An epic fantasy tabletop RPG.
JUNE 7th UPDATE: We're in the final stretch! Bonus gift: Blade Raiders wallpaper
Click this link for all the various wallpaper sizes and download links:
MAY 31st UPDATE: 1st look at the Limited Edition hardcover
MAY 26th UPDATE: Initial goal reached! A Gift & Stretch Goal
A big thanks to all of you who've pledged! We've reached our initial goal -- and with over two weeks left to go! :) Thank you so much for being part of this project and for helping to make my RPG game a reality. I have two exciting announcements:
1) As a "thank you" gift, I'm immediately including a new reward for everyone who's pledged $10 or more -- Creature Cards!
2) And we now have a Stretch Goal of $9,000. If we hit this new amount, everyone who's pledged $25 or more will receive an "Adventure Folder."
Please click on the "Updates" tab above and check out my latest update (#3) for more information on the Creature Cards, Stretch Goal and Adventure Folders. And thanks again for all of your support!
MAY 21st UPDATE: 1st look at the character sheet, and exciting new Pledge Rewards!
As I write this, we're about 60% funded, which is amazing. Thank you so much to everyone who's pledged! :) As a little "thank you" for your support, I thought I'd offer a first look at the character sheet. Keep in mind, this is the working version. As I flesh things out and do some game testing, details and design elements are sure to change. But at least this gives you a pretty solid idea as to what you can expect. Click here for a bigger version: http://grantgould.com/art/brcs.jpg Also, I added new Pledge Rewards: ORIGINAL ARTWORK from the book at the $200 level (limited to 30) and a PDF at $15. So please check those out. Thanks!
What is Blade Raiders?
Blade Raiders is an epic fantasy tabletop roleplaying game. Swords and sorcery, high adventure, creatures and quests -- All of the elements you crave, but presented with a unique spin you've never experienced before. The game will be written, assembled, and fully illustrated by me (you can check out my full bio on the right side of this page), and I'm confident people will enjoy the end result. I've been playing and running tabletop RPGs for over 25 years, so I know what makes a fun game and a great social experience. I look forward to sharing my vision with you and your gaming group. :)
Can you tell me more about the actual book itself?
This first book is the core rulebook. It contains everything you need to play the game, aside from dice -- World overview, character creation, combat rules, monster stats, and everything else needed to begin your adventure. The book will have an 8.5"x11"/magazine-size format (like many RPGs: Dungeons & Dragons, Palladium, Pathfinder, etc.), softcover, perfect-bound, featuring black-and-white interior pages and full-color covers. **A limited-edition hardcover version is available as well. See the rewards section for more info.**
When will the book be done?
If I reach my goal, I plan on having the book completely done by September and back from the printers by late October. If I don't reach my goal, then the project will be shelved. I just can't afford to spend the time needed on this unless I have some help. So, please, if you want this game to happen, make a pledge and tell your friends.
So what do I get if I pledge?
Rewards! :) Along the right-hand side of this page, you'll see the list of rewards based on the various amounts that you can pledge.
What does my money pay for?
Your money (assuming I reach my Kickstarter goal -- if the goal's not met, then you don't pay a penny) will make it possible for me to pay bills while I work on Blade Raiders. Being able to set aside a large chunk of time to illustrate the book and put it together is a huge part of making it happen. Additionally, your money will help pay for printing, rewards, and shipping costs.
Will there be more Blade Raiders books coming after this?
I certainly hope so! If the goal is reached, you can be sure that the first Blade Raiders sourcebook will be coming in early 2013.
If you have any other questions, be sure to check the FAQs below -- and if you don't find an answer there, feel free to message me. Thanks!
Are there additional shipping costs for people in Canada, Mexico, or anywhere else outside the U.S.?
Nope, I won't ask for any extra shipping costs, no matter where you live.
The world of Blade Raiders is very much inspired by the fantasy games and movies that I loved as a kid -- Dungeons & Dragons, "Conan," "Willow," things like that. Unlike a lot of other fantasy settings, however, Blade Raiders focuses entirely on human characters. Yes, there are mystical creatures and vile monsters and the like, but they aren't playable character races. They're beings that you will encounter on your adventures -- some as allies, some as adversaries.
This first book focuses primarily on the human realm ruled by Stonemir, a massive fortess-city built upon a mountain that holds primeval mysteries and vast power (more on that in a moment). The book also details the lands around Stonemir, including the majestic, ruin-riddled Gloomwrik Forest. There will, of course, be a map in the book detailing Stonemir and its surrounding areas, and other realms will be explored further in upcoming sourcebooks.
Magic is handled a bit differently in Blade Raiders than it is in a lot of fantasy settings. In this RPG, magic comes from runestones, which are buried beneath the earth, hidden in mountains (especially near Stonemir), and guarded like precious artifacts. Some men and women are born with the ability to tap into these forces, and some devote their lives to articulating these skills and developing incredible powers. But these abilities rely completely on the runestones. No one can physically carry a runestone, so in order to take advantage of their powers, a person needs to be near one. In many instances, the closer they are to a runestone, the greater the results will be.
As for where the runestones originally came from, that's a topic of debate amongst the people of the realm. Most believe they were created by an ancient race of beings who descended from the skies and ruled over the lands before the rise of mankind. Some even believe two of those "ancients" (often called the Dyad) still dwell in Stonemir's mountain, protecting what remains of a kingdom long dead.
