A medieval roleplaying game somewhere between Ravenloft, Game of Thrones and Call of Cthulhu.
- #1 Only two hours and you smashed the initial goal. One day and we are beyond $30.000.. this is truly amazing ! THANK YOU!
- #2 July 12th: First Strecth Goal!
- #3 Discover the full table of content of the Book 2 Travels here.
- #7 Options For Your Pledges: Books
- #8 Option: Game Leader Kit + GL Screen
- #9 Stretch Goal: the Monastery of Tuath + 3 Bonus Tracks
- #10 New Stretch Goal Reached: Ghost Stories!
- #11 The $100K stretch goal: YOU decide!
- #12 Special Option: Printed Maps of Tri-Kazel.
- #13 Vote for the next book of the series!
- #14 $100k Stretch Goal Reached!
Welcome to the page of the new Kickstarter campaign for Shadows of Esteren!
After Book 0 – Prologue and Book 1 – Universe, we are very proud to show you the third opus of the series: Book 2 – Travels. The purpose of this campaign is to help us finance a Limited Edition, as well as some exclusive content for this new release.
- A new edition with improved content
The version we are speaking of is an upgrade of the original French version. Initially, it was a softcover book of 80 pages. The English version is twice as big, resulting in a fully colored hardcover book of 196 pages. Discover the full table of content of the Book 2 Travels here.
Standard Edition and Limited Edition
- Delivery this October!
We have worked on this book all through the year, and we are glad to announce that the PDF of Book 2 – Travels is now finished. The additional content for the Limited Edition is almost finished. Soon, all there will remain to do will be to send it all to our printer!
We have previously organized two Kickstarter campaigns, and we have learned valuable lessons from them. This time, we have designed a campaign with stretch goals that will not slow down the crafting process. These additional rewards will include PDFs, but also other kinds of bonuses that we hope we will get to reveal. This way, we are certain that we will be able to send you your rewards this October – perhaps earlier, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Making deliveries on time is very important for us!
- An adventure shared with the French-speaking community
A unique feature of this campaign is that it has a twin on the European crowdfunding platform Ulule: http://fr.ulule.com/esteren-voyages/
For this double campaign, we will put a second financing bar where the funds gathered in both campaigns will be combined to unlock new stretch goals! Feel free to go on the Ulule page to speak with the French-speaking community. You can also meet them, as well as other English-speaking fans, on the official forums: http://www.esteren.org/forum/
- Any questions or suggestions?
If you have any questions or wish to share your impressions, feel free to post a comment. You can also go to the forums to take part in the discussions there. A crowdfunding campaign is a living project subject to evolutions, and we always welcome feedback!
Here are the contents of the Limited Edition of Book 2 – Travels available through the Farl Collector pledge:
- Augmented Book 2 - Travels
This 196-page edition will be a hardcover book limited to 600 numbered copies. It includes all the content of the first version of Book 2 – Travels (descriptions of places, gallery of characters, scenarios, bestiary), with more than 100 pages of fully original additional content: new characters, game aids on locations, additional rules for traveling, an augmented bestiary, and an expansive scenario written by Iris: “A Life Choice.”
- “Travels” Box
A gorgeous 3-inch-tall box illustrated by Yvan “Gawain” Villeneuve, in which you can keep your limited edition books.
- Game aids
Several game aids for the scenario “A Life Choice” (maps and character portraits) in a specially made folder.
- Travel Journal
Four pages to complement the standard Character Sheet on which the Players can take notes, write down the highlights of their games, and keep track of their traveling equipment.
Note that this edition (the box and its other contents) will only be available during this Kickstarter campaign and on special events. Retailers may also order some copies, but in very limited amounts (see the “Gouvran Merchant” pledge).
The higher the contributions to this campaign get, the more bonuses we can finance.
In addition to the stretch goals reached by this Kickstarter, other ones will be unlocked according to the total sum obtained by combining the donations from the Kickstarter and Ulule campaigns.
Here are some pictures summing up the various available pledges. In the next section, you can find a more detailed description of each item.
In this Kickstarter campaign, there are two types of options:
Standard options: Delivery this october with your rewards.
Only reserved for those who have chosen a tiers containing physical rewards. To get these options, simply add the required sum to your pledge, no additional shipping costs
Special options: Items from this KS campaign and some special items. Second delivery later in 2014.
To get these options, simply add the required sum to your pledge + add $20 for shipping for US & Europe or $60 for internationnal.
If you purchase $120.00 in options above your base pledge level (standard and special options combined), you will get your second delivery for free. Also; to avoid this extra shipping cost,
you can renounce to your october 2013 delivery (see below).
For our new campaign, we have decided to focus on delivering as soon as possible. This is a real challenge for us: all the files have been prepared to be ready in due time. We do not want to delay delivery because of too much stretch goals with physical rewards.We explained this in this update.
Actually, the only reasonable solution to add physical rewards is to schedule two delivery dates: one in October, as planned (Standard options with the green label), and one much later in 2014, with all of the other bonuses (Specials options with purple label).
If you have any question about each items, look at the paragraph below "description of the items".
We give you two ways to avoid additional shipping cost:
- You take $120 options in total above your base pledge level, including Standard options AND Special option. For example, if you take $80 of Standard option + $40 of Special option, you will avoid extra shipping and you will get two deliveries without additonal fees.
- Renounce to your october 2013 delivery and kindly wait for the second delivery, later in 2014, with ALL your rewards in once : your reward + standard options + special options. Beware! Delivery can be very late because we can not accurately predict the creation time. Be delivered in December 2014, a year and a half from now, is a possibility. Of course this is the worst case but it can happen so please think about it.
