Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Kickstarter - Quantum Black (Ubiquity System Modern Horror)

If there is one of those new fangled RPG systems I'd like to play with, it's Ubiquity. To my aging eyes and sensibilities, it seems like a much streamlined and simplified Savage Worlds. Not that I have anything agains Savage Worlds, as it does have some excellent setting books. It just seems to me that the rules are ore complicated than they need to be. Maybe it's more accurate to say they are more complicated than I need them to be.

I've been intrigued by the Ubiquity rules ever since I stumbled across Hollow Earth Expedition. Which of course makes Quantum Black even more intriguing to me.

So, what is Quantum Black?
The Quantum Black setting is a modern day action-horror roleplaying game in a world much like ours. However, hidden supernatural threats are growing. Evil cults, horrors from beyond space and time, and other monsters all rise to terrorize the world. Someone needs to stop them. 
Are you up to the Task?  
In the Quantum Black setting, you play an employee of Quantum Integrated Technologies. You are on a secret black ops team that is out to save the world from a rising tide of unimaginable horrors. Equipped with the best weapons, cutting edge electronics, and various drones you will board the company jet to track monsters down to save the day. You are prepared for anything–or at least you think you are.  
You can have hours of fun stopping monsters and still keep your sanity intact. 
Quantum Black is a story and action driven setting that is powered by the award winning rules of Exile Game Studio’s Ubiquity Roleplaying System. The contents are compatible with other Hollow Earth, Ubiquity-powered games.
Looks damn cool.

Then I look at the support levels, and I'm left scratching my head.

So, if the Quick Play doesn't unlock (and Quick Plays are usually free in PDF but not here) you spend $10 for no reason. I see why the option has no backers.

 $20 for a PDF with no stretch goals. That's steep in my opinion.

$35 for a PDF WITH stretch goals, which may or may not be met. Yeah, er - no.

$40 for the Soft Cover, PDF and stretch goals in PDF. So, print is only 5 bucks more? Oh, and Hard Cover is just 5 bucks more than that? Oops, make that 10 bucks more now, as $45 has sold out.

Then you notice there are 51 backers and just over $6,300 in backing - that's over $120 per backer

My math only accounts for $3,330 in backing - leaving $3,000 in unaccounted for funding. Not a good sign.

Damn me and my vetting!



  1. Hmmm yeah something funny here. I added up all backer contributions listed at the default values (so no assumptions about how much over the minimum at each backer level is contributed) and came up with $4360 while the listing shows $6311. So that means that at this moment at least with 51 backers there's $1951 additional contributions over the minimum amounts.

    My bet is on grandma and a couple other relatives at the high end backer level.

    1. Hi. I am one of the authors. Yes, we have backing from relatives and friends. Many Kickstarters rely on the support of relatives and friends.

  2. They're going to be killed by the fulfillment costs. The PDF deals are so unattractive that no one is taking them up, so that cash cushion isn't there to cover the fact that they almost certainly underestimated the costs of printing and postage. One to avoid. Besides, Kevin Crawford's Silent Legions has already done this recently, old school style, without any of that dirty storytelling stuff.

    1. We know our printing and postage costs. We followed advice from other people who have launched Kickstarters and priced the levels so that softback and hardbacks would be the most attractive. If you price PDFs very inexpensively, you have to have a huge number of backers to cover the costs of layout and art.

  3. Delivery by December 2015 also seems highly optimistic for self-confessed first timers. At least they have one thing right, well two things... they have themselves backed Kickstarters (although not many) and they do claim that the game is already written - in which case a sample chapter should be presented. Remember that Dwimmermount claimed to be already written too.

    1. We claim we have a manuscript we are editing. We are not posting a sample chapter because we do not have a copy edited, laid art chapter with art yet. If any potential backer wants to see a non-edited chapter to verify it exists, contact us. It can be arranged.

  4. Why does having backed a Kickstarter = done something right?

    1. Just IMO: If you've backed some Kickstarters, then at least you've got a sense of how the process works and, if you've paid attention, what some of the pitfalls are. It's not a deal-breaker to me, but a 1st created, zero backed is more likely to be someone who sees KS as a "get funds quick" scheme.

    2. Out Kickstarter is endorsed by the owner of Exiles Game Studios. He has posted it to the Exile Facebook page. We are real.

  5. I like Ubiquity. I like modern horror.
    But that blurb reads like 50 different games I already own.

    In fact his archetype "The Zeppo" was taken right out of a game I did write. Yeah..yeah I know Zeppo Marx...still the lack of originality there is even less reassuring.

    I already own Buffy (and Angel, and Ghosts of Albion, and WitchCraft, and Supernatural, and Chill, and Call of Cthulhu, and Trail of Cthulhu, and World of Darkness...) so why do I need this?

    1. "The Zeppo" was drawn from episode 13 of season 3 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (yeah, I know that episode was referring to a Marx brother). While you may have put it in a book you have written, I have not seen it before in a game book.

      Any horror book works with the tropes and cliches common to the genre. That is what makes it part of the genre. We claim we are adding a contemporary setting and horror to the Ubiquity game system. If you are interested in that, cool. If not, that is cool, too. If you own 50 horror games, well, it is probably hard to find any new book that does not have a lot in common with something you own.

    2. I make no claim to have read every horror RPG book out there. I do own some,

      I think we have two larger goals in this game. First, many people have expressed an interest for there to be a horror setting and rules for the Ubiquity system. We are meeting that need. If that is something you want, this book will be good. If this is not a need of yours, then this may not be a book for you.

      Second, we draw inspiration from a variety of books, movies, and TV shows. What we think is a different take from many settings (such as Buffy, Supernatural, Call of Cthulhu, etc.) is that the characters work for a mega-corporation. One way to describe it would be the TV show Fringe, but if the characters were working for Massive Dynamics. That was not really the genesis of the idea, but the analogy works. (The genesis of the idea was I was reading the book "The Googlization of Everything" while working on early drafts of our book and thinking a lot about the virtues and pitfalls of ambitious tech companies that sometimes portray themselves as simply performing public services).

      So the corporate angle is our attempt to have a different take on horror. I am not aware of anyone playing off that angle before. Given how large the world is, probably someone has.

      We appreciate all feedback. I fully admit that Mr. Brannan has written more game books than me. If experience matters, he is probably much better at it than me . My co-author and I are simply doing our best to put out a fun book.

      Whatever games you play, may they be great ones!


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