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A downloadable game

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--- MONTHLY UPDATE #1 OUT NOW! ---

Tacticians of Ahm is a tactical combat-focused tabletop roleplaying game in the corrupt3d fantasy world of Ahm. A bit-rotten blight has appeared in the Northern Sea and from it flows the Corrupt1on, fractured light and shattered shapes sowing chaos across the realm. As Tacticians, you alone are prepared to face the darkness spreading across the lands and reunite the scattered peoples of Ahm.

Unique Elements of Tacticians of Ahm:

  • Always-hit, set-damage grid-based combat!
  • Class-specific attack patterns, abilities, and more!
  • Easy-to-use weapon and ability diagrams!
  • Rules light out-of-combat play using a single d20!
  • A digital fantasy world corrupting with age!
    • You know it's a video game, but your characters don't!

If videos are more your speed, check out this quick introduction to the game:

Inspired by video games like Into the Breach, Final Fantasy Tactics and Fire Emblem, Tacticians of Ahm was created out of a desire to maintain the rewarding tactical choices and big dramatic moments of traditional grid-n-minis TTRPG combat without slowing the pace of play by removing as many of the frustrating aspects of play as possible and streamlining the rest. Combat is fast and furious! You can always easily read your abilities, know the damage you will do (and when you can do it), and more. For a more in-depth look, check out the Example of Play below!


This is an 101-page EARLY ACCESS version of the Tacticians of Ahm rulebook and a 35-page EARLY ACCESS starter adventure both featuring basic layout and little art. As such, everything within these covers is subject to change. It contains all of the rules and guidance players and game masters need to play their own adventures in the shattered empire of Ahm.

Tacticians of Ahm currently includes:

  • Rulebook with Full Rules of Play
    • 4 Classes
    • 40+ Abilities
    • 20+ Unique Enemies
    • 30 Magic Items
    • 40 Corrupt1on Effects
    • GM Guidance: Building Battles, Building Enemies
    • Digital Character Sheets
  • Starter Adventure
    • Takes Tacticians from Level 1 to Level 3+!
    • 5 Bespoke Battles!
    • 2 New Enemies!
    • 1 New Region of Ahm!
    • GM Tips!

PURCHASING NOW GETS YOU ALL FUTURE DIGITAL CORE GAME UPDATES (INCLUDING THE RULEBOOK, CAMPAIGN BOOK, AND SETTING BOOK FROM EARLY ACCESS TO FINAL ART AND LAYOUT COMPLETE FORM)!

  • Monthly Update #1 Launch (NOW): $20 USD
  • Early Graduation Launch (approx. 4/24): $30 USD
  • Ahmian Almanac Launch (approx. 7/24): $45 USD

Additionally, there will be monthly incremental updates and small price increases bridging the gaps between milestones.

Purchase currently includes PDF and ePub versions of the core rulebook and starter adventure as well as printer-friendly character sheets.



WHY ITCHFUNDING? 

Financially, Itchfunding helps offset a portion of the risk inherent to a project like this by allowing me to raise funds up front for more art (by Helena Satana), expert editing (by Jarret Crader), and professional layout (by Jean Verne) while also letting you experience the core game now and come along for the ride as it grows in the future (all for a lower-than-final retail price)! For more information on my plans for the continued growth of Ahm, see the full Development Roadmap below.




EXAMPLES OF PLAY

COMBAT: Tacticians of Ahm's defining mechanics are in its streamlined tactical combat. Let's look at Acheron (a Level 1 Human Fighter) and Settembrini (a Level 1 Goatfolk Cleric) as they navigate the battlefield against 2 Goblins (Enemy Level 1). This battlemap represents a lightly wooded area with a large rock on one side (the 2x2 obstacle) and two small trees (the two 1x1 obstacles). Through smart use of their abilities and focused movements, our duo of Tacticians can quickly best their foes!


To battle!

Tacticians always act first. Settembrini currently has the highest speed among the Tacticians (at Speed 4) so he takes his turn first. He uses his full movement to reach the space immediately behind Acheron.


At Level 1, Settembrini took the Cleric ability Wrathful Blessing allowing him to grant Acheron +1 Damage and +1 Speed (per Cleric level) on his next turn. Because Settembrini was able to reach the correct positioning and has not exhausted this ability earlier in this encounter, he just does it! No rolling required.


Settembrini blesses Acheron!

Next, the highest speed enemy combatant takes their turn. Because both combatants are Goblins (with Speed 4), they act in any order determined by the GM (set at the start of battle). Speed ties work the same way for Tacticians as well (only the Tacticians decide, rather than the GM).


Goblin #1 (in the upper left) takes its turn first, moves 2 squares in order to face Acheron directly, and uses its Base Attack (see above), doing 1 Damage. Acheron is now down to 5 Health. Fighters are the heartiest starting Class.


Goblin #1 strikes Acheron!

Now, the next Tactician in Speed order takes their turn: Acheron! With Settembrini's blessing, his strength as a Fighter, and careful attention to enemy positioning, Acheron is able to make a powerful move! Due to the Wrathful Blessing, Acheron now has Speed 4 (up from his base Speed of 3) and is able to position himself directly behind Goblin #2 and uses his ability!


At Level 1, Acheron took the Fighter ability Lunge allowing him to deal double his Fighter Level in damage to 3 squares directly in front of him. Lunge deals 2 damage for Acheron at his current level but with Settembrini's blessing that raises to 3 damage AND because Acheron was able to position himself behind both enemies, he triggers a Backstab and deals DOUBLE damage (for a total of 6 damage on all 3 squares affected by Lunge)!