Two other things of note: (1) There are no horses in Blade Raiders. Not that I have anything against horses. :) I just thought it'd be fun to actually have lizards as mounts. It's the old Star Wars/dewback fanboy in me. And the lizards in Blade Raiders are far from sluggish. They can be quite a valuable companion to have in a skirmish. (2) One of the commonly-encountered baddies in the game is a race of stony-skinned creatures called "trollugs." In fact, you can see one on the lower left corner of the cover art. I didn't want to use the standard races like orcs, goblins, etc. So you'll see some completely original beasties in this game.
Anyway, so hopefully that gives you a little bit of a sneak peek at what the world and setting of Blade Raiders is like. Thanks for reading!
Blade Raiders is similar to the games you know and love in the sense that it utilizes a character sheet and you roll dice to see if you succeed when attempting an action. What sets it apart is that there's a strong focus on roleplaying rewards and a strong focus on natural character progression and development.
You begin your adventure with a clean slate. You don't start with a ton of skills and abilities. In fact, you don't even select a character class -- You select a TALENT. Does your character respond to the forces of magic and the runestones (see above FAQ)? Does your character tend to rely more on his or her physical strength? As you progress and roleplay and try new things, the appropriate skills will begin to grow and develop. Part of the Blade Raiders RPG experience is finding out who your character is as the story unfolds. No one is simply a "fighter" or a "mage." Characters are more complex, and yet at the same time, simpler in terms of creation and management.
One of my goals was to make the game easy to learn, and accessible to new players -- even to those who've never played a tabletop RPG before. So the book will be laid out as such. A person can open the book to page one, and it will walk them through character creation and then present the basic rules. This is not a game for people who like to read a thousand pages of rules. This is a game for people who want to quickly flip through the book, be able to see what's what, where it's located in the book, what's important to know, etc., and be able to play that same evening.
Another thing that sets this game apart is the magic system. As mentioned in the above FAQ, humans are unable to summon magic on their own. They must rely on the energies provided by runestones. Because of this, Blade Raiders has an entirely new dynamic when it comes to spell-casting and special abilities. And there are different categories of talent that your character can possess. To name one example, some men and women are able to manipulate the power of the runestones to create shadows and light, and thus become "invisible" or blanket an area in darkness -- these magic-users are called shades.
Combat and use of weaponry are things that also follow a natural progression of skill. You don't begin the game by choosing what you're good at. You begin the game with a basic understanding of where your talents lie, and then grow and strengthen in the areas that you choose to focus on. If you buy a dagger and use it often, you'll become well-skilled with a dagger. But that doesn't mean you can suddenly pick up a sword and be just as good with it simply because it's a blade. You earn your abilities and it's easy to do, but it's not automatic.
I also mentioned a strong focus on roleplaying rewards. The storyteller (ie. the gamemaster, the person running the adventure) is encouraged to reward players throughout the game for excellent roleplaying. This can be defined as "someone who contributes a lot to the group," or "someone who just did an amazing, heroic act" -- It's up to the individual storyteller. These rewards come in the form of points, and these points can then be used by the player whenever they like and however they like. They can help add to a die roll or help them gain back some health after a fierce battle, or maybe they want to save their reward points for the next adventure. These things are outlined in the book and it's all about (1) encouraging players to contribute and be part of the game, and (2) giving them options in terms of HOW they want to spend the rewards they earn.
Hopefully these paragraphs have given you a little taste of what the game is like. I don't want to get into too many specifics, partly because I'm still developing it and playtesting it -- I'm sure between now and September, some of the rules and mechanics will change (for the better). But at least this gives you a general idea of what you can expect. Admittedly, I'm not reinventing the tabletop RPG with Blade Raiders, but it's certainly a game that focuses on exciting character development and easy-to-learn, dice-tossing rules. :)
Yep! Due to popular demand, I added a $15 PDF pledge reward. :)
pledged of $5,000 goal
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May 15, 2012 - Jun 14, 2012 (30 days)
Pledge $1 or more
Your name in a special "thanks" section of the book.Estimated delivery: Nov 2012
Pledge $10 or more
All of the above AND a signed mini-print of the cover art.Estimated delivery: Nov 2012
Pledge $15 or more
All of the above AND a PDF digital version of the book.Estimated delivery: Nov 2012
Pledge $25 or more
All of the above AND a signed copy of the book.Estimated delivery: Nov 2012
Pledge $50 or more
All of the above AND your name will appear at the top of the "thanks" section in bold type, listed as a Heroic Supporter.Estimated delivery: Nov 2012
Pledge $100 or more
All of the above AND a signed limited-edition hardcover version of the book. This particular hardcover featuring exclusive variant cover art will be available only to Kickstarter backers.Estimated delivery: Nov 2012
Pledge $200 or more
2 backers Limited (28 of 30 left)
All of the above AND one random original drawing used for one of the characters or creatures in the book (pencil & ink on 8.5"x11" cardstock, signed by the artist).Estimated delivery: Nov 2012
Pledge $500 or more
All of the above AND you can become part of Blade Raiders history by naming a location, magic item, or magic weapon in the book. Your name will appear on the credits page as the creator of the name, along with a special thanks.Estimated delivery: Nov 2012
Pledge $1,000 or more
All of the above AND you can become a huge part of Blade Raiders history by appearing as (or having one of your human RPG characters appear as) a prominent character/NPC in the book. Your character will have an accompanying illustration based on information you give me, and your name will appear on the credits page as the creator of the character, along with a special thanks.Estimated delivery: Nov 2012