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Animon Story TTRPG

Created by Zak Barouh

The Tabletop RPG about Kids and their Monster friends!

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Production Update, Card Deck, Charity Tournament!
over 1 year ago – Thu, Nov 17, 2022 at 03:50:41 AM

Hello all,

It's been a little while since the last update, so firstly I'd like to thank everyone for their patience. Since digital delivery was completed, both myself and Metal Weave Games have been hard at work preparing the physical rewards, which, as some of you may know, is where things can take more time due to back-and-forth with the printer etc.

We are now very close to finalizing the print which means all the files will be sent off and Animon Story will become a real book. Based on this, our estimated fulfillment date has been pushed back from December to February 2023. I sincerely apologize for this delay, and I'm doing everything possible to make sure we keep as tight a schedule on this as possible.

Print Proofs

One of the main reasons for the delay was seeking to improve the quality of the print. After getting an initial quote, I received a 'blank proof' of the books, slipcase, and card deck - nothing printing on them, but showing off the quality of the material etc.

Initial Print Proofs

The books look and feel great, and I'm so excited to see them in full print. The Ani-thology 'softcover' has been upgraded to a kind of halfway 'flexi' cover, to ensure it sits nicely in the case next to the hardcover rulebook. The slipcase is sturdy and will look fantastic on the shelf.

The card deck was, however, not of the quality we wanted. The tuck box was rather flimsy, and the cards themselves were too thin. Based on these proofs, we have spent more to increase the thickness of the cards, and present them in a proper base and lid box, which will be far stronger and keep for longer (as well as looking much nicer).

Animon Cards

Speaking of the card deck, the design and layout has all been completed, and I think they look fantastic! The deck is packed with 50 unique illustrated animon on large tarot-sized cards, fully equipped with in-game stats from the NPC statblocks, making it a very pretty and very useful addition. Every Element, Classification, and Evolutionary Stage is represented in the deck!

Charity Pokémon Tournament

I suspect that many of you will be starting your adventures in the new Pokémon games this weekend. While you play, why not check out a Pokémon Tournament being run for charity by Nameless Domain. I am very proud that Animon Story is an official sponsor for this event, which is going to be super fun and raise money for important causes.

https://twitter.com/NamelessDomain

https://www.twitch.tv/namelessdomain

See you soon

I hope everyone has been enjoying the digital versions of Animon Story and the Ani-thology since they were released. I am living every day in eager anticipation of the physical books reaching backers, and I'm working every day to make that happen as soon as possible. Once again, I apologise for the delays, but it is all in the pursuit of making the final product as amazing as possible.

I will be back with another update when printing is progressing.

Thank you!

Digital Delivery & Feature Illustration Reveal
almost 2 years ago – Wed, Aug 17, 2022 at 04:50:47 AM

Hello everyone!

Your very own animon story is about to begin...

The time has finally come, and assuming Backerkit give approval, digital delivery of Animon Story and Ani-thology PDFs will start in the next 2-3 days! I am beyond excited for everyone to get their hands on the books.

To celebrate, take a look at the amazing final illustration from Aimee Cairns!

All backers should soon start receiving requests to fill out a Backerkit survey, after which the digital downloads will be available. It may take some time for every survey to go out, so don't panic if you don't see it right away. Currently, we expect most of them will go out on Monday 15th August.

Final Additions

I've been hard at work adding all the final touches to the core rulebook - the biggest job was the new and improved NPC section, with far more statblocks to give you ready-to-use animon, and of course as inspiration for creating your own.

Among the new NPCs are all the fantastically illustrated animon by Meliiow. I showed Orpix and Maloccimp in a previous update, but check out the others! These new NPCs will all be appearing in the fully illustrated Animon Card Deck as well.

From the left: Prismaxim, Lunagon, Phytocopter, and Beetledew! Who's your favourite?

Also added is the Optional Rules Suite. Many possible rules modules have been discussed in previous updates, so I hope everyone will be happy with the final result! Among various new Evolution rules, capture mechanics etc. is a collecting/battling minigame to represent an in-universe TCG. I hope you all have fun playing about with these options.

A CobbleCritters Crossover!

