The Tab Creations Collective
Join the Against the Dark Yogi Open Beta
We're currently running an open playtest of our upcoming tabletop RPG based off epic Indian Mythology, Against the Dark Yogi. Everyone is invited to download a beta copy of the game, run it and participate in the playtest by filling out a feedback survey or posting in our Tab Games Forum.
Against the Dark Yogi is a high-action tabletop RPG where the players take on the role of epic heroes, destined to defend the mythological India-inspired world of Bhurloka from the machinations of the Dark Yogi, a sinister figure attacking the dharma, the order of the world, itself. On the subcontinent of Bhurloka are a thousand cities with a myriad customs. Hundreds of city-states and small kingdoms parcel up civilization, with great swaths of untamed forests and mountains wedged between. Wandering ascetics practice austerities on mountaintops, seeking spiritual enlightenment and supernatural powers. Rajas stand before their palaces, speaking to their peoples. Archers, surpassing all others in skill, compete for great prizes and boons. Chariots roll and elephants march with armies to war. And all the while the devas look down upon the world from their celestial home, watching events and warding off attacks from their eternal rivals, the asuras.
The open beta test is still in its early stages, and it still needs editing and some balancing work, but that's exactly what the open beta is for. The current iteration of the open beta is Beta 2. Click here to read the README file for this iteration of the beta.
Against the Dark Yogi Beta 2 Released
Today we are happy to announce the release of the second public beta for our upcoming mythic India-inspired game, Against the Dark Yogi. Anyone can participate in our open beta simply by clicking here to download the game, running it and providing feedback in our occasional feedback surveys.
The focus of this iteration of the beta is to make a first pass at balancing the different traits and various player character options, as well as smoothing over any rough edges left on the game's systems.
Remember, this is still a early version of the game and significant aspects are subject to change before the game's final release. It is recommended that players read the open beta readme for more in-depth information on how to participate. Also remember that this is a playtest version of the game, and as such the full setting material that will be included in the final version of the game isn't yet included here.
- Against the Dark Yogi is a high-action tabletop RPG where the players take on the role of epic heroes, destined to defend the mythological India-inspired world of Bhurloka from the machinations of the Dark Yogi, a sinister figure attacking the dharma, the order of the world, itself. On the subcontinent of Bhurloka are a thousand cities with a myriad customs. Hundreds of city-states and small kingdoms parcel up civilization, with great swaths of untamed forests and mountains wedged between. Wandering ascetics practice austerities on mountaintops, seeking spiritual enlightenment and supernatural powers. Rajas stand before their palaces, speaking to their peoples. Archers, surpassing all others in skill, compete for great prizes and boons. Chariots roll and elephants march with armies to war. And all the while the devas look down upon the world from their celestial home, watching events and warding off attacks from their eternal rivals, the asuras.
A while back, while researching for Against the Dark Yogi we briefly considered using Ganjifa cards in the action mechanic for the game. Ganjifa cards are traditional round playing cards found throughout India, although they were originally introduced to India by way of Persia during the reign of the Mughal Empire. They're pretty cool.
It turns out, though, that they're super-difficult to get in the United States (at least without shelling out a lot of money). In fact, as far as we tell, there has not been a general US printing of ganjifa since the 1950's.
That's why today we've launched a Kickstarter to print ganjifa cards and once again make them available in the West. We think they're pretty cool, and we hope you'll think so too.
You can read more about ganjifa here.
And you can support the Kickstarter here.
Setting Sheet: Ishtaban
I'm now happy to present the third in our series of Setting Sheets: Ishtaban. Like our first two (Tansaar & Bhurloka), this Setting Sheet a page--both front and back--detailing a particular setting in brief. We plan to release more of setting sheets, all leading up to the release of our final product for the first generation of Saga Machine games: Nexus Endtime.
This sheet details the world of Ishtaban,a world where early modern tech meets thaumantic principles, all in the aftermath of a devastating civil war. Here is the blurb from the sheet:
- Ishtaban is a world with a modern society reemerging from the aftermath of a devastating civil war. It is also a world where state-sponsored thaumaturgist battle rebellious elements of society, and all the while a conspiracy of thaumantic constructs watches and waits while the political situation develops.
Art Preview #4: Against the Dark Yogi
Now we proudly present our fourth art preview for our upcoming game, Against the Dark Yogi. Here a naga can be seen, ready for a fight. We would also like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that Against the Dark Yogi is currently in the first iteration of its public beta, and the beta can be downloaded from the link above.
Second Quarter 2013 Tab Update
Like the last few, it's been a busy quarter at Tab Creations.
This quarter our main focus has undeniably been on getting out latest game Against the Dark Yogi ready for its public playtest. And we have met that goal! Our epic Indian mythology game was released for the first iteration of its public playtest just days before the end of the quarter. The playtest was even featured as a news item on the front page of ENWorld.
