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Imaginary Friends Kickstarter Project
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balabanto
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:48 pm    Post subject: Imaginary Friends Kickstarter Project Reply with quote

Blackwyrm Games Presents...

Imaginary Friends...A Superhero Supplement for Savage Worlds and the Hero System.

The Imaginary Friends Kickstarter is about to get underway. Gather here for news on how the kickstarter is progressing, links to it when it goes up, and all that lovely Superheroic stuff.

To follow the creation of Imaginary Friends on the Hero Boards, go the Champions Forums and read the Imaginary Friends Update thread. That thread covers how much of the adventure is done and what's going on with it. The reason why I'm not reposting the entire thread here is that I've been busting my hump on this one for a while. But starting from the beginning is always nice.

I had been working on the adventure for close to 9 months when Blackwyrm approached me about converting the adventure to Savage Worlds, and I became very excited about spreading the love I have for the superhero genre in general. I've been designing superhero products for quite a while, but this one...this one has something special about it I can't quite always explain in words.

Feel free to ask questions about it here. I'll answer everything I can. Feel free to also direct questions to Jason Walters and Dave Mattingly. I'm sure they'll take the time to answer them if I can't.

They can be reached at the Blackwyrm Games website.

The Basics:

Michael Satran, veteran superhero game designer, has been working for almost a year or more on a chilling new Superhero adventure called Imaginary Friends, in which superheroes must deal with an extremely unusual threat, a serial killer of Imaginary Friends, and deal with it's consequences. Mr. Satran is also the author of Foxbat For President, War of Worldcraft, Unkindness, Pretty Hate Machines, and King of the Mountain.

The Details:

Inside, you'll find over 20 character sheets, an evil secret organization, a new supervillain team that is a tribute to an old one, a host of imaginary friends, agents, villains, and maps. The adventure is designed to have very few, if any, rails, and is as much a long term campaign supplement as it is a scenario.

Inside, you won't find any battle-sheep, demon-frogs, or sourdough bread pans. (We always like to add a little light-heartedness when the subject matter is really serious)

Inside, you'll discover all sorts of things about the stuff I've talked about for years, as we are world-building, after all.

We want you guys to have fun. You'll find hundreds of plot options, heavyweight plot twists, and more than a few locations that can easily be re-used and re-skinned for any game or game world.

Why should you Kickstart this project?

This is a very different sort of superhero adventure. It's got a set of challenges that are interactive as much as they are active and reactive. It uses different approaches from much of my previous work, and keeps characters on their toes. The tone of the adventure borders on "Graphic Novel," but is still firmly rooted in many of the great ideas of the Silver Age.

This is one of the longest superhero adventures ever published. We're at 200 pages as I write this, and we're not even done with the adventure text yet.

Signed, numbered copies will be available. Someday, my signature may even be valuble. If you can find me, you can get your non-numbered copy signed, but I can barely find myself. What chance have you? BWAHAHAHAAA!

Jason and Dave have lined up a whole set of interesting goodies for you guys. Swag is keen. Rumors are, we may even get a kickstarter video where Dave uses hand puppets.

This will be the first Hero System adventure dual-statted for Savage Worlds. It's a milestone I'm proud to be a part of. If you like what we do, and I'm really hoping that you will, we'll be looking into converting many of my other products mentioned above.

Thanks, and we hope you'll support our project.

Michael Satran

Included below is my little text trailer. I always write a couple of these. Have more fun than you could possibly imagine...

What if there was a group of children who had imaginary friends?

What if those imaginary friends were real?

Now, someone is killing them.....

How do you fight a serial killer who doesn't exist?

How do you stop a villain whose very weakness is his strength?

Meet Mr. Wumbles...

Your heroes will never be the same....
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balabanto
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:50 pm    Post subject: Links for Imaginary Friends Reply with quote

While the Kickstarter isn't live yet, you can look at the cover at www.blackwyrm.com.

You can also view the creation thread from the beginning on the Hero System website at http://www.herogames.com/forums/showthread.php/86037-Imaginary-Friends-Update
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balabanto
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Be Excited!

The Imaginary Friends Kickstarter goes live October First!

