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Eldritch Automata

Eldritch Automata

Pilot your own mecha in this high-octane cosmic horror TTRPG inspired by Evangelion, Pacific Rim, and Cosmic Horror.
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Welcome to the dark and dangerous world of Eldritch Automata. Designed in the Year Zero Engine and inspired by the likes of Neon Genesis Evangelion, Pacific Rim, and Escaflowne, E//A takes place in a recent-apocalyptic world filled with horror, drama, and psychological torment. In Eldritch Automata, you play one of humanity’s last defenders, facing down eldritch abominations that want to eat you, controlled by visually perfect angelic beings that want to control you, while piloting a massive monstrosity of a mech, the titular Automata, that’s slowly killing you.

Designed to blend narrative gameplay with easy-to-learn mechanics, Eldritch Automata boasts a low barrier to entry with simple mechanics and character creation that takes as little as 10 minutes! Eldritch Automata takes a low-floor/high-ceiling approach to gameplay, however, with interesting combat and out-of-combat systems allowing for a variety of complex approaches to keep the game compelling for both new and seasoned TTRPG players.

Piloting an Automata is a constant source of stress and danger. As you use these machines to fight against the Horrors and Seraphs, you will need to keep your Stress and Stability under control. Interpersonal relationships and drama are also key elements of Eldritch Automata. You must navigate complex alliances and rivalries with other survivors as your relationships cause ripples through the world around you.

Ultimately, the biggest enemy you will face in Eldritch Automata is yourself. Can you maintain your morale in a world that is constantly trying to tear it away? Can you navigate the treacherous waters of a brave new world and survive the horrors that lurk around every corner? The answers to these questions are up to you.

Welcome to Eldritch Automata, where the only certainty is uncertainty.

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Accessible. Fast. High Risk, High Reward.
These are the principles of not only the Year Zero Engine but of Eldritch Automata as well. Create dice pools using one of your four Attributes paired up with one of your twelve Skills. 6 means success and additional successes increase the effectiveness of your roll using Stunts, which vary from skill to skill.

Did you fail your roll? When the heat turns up, sometimes you must push beyond your limits. Pushing rolls allows you to reroll failures and gain one last shot at success. But be careful, as pushing will stress you out.


Character Creation is Fast and Simple.

First, choose a Pilot Archetype and pick a stat array. Then, choose an Automata Archetype and its stat array. Combine those arrays together to get your stat block with over 140 unique combinations. Finally, choose two Talents from each Archetype and pick or create your Equipment Loadout. Now you're ready to launch!

  • Choose from 12 Pilot Archetypes to determine your Strand and Hope Talents and Breakdown, including The Bound, The Control Freak, The Empty, The Hatred, The Hedgehog's Dilemma, The Hyper-Responsible, The Inferior Superior, The Legacy, The Manufactured, The Other, The Sheltered, and The Thanatos
  • Choose from 12 Automata Archetypes to determine your additional Talents and Berserk trait- The Ancient, The Beast, The Collateral, The Heavy, The Junker, The Legion, The Mass Produced, The Overload, The Prototype, The Strainer, The Stealth, and The Operations Admin
  • Further customize your Automata with your Attributes and Skills, determine your Stability and Ego, and Equipment Loadouts
  • Optimize your loadout with Weapon and Gear Tags to customize your combat style and make every Automata uniquely yours, including range, versatility, accuracy, damage, unique powers, and flaws

Identity is Everything. Don't Lose It.

Fuel your Automata's special ability using Ego. Ego represents your own consciousness and identity, fueling directly into the Automata's subconscious. Your Ego works as the power source of your Automata's Talents and allows you to project a nigh-invincible field that must be overcome to harm your Automata. Be careful and manage your Ego carefully, as depleting it completely causes yourself and your Automata to enter your special Berserk state.



Power Yourself with the Ties that Bind.

Power up your rolls with the use of Strands. Strands represent the connection you have between your character and others. Whether they be friends, enemies, lovers, or rivals, your Strands are an emotional reserve you can pull from in order to empower your dice rolls. Forge your connections between battles and use them to give yourself an edge or break them to hinder your foes.

Want To Try It For Yourself?

