Kickstarter Alert: You Only Live Forever in ‘Katanas & Trenchcoats’

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Katanas Trenchcoats title
Grab your bag of d10s, put on your ’90s attire, belt out “Whooooo waaaaants to liiiive forever” from the top of your lungs, and back Katanas & Trenchcoats on Kickstarter.

Have you ever played a game that normally isn’t your cup of tea, then suddenly you want to grab everyone you see and yell at them that they must try this thing? That is how I felt after playtesting Katanas & Trenchoats before year one was released on April 1, 2015.

You see, I’m not an RPG person. I mean, I read a lot of them and really love them as an observer. I think it’s great to sit around and pretend you’re someone else. However, I’m extremely introverted and have always felt beyond silly playing someone else in a non-scripted setting. I’m afraid to make mistakes and look stupid, and then OMG Why is everyone looking at me?!

Used with permission
Used with permission

Then, my friend Ryan Macklin asked if I wanted to playtest Katanas & Trenchcoats before its release. I figured it wouldn’t hurt. So, I grabbed a couple of friends with whom it is safe, and we tried this thing out. Immediately I was hooked. Not only because it lovingly mocks the things I loved in my late teens and caused me to laugh until I almost cried, but also because the things that prevented me from playing RPGs were part of the game. Suddenly, the things that cause my ASD to fly into a panic were no longer an issue; they were part of the rules so it was safe. Also, there are LARP rules! And I feel in love.

Now, Katanas & Trenchcoats is getting bigger and better thanks to a widely successful Kickstarter, which was fully funded in less than 24 hours. Because it is impractical to run around and yell at people to back this thing, writing about it seems like the best alternative.

So, what is Katanas & Trenchcoats? I’m not sure I could ever do it justice, so I’ll let Ryan explain the basics:

There are other thing you may want to know about Katanas & Trenchcoats, like how the writers include a diverse group of non-white, non-American, non-cis, non-straight, non-male writers and artists, which also reflects the game’s content and characters.

Now that the game has reached its first stage of funding, Ryan has released a Katanas & Trenchcoats metagame that will unlock stretch goals. The metagame way of unlocking stretch goals is one of the most brilliant and genius thing I’ve ever seen. The TL;DR version of the metagame is pretty simple:

  1. Create something Katanas & Trenchcoats related. Could be fanfic, a picture, a video, a song, whatever. Just create it.
  2. Tweet that thing using the #YOLF hashtag. If you don’t use Twitter, than put a link to that thing in the Kickstarter comments with the #YOLF hashtag so that Ryan can easily find it.
  3. Ryan will assign it some point level.
  4. Every $1,000 above the initial goal also is awarded points.
  5. Every 100 points, Ryan releases something cool.

The first stretch goal has already been unlocked, and Ryan has provided more details about how the metagame works, including the points system.

Used with permission.
Used with permission.

The GeekDads and GeekMoms are already playing and planning to play the metagame, and we are planning a Skype play session–Katanas & Trenchcoats also lends itself well to virtual playgroups–because this thing is really awesome. Someone is making a fan video! (If you live in the Seattle area, this person wants your help.)

So, that’s fun and a great way to engage people.

Also, Ryan has answered some great questions, like: What makes Katanas & Trenchcoats different?; and Why the focus on Immortals?

Used with permission.
Used with permission.

What else can I tell you? Well, to play the game you need a lot of d10s; 10 in fact. The full version will be a minimum of 168 pages, black and white illustrations, softcover; this factor could change depending on how successful the campaign is. You can get a preview of the spirit of the game here. And take a look at year one character sheet here. Costumes are encouraged; in fact, they help. There is a YouTube playlist and a Spotify playlist for this game.

The Katanas & Trenchoats Kickstarter ends on April 30, 2016. Go on. Back it now because #YOLF.

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