In very exciting, and previously unannounced news, Animon Story is crossing over with the upcoming monster-battling card game, CobbleCritters! The game looks like a lot of fun, and of course, the subject matter made it the perfect fit for Animon Story.

You can check out CobbleCritters here and follow their Kickstarter here! The game will include the animon Lancelotl in an awesome collaboration card, and on the Animon Story side, when you receive your downloads you'll see that the NPC section has a page of guest appearances from CobbleCritters, complete with their wonderful illustrations and Animon Story stats.

Work on Physical Rewards and a New Add-On

Now that the digital release of the two books is nearing completion, my attention will turn to prepping everything for printing. This includes the Animon Card Deck, and work on the deluxe Slipcase Collection that Animon Master backers will be receiving!

Of course, you'll be able to purchase add-ons via Backerkit if you feel you missed out on something during the campaign. Not only that, but Andreas and Metal Weave Games and I have been working on preparing a brand new add-on, an enamel pin set of adorable animon!

I can't wait to hear what everyone thinks of the books when they start to go out in the next few days. As always, Animon Story is a real passion project, and I'm so delighted to have folks who share in that passion for stories about Kids and their Monster friends!

One final reminder, if you want smaller day-to-day updates on what's going on, head over to my Twitter and follow me there: @ZakBFree.

Many thanks, and speak to you soon!

Digital Delivery Update & Big Art Teaser!
almost 2 years ago – Thu, Jul 14, 2022 at 06:31:52 AM

Hello again,

This is a smaller update as we get closer to the completion of the initial digital rewards. As mentioned in the previous update, work is progressing well and everything is coming together. That said, I have decided to push back the expected digital delivery by 2 weeks from the end of July.

To be very clear, that means PDF copies of the Animon Story rulebook and the Ani-thology adventure collection should be ready and on the way to all of you at the latest by August 14th 2022.

As the final pieces are falling into place, it's clear to me that while it may still be physically possible to send out the digital files by the end of July, it would leave very little time between the final illustrations/content being ready, and making the final editing passes. An extra 2 weeks of buffer period will be plenty of time to take care of the final layout, editing, and proofing. As I hope many will understand, it's crucial not to rush this final step.

It is still very possible (even likely) that the files will be ready before August 14th, in which case the roll-out will start earlier as well. At this stage, I'd rather you all had the right ballpark expectation ahead of time than make an apologetic update on July 31st when things didn't quite line up.

I know delays are always disappointing, but I hope you can see why this very short delay on the initial estimated delivery is necessary and realistic. Thank you for your understanding!

Incoming Illustrations

On to the art, and as always it's massively exciting to receive updates from the illustrators! The final Kid Type illustrations have started coming in from Crowva - see the Delinquent and Gamer below (these two have a couple of very minor tweaks still being applied, but basically finished). These new illustrations are absolutely fantastic, I'm so delighted with the energy they bring to the Kid section of the book.

Very nearly finished versions of the Delinquent and Gamer Kid Types!

Meliiow, the artist currently working on animon, has sent over some sketches of the next friend to join the crew - Lunagon, the Dragon Classification Light Element animon!

WIP sketches of Lunagon

The Big Tease

The final illustration Aimee Cairns' feature work, is nearing completion. I'm so excited to reveal it in all its glory, but for now take a look at this blurred teaser. What do you think?

Can you spot any familiar faces in the blur? Final version coming soon!

Optional Rules & Final Steps

Since the last update, I have very nearly completed the Optional Rules Suite, including a mini-game to represent an In-universe TCG, Fusion Evolution, and much more. This is the last bit of design/writing work remaining ahead of the digital release (I still have a stretch goal adventure to write, but that will come after the main book is out in peoples' hands).

While the design is being finished up, I am submerging myself in editing and layout. More extensive proofreading edits, new illustrations, a re-worked NPC section - these are just some of the changes being made to make this the ultimate version of Animon Story. This is a big job, and not one that can be rushed, so along with needing a little buffer room for the final illustrations to come in, this is one of the major reasons why I've announced this extra 2 weeks of work time.

I'm sure the next update won't be far off, and I'm looking forward so much to being able to send out the PDFs to everyone. Backerkit will soon be up and running for our project, ready ahead of the first digital deliveries. Before long, the printing will also be underway of course, there's a lot to look forward to!