We hope you'll all be there to support our project!
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balabanto
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:58 pm    Post subject: Apology Reply with quote

At this time, I would like to take the time to apologize for our kickstarter being pushed back. The Kickstarter terms of service have been altered by their attorneys and only one product may be kickstarted by a company at a time.

As a result, the opening date of the Kickstarter has been pushed back. We apologize for the inconvenience, and will keep you informed with more updates.

Thank you,

Michael Satran, Author
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BObrien
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael,

I want to wish you the very best of luck. I also want to point some stuff out as a consumer that may help you with some of your efforts.

First, you've posted a total of four messages on the forums here -- all of them to advertise your kickstarter. We don't know you.

You mention in one post all these products you've done that, frankly, I've never heard of. Sure, I could go look them up, but the impetus isn't on me to believe you... its on you to convince me.

Third, the product you're trying to create already exists -- so instead of trying to fill an empty niche, you're trying to leverage into a filled niche. That means you need to differentiate. In reading through your posts, I didn't pick up a single element that differentiates your efforts from what's already out there.

Finally, your last message describes having to delay. This tells me a couple of things -- first, somehow you didn't know/fully understand your medium and rather than admit mistake the issue is foisted on the lawyers of Kickstarter. Even if there has been a shift in their policies, you still come out sounding like you've overcommitted and under-delivered. Which is fine if you have an amazing track record -- everyone understands that stuff happens sometimes -- but you don't have that to fall back on yet.

As I said, I really would love to see you succeed -- heck I want to see all gamers with ideas get published -- so please take this in the manner it's intended as constructive critique and feedback and not an attack on you or your product.

Best,
Brennan
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balabanto
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:45 am    Post subject: We are live!!!! Reply with quote

Imaginary Friends is an adventure for the Hero System/ Champions 6th Edition and Savage Worlds in which invisible playmates come to life with deadly consequences. As much a long-term campaign supplement as an adventure, it features a set of strategies and events using the characters and depicting forces at work, rather than a completely linear narrative.


You'll meet an entertaining array of sinister and unique characters who will engage roleplayers in tests of combat and the mind unlike anything you've seen before! I know you've probably heard that before once or twice, but I really mean it. Every playtest of this adventure has been fantastic, be it rules light or rules heavy.


We hope you'll be pleased and surprised at what you find inside the pages of Imaginary Friends. It's a very different sort of gaming experience.


What's inside:

A full supervillain team. (It wouldn't be nearly as cool an adventure if there wasn't a full supervillain team in it)

Villains opposing other villains!

A vast array of map locations that are easily reusable in any modern setting!

The groundwork for an easy to expand evil secret organization!

A sinister master mind!

A lesser master mind!

An agent-level mastermind!

Absolutely no mimes (or Master Mimes) whatsoever!

If you help us reach our goal, we may be able to get you stretch goals such as cardboard heroes of the characters or larger maps!

Join our quest to bring this to life here!!!!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/...iends?ref=live

It was a long and difficult process to get this far, including the need to wait an extra week past the delay because Hero got DOS attacked and we wanted a kickstarter release where everything hit at about the same time.

Thank you for your patience. More announcements about this project can be found here, and will be made here as developments occur.
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Boldfist
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found the project on kickstarter but your link in the above post isn't working.
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balabanto
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will look into that and correct it.
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balabanto
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:35 pm    Post subject: The Correct Link and a Special Announcement Reply with quote

I bring the correct link, here, and good news for all of you.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/blackwyrm/imaginary-friends

At Blackwyrm Games, we like to do things the right way and take care of gaming history. We needed someone to do our Savage Worlds conversions who was the perfect match for Champions and Savage Worlds. Someone who writes or has written for both games. Someone who is a gaming legend.

Someone like Sean Patrick Fannon, who has agreed to do the conversion work.

Thank you very much.
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balabanto
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We are at 10 percent as of right now! Let's get this party started. Be excited! Tell all your friends. Tell all your imaginary friends!
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fenriswolf
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a sucker for SW Kickstarters but the $25 price point for a PDF only level is a bit steep. I wish you guys the best of luck though.
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balabanto
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your well-wishes.
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balabanto
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Requests have been answered! A new tier has been added! You may now purchase three copies of the book for only 90 dollars! This is a fantastic deal, since it costs 40 dollars for one.

