Five Hundred Year Old Vampire

Five Hundred Year Old Vampire

A Multiplayer Keepsake RPG Adapting the Award-Winning Solo RPG Thousand Year Old Vampire. Suitable for Classroom and Casual Play Alike.
$64,838 🎉
of $14,000 (USD) goal
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Five Hundred Year Old Vampire (FYOV), by designer Jason Cox and artist Jabari Weathers, is a multi-player keepsake role-playing game that adapts the award-winning Thousand Year Old Vampire (TYOV) by Tim Hutchings into a new collaborative play experience suitable for both fans of TYOV and students in an educational setting.

As in TYOV, play in Five Hundred Year Old Vampire progresses semi-randomly through prompts answered with writings from the vampire’s perspective, but FYOV also includes player-created artifacts and rules for multi-player vampire Cohorts.

Five Hundred Year Old Vampire will see the players' Vampires gradually lose their humanity and struggle to adapt to a changing world. The Vampires will do things the players would not, both monstrous and awe-inspiring, and players will record these deeds through journaling and artmaking.

To learn more about the game's genesis and design, check out designer Jason Cox’s February 2023 appearance on Liz Davidson's Beyond Solitaire podcast, where he discussed Five Hundred Year Old Vampire.

What is a Keepsake Game?

The term “keepsake game” was coined by game designer Shing Yin Khor to describe some of their games, such as A Mending, and those they co-created with Jeeyon Shim, like Field Guide to Memory. In a keepsake game, players create memorable artifacts, or keepsakes, that they wish to hold on to beyond the end of the game.

In Five Hundred Year Old Vampire, keepsakes take the form of artifacts players create and share with each other throughout the game, and which are collected and celebrated together at the conclusion of the game. In the game, players are encouraged to see the artifacts not as “great works of art” so much as unique tokens of an experience.
Player Count and Adaptability

Each cohort of Five Hundred Year Old Vampire is designed for 3-5 players. However, the game has also been designed with classrooms or larger convention play in mind and works well with short campaign and multi-cohort play. In addition, classroom use aligns with both the national common core writing standards and the national core art standards. The game will scale to fit most class sizes, with six cohorts being as easy to facilitate as one. The game is modifiable for many classrooms but is especially strong in visual arts and creative writing spaces.

  • Five (5) decks of prompt cards (237 cards in total), representing the various ages of your Vampires’ existence.
  • Slotted and recessed tray to help keep prompt cards organized for ease of use and for space to add in crafting and art supplies for creating your keepsake artifacts.
  • Set of gorgeous dice for advancing your Vampires through the ages (d4, d6, and d8).
  • Detailed rulebook containing all the rules you’ll need for multiplayer Cohort play.
  • A tearaway pad containing six (6) sets of premade characters (5 characters plus a prime vampire per set), each representing a different area of the world, plus blank character sheets. 
Sample FYOV Card Images. Not Final Versions.


Five Hundred Year Old Vampire is played by responding to prompts on a series of five decks of cards. The decks represent an “age” of the vampire: rebirth, neophyte, elder, ancient, and conclusion. Each card has four sections:

  • Basic prompt which provides the context for the rest of the card;
  • Effects: how the card impacts the vampire and the rest of its cohort;
  • Questions: Ideas the player may consider when writing of their experience in their character’s voice and crafting an artifact to represent their vampire’s experience; and
  • Years Added: The number and type of die the player rolls to help calculate the number of years their card choice adds to the overall movement of time for the cohort as a whole.
Draft Card Samples. Not Final Version.

There are many different outcomes for Effects though most relate to adding or removing skills, resources, or connections from their character.

Each session is considered a “Convocation,” where the vampires in a cohort meet to try to hold on to something of who they were. They begin by sharing the letters and artifacts created for their last set of last prompts, and then draw two cards from the deck for the “age” they are in. They select one to keep and one to pass to another player, as they attempt to influence each other’s unlives, and then look at the new times and places their characters find themselves in for historical events that would mean something to the vampires. They then retreat to craft a new letter and artifact to share at the next Convocation, and the process begins anew until at last their characters pass from this world.

You can back this campaign for the following rewards:

Reborn Vampire ($15)
  • Backing at this level gives you an optimized Print & Play PDF containing everything you need to print your own version of the game. You will also receive any applicable digital stretch goals reached during the campaign.

Neophyte Vampire ($45)
  • Back at this reward tier to get a physical copy of the Core Edition of Five Hundred Year Old Vampire, plus a copy of the Print & Play PDF. You will also receive any applicable digital and physical stretch goals reached during the campaign.

