If the stars align and this project gets more funding than the goal, then this is what I will use those extra resources on.
The cover design of Crimson Exodus Second Edition is intended as a community design project where you the backers can help pick the artist and design the cover. I have talked to a number of very talented artists, and decided to focus on the following two as artists I would really like to work with on this project:
Eric Quigley is a freelance illustrator with a bachelor's degree in Communication Arts from the Virginia Commonwealth University who has since been honing his skills and working as a freelance artist in the science fiction and fantasy genre.
I am a self taught artist who is passionate about making awesome art. Growing up I loved to draw and was drawn in by Fantasy and Sci-fi movie and book covers. They made such an impression on me that I dedicated countless hours teaching myself the craft. I want my work to have that same impact on others. I want it to spark peoples imaginations. I want people to look at it and just say, "Wow!".
I would be very happy to work with either of these artists and once we reach the funding goal I will submit a poll to allow people to vote for the artist they would prefer. Once the artists is decided the scene on the cover will be discussed and decided. Last weekend I visited Corfe Castle close to the coast down in Dorset, England and Elvira took some great photos that may serve as inspiration.
The crimson banner has sailed. The Empire is on her knees. Ravaged by barbarians, plague and walking dead. Invaded and besieged by the dwarven war machine. Swarmed with refugees from the Heartlands fleeing famine, plague, orcs and lawless chaos. Town after town abandoned to the dead and reclaimed by beasts and weeds.
Crimson Exodus is a fantasy roleplaying game set during the collapse of an Empire. Elves who ruled the Known World under their crimson banners are leaving in a mysterious exodus, and everywhere there is chaos and change. Bands of barbarians hardened from battle with trolls and giant bears eagerly set out from their frozen homelands to pillage and sack the vulnerable provinces, and from the south the Dwarven war machines pour forth from the mountains to finally reclaim their ancient homelands. Few roads are safe from bandits and beasts, and villagers hide behind their walls fearing the plague and stories of dead men stalking the living. The Orcs are no longer hunted by Imperial patrols and spill forth from the jungles in great tribes who conquer and destroy in equal measure. To the east the Bardur Kingdoms are in open revolt, but as they plot and war among themselves the Serpent Empire stirs again.
This is a setting where a lot is going on. Opportunity and danger is everywhere. The world is far from tamed, or even explored, and with the collapse of the Empire there is war and strife everywhere. A world in turmoil makes for fertile ground for the imagination. You can play a cunning and savage Orc, a Dwarf trying to win his sweetheart with poetry when he's not studying sorcery, a Toth from the Serpent Empire plotting revenge, an arrogant warlock Elf or any of the ten cultures that are available in the book.
The second edition of Crimson Exodus will bring the Fantasy Dice engine fully up-to-date with all the improvements that have been achieved since it was originally released two years ago now. There are no classes or levels in Fantasy Dice and the system is based on skills. Everything is designed to avoid having to do any math and to be fast to resolve. To achieve this a unique dice system is used where you get to use most of the fun and quirky dice associated with roleplaying and you can scale your rolls according to the risk you are willing to take. Fantasy Dice also promotes openness and honesty, and there is a system in place for how to handle bad rolls and bad luck through the use of trigger ammunition traded between the players and game master.
Character creation is fast, but flexible and helps you create a well rounded character with enemies, allies, characteristics, aspirations and even a talent. To make the player characters exceptional they may walk one or more of 13 paths that give them special abilities without restricting their role or which skills they can learn.
The arcane arts is the magic system of Fantasy Dice. Skill based there are three different types of magic and each has its own chapter. Witchcraft is the blood magic used by the Elves and requires blood and sacrifices to give it power. Sorcery is the elemental art mastered only by the Dwarves which through slow and tiring effort allows the manipulation of wind, water and fire. The black arts originate from the Serpent Empire and are often forbidden and always feared. There are no fireballs or conjured picnics. The arcane arts are powerful, but manipulate the more arcane laws of nature. For example a sorcerer can make a camp fire flare up, but not without a flame and turning a cloudy day into a thunderstorm takes time and a lot of exhausting effort. Healing a serious wound with witchcraft will require the sacrifice of a large beast and practising the black arts means risking the release of your inner demon.
Although combat is not overly complex, a lot of thought has gone into making sure it matters which weapon and armour you use as each has its strengths and weaknesses based loosely on their real world equivalent. Combat is fast paced and tactical, using wounds instead of hitpoints. Roleplaying is also at the front here and to be successful it is necessary to think about what you do rather than just dumbly hack at your opponents.
Among the rewards you will also find Echoes of Death, Mahada, Fantasy Dice and Trauma 2nd Edition.
Echoes of Death
Brand new and not yet released, Echoes of Death is an adventure set under the mountain city of Holmcrag with a party of Orcs guided by a map reading Dwarf. It has been playtested and refined for over a year and is a lot of fun to play. It comes with both a player and GM map drawn by cartographer Robert Albauer as well as original artwork by the talented Forest Immel. If there is no backstabbing or betrayals in the group then your players are a better bunch than most of our playtesters.
A small colour book introducing a race of fierce panthermen who hunt Orcs with claw and fang, and a bit about their background, society and quite unique arcane artefacts.
A stand alone PDF version of the rules in Crimson Exodus. Great if you want to give the players a reference text without any spoilers or for use with your own setting.
Trauma 2nd Edition
This PDF is a whole book dedicated to all the horrible things that can go wrong when metal meets bone. Entirely optional this add on can be used with any system to add a level of gritty and gory realism to your combat with in-depth descriptions of the damage, complications, risks and required treatments. Think gray's anatomy for roleplayers.
Risks and challenges
This is a low risk project with much of the material already produced, you're just helping to make it happen. A lot of the work and much of the costs have already been covered by the author. Remember also that with every kickstarter project - if it doesn't reach the funding target then you will be refunded your pledge.
If the new cover takes longer than expected that could lead to delays, but having worked with many artists over the last few years helps a lot to mitigate this risk.
There is always the risk that there will be delays with printing the physical books as well, but having printed several books over the last few years there are several printers I can work with to make sure the books are delivered in a timely manner. This risk of course does not apply to the PDF versions.
I am very committed to making sure everyone who backs this project ends up happy as for me roleplaying is all about building communities and making friends to share your visions and crazy ideas with.
Shipping: Orcs may ambush the shipment or Elves may seize it as forbidden lore. We can't guarantee that stuff like that won't happen or that it wont get lost or stolen by more mundane means. We will make sure everything is sent as safely as we can and if something gets lost we'll help you track it down or work with you to get it replaced. Books usually don't require any customs fees, but if you are charged we can't help you beyond providing receipts and such and you will need to cover such (unfair) fees yourself.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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