We have also added the Mr. Wumbles totem. Adding 20 dollars to any pledge gets you a squishy evil bunny rabbit with the Imaginary Friends logo emblazoned on the side.

So hop to it, and get on board with us!
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balabanto
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ladies and gentlemen, we now have extra goodies:

Really awesome tee shirts, featuring the absolutely amazing cover art, or Mr. Wumbles, one of the villains, with the logo "My Imaginary Friend Can Beat Up Your Imaginary Friend!"

Get on board and share the imaginariness!
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balabanto
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We broke our first thousand and that means we're on a roll! At 1125, special secrets of Imaginary Friends will be unlocked. This happens again at 50 percent and 75 percent. At 100 percent, our project is funded and we can begin talking about stretch goals. Tell us what you'd like to see!
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balabanto
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We’re off to a rousing start! Imagine that! Thank you to everyone who came in during the initial block of pledges. We hope that you’ll tell all your friends about this magnificent project, and we’re off to the races. With people like you on our side, I know we’ll see full funding!

Now it’s time for our teaser. It’s time to introduce one of the villains of Imaginary Friends.

His name is Toby. He’s five years old. We’re not going to tell you that much about Toby, except for the fact that he’s five and that presents a very different sort of challenge from what most superheroes are used to. (Except maybe Captain Diaper, but that’s a story for another day)

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/blackwyrm/imaginary-friends/posts
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balabanto
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's Character background time. Today, you're going to meet one of the villains of Imaginary Friends, the sinister, armored Abyss.

Every time we hit another milestone from now on, we'll reveal another character from this grand project of ours!

Background: Bernard Goldfarb was born brilliant, and he knew it. While all the other children were playing jump rope and hopscotch, he was working on advanced mathematical equations and trying to figure out how the stars worked. The other children laughed at him, bullied him, and occasionally beat him up. Even though he wasn’t the most thin-skinned of children, Jake Bradford’s taunts stayed with him, calling him a nerd and a dirty Jew, even when Bradford and his friends threw him into a well near the school. Bernard spent twelve hours staring up at the top as the light faded. He called for help for almost a day until the police came.

The police couldn’t prove anything.

Bernard recovered physically, but never psychologically. He wanted the children who threw him down the well to suffer. After two months, he snuck onto Jake Bradford’s property and poisoned his pet collie. When his parents found out, he was grounded for three weeks. Bernard and Jake Bradford had a bloody fistfight over the dog, and Bernard was suspended from school. All Bernard could remember was Jake throwing him down that hole, and shivering in the dirty water without anyone to help him.
The well became a part of him. He would always remember it.
Bernard’s parents were shocked and horrified. “What did that dog ever to do you?” His father demanded.

Bernard’s mother looked away from her son in shame, but Bernard’s eyes were hard. “It was Jake Bradford’s dog,” Bernard said coldly. “He hated us for being Jews, and threw me into the well. What did you do for me, dad? You didn’t do anything except tell me it was wrong. I took his dog away. That was right. That was getting even. Like it says in the Torah. An eye for an eye.”

Bernard was sent to Yeshiva after that. He realized that his parents would never listen to him, and that if he wasn’t smart enough to take what he wanted, he would never have anything except the well. He would have to fill the well with knowledge.

Knowledge didn’t satisfy Bernard. No matter how brilliant the research he did, he always needed more money and more parts. He began to look for shortcuts. Several of his friends in his research group joked that if only there were aliens, he could take their technology instead. The well grew deeper. It was always empty.

Bernard reasoned that the best way to find out if there were alien technologies was to join alien conspiracy groups. He learned about the ways the government had concealed the existence of aliens from the public. He learned about what signs to look for, and how to avoid detection from government operatives.

That was how SPIDER found him and first began recruiting him. Bernard scoffed at the idea of working for a criminal organization, and told them he would think about it. It was better than having them come in the middle of the night and take him.