Elder Vampire ($60)
  • In addition to a copy of the Core Edition, the Print & Play PDF, and all applicable stretch goals, you’ll receive at this reward tier a PDF of the Five Hundred Year Old Vampire Curriculum Guide, by designer Jason Cox. The Curriculum Guide will contain suggestions, lesson plans, optional rules, and other resources for using Five Hundred Year Old Vampire in your high school or college classroom. You will also receive any applicable digital and physical stretch goals reached during the campaign.

Ancient Vampire ($75)
  • When one copy isn’t enough! Back at this reward tier and receive two (2) copies of the Core Edition, plus the Print & Play PDF and all applicable stretch goals.

Dying Vampire ($90)
  • For when you want it all! Back at this reward tier and receive everything offered in the previous tiers: two (2) copies of the Core Edition, the Print & Play PDF, the Five Hundred Year Old Vampire Curriculum Guide, and all applicable stretch goals.

Grave Keeper ($235)
  • This is the perfect reward tier if you are looking to use Five Hundred Year Old Vampire with a whole class! Back at this tier to receive six (6) copies of the Core Edition, as well as the Print & Play PDF, the Five Hundred Year Old Vampire Curriculum Guide, and all applicable stretch goals.

FUNDED -- $14,000 - Funding Goal! -- We made it, thank you all!!!

UNLOCKED -- $16,000 - We'll include a small deck of Prime Vampire cards (7 cards in total) designed by Tim Hutchings, the creator of Thousand Year Old Vampire. These cards will be compatible with both TYOV and FYOV!

UNLOCKED -- $18,500 - We'll include specially commissioned portrait art on each of the pregen character sheets included in the game. The amazing artists for this will be Samuel Araya, Priscilla Kim, Goñi Montes, Allen Panakal, and the game's primary artist, Jabari Weathers. This stretch goal will be for the first set of six (6) art pieces.
Draft Art for Character Pregens, Tranche 1 - Africa. Art by Jabari Weathers. Not Final.

UNLOCKED - $21,500 - We'll offer a deluxe 6x9in keepsake journal as an add-on after the campaign. It will be designed by Bold Pocket Press. Check out the sample pages below.

UNLOCKED - $23,500 - For this stretch goal, world renowned musician Mark Cox has designed a soundscape for Five Hundred Year Old Vampire that we'll give to all backers. The soundscape includes multiple tracks that players can choose from to help reflect the mood of the game they want to play from horror to campy and in between. Listen to a sample below!

Dr. Cox has also provided us with a statement explaining his approach to the soundscape: 

As a longtime enthusiast of the Sci-Fi and Fantasy genre, when I was asked to create the soundscapes for the game Five Hundred Year Old Vampire, there was only one answer from me – “YES.” As I became familiar with the history, rules, and general layout of the game, I started forming ideas. Having played a ton of video games in my life, starting with Pong back in 1972, I took my knowledge as a gamer and applied it as I mapped out each soundscape. My first priority was creating music that had an appealing sound, but nothing that would distract too much from the game. I also wanted to include sounds from around where I live, so I recorded the sounds of my tires as my family and I drove across the Mackinaw bridge, used different percussion equipment that I have access to at my work, and asked my wife, a professional keyboardist, to improvise sounds on the organ and piano. After I finished recording her, I asked her permission to distort and/or contort these performances to fit what I had conceived.
Next came the hard part. I felt like I had to consider what it would be like to lose my memories, my humanity --- how would the music relate that to the players? As you listen, you should hear some familiar melodies along with new ones, superimposed over an eerie, but not too scary, background. But as the vampire loses their memories, things begin to go awry. Different keys are stacked upon each other, melodies don’t quite line up, rhythms and melodies start to fall apart, then come back together as the vampire tries to hold on to these last memories. 
To keep the audio files from being too large, I created basically a 10-20 minute loop. Once the music starts, the “loop” button on the device should be on so that the music runs continuously. Yes, there is silence in between some of sections, which I found to be very common in modern-day games (which I play regularly – when work and family are not taking up my time). And feel free to end one soundscape and start another one in the middle of the game. Anything is “fair-play.”

UNLOCKED - $26,000 - We'll commission the second set of pregen character images from our awesome artists above.

UNLOCKED - $28,000 - We'll expand the amount of cards in the Prime Vampire deck by Tim Hutchings to 15 cards (adding an additional 8 cards to the 7 in the first stretch goal). That's a lot of prime vampire badness!

UNLOCKED - $30,500 - The third set of pregen character images.

UNLOCKED - $33,000 - The fourth set of pregen character images.

