A new dark fantasy tabletop roleplaying game inspired by the likes of Berserk and Norse mythology has launched on Kickstarter. Earlier today, Andrew McMeel Universal launched the Kickstarter campaign for Blackbirds, a new tabletop roleplaying game created by Ryan Verniere and powered by the Zweihander game engine. Blackbirds is set in the grim and perilous world of Erebos, a world where a cabal of people defeated the gods and became Oligarchs, beings of immense power. This act disrupted reality itself, causing corrupt magic to seep into the world. What's more - the Oligarchs are preparing to return to the mortal plane and remake it in their image.
Players create a Blackbird, a character tethered to the frayed strands of destiny left behind from when the Oligarchs murdered the Norns who sat in the roots of Yggdrasil, governing the fate of mortals. Blackbirds are able to manipulate fate but can't entirely escape it, which forms the basis of some of the game mechanics of Blackbirds. When creating a Blackbird, players choose an ancestry that should be familiar to fans of Germanic or Norse mythology. Players can play as a Human, Aes, Daimn, Jotunnkin, or Nephilim. Players also pick one of five paths that determine their specialties. A player can choose the Path of Sword and Bow and specialize in combat, or they can pick the path of Shadow and Subterfuge and strike in the night. Players can choose to stick to one path or branch out into multiple paths as they advance through the campaign.
Andrew McNeel teamed up with several high-profile TTRPG adjacent brands when launching the campaign. Kickstarter backers can add-on dice from Norse Foundry or a t-shirt from Joe Manganiello's streetwear company Death Saves when pledging to the campaign. Manganiello also narrated several short stories set in the world of Blackbirds, including one that can be found below:
Kickstarter backers will get the PDF version of Blackbirds 688-page rulebook for $25, or they'll get a print version of the rulebook by pledging $55. Higher-level pledges and add-ons are also available. As of press time, the Kickstarter has already reached its initial $25,000 goal. You can check out the full Kickstarter here.