A tabletop roleplaying game of cosmic conflict across infinite dimensions
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What is Vergence?

Ariadne is an Aeronaut and  skyship captain from the Maelstrom—a Vergence of infinite sky . Her family aligns with Anastasia’s longstanding rebelion against the Sovran of All Skies, but she herself avoids such entanglements. This causes no end of problems with her family. She prefers to travel the Storm Worlds and out into the infinite Umbra, making connections in anchor worlds and other Vergences. Her connection to the Eye gives her the Power to  guide her skyship from world to world, summon the Wind to do her bidding. She’s also a master duelist, but that’s more of a hobby. Urgent Spire is a Beast Rider from the Serpent—a 1,000 mile long creature that slithers endlessly through the Umbra. Millions live on and in the Serpent. Urgent Spire scouts the Umbra looking for dangers ahead and opportunties for trade. He is psychically linked with Diamond, a beast he made from dreams and the Blood of the Serpent. He is deeply loyal to Down Six Three, the Overlord and leader of his clan. His mother, however, is Lyserta, the queen of a magical realm in the Umbra. Someday, he thinks, he might explore the maze beneath his mother’s ice palace. No one has ever returned from it… Sandrine grew up in the Umbra and discovered her Vergence heritage only recently. She always had abilities, though. She figured out how to slip between the little gaps between worlds. From a witch she learned to brew potent concoctions with arcane properties. There is no jail cell that can hold her. She has a pet dragon who is charming and can change shape. Once she discovered the Vergence lineages, she set about making lots of interesting connections, including Antigone, Queen of the steampunk vergence known as the Caverns of Agoros.

Vergence is a tabletop roleplaying game for 3 - 6 people about dimensional conflict and family drama. 
You play members of powerful families who inherit the ability to travel across an infinite expanse of dimensions. 
The Setting
This is widescreen, large-scale, weird and epic dimensional fantasy. 

There are infinite dimensions through which you, the empowered, can travel freely. You can find the gaps between worlds and walk through them, shifting from world to world, traveling to the place of your desire. This Power is rare. It runs in your family. The three great Vergences each control a web of trade and pathways among the penumbra worlds that surround them and out into the Umbra. There are many anchor worlds of lesser power, some of which contend for local control of the worlds nearby. Beyond the Umbra lies the Void, where causality breaks down and nothing makes sense. 

It's an infinite tapestry for telling your own stories, creating your own lore, and connecting the characters deeply with factions, ancient beings, broken worlds, arcane artifacts, secret societies, world-spanning monstrosities, and incredible adventure.   

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Your lineage rules a world where the Power converges: a Vergence. You will become embroiled in their squabbles and vendettas, whether you desire it or not.

Vergence is inspired by touchstones such as Roger Zelazny's Chronicles of Amber (and Erik Wujcik's Amber Diceless RPG), the Kill 6 Billion Demons web comic by Tom Parkinson-Morgan, the Eternal Champion Sequence by Michael Moorcock, and other RPGs like Nobilis by Jenna Katerin Moran and Everway by Jonathan Tweet.  

To create a character, start by choosing which Vergence lineage you are from. Each lineage has three playbooks to select from. 
  • The Caverns of Agoros: An underground steampunk world, powered by a sun-like Orb. Play the Adept, Heir, or Explorer. 
  • The Maelstrom: A world of infinite storms, skyships, floating citadels, and rebellion. Play the Aeronaut, Stormcaster, or Storm Knight.
  • The Serpent: A vast creature, 1000 miles long, that slithers from world to world. Millions live on and in the body of the Serpent. Play the Beast Rider, Shaman, or Shapeshifter. 
  • The Lost: Not really a separate lineage, the Lost are those left behind when those with the Power travel among the far worlds of the Umbra and leave behind unknown progeny. Some of these Lost individuals develop their own powers and find their way across dimensions. Play the Conqueror, Oracle, or Trickster.