UNLOCKED - $36,000 - For this stretch goal, we'll expand the keepsake journal to be hardcover and add a faux locking mechanism to it, like you'd have on an old antique book. Plus, we'll also add a free journal to every backer's pledge at the Neophyte Vampire tier and above. The keepsake journal will still be offered as an add-on in the pledge manager after the campaign if you wish to add more, but with this goal everyone backing for a physical copy of the game will receive a free journal.

UNLOCKED - $38,500 - The fifth set of pregen character images.

UNLOCKED - $41,000 - The sixth set of pregen character images.

UNLOCKED - $42,500 - We'll pay a local art teacher to create art for our curriculum guide.

UNLOCKED - $48,500 - We'll include a bonus deck of cards, the Beguiling Whispers Deck, to all backers as a separate expansion from the main game. This deck helps facilitate inter-cohort play with FYOV. It is designed by Jason Cox and will include awesome Jabari Weathers artwork.

Thanks everyone, for helping us finish these up strong!

We will be using Backerkit to collect shipping costs closer to fulfillment, send out surveys, and manage fulfillment after the campaign has ended.

For US domestic fulfillment, we will be using a US-based fulfillment partner for warehousing and distribution. We anticipate shipping costs through our fulfillment partner to range between $8-$12 for shipments containing a single game, depending on a backer’s distance from the warehouse. Backing for additional copies of the game and/or add-ons will increase this cost some, but it should be reasonable.

We will be offering worldwide shipping as part of this campaign, also using a European-based fulfillment partner that should be able to collect VAT for most European backers. We do not have estimates on international shipping rates at the moment, but our previous crowdfunding campaigns have had rates within the range of our contemporaries. However, if the final shipping cost ends up too much for you, please message us, and we'll cancel your pledge.

Jason Cox, PhD is an assistant professor of Art Education and head of the Art Education program at the University of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio. He creates and writes about games as Arts-Based Research that explore the tensions between individuals, ideals, and communities.

Jabari Weathers cannot confirm or deny their suspected status as an exiled goblin regent seeking refuge beyond the veil. They presently reside in Baltimore, Maryland, making fantasy and sci-fi illustrations and spinning worlds and fictions for roleplaying games and other interactive projects out of words to keep up their glamor. Other things that they enjoy are strange films, stranger music, singing in public places, and the thoroughly uncanny. You can follow them on Twitter and Instagram and contact them at [email protected].

Andrew D. Devenney, is a lifelong gamer who was hooked from the start by the Moldvay Basic D&D set. Married with spawn that looks eerily just like him at their ages, he currently resides in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, where he serves as the Associate Director of the Center for Learning Through Games and Simulations at Central Michigan University, as well as a Series Editor for Central Michigan University Press's pedagogical game series "Scholarship and Lore: Games for Learning."

Because he doesn’t have enough to do, Andrew also publishes indie role-playing games through Superhero Necromancer Press and co-writes/produces historical documentaries through Stratigraphic Productions. He wears many hats. So. Many. Hats.

Eloy Lasanta is the head of Third Eye Games, creators of RPGs like Part-Time Gods 2E, Sins of the Father, and the Pip System, and has contributed to other tabletop games like The Firefly RPG, ORUN, Vampire: The Masquerade, and Into the Motherlands. He's even branched out into video games, becoming Narrative Designer for the upcoming game Subterrain: Mines of Titan, from Pixellore, Inc. Never pigeon-holed, never type-casted, Eloy has undoubtedly left his mark on the tabletop industry.

Five Hundred Year Old Vampire is being published as part of the Scholarship and Lore: Games for Learning Series of Central Michigan University Press, an academic press committed to innovative, research-based, peer-reviewed, engaging pedagogical games. If you would like to know more about the goals behind the Scholarship and Lore Series, please check out the Press's Vision and Mission Statement or please reach out to:

  • Dr. Tracy S. Davis, Co-Director, Center for Learning through Games and Simulations at Central Michigan University – [email protected].
  • Dr. Jonathan Truitt, Co-Director, Center for Learning through Games and Simulations at Central Michigan University – [email protected].
  • Dr. Andrew D. Devenney, Associate Director, Center for Learning through Games and Simulations at Central Michigan University – [email protected].

Once we have successfully funded, we will push forward on the following schedule to complete the project. The game is nearly ready to go, but we have built a little slack into this to account for the current problems with international manufacturing, freight, and shipping:
If you believe that this project is not in compliance with BackerKit’s Community Guidelines or Terms of Service, you can file a report by sending a message via this link: Report this project