Thank you again for your understanding, and see you next time.

Zak B

Lots of Progress - Art, Kid Types, Optional Rules
almost 2 years ago – Mon, Jul 04, 2022 at 05:34:31 PM

Hello again,

July has begun and it's been a little while since the last update, so here's the latest on the progress for Animon Story! The short version is this: work is progressing very well and I'm pretty confident that the main digital rewards will be ready for delivery at the end of the month, or at the latest in early August.

Art Approaching Completion

In the past couple of weeks I have had updates on both the new Kid Type artwork, and the animon artwork as well. The Kid Type illustrations are now at the penultimate stage, with the flat colours completed on all 13 types. They're looking really fantastic even at this stage, and I'm excited to receive the final full colours which will be even more wonderfully detailed and vibrant!

Flat colour versions of the Loner, Rising Star, and Jock Kid Types - NOT FINAL, more detailed full colour versions are on the way! Artist: Crowva.

Along with the Kid Types, there are also six brand new animon illustrations, two of which have now been completed. Below you can see Orpix, the Fairy Nature animon, and Maloccimp, the Infernal Mirage animon! I love how both of these designs have come together, and I'm excited to see the remaining illustrations come in.

Artist: Meliiow

 Finally Aimee Cairns is still working on our feature illustration. Due to the scale of the piece, this is likely to be the last piece to be completed. Hopefully I will be able to share more on that in a couple of weeks!

Writing - Kid Types & Optional Rules

I'm very pleased to say that all 3 of the new Kid Types have been written and edited, and now just await layout! The Wild Child, Grown-Up, and Young Aristocrat have been extremely fun additions to the cast of Kids in Animon Story, and I'm looking forward to everyone getting a look at them. Here's a peek at the bios and Type Features of the Young Aristocrat, and the Grown-Up, since I shared the Wild Child last time.

The other part of the writing has involved the Optional Rules suite, which I know many are excited about. So far the rules for creating teams of animon, and catching new animon, have been completed, along with the rules for fusion evolution! 

As it stands, the plan for the Optional Rules is to include the following modules:

  • Animon teams & catching mechanics
  • Fusion evolution (animon+animon & kid+animon)
  • Transforming kids/animon that turn into magic weapons/tools/armour
  • Side evolutions
  • In-universe TCG
  • Power-up abilities/modifications
  • Custom Animon (modular stat-growth/levelling up)
  • Permanent Evolution

I do want to be clear that some of these will be less detailed than others, and where I think it's appropriate I'll recommend simply re-flavouring existing rules, however I am very happy with how they're turning out so far, and glad that Animon Story will support even more customisable settings. What would be your favourite variation on the kid/mon formula?

The Next Steps

With all this work underway, aside from waiting for final illustrations to come in, the biggest job remaining is the book layout edits, which will be fairly extensive. As well as including all the new content, and updating the existing rules with plenty of tweaks/improvements, I will also be reworking the animon NPC section.

For those who haven't seen the original, I first put together a collection of dozens of NPC statblocks with very generic names. For example, a statblock might read 'Giant Spider Animon,' or 'Phoenix-like Animon,' rather than using a specific names. This was to support the idea that each group's animon setting could follow the rules that group prefers - for example using a naming scheme with -mon at the end, or having all the names based on folklore monsters, or something like that. Because the new version will include more illustrations, and also for the purposes of the animon card deck, I've decided to change the NPC section so that each NPC animon will have a name and a bit more personality. With Orpix and Maloccimp above, you can see the kind of classic naming scheme I'm going with. The NPC section also includes full rules on building NPCs step-by-step, so I'm hoping the new version will have the best of both worlds. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on this though!

As you can hopefully see, we've been making lots of progress on putting together the final version of Animon Story. There's plenty of work left, primarily the big job of layout edits which I'll be handling myself. I am still expecting to have this all finished by the end of July, and should there be any delays it's highly likely they will be very short ones. Of course, I'll keep you all updated on how things continue to progress this month!

I hope you've enjoyed this look at how Animon Story is developing.

