Animon Story TTRPG

Created by Zak Barouh

The Tabletop RPG about Kids and their Monster friends!

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Bonus Adventure Released, Advance Copy Arrived, & Shipping Update
11 months ago – Wed, Jun 21, 2023 at 01:36:28 AM

Hello all,

We are finally getting into that last stretch of fulfilment, with confirmation that at least one of the ships carrying Animon Story has arrived at its destination in the US. Those headed to AUS and EU should be close behind, at which point our distributers will begin the task of picking and packing your individual orders. If all goes well, rewards should start arriving with you in July as expected.

The Advance Copy

A short while ago I was absolutely thrilled to find my advance copy of the rewards in the mail. The printer dispatched this to me direct when all the books were completed. Just take a look, it is a thing of beauty - I would be lying if I said there weren't a few joyful tears at seeing my first original game in physical form. I am so excited for everyone to see the final result, as the quality of these books, the case, and the card deck is extremely high.

Bonus Adventure Release

As of writing this, I have just uploaded a brand new digital download to Backerkit, available to everyone who backed at the BASIC Stage or higher. Shadow Under Bough takes the Kids and their Animon to Mistlewick, a quaint village in the human world that is soon to be celebrating a May Day Festival. Unbeknownst to the villagers however, the festival this year has visitors from the animon world, including the sinister Glarecrow, who threatens to do more than just disrupt the celebrations!

If you backed at BASIC Stage or higher, you can download Shadow Under Bough from Backerkit now. This marks the first of three digital extras heading your way as per the roadmap I put out in the last update. Next up is a new Kid Type, the Twins, which should be ready in the next week or two.

That wraps up all the news this time. I hope you all enjoy reading and playing Shadow Under Bough! Head over to my Twitter/Tumblr (both @zakbfree) to let me know what you think of the new adventure. All of this digital content will also be made available through my upcoming Ko-fi Memberships, as the start of a series of extras to those who want all the Animon content they can get, or would like to support me specifically and help me stay writing!

Many thanks as always, and see you next time.

Zak B

Cards charged
11 months ago – Thu, Jun 15, 2023 at 11:47:17 PM

Hey all!

Andreas here from Metal Weave Games (we’re helping Zak with printing and fulfillment). I just wanted to quickly jump in and let you all know that we just processed the credit cards for animon on backerkit (sorry it was later than we said).

The transaction will show up as  Metal Weave Games, just in case comes as a suprise when looking at your transactions/notifications, i know it has in the past for other projects we’ve helped out on.

also, books are en-route to all pur warehouses, we should be getting timelines on tbeir arrival to port and subsequenrly the warehouses shortly.

happy Friday!


Production Completion, Backerkit Card Charging, & Bonus Content!
about 1 year ago – Thu, May 11, 2023 at 04:48:24 AM

Hello all,

It's a delight for me to bring you news of Animon Story's production - it is in the very last stage now, and will soon be loading onto ships for distribution. Below, you'll find pictures of proofs recently received, as well as details of bonus content I'm offering to backers as thanks for the patience you've all had through this process.

As we are closing in on fulfilment, we have set the date for Backerkit to charge cards for shipping funds, add-ons, and late pledges - the date is June 4th, so make sure you've filled out shipping details, purchased any add-ons, or late pledged before then!

Production - Final Step

In the past week, Andreas over at Metal Weave Games has received final proofs from the printers - these are unbound pages printed for us to check over, as well as a finished card deck. Check out the pictures below! Everything is looking wonderful in physical form.

With confirmation from us, the printer will now bind the books and pack them up to be shipped by ocean freight to our distribution hubs in Australia, the US, and Europe. Shipping estimates can be unpredictable, however we currently expect the vast majority of backers to have their rewards by the end of July, with many people getting theirs sooner that that.

At the same time, we've had confirmation that the Backerkit add-on pins are with warehouses now! Remember to purchase through Backerkit if you want one of these adorable enamel pins.

Bonus Content

As I mentioned in the previous update, I have been planning to open Ko-fi Memberships as a new way for people to support my work, and get neat bonus content for Animon Story each month. As thanks for all your support throughout the production process, I have decided that all Kickstarter backers will receive the first two pieces of digital bonus content for free. Alongside the digital adventure unlocked via stretch goal, that means there are three digital releases coming to backers in the next couple of months!

  • Shadow Under Bough: a brand new SUPER-level adventure set in the human world.
  • The Twins: a special 'advanced' Kid Type, picked by two players together.
  • The River Kingdom: a deep-dive into an aquatic animon society, with useful setting and NPC info.

Thank you

As always, thank you for your continued support. I'll be on the edge of my seat for the next couple of months waiting for those rewards to start arriving. Beyond the delivery of Kickstarter rewards, I'm hoping to continue supporting Animon Story with expansions and new content for some time - I hope you'll join me for the adventure!

