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Zephyr: An Anarchist Roleplaying Game Of Fleeting Identities

Created by Federico Sohns

Travel across the wandering, sentient landmass of Ophoi on a strange journey to fulfill sacred obligations and find your way back home.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Update #26 - Mid-Print Update and a Glimpse of What's to Come
13 days ago – Thu, Apr 11, 2024 at 08:35:47 AM

Hello kinfolk,

Hope y'all are doing well! As per the last update, I'm in with a minor one since we are in the middle of the printing process, so not much is happening. Last month, we sent everything to print after a few passes, and so I'm currently waiting for that to finish. I'm spending the final days of my "holiday" in Argentina before going back to Japan, where I have my recording microphone (so I can be able to record the audiobook), yet I'm still doing some stuff related to Zephyr. Particularly, stuff that is tied to the next iteration of the game.

I think I mentioned it before but I had in mind that the first expansion to Zephyr was going to focus on the Salt States. There's a lot of potential to play with the themes of a Salt States centered game; the expansion isn't just "extra stuff" for Zephyr games, but a whole new game using the token system that works to showcase Ophoi from the worldview of the valley peoples. I've been having a lot of fun writing about the Salt States, there's a lot of really thoughtful threads to follow when sitting down to think about them, and I'm also taking the chance to draw in new styles (particularly, instead of using the hard round, transparency brush that dominates the majority of Zephyr art, I'm trying a blocky, textured sketch brush for these Salt States pieces). Here are some vignettes of what I've been working on:

I have a rough idea of the way the system will be adapted, and I particularly wanna explore the design space that opens up by "flipping" Zephyr tokens. All tokens have a silver backside that can be interpreted as "salt" or "ammonium" tokens, which can signify the degree to which the souls of the valleyfolk are hardened and warded off against the volatility of sensitiveness. I'm working on the basis that, as the adventure rages on and your characters become more and more detached from the natural ebb and flow of Ophoi, and more and more committed to the utopian ideals of Jubilee, more of their tokens turn silvery, colorless - increasing their power to exert violence, yet also making them even less able to convey emotions.

There's a lot of work ahead, and I'm pondering whether or not this book will also be an "every spread illustrated" endeavor (really depends on how inspired I feel about churning out 100 or so more illos), but we'll see how it all shapes up. I'm excited to continue to play in this world and design space nonetheless, and hope those of you who really click with Zephyr join me for the ride :)

Until next time,

Fede

Update #25 - Digital Release & Production Update!
about 1 month ago – Sun, Mar 10, 2024 at 05:48:25 AM

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

Quick Check Update!
2 months ago – Tue, Feb 13, 2024 at 06:55:44 PM

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

Update #24 - Pre-Production Update!
3 months ago – Mon, Jan 22, 2024 at 09:56:57 PM

Hey Kinfolk! In for an early update on my part since, now that the bureaucratic bs is done, things are moving quick! Last one I wrote about the dev edits we did and processed, and now the game is moving into final edits. While that happens, I'm making those few final adjustments tied to inserting page number references and adding the last few pieces. 

Some of those final pieces are comic explanations of two mechanics - Gliding and Patterns. These two mechanics are more "analogic" - interacting with the maps that come with the box, dropping tokens to randomize currents, drawing on the character sheet, and they are also complex enough that they warranted a comic explanation.

For other edits, I'm also making sure all changes implemented on Lu's edits are well accounted for in the several instances we reference them. I said many times that one of the main challenges of designing Zephyr is that, because we are working with unconventional mechanics, I need to make sure there's plenty of ease of reference across the book - so I gotta make sure that all those amendments not just work well with the rest of the sections, but also are reflected in the quick references at the end of the Rules chapter, as well as the Reference sheet that's part of the second character sheet.

That said, I also have started to get stuff ready for printing! The contents of the box will thus be:

-100 zephyr tokens, 25 of each color. I think this is more than enough for the game, given that the maximum folk will hold in their Constitution is 8 tokens, plus varying amounts in the Region. The tokens are plastic, and have a silver underside that I plan to make use of in future expansions O.O

-Three posters; one which will be larger, showcasing the full map of Ophoi, purely for reference/to hang or whatever, and two double sided posters that will feature each of the four plaques (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black). These are the ones you keep on your game table and that are meant to be used for Regional Tokens, for Gliding, and tracking your characters - I've basically brought the full map down to scale, and then blacked out all but the region that corresponds to this or that map. If all goes well, you should be able to juxtapose them (which is why one poster has cyan/black, the other, magenta/yellow as demonstrated below in showing the full Ophoi map - so that you can always combine adjacent plaques). I wanted to also print a little dude as a party marker but it turned out it was going to go over the budget, so hopefully I'll be able to do something like that in the future.

-The book!

-A velvet pouch for your tokens (this is how it should look)

I've now finalized prepping and collating all these elements for production, but we'll have to wait until the last week of February to start since we are about to go into Chinese New Year. In the meantime, I'm working on adapting the book cover art for the box art

That's all! I wanted to inform you of all of this since a lot regarding production happened the last few days, and since it was all fresh in my mind I wanted to just send the update now before I start forgetting stuff to write. My plan is to give y'all another update once we start production, which is when we'll have a better estimate of when it'll all ship.

Best wishes,

Federico

Update #23 - January Update!
4 months ago – Fri, Jan 05, 2024 at 08:56:13 PM

Hey Kinfolk!

Happy new year! 2024 comes in with news for y'all and, at least to me, with a lot to be excited about. Bureaucratic hassles are now past me and so we've done and completed development edits by Lucrecia, which have been a godsend to polish the game and bring the text and mechanics in line with the ideas and themes. This includes an overhaul of the Feelings mechanic, as well as plenty of QOL changes that I'm implementing as we speak.

Before and during our editorial run, I worked finishing off the second character sheet, which is now looking like this. It's basically there for all your Equipment and to note down Conditions, though most of the space is devoted to a conceptual map of the game's mechanics that players can use to reference stuff.

Aside from that, I spent some time working on a set of new spreads, one that I'll use to cushion out any new text needed for the changes we effected:

And then advancing a bigger, more complex and detailed illustration that I had started ages ago and that I wouldn't forgive myself for not finishing, which depicts a Salt States Teethreme (currently in progress)

Tomorrow I'll be doing a new character creation playtest with one of my groups as I continue processing developmental edits. After that, we'll do a new proofing/editorial pass and then we'll be off to the printers! I'm very happy that the project progression is back in my hands, and excited to see it going to print.

See you in the next one,

Federico