Playbook composite image

Playbooks connect you to lineages and establish which of many powerful sets of abilities you have access to. Characters in Vergence start out highly capable (this is not a "zero to hero" kind of game). You'll choose three starting abilities to establish how you travel the Umbra and what you can do. There are 108 unique abilities in the game. Here is a sample, from the Shaman playbook:
Sample abilities Afflict Catch the eye of a target and draw a sign of doom in the air. Describe a terrible and fearful vision the target experiences. This is a psychic attack on the person’s mind.  Blood Blade You have an empowered edged weapon, forged with the Blood of the Serpent. Choose two advantages: potency against arcane enemies—can cut holes in reality, allowing you to pass through barriers without leaving a mark—if it has ever touched a drop of someone’s blood, it can point toward them no matter where they are—if you strike with it you can choose to cause psychic harm, leaving no physical mark. Blood Magic You can infuse your Serpent-empowered blood into an object, imbuing it with arcane properties such as potency against the werewolves of a particular world, a magically strong door lock, or sleeping potion. These properties dissipate with world shifting, but you can make the effect permanent with a project. Blood magic effects are lessened in Vergences and other places of stronger reality. Eyes of Darkness When you extend your senses outward, your eyes become pits of absolute darkness. You can see without light and sense that which is mystical or not in true form. You can reach your senses out to the world you are in and to nearby worlds, and can initiate psychic contact or observe emotional states of those you can sense. You can surround yourself in a veil of darkness, giving potency when you conceal yourself in shadows.

You’ll select your character’s contacts (parents, relatives, associates, friends, rivals) and establish bonds with the other player characters in your alliance. Decide what kinds of action ratings you'll be good at, choose your name and look, and you're ready to play!

Trickster character sheet

Challenge and Alliance
The PCs have cosmic powers and can travel to any place of their desire. What draws them together? To answer that question, the group  will choose a Challenge. This is a threat or set of problems that gives the PCs a reason to form an alliance to work on common goals. 

There are eight challenges in the core game (more in stretch goals): Dark Conspiracy, Expedition, Game of Houses, Grand Tour, Masked Ball, Pursuit, Siege, and Succession. Each challenge presents a structure and setup for sessions and campaigns. Some are oriented toward one-shot or short campaigns while others can extend to many sessions. Setup includes creating an alliance, with shared resources such as a hidden base in the Umbra or a cohort of spies. 

The GM gets a guide to each challenge, not as a pre-planned scenario but rather a set of options and guidance on how to set up the challenge, manage the opposition and plot threads, and work with the players to bring it to a satisfying conclusion.

Skyship image

What Do You Get When You Back Vergence?

Image of physical book

Vergence is a setting and set of game rules, written by David Rourke of Small Cool Games. 

It’s a chonky letter-sized (8.5 x 11”)  game book of about 240 pages. You’ll find the setting presented in enough detail for your play group to get their bearings and have lots of details and plot threads to work with, but not so heavy that creativity is stifled or you feel like you have to study a textbook full of material. It’s threaded with many intrigues and rivalries to engage with, pulling PCs into the social and political struggles of their families, friends, rivals, and associates. 

The rules use the Forged in the Dark game engine by John Harper, used in such cool games as Blades in the Dark, Scum and Villainy, and Girl by Moonlight. This version is adapted to characters of cosmic scope who can cross among infinite dimensions, conflict between world-spanning factions, and a cinematic style of play. There are lots of tables for you to generate random worlds, creatures, and characters.

Forged in the Dark logo

The whole thing is beautifully laid out with character illustrations, maps, and diagrams. It is heavily cross-referenced so you can find what you want quickly, with an index at the back. The PDF is hyperlinked throughout for ease of reference. Check  this Preview to give you lots more information about the structure and setting of the Vergence game book. 

There’s also a full set of game reference handouts to help players get up to speed on the setting and systems of play. There are printable character sheets and challenge sheets as well as editable online spreadsheet editions of the same documents (using Google Sheets) that you can copy and share among the players. 

Pledge Levels

All backers will receive a pre-release early digital copy of the game (including character sheets and handouts) shortly after the end of the crowdfunding campaign. This is a fully playable (and thoroughly play-tested) version of the game, with incomplete layout and editing. 

(Prices are in $US.)

