Girl by Moonlight

Girl by Moonlight

Design Diary: Promises
1 day ago
by Evil Hat
While the pledge train keeps rolling (our core book contributors are getting a 50% pay raise, with another bump firmly in sight at $190k!) we'd like to take a pause here and share some design insights from Andrew. Today's topic: the role of promises in the game.

We'll let Andrew take it from here:

Given that a crowdfunding campaign is a promise of its own, I thought I might talk about promises in Girl by Moonlight. Promises are defined thusly in the book:

A promise is an in-character statement, a belief about something you will do (or will never do) because of how you feel about another character. These promises aren’t necessarily something your character has ever said out loud—at least not to the other character—but they are conscious beliefs that guide their actions.

I was short a couple ways to give the protagonists XP, having pulled some bits out of Blades In The Dark. I loved the XP prompt “You struggled with issues from your vice or traumas during the session” and wanted something similar in Girl By Moonlight, but I didn’t have Trauma, or anything really analogous to it. 

So after some iteration I came into this idea of a connective element between protagonists, something with intention and hope behind it: Promises.

Each playbook has two Promise prompts, and protagonists are expected to have each filled out, connecting their character to two other protagonists. So immediately we get the much celebrated relationship triangle, with not only some detail of the connections, but asymmetry, and intent in there as well.

Writing good Promises is a skill, and it can be difficult at first, especially with limited context to write them in. The good news is that bad Promises won’t get in the way of play, and over time you can hone in on who your character is, and what they want for the other protagonists, and then change your Promises accordingly.

My hope with this element of the game is that it will drive the protagonists to think about each other, and how they all interlock as pieces of the larger narrative. The group is the primary unit in play, so having fruitful group dynamics, internal tensions etc is essential.

It’s something that I think is a good play habit in any game, really, and a natural extension of ideas like ‘be a fan of the other players’. It’s one of the many places in GBM where you can see my thoughts and opinions about roleplaying come through. And since I wrote the rules, I get to insist that other folks try it out.


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The Stars Shine Bright, plus: Girl By Moonlight actual play!
6 days ago
by Evil Hat
Hello friends - all 3000+ of you!!

We had high hopes for this project but with over $155,000 raised, these last three days have absolutely overwhelmed our expectations. On behalf of Andrew, the many contributors, and the whole team here at Evil Hat: thank you!

Obviously, we're not going to drown in you Updates every time an achievement is unlocked. Suffice to say, within the first week of the campaign you've funded all ten Zine By Moonlight issues. That's essays, fiction, and art from 40 different creators.

Reminder: these zines will be released as individual PDFs, with pieces bundled together as they are completed by each creator. They're on a separate production timeline and will not affect the delivery of the core rewards.

For our next set of achievements, we're sharing the success of this campaign with the team that helped make it happen. Starting at $160k, and for the next three increments of $15k thereafter, we'll bump up the pay of the contributors to the core book by 25%. That means if the project tops $205,000 we'll be doubling the payment for their hard work. With 27 days left, we think that's very achievable.

We hope you're enjoying the full-text backer-exclusive PDF of the game and have taken a chance to redeem the Roll20 Quickstart which is also free for everyone who pledges.

(Make sure you're logged into BackerKit and scroll down to the bottom of  Update #1 for links.)

Want even more Girl By Moonlight? There's already some terrific content out there!

The crew over at The Pixel Circus is running a 4-part Actual Play every Sunday night at 6pm PT! Catch "In The Name Of" over on twitch this Sunday and watch the first episode here on YouTube!

Designer Andrew Gillis talked to The Mary Sue prior to our launch and most recently was interviewed by Gizmodo to share the design philosophy and some discoveries that took place during the process of creating Girl By Moonlight.

You can also hear Andrew talk about Magical Girls, anarchism, and bicycles on this episode of the Good Enough Games podcast. 

Elsewhere you can catch Grinds-Alchemist with a flip-through review of the backer PDF here on twitch and read Dicebreaker's coverage of the game.

That's the buzz as we head into a holiday here in the US. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your passionate support. Have a great weekend and do let us know in the comments if you get your friends together to play. We want to hear how your Magical Girl adventures unfold!

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9 days ago
by Evil Hat

10 hours in: more than $93,000 raised from over 1700 backers!

We are truly overwhelmed by the amazing response you've poured into this very innovative and deeply queer game. Thank you so much for your support.  Together you have unlocked six different stretch goals with contributions from 16 amazing creators. The light is shining bright and wide!

Let's take care of some common questions that have popped up in this first stage of the campaign.

