Captivating • Every first-time StoryForge gametester has wanted to play it again
Groundbreaking • StoryForge revolutionizes RPG mechanics — experience a game unlike anything you have played
Quick • Begin play within a half hour of opening the box — and take full turns in under a minute
Non-Referential • Enjoy the game with minimal dependence on reference materials during actual play
Strategic • Conflict resolution in StoryForge presents colorful, qualitative, tactical choices
Dynamic Attrition • Experience progressive weakness with physical injuries, mental exhaustion, and spiritual strain
Functional Power Differentials • Play dragons and gnomes, golems and ghosts, beasts and gods — all with the same mechanics
Language-Based Magic • Use root words to compose unique spells befitting the circumstances
Interactive Game Pieces • Handheld devices representing weapons and technology interact in a rich and modular way
Fluid Action Costs • The quantity of resources spent each turn affects the resources available next turn
Collectability • Purchase gaming sets — or collect, trade, and recombine modular gaming components
Customizability • Fill in blank components — or design and print your own gaming pieces online
Universality • Support any gaming genre: fantasy, sci-fi, historical, punk, super-hero, or mixed-genre
Realistic and Fantastic • Mechanics yield lifelike consequences — yet also support fantasy and sci-fi potentialities
Flexible Deployment • Engage in epic campaigns overseen by a game-master — or go head-to-head without a referee
Graphic and Literary Aesthetics • Fantasy art and poignant quotes enrich the visual and conceptual enjoyment of the game
Educational • Learn strategy, story-telling, history, mythology, language — but above all, creative thinking
StoryForge is the brainchild of three professionals Matthew Niedner, a physician and writer; Kelly Cope, a paramedic and father; and Bart Niedner, an architect and professor. Collectively, we have over sixty years of relevant gaming experience. In 1997, the partnership that would become Audax Cor was formed. Our purpose: to design and produce a game with the conceptual freedom and unlimited possibilities of a Role-Playing Game (RPG), but the collectability, mechanical efficiency, and strategic richness of a Collectable Card Game (CCG).
StoryForge defines a paradigm shift in role-playing entertainment. It is a system that uniquely incorporates the open-ended feel of RPGs with the straightforward playability of CCGs. Dynamic, interactive, modular game pieces give players creative and tactical control of the game mechanics themselves. This produces strategic choices, realistic effects, and colorful consequences that support multiplayer narratives as well as head-to-head pit-fighting.
RPGs must all solve several core dilemmas: physical conflict resolution, restraint of characters' skills and powers, success determinations when characters attempt tasks. Most RPGs have been variations of the archetype Dungeons & Dragons and depend on tables, charts, cross-references, lists, and handbooks that attempt to quantify and define any possible situation. This extensive data and the leftover ambiguities must be managed by a referee. This makes most RPGs very referential, where mechanics slow play down with repetitive dice-rolling, indexing colorless tables of numbers, calculating ranges and skill bonuses, and memorizing or reading paragraphs of device and spell effects.
Such awkward systems contrast sharply against the CCG archetype Magic which capitalized on the market's desire for streamlined, quickly-learned, yet strategic mechanics. However, these last-man-standing systems came at the expense of flexibility, adaptability, and cooperative gaming. Many CCG players have since reshelved their decks to once again enjoy the drama and freeform creativity of role-playing.
As one would expect, CCG-RPG combinations have been attempted, but none have enjoyed significant success. StoryForge is not a RPG played like a CCG; nor is it a story-telling game played with cards. StoryForge is a universal role-playing system for any genre or setting, where each component and aspect of the game is represented with an interactive piece that explains its own use. StoryForge has fused the best theories of RPG and CCG gaming by inventing unique, interactive devices.
StoryForge basics can be learned by beginners in a half hour, with turns taking about a minute. Basic two-player head-to-head pit-fighting scenarios can be played-out in well under an hour. And for the traditional RPG player, StoryForge can also be deployed as a multiplayer adventure lasting for many hours or days in an epic campaign guided by a game-master. Simply put, the system facilitates efficient, exciting game play whatever the objectives of the gamers.
Similar to premium CCGs, the physical game components of StoryForge can be collected and combined in infinite combinations. Yet unlike CCGs, StoryForge remains capable of supporting countless player-driven storylines of any genre. Furthermore, StoryForge is not a closed system its modular design permits its parts to be adapted into other RPG systems.
Transcending the standard RPG systems that divide players' options into “cans and can'ts,” the StoryForge system imposes no limitations on what kinds of characters can be played realistically from the humblest of animals to the most powerful of deities, and every mortal and mystical creature in between. Realistic mechanics for creatures of vastly different sizes and immortality are a mark of the system.
Since most StoryForge components are optional and modular layers of a larger system, beginners and younger gamers are able to play successfully with the foundation game pieces, while older and more experienced gamers can add increasing levels of strategy and customization. Beginners can play with fewer and simpler components while playing in the same game with advanced players who are using the full spectrum. Metaphorically, the StoryForge gaming environment is like a checkerboard where beginners can play checkers, masters can play chess, and still they can play equally together on the same board in the same game.
Gamers have had critical impact on the system design, making it quintessentially player-friendly. StoryForge has undergone hundreds of hours of gametesting with the input of over forty players, ages eight to thirty-two. Every single player who has gametested the system once has wanted to play it again. Some players enjoy using the mechanics intensely, exploring the strategic and customizable richness of StoryForge components. Others let the mechanics recede far into the background of a mood and story-driven adventure. All the players have enjoyed the gaming devices that invite tactical decision-making, the easy rules with realistic options and outcomes, and the incorporation of artwork and literary references.
This groundbreaking game will capture the hearts of many, and has proven to attract dedicated role-players who want easier, more colorful mechanics than current RPGs offer; busy role-players who simply don't have the time to learn or play traditional RPGs; CCG players who have grown tired of the constraints of a deck; game cannibals who like to tweak and adapt modular components of one system into another; and even those who have never played a RPG or CCG.
The StoryForge project has been the hobby of three busy professionals spread from the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean, completed over the course of four years. So it has been approached with fresh eyes many times, and progressed through many evolutionary forms. The creators have enjoyed working on this project as a passionate, creative alternate to their professional lives, and have had the luxury of no financial imperatives or deadlines that could have compromised the vision and artistry that underpins the entire system.
The system's namesake, StoryForge, reflects the design that promotes the interaction of powerful game-tools and players' imaginations to forge great stories. Come. Be the Bard!
Audax Cor, LLC has created over the last four years a role-playing system that has a comprehensive reply to the movement in the gaming industry. Game shops have recently seen the collectable card game ruckus dwindle, the invention of interactive collectable miniatures, and the re-release of the role-playing archetype. StoryForge combines some of the best features of each of these – it is a paradigm shift in role-playing entertainment. Because of the uniqueness of design, we have reason to believe our product will be very compelling to companies in the gaming industry. Our gaming system is copyrighted, patented, and trademarked. We will either sell the rights, build a partnership with a company to produce the game, or self publish. We are currently researching the top candidates, and contacting a select few. Look for StoryForge in the coming gaming conventions near you!
A huge "Thank You" to all of our gametesters!
Audax Cor — "The Adventurous Heart" — is a game development group of spirited professionals interested in creative projects. To date, our focus has been interactive entertainment that promotes excitement and personal enrichment. Our mission is to bring artful approaches to project design and development, while applying tactical problem solving, and striving for the paradigm shift that will define a new standard. We cultivate a passion for innovation and infuse our ventures with a balance of abstraction and realism, futurism and mythology, critical thinking and imagination.
The first synthesis of our efforts is StoryForge — a universal role-playing system.