts from their remote western island of Ichnusa.

Edited by smiorgan
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...