Project Update – July 2020
Hello and happy 4th of July, friends and fellow patriots! We at Flagbearer Games wanted to give a “State of the Game” about the core Nations & Cannons ruleset, our roadmap moving forward, and other projects in the pipeline.
I’m Pat Mooney, founder and project lead here at Flagbearer. Nations & Cannons is a passion project for us, sustained entirely by our followers and whatever resources we can scrape together when we’re not working on our day jobs. I don’t need to tell you that times are tough—like many small teams, we’ve been hit pretty hard by Covid-19 and had to suspend work for several months this spring.
With everything that’s going on today, those immortal words sung (perhaps apocryphally) by the defeated soldiers at Yorktown—“The world turn’d upside down”—feel more appropriate than ever. As a teacher, a historian, and a game designer, I’ve never thought a Civics education more important than it is right now.
Our plan’s always been to make the Core Rules of Nations & Cannons freely available for educators, librarians, and municipal programs—not to mention our fans! While there’s a lot of material available on our site, we’re still not quite finished. Enter the roadmap.
Flagbearer has been quietly working on Nations & Cannons for a year and a half, waiting to start public outreach in a big way until we had a ruleset we were proud of. After hundreds of hours of playtesting, more revisions than I can count, and enough copy edits to drive my layout team up a wall, here are the major milestones before us:
- Exhaustively researched descriptions for all six character Roles, as well as a Timeline discussing the major beats of the American Revolution and the key moments of our signature characters
- A final draft on game mechanics, including new Gambits, features, and an entirely reworked Firebrand class
- Community-lead test material and final balance feedback
- VTT integrations and character tokens for playing Nations & Cannons online*
- Professional gamemastering services offered through hosted through Demiplane (educational planning for kids, as well as sessions just-for-fun!)
- Downloadable form-fillable Character Sheet PDFs for Nations & Cannons characters
- Work begins on a campaign of 24 adventure modules that span the entire Revolutionary War, including
- The “Invasion of Canada” introductory adventure, set during Benedict Arnold’s doomed expedition in 1775*
- Our first print run, a 90-page booklet including the Core Rules + the Enemy Roster and “Invasion of Canada” chapters*
- Outreach and event coordination with select educators, around designing curriculum materials to help supplement Nations & Cannons in- and outside-of the classroom
- Project planning and Kickstarter preparation for a full, 350-page Nations & Cannons hardcover including expanded historical material, hundreds of new enemies, and all-new items, feats, subclasses, and gambits
- Ongoing adventure module releases, published digitally and in limited print runs every 1-3 months*
*Available as a reward at certain Patreon levels
We’ve got a lot of plans in the works here, and I can’t tell you how excited our team is to get to work. These are still uncertain times, of course, but personally all I can say is that I’m 100% committed to seeing Nations & Cannons thrive. If you’ll indulge another cliché—in the late hours of 1776, Thomas Paine wrote “These are the times that try men’s souls.” His American Crisis spoke of a great upheaval, but also a resolute message of hope for those who would stay the course. Just days later, George Washington crossed the Delaware. And well, we all know how that turned out.
Oh, and if you’re at all interested, my game Revolutionary Choices has just entered a public testing period. Sponsored by the American Revolution Institute of the Society of the Cincinnati, Revolutionary Choices is a 100% free educational strategy game for web and (soon-to-be) mobile. I’ll be doing an AMA on r/Games at 2 PM EST today. Stop by if you want to ask a question!