Bernard worked hard on a shoestring budget for months until his makeshift sensors finally went off. Something was going to crash nearby. He had to get there before the police and superheroes did.
When Bernard got there, there was an advanced escape pod with a humanoid, red-skinned alien it, half sunken in the swamp. The massively muscled creature was badly wounded. There was nothing Bernard could do for it. “Help me—“ The creature pleaded. “Warriors die well, not slowly.”

Bernard ignored the creature and began dismantling the escape pod. He had only a few minutes to get the things he needed. He took the power supply, a sample of the creature’s armor, the creature’s battle staff, and several of the key operational components in the pod’s engine.

The creature struggled, reaching for a button. Bernard barely saw it in time. The creature grinned. “So you are a coward. Run!” Bernard ran. He pushed his legs through the swamp as fast as he could. The escape pod erupted into a ball of flame, and Bernard was hurled into the muck of the swamp. Bernard crept back to his car with his prizes, skulking away in the night.

Bernard built his first suit of armor out of the parts and some steel and alloyed ceramics. It was clunky and awkward, and not nearly as sleek looking as the others of the day. He needed refinement, but he also needed money. He called himself “The Ace of Clubs.” He robbed half a dozen banks, but it wasn’t enough. He still couldn’t get enough money to make more advancements.

Bernard gathered a team of like-minded miscreants around him and built them suits of armor like his own, each the Ace of a different suit. His goal was to make money for his experiments. He didn’t care what the others did with their money. That was when opportunity knocked.

An agent of the Cult of the Ebon Flame approached them and hired them for an obscene amount of money to pretend to wield a four foot metallic baton called “The Rod of Baalphegon” and threaten the city with destruction while they made off with a mystic artifact from one of the local art museums.

It wasn’t even the real Rod of Baalphegon. The plan was simple. Superheroes would come, Four of a Kind would fight them, pretend to be defeated, and slink off.

It didn’t turn out that way. Instead, PTAH showed up, in force, and launched an all-out attack on Four of a Kind to recover the Rod. The Rod was recovered by PTAH almost instantly, the telekinetic grip of a PTAH operative yanked it out of his hand. The battle was short, swift and decisive, and Bernard barely escaped with his life. The others were all captured, and began spending long, agonizing lives in prison.

Bernard studied what had gone wrong, and fell into a deep depression. He was nothing but a little boy in a hole. He was still looking up at the sky, trapped in the water.

That was when Jorgi Van Der Voot showed up at Bernard’s door. A long discussion between the two scientists ensued. Jorgi had long admired Bernard’s work, and wondered what secrets the other scientist possessed.
“There’s something bothering you,” Van Der Voot said.

“There is.”

“I can give you money to continue your research. More money than you ever thought possible. I know you possess technology that very few on Earth currently understand. We would like to help you understand that technology. We will help you to improve it.”

“Really?” Bernard stared at Jorgi Van Der Voot. “What’s the catch?”

“No catch. Simply come out of your depression. You are a brilliant man, Doctor Goldfarb. Perhaps if something is bothering you, instead of obsessing over it, you should embrace it. It has worked for far lesser men.”

Bernard nervously reached out to shake Jorgi’s hand. “Deal.”
He could never go back now. Not to the life of an ordinary scientist. Jorgi had shown him the way. If he could not escape the hole, he would become it. Instead of using the power sources of the alien technology to power a battlesuit, the power source would become the power of the battlesuit.

He worked for two years in secret SPIDER laboratories, hammering out principles and reworking the technologies. Most of SPIDER’s leadership didn’t even understand what he was doing. When he was done, he had built a black hole generator from the black hole drive components that had once powered his old battle suit.

The Ace of Clubs was gone now. Only the Abyss remained. He painted over the Ace of Clubs on his battlesuit with a large, dark circle. It seemed appropriate.

Abyss became one of SPIDER’s most feared super-villains. Everyone dreaded the man in the black armor with the shimmering field that surrounded him, the light of a black hole generator.

Success followed success. He would never be captured .

Then the Webmasters offered him a project. A supervillain team to rival the greatest superhero teams of the world. Nothing complicated. Nothing fancy. Just Spider Alpha Team. Bernard took the job with the same methodical precision he did with everything else.