Until next time, cheers!

Zak Barouh

New Adventure Reveal & Timeline Updates
about 1 year ago – Tue, Mar 14, 2023 at 06:47:54 AM

Hello again,

I hope everyone is doing well. During the last update I revealed the Animon Creator's League 3rd Party Agreement, which I'm delighted to see has been well received! It's a wonderful feeling to see others using Animon Story as the framework for brilliant new creations.

Today I'm able to share new details on the remainder of the production and fulfilment process for Animon Story. By now, it's clear that our original fulfilment estimate of December 2022 was unrealistic, most likely even if we had not encountered any production delays. For reasons I will go into later, it would have been far better to give an estimate of a full year from the end of the Kickstarter - meaning June 2023, for all backers to actually be getting physical rewards in their hands. In the interest of transparency, I'll be going into exactly how that original estimate was made, and the current situation.

This update also serves as an announcement for a new upcoming adventure, Shadow Under Bough, which will be the last of the stretch goal rewards, delivered as a digital reward to those who backed at BASIC Stage or higher. I'll also talk a bit about some extra rewards I'm planning.

Timeline Updates

For the last three months, we've been tied up in a series of 'pre-print' issues that have been the main source of delays. This, on top of the unrealistic December 2022 estimate, has been quite a source of stress and frustration for me personally, however I want to assure everyone that along with Andreas at Metal Weave Games, we have been navigating these issues with the quality of the final product as our primary concern. I'd like to break down here exactly the situation, but first I will give a very brief overview of the timeline as it stands for those who want it at a glance.

The New Timeline

In the last few days, I have received confirmation that the printers are finally going ahead. With this in mind, the actual production process and preparing the books to ship is estimated to take 4-5 weeks. From there, product will be shipped by freight to distribution hubs in the US, Australia, and the UK. Then, the rewards will be sent out to each individual backer. The time taken for this shipping can vary a lot, but we currently estimate between 2-3 months. This means rewards should start arriving with you in June, almost exactly a year after the end of the campaign.

Reviewing the Process

Our original estimate, December 2022, was based on the fact that most of the content for the books had already been completed. The plan was to quickly put together additional content funded by stretch goals, before going to print.

Even ignoring production delays, which are common in the industry, preparing all this additional content was a larger job than anticipated. With the extra funds, I was able to commission a considerable amount of new artwork, and on top of the two books, we funded the card deck, which had to be built from scratch. This was no small amount of work, and I did that step entirely myself.

When it comes to printing, leaving aside the more recent delays, preparing two books, a card deck, and a slipcase for print was a much bigger job than I predicted. To begin with, delivering digital rewards was my sole concern, so that backers would have the game in some form at least. This meant that when digital rewards were fulfilled, all the files had to be reworked for print. I've done plenty of layout, but things like a card deck and the slipcase were new elements that I had to learn how to do properly, with plenty of help and advise from Metal Weave Games. This process was completed in December 2022, when I sent what I thought were the final print files off to be produced. This still put us behind our estimate, but I was expecting things to proceed quickly from that point, which unfortunately did not happen.

Pre-print Delays

As mentioned earlier, the last three months have been entirely wrapped up in pre-print. This is the process during which the printers identify problems with the print files that need fixing. Several times throughout 2023 I have believed the problems resolved, and thought that the printing was underway, only to have further issues crop up. The largest of these has been related to many illustrations in the books being too low-resolution to properly print. A lot of this stems from the fact that much of the artwork was created before I even planned to print Animon Story at all. Andreas in particular has spent much of the last month converting images to a higher resolution format, going in by hand to make sure that none of the detail or style is lost. Below you can see an original low-res image, and an early stage high-res conversion. You may notice that colours/lines appear off in the conversion--fixing and adjusting these things has been a long manual process. In the end though, we have made sure that the print book will look amazing.

Neither image is final - this simply illustrated the process

As a result of this process, I have been very tentative about giving new delivery estimates, because repeatedly having to go back on something I've said is extremely frustrating for me, and for you as backers as well no doubt. I am so very grateful for the patience you have all had so far - now that this loop of pre-print delays is over, I am hopeful that the new estimates given above are accurate.

I hope you'll agree that a year turnaround for a project involving two books, a slipcase, and a card deck, is reasonable. That said, I take personal responsibility for making a mistake with the original estimate. I have been doing whatever possible to speed things along, but at this point most of the process it out of my hands, and relies on the printers and the state of freight shipping in the next couple of months.

New Adventure Reveal

As production continues, I've turned my attention to completing the last stretch goal reward - a digital adventure. I can now reveal the title, and a sneak preview. Shadow Under Bough will be an adventure set in the human world, with powerful SUPER and ULTRA Stage Animon threatening the peace of a small rural community.