But that hasn't been our only focus. In the last quarter we've also revised our LARP The Difficult Life of the Costumed Henchman, released a setting sheet for our upcoming Nexus Endtime game and unveiled a number of new art pieces for Against the Dark Yogi. And throughout all this we've repeatedly updated out Development Blog with new posts.
On the business end of things this quarter we underwent a significant restructuring, becoming incorporated once again as a Kansas-based LLC. We've also upped our outreach efforts, including once again being a sponsor of Intercon.
Looking to the future, throughout the next quarter we plan to continue to develop and test Against the Dark Yogi, leading to an eventual Kickstarter release sometime in the early third quarter. We also plan to continue chugging along with Nexus Endtime freebies until that setting is ready to go. Finally, the Blaugh'Ock supplement for Trystell: Reborn continues to edge ever-closer to release. Who knows, there may even be a surprise release or two that creeps into the quarter.
Against the Dark Yogi Open Beta Begins
The time has finally come. Today we officially release the first open beta test of our Vedic mythology-inspired game Against the Dark Yogi. Throughout the open beta process anyone can download, playtest and give feedback on the game, thus making it better for everyone and having some fun in the process.
Remember, this is still a early version of the game and whole systems are subject to change before the game's release. It is recommended that players read the open beta readme to know what aspects of the system are currently receiving focus for testing. Also remember that this is a playtest version of the game, and as such the full setting material that will be included in the final version of the game isn't yet available here.
Art Preview #3: Against the Dark Yogi
The private alpha test of our upcoming Vedic mythology-inspired game Against the Dark Yogi is nearing its end, and the public beta is likely to begin sometime late this month. Meanwhile, I have our third art preview for the new game. In this one an exiled Kumar (Prince) is seen leaving his kingdom behind.
Costumed Henchmen Updated!
Our one-shot theater-style LARP The Difficult Life of the Costumed Henchman was first released over two years ago, but we continue to refine it and make it better. With that in mind, we're here to announce that the game has just received another update and that update has been uploaded to the website! This now brings the most recent version of the game up to v1.3. This update clarifies the GM instructions, fixes a few typos in the game text and smooths out a few confusion points when running the game. From the game blurb:
- Most villains have them: themed, costumed henchmen who aid them with their fiendish heists and dastardly plans. They may appear faceless behind their masks, but those henchmen have lives, too. And their lives are can be difficult. They have to put up with crusading heroes, the cackling madmen who employ them and poor working conditions. It's tough work, for which they get little respect. Something has to be done about this! It's time for the costumed henchmen to unionize.
- Tonight select henchmen in the employ of the city's most prominent villains have gathered to decide how they should proceed, and what collective demands they will make to their employers. Will be the start of a new era? Or, like those of so many villains, will their plans be foiled?
Art Preview #2: Against the Dark Yogi
The second iteration of the private alpha test of our upcoming Vedic mythology-inspired setting Against the Dark Yogi has started, meanwhile development continues and we expect the first iteration of the public beta to begin sometime in the next month. So here we have our second art preview for the new setting! This one shows a deva descending from the heavens in front of a bunch of surprised onlookers.
Setting Sheet: Bhurloka
I'm now happy to present our second Setting Sheet: Bhurloka. Like our first Setting Sheet (Tansaar), it's a page--both front and back--detailing a particular setting in brief. We plan to release a number of setting sheets, all leading up to the release of our final product for the first generation of Saga Machine games: Nexus Endtime.
This sheet details the mythic world of Bhurloka. Let me give a blurb from the sheet:
- Bhurloka is a world that seems pulled almost directly out of Vedic myth. While the names and places may be different, and everything shifted a bit, the resemblance is uncanny. A multitude of petty human kingdoms dot the forests and mountains of the world, while wandering ascetics meditate on mountaintops or undergo harsh austerities. Savage rakshasas lurk deep in the wilderness and undead pretas stalk the roads at night.
- But something in the world is out of balance. The eternal cycles of birth, death and reincarnation continue, yet the balance and cosmic laws of the world--its dharma--is under attack. Far to the east a dark figure is rising and beginning to claim dominion over the world, meanwhile villains and opportunists are seizing the opportunity while dharma is out of whack to make their own moves to exploit the world.
- Some whisper, though, that the universe seeks to correct itself. Rare individuals, Chosen of Dharma, are being empowered to right the threat to the world. Those who find themselves on Bhurloka may soon find themselves caught in the middle of this conflict with few places to run.
You may have guessed that Bhurloka is also something of a sneak peak into the world of our upcoming game, Against the Dark Yogi, seem from the perspective of Nexus Endtime. If you guessed this, you would be correct.