Eager to leap into the pilot’s seat of your very own Automata or lead your friends through a terrifying adventure of horror and betrayal? We have a FREE Quicklaunch available for download, providing a comprehensive overview of the rules, eight pre-generated characters, and a full one-shot scenario to play through

This Quicklaunch serves as a starting point for Eldritch Automata, covering the systems needed to run the game but omitting several nuanced components, including character creation and other details not needed to run the starter scenario, The Dark Passenger. It is designed to help you understand the themes, tone, and fast-paced action of Eldritch Automata without getting bogged down in the weeds of system design and world lore.

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Eldritch Automata consists of a core rulebook and accessories created for players and gamemasters, giving you all the tools to play and run the game. In the book, you’ll find:

  • An expansive rule set designed using the Year Zero Engine that allows for both narrative storytelling and the high-octane action of launching in an Automata to face down a monstrous cosmic being
  • A comprehensive character creation system combining 12 Pilot Archetypes and 12 Automata Archetypes, each boasting a multitude of abilities and talents for over 144 unique combinations
  • Personal relationship mechanics that allow you to forge bonds with other PCs and NPCs and leverage them in combat to gain an edge or break your opponents, plus downtime mechanics to flesh out non-combat scenes and roleplay hooks to make them more meaningful to character development
  • A full equipment loadout system allows you to create the weapon of your dreams for your Automata using Weapon Tags, as well as lists of pre-made weapons and equipment so you can simply grab your gear and launch
  • A breakdown of the world and setting with six different regions to base your game in, each with its own rich history and tales of survival, plus four unique secret societies and conspiracy groups to add plot devices and ‘Xanatos Gambit’-fuel to your games
  • A terrifying list of sample Horrors and Seraphs to deploy against your pilots and fuel your stories with unique abilities and mechanics to keep players on the edge of their seats
  • A full overview of how E//A is intended to be run, leveraging the media that inspired the game and our experience as seasoned Game Masters of the horror genre.


Content Warning


Eldritch Automata is set in a near future, dying world with significant body, psychological, and religious horror elements that may not be suitable for all audiences. The book contains an extensive exploration of consent and safety tools and how to use them in your games. However, we want to be upfront that this book and subsequent supplements will contain:
  • Graphic violence
  • Language
  • Drugs and drug use
  • Religious and cult themes
  •  And themes of…
    • Psychological horror
    • Body horror
    • Cosmic / Existential horror
    • Hopelessness
    • Betrayal
    • Suicidal situations
    • And more

How to Play Eldritch Automata

Learn how to play the game firsthand with our original actual Play Neon Exodus Evangelion, a spiritual sequel to one of the inspirations behind the game!

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Join the First Launch Unit (FLU) as one of our campaign backers and get exclusive merch as a thank you from us for helping bring Eldritch Automata to life! All campaign backers who pledge at a physical tier (Sorry Civilians!) will get a First Launch Unit mission patch and t-shirt as a thank you from our team.
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Stretch Goal #1 - The Forge: Featured Location Module - $15,000

A featured module will be added to the core rulebook exploring The Forge, Site A-295, shown in the Starter Scenario The Dark Passenger.

This module will include:
  • A comprehensive breakdown of The Forge
  • Maps
  • New gameplay mechanics
  • and key NPCs

Stretch Goal #2 - The Pegasus: Featured Location Module - $20,000

A featured module will be added to the core rulebook exploring the aerial Automata platform The Pegasus, a joint-dominion military installation that helps deploy pilots across the globe.

This module will include:
  • A comprehensive breakdown of The Pegasus
  • Maps
  • New gameplay mechanics
  • and key NPCs

Stretch Goal #3 - "SERAPH" Deluxe Edition Core Rulebook Upgrade - $25,000

Help us unlock the Deluxe edition of the core rulebook, complete with a leatherette hardcover and embossed metal Seraph design. As a thank you for getting us to $25k, all reward tiers above Horror will be upgraded to a deluxe edition book, and we'll add a unique "SERAPH" tier for $200!

The SERAPH Upgrade will include:
  • A deluxe edition leatherette cover with embossed Seraph design.
  • A set of unique SERAPH metal dice
  • And a dossier of interesting Seraph to add to your games, Including full-color art, stats, and writeups for each.

Stretch Goal #4 - Alchemy Enhanced Edition - $30,000

We’ll work with the fine folks at Alchemy to offer an Enhanced Edition alongside the Standard Edition included in the Backer tiers already. Alchemy Enhanced titles empower gamemasters to tell incredible stories with animated environments, motion effects, ambient sound, and original music.