If you'd like to hear more from me, head on over to my Twitter page: @ZakBFree

See you next time!

Zak B

Work Begins - New Art & Kid Types!
almost 2 years ago – Tue, Jun 14, 2022 at 04:45:56 PM

Hello all,

Welcome to the first proper post-campaign update. I'm looking forward to keeping everyone up to speed on how things are progressing. As mentioned before, the first big push is to make sure the digital game is ready for release by the end of July.

Following Along

For starters, I just want to direct everyone towards my Twitter and Newsletter for those who want to stay even more tuned in to Animon Story.

Twitter: @ZakBFree

(follow if you want small, frequent insights into the development. I also post about monster-taming, TTRPGs, and other personal topics).

Newsletter: www.animonstory.com, scroll to the bottom or click 'Follow Me' to sign up

(follow for occasional big news about the project, without relying on Kickstarter).

You may also be interested in following Metal Weave Games for updates about Animon, as well as the many other wonderful projects they support.

Incoming Illustrations

I can share with you the list of new illustrations that are currently in progress for the game!

Firstly, all 13 Kid Types are getting brand new artwork by Crowva which I'm unbelievably excited about. Currently, I have linework, and the final colour versions are being worked on at the moment. As well as seeing the Young Aristocrat, Wild Child, and Grown-Up illustrated for the first time, I love the new takes on the original 10 Types that Crowva has come up with. Here's a sneak preview:

Preview linework for the Wild Child, Gentle Heart, and Rising Star Kid Types!

Secondly, there are 6 new animon illustrations on the way from Meliiow mainly focusing on more evolved animon and Classifications that haven't received as much attention. Work starts soon on these, and as it stands the animon being illustrated have the following Stages, Classifications and Elements:

  • BASIC Stage, Dragon Classification, Light Element
  • SUPER Stage, Fairy Classification, Nature Element
  • GIGA Stage, Celestial Classification, Light Element
  • ULTRA Stage, Insect Classification, Mirage Element
  • SUPER Stage, Nature Classification, Wind Element
  • SUPER Stage, Infernal Classification, Mirage Element

Finally, a two-page spread 'feature' illustration is in the works from the incredible Aimee Cairns (Tokenin), whose work includes the recent special Switch edition cover for Slime Rancher. To say I'm excited would be an understatement! I'm hoping that this illustration will also be used on the slipcase for the Animon Master collection.

Kid Types

The first job that I myself am handling is the three new Kid Types. Writing these is quite a long and involved process, as I want to make sure the abilities (and suggested talents, flaws, desires etc.) perfectly represent the archetype. Yesterday I finished work on the Wild Child, which evolved from the original idea of a 'kid raised among animon,' into a more general 'nature-loving outdoorsy kid whose almost always muddy.' I think the way it turned out is a lot more flexible and accessible. It's immediately become one of my personal favourite types. Take a peek:

Preview bio and Type Feature for the Wild Child

I'm now partway through writing the 'Grown-Up' Kid Type, which is strongly leaning into that early 20s experience of pretending like you know how to be an adult while on the inside still feeling like a lost child. I'm 28 now, and to be honest, maybe I'm projecting a little bit onto this Kid Type. It's coming together very nicely in any case! After that, I'll be finishing up with the 'Young Aristocrat,' for which I'm planning to really go fully whacky anime style. Watching Love is War recently has given me some good inspiration and I'm also drawing from goat-riding gentleman Sasahara of Nichijou, among other things.

Other Business

Finally, Andreas over at Metal Weave Games is currently at work putting together the Backerkit, so we have that ready in good time. I'm really looking forward to getting the digital game out there as soon as possible, so all attention can be turned onto the printing, and putting together the card deck!

One other thing I'm looking into at the moment is setting up a 3rd-party license for Animon Story, to support and encourage people looking to make their own content for the game. I'm really keen on the idea and would love to have that prepared alongside the digital release, but we'll see how it goes.

And that is it for now! I hope you've enjoyed the insight - it might be a little long-winded for some but I figured it's best to put everything out there for those who want to follow along, so everyone is up to speed on how things are progressing.

Once again, consider following me and/or the newsletter if you're interested.

Many thanks, and see you in the next one!

Zak B