Art Preview #1: Against the Dark Yogi
Work on our upcoming Vedic mythology-inspired setting Against the Dark Yogi continues, and we're looking to open up the game for public beta test next month. Meanwhile, here is the first of our art previews of the new game. This one depicts a religious ascetic gathering power as he meditates.
First Quarter Tab Update 2013
2012 was a good year for The Tab Creations Collective. We progressed from 2011 which saw the release of the Saga Machine Companion, an update to our Saga Machine system, through an entire new year. It was also the 20th year of Tab's existence in some form. Not bad.
The year began with the release of several Trystell: Reborn PDF supplements, leading to the release of the final Trystell: Reborn hardback in June. Having the completed version of our flagship setting out was a major victory.
Meanwhile, we were featured in the magazine The Weekly Hype, published an update to our The Difficult Life of the Costumed Henchman LARP and were again a supporter of Intercon.
This summer we release our first major website revision in several years and began work on our Arth alternate history setting. This was followed up with a number of Freebie Spotlights and the release of Arth itself.
The autumn saw the release of our first print supplement to Trystell: Reborn, a campaign-length adventure called What Comes Thereafter. It also saw the introduction of our Development Blog, along with the announcement of a second generation of Saga Machine games in the works.
Work then began in earnest on our upcoming apocalyptic Nexus Endtime setting--the last of the first generation Saga Machine games--and Against the Dark Yogi--the first of our second generation Saga Machine games. Meanwhile, work also still continues on a second Trystell: Reborn print supplement: Blaugh'Ock.
The year finished with the release of some supporting Nexus Endtime material and the publishing of the first version of the Development Site, which is being used for active 2nd Gen Saga Machine development.
Although it didn't happen in 2012, it did happen in the first days of 2013: the internal alpha test of Against the Dark Yogi began. It shows a lot of promise, and everyone agreed that it's looking good. Although it still needs a fair amount of writing before we can launch the public Beta (something we still plan on doing in the spring).
And along those lines, looking to the year ahead: Plans continue to finish the development of Blaugh'Ock and Nexus Endtime, then to harken in a new era of 2nd Gen Saga Machine games, beginning with Against the Dark Yogi. We plan to keep posting to the Development Blog throughout this.
We're planning a public beta of Against the Dark Yogi in the spring, followed by a crowd-funding effort in the summer. This year we're also planning on some legal solidifications, making sure we're in ship-shape before we start crowd-finding. This will likely coincide with some website and forum cleanup.
After summer? Who can say? A lot of that depends on how development and the summer goes. But we keep planning.
Saga Machine Development Site Live
If you've been following the Development Blog you know that we've been working on using a custom-programmed computerized system to keep track of automated references and cross-indexing in all new development for the next generation of Saga Machine games, starting with our upcoming game Against the Dark Yogi.
We're proud to announce now that the first version of this system has just gone live and can be viewed by clicking this link or by clicking the new link on the navigation menu. While the Saga Machine Development Site doesn't hold a lot of new content now, it will be instrumental in the Public Beta of Against the Dark Yogi that we expect to see released early next year. (The site does, however, currently hold a list of traits and consequences appearing in the Saga Machine Companion, indexed by keyword.)
And so we move one more step forward in our development.
Nexus Endtime Logo Unveiled
Work on a variety of projects continues, but this time we have new logo ready to unveil. This is the logo to our upcoming apocalyptic Nexus Endtime setting, a setting that sees PCs as the survivors of ruined worlds, fighting to save the the many worlds from complete obliteration. You can see the logo below
Nexus Endtime will be the last of our first generation Saga Machine settings, and one written with the generation transition in mind. It will be designed to work easily with any version of the game. Expect it sometime late in the first quarter of 2013.
Meanwhile, as stated earlier, work continues. Our Development Blog is in full swing, with almost a dozen entries now and one or two coming out each week, providing a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the future development of Saga Machine. Work on the Blaugh'Ock supplement to Trystell: Reborn continues as well, and may yet see release this month, or it may slip into January. But it very, very close to completion.
Perhaps the bulk of the work right now (and the reason the other releases have slipped a bit) is going to our upcoming project (and this may be the first time it's been mentioned by name in the TabBlog) Against the Dark Yogi. This mythic fantasy setting takes direct inspiration from the Vedic epics of India, and presents a world rife with the stuff that legends are made of. Not only that, but it will be the first of our second generation Saga Machine games. We're currently pushing to get it ready for a closed Alpha Test in January, with a public Beta Test starting sometime in February or March.
That's it for now. You're likely to see at least a post or two more in the TabBlog before the year's end, and quite a few more in the Development Blog.
Setting Sheet: Tansaar
This is our first of a new type of Freebie Spotlight: the Setting Sheet. Basically it's a page--both front and back--detailing a particular setting in brief. Over the coming month or two we plan to release a number of setting sheets, all leading up to the release of our final product for the first generation of Saga Machine games: Nexus Endtime.