E//A Enhanced will include:
  • Fully animated cover scene
  • Thematic motion overlays
  • Ambient sound beds
  • Dynamic audio (AE exclusive)
  • Ready-to-play pre-built scenes

Stretch Goal #5 - The Eldritch Arms Collection - $32,500


The book will now include a list of special Eldritch Arms, legendary weapons containing untapped powers, but at a high cost for your Automata. Each Eldritch Arms weapon will also have a corresponding card in the Equipment Deck.

Stretch Goal #6 - The New Recruits - $35,000

A special folio containing 24 brand-new and game-ready pre-generated characters featuring unique combinations of every pilot and automata archetype.

Stretch Goal #7 - The Academy: Featured Location Module - $37,500

A featured module will be added to the core rulebook exploring The Academy, a pilot training facility where your team will be forced to learn quickly how to pilot Automata on the razor edge of a forsaken frontier.

This module will include:
  • A comprehensive breakdown of The Academy
  • Maps
  • New gameplay mechanics
  • and key NPCs

Stretch Goal #8 - Guest Operation by Austin Ramsay - $40,000

A new Operation added to the core rulebook penned by Beam Saber creator Austin Ramsay!
“A resistance group has scrounged together parts of Automata, Horrors they've destroyed, loose Anathema, and other discarded materials to create weapons and tools to protect themselves from Horrors – with enough grit, planning, and luck.” Inspired by the human resistance of the Terminator franchise and similar media.

This operation will include:
  • A new scenario for pilots to play through
  • A new location, NPCs, and story for Game Architects to introduce the game to their gaming group through

Stretch Goal #9 - Eldritch Automata: Homefront Supplement Book - $55,000


Get ready to survive in the world of Eldritch Automata, not as a pilot, but as a civilian. Hitting this stretch goal will help us fund the first full-length supplement for Eldritch Automata - a guide to surviving in this apocalyptic world without the aid of an Automata. Learn how regular humans hide, hunt, and survive the Horrors that roam the land, with in-depth breakdowns on the various dominions humans still call home.

*This stretch goal will not ship with the rewards from this campaign.


Stretch Goal #10 - Guest Operation by No Quest for the Wicked - $60,000

A new operation added to the core rulebook by the team at No Quest for the Wicked, exploring their scenario "Heart of Entropy," as seen in their mini-series available on Spotify, YouTube, and other Podcasting platforms!

Stretch Goal #11 - Eldritch Automata: Edge of the Apocalypse Wargame - $70,000

Unleash your Automata in miniature form with wargaming rules developed with the help of veteran Warhammer writer and content creator Chris Handley.

This book will include:
  • Complete rules for an Eldritch Automata wargame for miniature combat
  • STL files for a variety of Automata, Horrors, and Seraphs

*This stretch goal will not ship with the rewards from this campaign.

Stretch Goal #12 - New Archetypes - Forgotten & Eldritch - $85,000

We’ll add a new pilot and Automata Archetype to the core rulebook!
Pilot: The Forgotten - An amnesiac pilot who is slowly recovering their memories through their connection with their Automata…
Automata: The Eldritch - A horror-infused Automata, created by The Chimera Group, a shadowy organization that believes we can benefit from the Horrors and Seraphs taken down in combat in twisted ways…

Stretch Goal #13 - Eldritch Automata: The Official Soundtrack - $100,000

Ride out the Apocalypse in style with an original soundtrack based on and inspired by the lore of Eldritch Automata. We’ll work with a variety of indie and, if we’re able, popular artists across the EDM, Metal, Hard Rock, K-pop, and J-pop genres to create a mindblowing soundtrack; released on custom USB drives, with an option vinyl record for purchase!

*This stretch goal will not ship with the rewards from this campaign.

Stretch Goal #14 - Storytellers Forge Campaign Book - $125,000

Our friends at Storytellers Forge Studios will tackle Eldritch Automata in a long-form campaign book, ranging from 20K-30K words, to create an introductory campaign for Game Architects looking to learn how to run E//A, and players new to the system!