Digital Copy - $18
You'll get a digital (PDF) copy of Vergence and digital support materials, along with digital copies of any stretch goals that are unlocked. 

Physical Copy - $42
You’ll receive physical and digital copies of the game book, along with a digital copy of the game, digital support materials, and digital copies of any stretch goals that are unlocked. You pay shipping later. We can ship only to the United States (for other places, see the print on demand option). The book is hardcover, 8.5 x 11", color cover, B&W interior (upgraded to color automatically if we meet that stretch goal), on 80 lb. paper. 

Print on Demand - $20
To support backers outside the U.S. we will partner with DriveThruRPG to provide you with a coupon you can redeem to buy a physical book for the cost of printing (we get no cut of that).  They can ship almost anywhere. While we can't control for changes in cost, the flat cost of printing is way lower than that of a retail book. You pay for shipping. In addition to the printed book, you get a digital copy.

Supporter = $60
You’ll receive everything at the Physical Copy level (or Print on Demand if you live outside the U.S.), plus our thanks for giving a bit extra. Your name will get top billing in the list of high tier crowdfunding backers. 

Let's Play - $150
Get everything in the Supporter reward tier, plus David, creator of Vergence, will GM one online session of about four hours for you and up to three other people at a mutually convenient time.

Note: we have been selling a playtest version of the game on If you bought that earlier development version of Vergence, the final version will show up in your digital library on itch, even if you don’t pledge to this campaign. Thanks for your early support! You are welcome to pledge here if you want more than the PDF game book. If stretch goals are unlocked, we will open up an additional pledge level, at a lower price, that only has stretch goals (but not the core book). 

Stretch Goals

We’ve got plans to provide more awesome stuff to backers if the campaign beats its baseline goal.

Stretch Goals

Prosperity Engine
Achievement unlocked! Navi and Shawn Drake, makers of such great games as Court of Blades, Skyworthy, and Dead Belt, will create The Prosperity Engine: A Guidebook to the Construct. This is a gazetteer and deeper exploration of the Vergence of Construct, a realm of technological and ecumenical supremacy. Here lineage families break the paltry bonds of physics and reality in singleminded search for power and progress at any cost. Seize the initiative as three new lineage playbooks of the Construct, the ghost-in-the-machine Digital, the boundary-defying Brilliant, and the brain-hacking Neuromancer. Court and flaunt new factions, like the Braintrust and the NuSkyn Corporation. Embroil yourself in new intrigues and see what awaits you in the infinite chrome and neon horizon of The Construct. 

$2,300 Journey to Hel
Achievement unlocked! We will create a game supplement to allow intrepid explorers to find and travel to the mysterious world known as Hel, a deadly place of demons and horror. It will detail the topography and ecology of Hel, the nature of demons, a playbook for demon PCs, and a new challenge. If we reach this stretch goal, all backers will get a digital copy of all files for Journey to Hel.  

$2,600L Otherorld
Achievement unlocked! We will create a game supplement that explores the strange sideways level of reality known as the Otherworld. Learn about the creatures, peoples, and gods that inhabit this bizarre place that is barely accessible even to those with the Power. A new playbook and challenge will be included. If we reach this stretch goal, all backers  will get a digital copy of all files for Otherworld. 

$2,900: Voidwall
Achievement unlocked! We will create a game supplement that explores the place beyond the Umbra where reality breaks down and all rules of cause and effect break down. You will learn about Fringe, the border town at the edge of the Void, the weird powers and artifacts sometimes accessible there, and get access to the Edgewalker play sheet, along with a new challenge. If we reach this stretch goal, all backers  will get a digital copy of all files for Otherworld.

$4,500: Color Printing
If we reach this stretch goal, printed books will have color interior printing and art. The printed book will look good in B&W, but even better in color.  

$6,000: Custom Art
We will commission full color custom art from one or more pro artists to illustrate the setting with images that show each of the Vergences, paying industry-standard rates for non-AI artwork.

(Note: the images we use on this page and in the game are also not AI. They're a mix of in-house work and free use images collected before the AI apocalypse hit every art site on the internet. We would like to commission additional custom work.)

Character on futuristic motorcycle
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