This sheet details the fantasy world of Tansaar. Let me just give a blurb from the sheet:
- Two hundred years ago a great war between the kingdoms of Tansaar culminated in a magical apocalypse, known as the Descent, that left the entire surface of the world scarred by devastating magical storms, and drove the survivors deep underground. Once underground they enslaved the native inhabitants of the underdeeps, and carried on in their ongoing struggles, founding new kingdoms, but keeping the old feuds alive. Today the world is one of increasing hostilities, the underdeep natives fighting to be free, the underground kingdoms skirmishing, and the kingdoms clamping down on dissidents. Meanwhile, the storms of the past continue to rage overhead, both literally and figuratively.
Check it out. Meanwhile, in other news: Work progresses on our Indian mythology-based game. We even have a name for the game now. Expect that to be announced soon. We also still have a few more thing to wrap up with the Blaugh'Ock supplement. But that remains close to done. Finally, our Development Blog has half a dozen posts now, and that post count continues to grow. For the latest on what Tab is developing, it would be a good thing to follow.
Introducing the Development Blog
We'd like to introduce our new Development Blog. This blog is going to be a whole lot less formal than the TabBlog. It's a place where we can ramble on about the direction we're going with development, on our second generation of Saga Machine games, or anything else with RPG development that comes up. Some of these posts will be about specific design goals we have with the game, some might be about things in Saga Machine that we're looking to improve upon and some might just be idle thoughts. Whatever the post is about, we welcome your feedback on the post, either by going to the discussion page for the Development Blog and leaving a comment there, or by going to the "Tab Forums" link on the left and making a comment in our forum.
"What Comes Thereafter" Released!
Hot off the press, we've just released What Comes Thereafter, a full campaign for our flagship Trystell: Reborn setting! Picking up where the "What Lies Beneath" campaign (found in the back of the Trystell: Reborn hardback) left off, this campaign presents fifteen new adventures in and around the core city of Melanoc. It pits players against political opponents, invading armies and the plots of sinister secret societies. The campaign should be enough to bring a party of characters from Distinguished level, all the way to up Legendary! It's our first higher-level campaign.
Coming up in the future, we have the second Trystell: Reborn print supplement on the way, and it should be out by the end of the year. Writing on it should be finishing up soon, and then we're just waiting on artwork and layout. Aptly named "Blaugh'Ock," it focuses on the moon Blaugh'Ock and will be the first book by Collective member Jesse Pingenot.
Also coming up in the near future should be the beginning of our regular and more informal Development Blog, discussing different thoughts and progress as we work towards the second generation of games for Saga Machine.
Fourth Quarter Tab Update 2012
Like the one before it, this quarter has been both busy and quite productive.
Foremost on our agenda was the release of our Arth alternate history setting. And complete it we did! Arth is out the door and has been available in the Tab Store for several weeks now. Additionally, in support of the setting, we released the logo, the character sheet, the world map and no less than three Freebie Spotlights in support of the setting.
Next on our agenda was work on our two upcoming print Trystell: Reborn supplements. And while neither of them have been released yet, progress on both of them has been stunning. The first of the two is going to be a full campaign, following up on the example campaign in the Trystell: Reborn hardback. Called What Comes Thereafter, expect to see it released in print within a month. The second of the two supplements is, of course, Blaugh'Ock, which expands the Trystell: Reborn setting to cover the "other moon." Expect this latter supplement to be a big one--almost as big as the Saga Machine Companion--and capable of standing on its own, even without the Trystell: Reborn hardback! Expect it to be released by the end of the year.
Okay, so we have two supplements coming up. What then? Well, this is the first we've officially talked about it, so listen up: We're beginning work on the next generation of Saga Machine games! We're still not sure the ultimate form that these releases will take yet, but we do have some light to shine on the first second-generation release.
Tab Creations is well into developing a role-playing game based on Indian Mythology. Taking place in a fantasy world inspired directly by ancient India, it will cast the player characters in the roles of high-powered mythic heroes. This will be a stand-alone game, with all of the rules necessary to play in a single hardback. It will use a heavily-modified form of the Saga Machine system--the first of what we hope to be many games using second-gen Saga Machine. We also hope to use it to launch an official rebirth of Tab Creations as an LLC, opening the game up to crowd-funding sometime in 2013.
But that's not all. Next year we're also looking to release our apocalyptic Nexus Endtime setting as something of a transitional product between our first-generation Saga Machine games and the next-gen. After that, where we go, we're off to uncharted waters.
Finally, we have one more announcement to add to the mix. In the very near future look for the introduction of our "Development Blog." While the TabBlog is for important announcements like releases, the Development Blog will be a more informal, and we hope more frequent, sounding board for our ongoing development as we work on creating the next generation of the Saga Machine system and our upcoming Indian Mythology game.
That's it for now. Have a good quarter!