Stretch Goal #15 - Actual Play Creator Fund - $150,000

Gehenna Gaming got its start in events and content creation, and we have always had a mission to shine a spotlight on amazing marginalized content creators. With this goal we'll set up a fund to bankroll actual plays of Eldritch Automata with a variety of content creators, which will be open to application (and some handpicked selections)! 
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Want to chat with other backers and the team behind E//A? Join our community Discord server!
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While the manuscript for the core rulebook for Eldritch Automata is nearly complete, there’s still a lot of work to be done. Following this campaign, our focus is to finalize the manuscript and move to art direction and editing. That will take the bulk of time between now and release, followed by layout, final approvals, and printing and shipping. While we hope to see a release by December 2024, we want to be clear upfront that this roadmap may go into 2025.

Timeline

May - August 2024 - Final Manuscript Revisions & Art Direction
August - October 2024 - Editing and Art Direction
November - December 2024 - Layout
January 2025 - Sent to Printing!
Est. - March 2025 - Shipping & Fulfillment, Retail Launch

Shipping is not included in each pledge tier, and due to fluctuating shipment fees, we cannot provide an accurate rate for shipping now. However, we have some estimates presented below. Please note these are estimates and will change based on the number of items being shipped with each pledge and add-on. Once we get closer to shipping and fulfillment, we will charge for shipping through the Pledge manager. 

Shipping Estimates
Continental US: $12-20
Alaska & Hawaii: $13-23
Canada: $24-30
UK: $6-13
EU: $22-25
Australia and New Zealand: $16-22
Rest of the World: $15-50
Estimate pricing is in USD. Local sales taxes and VAT (as applicable by region) will be charged in the pledge manager and are not represented here.

Unfortunately, we cannot ship to some regions due to factors outside of our control. These regions include Afghanistan, Niue, Belarus, Sudan, Laos, Syria, Myanmar, Yemen, Iran, North Korea, Brunei, Ukraine, and Russia.

Please also be aware that although we have planned our timeline to the best of our abilities, many overseas printing and shipping partners have experienced delays recently with freight deliveries. We will keep backers updated throughout the process and communicate should any timeline shifts happen due to these factors.

Our fulfillment partner for this project is Quartermaster Logistics, which has a well-known history of working with crowdfunding projects for on-time and secure delivery. Digital rewards will be fulfilled by DriveThruRPG and Alchemy RPG.
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About Gehenna Gaming

Gehenna Gaming is a boutique immersive events company with a focus on horror tabletop gaming, LARP, convention organized play, and game publishing and distribution. We bring a distinct perspective to the events sphere that gives us insight into what horror fans are looking for, partnering with venues, publishers, game designers, charities, and more to entertain, empower, and educate fans and players of the games we love.

Lead Designer - Nick Francia

Nick is an accomplished graphics and visual designer, providing excellent content production services to Gehenna Gaming since the first Virtual Horror Con. He brings a grand sense of humor and a love of anime and horror films to the team, in addition to his expertise behind both the camera and GM screen. When he’s not working on an actual play, he’s usually working hard on the development of Eldritch Automata.

Automata Artist - Misael ‘Gio’ Manning

Gio is a skilled concept artist with a specialty in hard surface design, working on a variety of projects designing mecha, sci-fi props, and vehicles for tabletop roleplaying games, video games, and brands. You can find Gio’s portfolio at https://www.artstation.com/m_squared_art

Development Editor - Ian E. Muller

Ian is a dedicated tabletop professional who works in multiple aspects of the industry, from PR and marketing to event management to game development in his role as the CEO of Gehenna Gaming and as a freelance consultant. He brings a dedication to maintaining the tones of cosmic and psychological horror to this project, focused on editing and working as a contributing writer on various sections of Eldritch Automata.

Writers

Austin Ramsay
Ave Kaye
Chris Handley
Conri Purcell
DeAngelo Murillo
Ellie Collins
Erykah Fassett
Ian E. Muller
Jacky Leung
Jon Mendoza
Josh Domanski
KP Upadhyayula
Lucia Versprille
Michelle Y. Kim
Nick Francia
Rue V. Dickey

Artists

Ari Heriyansyah
Ivan XXX
Henrik Karppinen
Misael 'Gio' Manning

Nikki A Eva
Overlord_ed
TresKiddos
...and more!
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We are proud to partner with Norse Foundry for the custom dice for this Kickstarter. The acrylic, Seraph, and Automata Scrap dice were designed by the Gehenna Gaming team and manufactured by Norse Foundry.

We’ve partnered with Alchemy to create the highest-quality VTT experience possible for Eldritch Automata.


We've also partnered with Alchemy Merch for all our accessory manufacturing, including the pins, patches, desk mats, and other odds-n-ends available through this campaign.
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