Acheron lunges, piercing both Goblins clean through!

Both Goblins drop to the floor dead (each only having 3 maximum Health). The Tacticians are victorious! Through a smart combination of abilities and positioning, a dangerous battle was ended rather decisively!

In the aftermath, both Tacticians take 1 XP for a successful battle and 1 Relationship Point with one another for the crucial Blessing-Lunge combo! In the future, they'll be able to further advance in Classes and grow their Relationship with one another, allowing them to call on it in battle, giving the other a free immediate action!

Don't worry. 1s are good!

NON-COMBAT: Outside of combat, Tacticians of Ahm uses a simple d20 roll-under resolution system tied with the Tactician's Aptitudes, which are augmented by their class levels, gear, and more.

If a task is within the daily skillset of a Tactician, it happens. If a task is downright impossible no matter who attempts it, it doesn't happen. In many cases, no roll is necessary, and in a typical session, rolling only infrequently occurs. Let your knowledge of the world, the characters, the gear, and the specific situation be your guide.

Only when a Tactician is attempting a task beyond their day-to-day strengths and abilities should you call for an Aptitude Check. Additionally, consider if both success and failure are interesting. If only one is interesting, that is the thing that should happen (and does not need a roll). If both are interesting, call for a roll. Consider applying Advantage and Disadvantage (roll twice and take the lower or higher result, respectively) as well.

Miko attempts to, once again, make a timed explosive with a jar of gunpowder and a burning scrap of cloth. Because Mike has accomplished this task before, the GM calls for a Knowledge check at Advantage. Miko rolls a 19 and a 16, takes the lower of the two results (16, over her Knowledge score of 14) and fails. The cloth falls too close to the jar, causing an explosion. Miko takes 1 Death Pip, loses both items from her inventory, and a nearby doorway caves in under the blast.

Rolling a 1 triggers a Flashback, Ahm's version of a critical success. You succeed with aplomb, and the GM will typically grant you something additional of value (situational advantage, new information, an item, etc.). Before they do, you narrate a scene showing something your Tactician experienced in their past and how it aided them in their present success.


DEVELOPMENT ROADMAP

As a largely solo creator, Tacticians of Ahm is where I'll be spending the majority of my time in 2024! I fully intend to bring this game from where it is now (a strong, very playable core) to a full-fledged TTRPG product (professional layout, bespoke art, digital tools, and more). Eventually, Tacticians of Ahm will hopefully make the jump to print via a future crowdfund, but for now, digital is the primary focus until the core package is feature complete.

Tacticians of Ahm - Core Rulebook (Monthly Updates)

Although the Rulebook is currently essential rules complete, there are still several aspects that will be expanded over the rest of development.

  • Expanded bestiary!
  • More on multiclassing!
  • Prestige classes!
  • More magic items!
  • More accessibility!
    • Colorblind support!
    • Alt-text image descriptions!
  • Optional advanced combat rules!
    • Elevation
    • Difficult Terrain
  • Sample battlemaps!
  • Enemy AI for solo play!
  • More examples of play!
  • More lore!

Early Graduation - Starter Campaign Book (Approx. 4/24)

An introductory campaign taking Tacticians through an unexpected early graduation at the Academy and off on a quest far from The White-Walled City of Ahm and into the corrupt3d heart of the Forgotten North. Designed to take Tacticians from Class Level 1 to Class Level 4!

  • New enemies!
  • New magic items!
  • New locations!
  • New NPCs!

The Ahmian Almanac - Setting Book (Approx. 7/24)

A setting book covering the entire continent of Ahm, its various city-states, splintered nations, and the twin isles of Old Cardia. One part open-world setting book, one part mechanical supplement, and one part lore guide.

  • New classes!
  • New enemies!
  • New items!
  • New lore!
  • Region guides!
  • Gazetteers!

HD Asset Pack - Digital Tools (Approx. 9/24)

  • VTT tokens!
  • Battlemaps!



Design and Writing by Christian Sorrell
Development and Editing by Jarrett Crader
Art by Helena Santana
Published by MeatCastle GameWare

Playtesters: Flintwyrm, Spooky Rusty, Kurt Larson, Tom Otero, Kevin Masterson, Ryan R., Sean Harkin
Alpha Readers: The Meat Grinder, watt, Matt Umland, Marco Serrano, Tim Obermueller

Updated 4 days ago
StatusIn development
CategoryPhysical game
Rating
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
(11 total ratings)
AuthorMeatCastle GameWare
GenreRole Playing
TagsFantasy, JRPG, Tabletop, Tactical, Tactical RPG, Tabletop role-playing game

Purchase

Buy Now
On Sale!
20% Off
$25.00 $20.00 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $20 USD. You will get access to the following files:

Tacticians of Ahm - Rulebook v0.8.2.pdf 14 MB
Tacticians of Ahm - Rulebook v0.8.2.epub 12 MB
A0 - Early Graduation v0.8.2.pdf 1 MB
A0 - Early Graduation v0.8.2.epub 832 kB
Tacticians of Ahm - Quick Reference v0.8.2.pdf 63 kB
Tacticians of Ahm - Character Sheet v0.8.pdf 422 kB
Digital Tools v0.8.2.zip 1 MB
Layout - WIP Style Preview.png 7 MB
Monthly Update #1 - Patch Notes.pdf 83 kB

Development log