The quiet village of Mistlewick is surrounded by idyllic countryside, from the rolling hills of grass to the nearby Wycott Wood. The folk of Mistlewick are busy preparing for the Branch Bower Festival, part of the local May Day tradition, but there are rumours spreading of a strange presence in Wycott Wood. Some believe it’s an ill omen, marking bad luck for the upcoming festival. What is really going on beneath those ancient boughs?

Coming soon!

Shadow Under Bough is currently in the writing stage. After that, I'll be laying it out and releasing it digitally for backers. I hope you look forward to facing off against the sinister animon Glarecrow! This fabulous illustration is by Addriano Divino, and is one of the new pieces funded by the Kickstarter.

There's a shadow falling over the Animon World…and their name is Glarecrow. A master of illusion, and bearing a paralysing glare, this cruel animon brings nightmares in their wake.

Additional Content, More Rewards

For some time now I have been planning to open Ko-fi Memberships as a way for people to directly support me, and gain access to exclusive animon content on a monthly basis, whether that's new adventures, NPCs, settings, optional rules, Kid Types, etc. This could be a vital way for me to support my work between larger releases, and also provide content for Animon Story to those who're seeking it. I haven't felt comfortable doing this at a time when backers are still waiting on rewards, though.

Currently, I am planning that all Kickstarter backers will receive extra rewards, perhaps the first couple of months of content from the Ko-fi Memberships, for free, to make up for the delays in the print production. One of the first content drops will be a new Kid Type, 'The Twins,' which not one but two players pick together.

Please let me know what other content you'd be interested in!

Thank you

As always, thank you for your support and understanding. This stage of the process, where I have much less direct ability to speed things up, is quite difficult for me as someone who prefers to be hands on. In the end though, it means Animon Story will be a fantastic product - range of products even - and I am living for the day when all of you get your rewards.

I hope this update has been helpful, and rest assured both me and Metal Weave Games will be working day and night (literally sometimes) to get these books finished to the highest possible quality. In the meantime, I'll be providing extra content to make up for the delays.

See you soon,

Zak B

Fulfilment Timeline & Animon Creator's League
over 1 year ago – Fri, Jan 27, 2023 at 05:21:38 AM

Hello everyone,

Hard to believe it's already near the end of January! I hope you are all having a pleasant start to the year. I have been very busy working on various Animon Story related projects. There are two main points I'd like to talk about in this update.

Fulfilment Timeline

In the last update, I said that we would be hoping to start fulfilment of the physical rewards in February 2023. I'd like to give a slight update on that front. At the beginning on January there were still a few layout/format issues with the print files that needed to be addressed, which have all been sorted. Unfortunately, we lost time due to some slow/mixed up communication between myself, the publisher, and the printers. While I was under the impression printing had started around 3 weeks ago, it had not.

This means the timeline has been shifted back a little more, and I now believe it is unrealistic to expect that fulfilment will begin in February. I expect to post updates more frequently as this process comes to an end, but as of right now I'm informed that we can expect books to start shipping out in March.

I am very eager to have the printing complete, and to be able to show you a preview of the finished product! As those who have backed Kickstarters before will know, shipping is perhaps the least predictable stage, but this is also where the expertise of Andreas from Metal Weave Games will be helping out massively. We are all working hard to get the books to you as swiftly as possible, and in the meantime, I am extremely grateful for your patience and understanding.

There is one further reward to be fulfilled, the additional adventure unlocked via stretch goals. This will be digital only, so no shipping required, but I have made the decision to heavily prioritise getting the physical books out before I turn my attention to this.

Animon Creator's League

Something different: the Animon Creator's League has been launched! This is something I have had in mind for a long while, and only recently I've mentioned it publicly due to the fallout relating to D&D's new OGL. 

The Animon Creator's League is an agreement set out by me, guidelines to help and encourage those looking to create their own 3rd party content related to Animon Story. To go along with this, I've created a new logo/badge which can be used by anyone.

You can read the agreement here. If you have any further questions, you can contact me via [email protected] or comment here. I will try to make myself available to reply as often as possible.

The goal of the Creator's League is to increase visibility and provide a helpful source of information for anyone looking to create, publish, and/or sell Animon Story content. It does not claim any ownership over said content, nor does it request royalties, fees, or any other kind of legal binding based on my copyright of Animon Story.

I am very excited to see what comes from this. I hope you all have a wonderful time creating your own Animon Story works!

More places to follow

Due to the general instability of Twitter, which is where most of my audience was built, I have been trying to diversify the ways people can stay in touch, and see what I'm up to. I am still active on Twitter (@ZakBFree), however here is a list of other ways you can follow:

Sign up to my newsletter here.

Follow my Tumblr here (generally longer blog-style posts).

Follow my Instagram here (short updates/images).

Thank you for all your support. See you soon,

Zak B