He would have revenge on the telepaths who cost him his old life. He would have revenge on the superheroes that thwarted him. He would have revenge on PTAH. They would fall into the Abyss.

And they would be crushed there.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/ksr/projects/235451/posts/365980/image-190615-full.jpg?1355109419
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balabanto
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all for being with us so far. Your donations have unlocked another character from Imaginary Friends, Georgie, the Singing Giraffe!

You're kidding me, right? A singing giraffe? Not all superbeings are all THAT super.

Personality: Georgie is cheerful and outgoing, and nice to everyone. His personality is always cheerful and kind. However, deep inside Georgie lurks a desperate need to perform and entertain. If someone were to remove his ability to perform, Georgie would shatter psychologically and become a broken giraffe. He is always a showman, constantly trying to think of clever things to say and one-liners to deliver. Some of them are funny. Some of them fall flat.

Georgie even sings to cheer himself or others up, especially when he’s afraid. Georgie admires Jack’s bravery and Imaginary Lisa’s attractiveness, and is disgusted by Polly Pooper’s constant defecation. However, he shares a deep and unabiding fear of Mr. Wumbles along with the others. He can’t stand it when his Lisa fights with Imaginary Lisa, and always tries to get his special friend not to cry because Imaginary Lisa is older and prettier.

Quote: “I think it’s time for a song and a little bit of dancing!”

“Let’s dance the rag until the break of dawn!”

“I know there’s a song in there somewhere, whoever you are, and we’re going to bring it out!”

Powers/Tactics: Georgie doesn’t really fight. He tries to run away as swiftly as possible. Unfortunately, he has little ability to hide, and even less fighting ability.

Campaign Use: Georgie exists to brighten the lives of Lisa and her friends as much as possible, even though he annoys everyone except Lisa by singing too much. He has songs for everything, and he’s not afraid to sing them, even (and possibly especially) when it aggravates others.

Appearance: Georgie looks like a singing humanoid giraffe that is about three and a half feet tall. He wears wide pinstripe suits and outrageously pleated white shirts with black ties. Sparkling cuff links always adorn his sleeves. He wears two tone shoes and carries a cane, along with a bowler hat and a tie bar. He usually wears paisley ties.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/blackwyrm/imaginary-friends/posts
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balabanto
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, everyone who has backed Imaginary Friends so far. At this time, we are a third of the way to our goal. From now on, every ten percent of funded unlocks another major character in Imaginary Friends.

Every other day unlocks another map location, minor character, or combination thereof.

Today's NPC is: Manfernee Jones: Manfernee Jones is a mid-thirties African-American man who fell on hard times when his auto-repair business collapsed during a super-battle and he didn’t have enough insurance to rebuild it. He’s slightly overweight and relatively jolly for a security guard with a few financial issues. He moonlights at a Jazz club twice a week where he plays saxophone for a band, and is one of the more popular security guards to talk to. Some of the people who come to the museum are also fans of his playing style.

Plot Option 1: Manfernee is a musically themed supervillain or hero.

Plot Option 2: Manfernee is really the lead for a foreign cash scam, and runs money to and from the telegraph agency.
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balabanto
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for everyone who has backed the Imaginary Friends project so far. We hope you'll be with us for the whole ride. Today's NPC is...

Poison Candace, Bouncer: Candace Levitsky is a naturalized American citizen from Israel in her late thirties. Unfortunately, there weren’t a lot of jobs in Israel for female Krav Maga instructors. Candace decided to move to America and explore her passion for music, but turned out not to be a very good musician. What she was good at was military strategy and self-defense. While she could have made a living in private security, she decided that she would rather have a lower salary and free jazz concerts. Candace is five foot one and weighs one hundred and four pounds soaking wet, leading to the unlikely nickname of “Poison.” Not a lot of people realize that Candace is a bouncer, but if they do, they are unlikely to walk away from it. Candace finds a lot of the people who visit the club not nearly as smart as they think they are, but never says so.



Plot Option: Candace takes jobs on the side for unscrupulous people of a deniable assets nature.

Virtually every NPC comes with a plot option here or there.We try to make our products reusable.

More special stuff coming your way Christmas Eve!

And what new character will be unlocked at the 40 percent backer mark?
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