That's a lot of stretch goals, and I see you have more planned. Is this going to delay the delivery of the game at all?

Not one bit. The zine stretch goals will be a digital reward which you can print and assemble at home - like all good zines should! They will be delivered separately from the books, PDF, and Roll20 rewards. This helps us keep our timeline tight. It also means you will be getting zine PDFs after you've already gotten the main rewards.

We're targeting January 2024 for the delivery of the main rewards and we have a track record of hitting our dates on-time, if not earlier.

What's this Jumpstart thing? How do I get it?

We've created four different Series Jumpstarts to help you quickly dive into each of the unique genres contained within Girl By Moonlight.

Each Jumpstart is based on one of the Series Playsets and provides a cast of playable characters, some tailored choices around the series, and a starting situation. They're ideal for one-shots and convention games, or as a quick way to get your campaign going. If you don't want to go through the entire Series Creation phase of the game, you can use these Jumpstarts as a shortcut.

The PDFs for the Series Jumpstarts are included at every pledge level. If you want a more portable, physical version you can scribble notes in, you'll have to upgrade to the Jumpstart Bundle, Magical Girl Bundle, or Transcendent Girl Bundle tier in order to get the separate, full-color printed folios.

What's the difference between the Hardcover Book and the Limited Edition Book?

The Limited Edition will feature an alternate cover by Zakiya Goggins, embellished with spot gloss varnish. The Limited Edition will also include a special design for the endpapers, plus two ribbon bookmarks. While we may release some overstock books from the print run after delivery of the rewards is complete, the Limited Edition will not be reprinted after this campaign. In terms of content, both versions will contain the exact same interior text and full-color artwork.

If this is the type of keepsake version you like to have on hand, we're proud to offer it. We think it's going to look gorgeous. But if you're worried about missing some extra bonus content because you can't afford the Limited Edition, never fear: the game is exactly the same.

Why don't you ship to X/Y/Z country?

Between Brexit and the pandemic, the cost of individual shipping varies wildly by region. That means we're simply not able to offer a shipping option during this campaign that will service everyone. Trust us, we're just as frustrated by this as you are, but the alternative is charging some customers $40 or more in shipping (that's not including VAT or import fees) just to deliver a $30 book.

We simply don't think that's fair or reasonable.

If we do not offer shipping to your country, consider backing at the PDF or Roll20 level and picking up the physical book once it reaches your FLGS. It's a much, MUCH more affordable option. We work very hard to get our games into international distribution within a couple months of reward fulfillment.

The page says I can get the full rules and the Roll20 Quickstart after I pledge? Where do I find those?

We posted links to the preview PDF and handouts and a code for the Roll20 Quickstart in Update #1. Note that this is embedded in a backer-only portion of the update, at the bottom of the page. Make sure you are logged in to your BackerKit account to view them.

Reminder that unlike the preview PDF we put on DriveThruRPG, the backer preview contains the full text of the game - all the rules, all the setting and character playbook info. It's the complete game with placeholders for the art. You can use it to start playing Girl By Moonlight right now!

I made it all the way to the end of this update. Do I get a prize?

Yes! You're now free to go back to reading through the backer preview and setting up a new game on Roll20. Enjoy!

Thank you for your generous support. It's been an amazing first day.

Keep spreading the word on social media, discord, and more. We really appreciate your word of mouth efforts!

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Welcome to Girl by Moonlight
9 days ago
by Evil Hat
Thank you to all the backers of Girl by Moonlight! We’re making the preview PDF available through to all backers (link below). You can also find a printer-friendly version, playbooks, mystery maps, and other reference handouts there!

The preview PDF contains the full text and rules of the game, complete with an index and PDF bookmarks. The most significant work remaining on Girl by Moonlight is to commission the final pieces of art. With that in mind, you will see blank placeholder spaces and pages in the preview PDF where that art will get fitted when it comes in.

If we have additional content to share during the campaign, we’ll provide it in the same folder linked below.

Your second instant backer reward is the Girl by Moonlight Roll20 Quick Start module.

It contains the first Series Jumpstart: At the Brink of the Abyss. Including complete jumpstart scenario "The Silverstar Knights", four pregen characters, a series playbook, handouts, tokens, and more. Paired with the preview PDF and the free Girl by Moonlight character sheets already available on Roll20, it’s everything you need to start playing online with your friends tonight!

Any questions? Let us know. We love questions! Join the BackerKit community discussion area for this project, or email us privately at [email protected].

And thank you as always for your support—it means a lot to us!
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