At the end of the Kickstarter campaign, we will send you a survey in which you will be asked to list exactly what you have chosen, the number of deliveries chosen, etc.
This very limited offer will give you the opportunity to get an original drawing (8 inches x 6 inches on fine art paper) made by Gawain. You will receive this unique piece of art with your reward. You can choose the theme of the illustration, which you will be asked to describe in a few words. For example, “an illustration of the Temple,” “an Osag warrior,” etc. With this pledge, you can help an artist live off his art! Thank you!
Here is an example:
Here is a more detailed description of each item. All books except standard edition Book 0 Prologue are hardcover:
- Book 0 – Prologue Standard Edition. The Prologue is an 80-page softcover book including 3 scenarios, premade Characters, an overview of the universe, and a summary of the system. For more information about this book, you can read this review on RPG net.
- Book 0 – Prologue Kickstarter Special Edition. This special edition of Book 0 – Prologue was financed by the previous Kickstarter. The contents are the same, but it has a hardcover with a special design.
- Book 1 – Universe Standard Edition. With this Kickstarter, you can get the Shadows of Esteren core book, a fully colored hardcover book of 286 pages containing more than 150 illustrations. It gives a subjective description of the peninsula of Tri-Kazel through the eyes of its inhabitants. It also includes the complete game system. You can check out an extract from this book by downloading this file, or learn more about its contents by reading this review on RPG net.
- Book 2 – Travels Standard Edition. The standard edition of Book 2 – Travels is a fully colored hardcover book of 196 pages. It includes all the content of the first version of Book 2 – Travels (descriptions of places, gallery of characters, scenarios, bestiary), with more than 100 pages of original content: new characters, game aids on locations, additional rules for traveling, an augmented bestiary, and a large scenario written by Iris: A Life Choice.
- Game Leader Kit & Screen. This supplement was financed thanks to the first Kickstarter. Contents include a three-section Game Leader screen, Leader game aids in a folder (sanity and NPC management sheets, and magic power charts), and a map of Tri-Kazel. This kit is included in the Ard-Amrach and Osta-Baille Collector pledges. The perfect accessories to enhance your and your players’ gaming experience!
- CD Album Of Men and Obscurities. Thanks to the amazing support of the backers for the Kickstarter for Book 0 -Prologue, we have been able to make another run of the CD album; a complete original soundtrack for Shadows of Esteren composed by Delphine Bois. You can listen to samples on the dedicated MySpace page or Soundcloud page. This album is included in the Osta-Baille Collector pledge.
- Loch Varn Tiles. A set of five sheets of cardboard tiles to design a map of the ruins in the Loch Varn scenario, or to create your own maps These tiles have been specially scaled for one-inch miniatures.
- Map of Tri-Kazel. A large map showing the peninsula of Tri-Kazel on the front, and a plan of the capital city Osta-Baille on the back. This map was financed thanks to the first Kickstarter, and the last ones are available during this new campaign. A second version with a Loch Varn poster on the back was financed with the second Kickstarter. The Ard-Amrach pledge only comprises the Loch Varn variant, while the Osta-Baille Collector pledge includes both variants of the posters.
- Prologue – Clues. Clues are documents summing up what the PCs will gather through the scenarios in Book 0 – Prologue: maps, letters, etc. Printed on high-quality paper and delivered in a special binder, they are included in the Limited Edition of Book 0 – Prologue, obtainable through the Ard-Amrach Collector and Osta-Baille Collector pledges.
- Prologue – Premade Characters. We have designed abridged versions of the premade characters that fit on one page and are perfect for an initiation into Shadows of Esteren. Each set of 6 Characters is included in a binder. This bonus is included with the Limited Edition of Book 0 – Prologue, obtainable through the Ard-Amrach Collector and Osta-Baille Collector pledges.
- Set of Character Sheets. These four-section character sheets were designed and printed on the occasion of the first Kickstarter. Each set contains 6 character sheets, and one set is included with the Limited Edition of Book 1 – Universe obtainable through the Osta-Baille Collector pledge.
- Universe Artwork. The artworks are printed Shadows of Esteren illustrations. The Osta-Baille Collector pledge includes the last artwork sets from the first Kickstarter. Each set contains six reproductions in a special folder. A collector item!
- Prologue Artwork. Another set of six illustrations financed during the second Kickstarter campaign. It is only available through the Ard-Amrach Collector and Osta-Baille Collector pledges.
- Bookmark. Bookmarks designed and printed specially for the Kickstarter campaigns. The last ones proposed on the occasion of the first Kickstarter are available through the Ard-Amrach and Osta-Baille Collector pledges.
- Maps of Tri-Kazel ($30 Special Option)
- Cave Tiles ($20 Special Option)
- Tshirt Travels ($20 Special Option)
- KS Special Edition Box ($15 Standard Option)
Here you can watch a video made by Martin, from Grognard Games. His reward was Book 1 – Universe Limited Edition and Book 0 – Prologue Limited Edition with some special items (Universe Artworks; Prologue Artworks, clues, game master kit and screen, and more…) :
You don't know what Shadows of Esteren is about? This section was made for you!
Shadows of Esteren is a medieval role-playing game, with an emphasis on the horrific and the Gothic. Drawing inspiration from Celtic myths, this universe has a discreetly fantastic side hidden under a bleak, realistic surface. This world is populated with humans who have to cope with tough daily lives, and face a supernatural threat lurking in the dark. With the focus of its adventures being investigation and survival, Shadows of Esteren is a game that favors an immersive mood and interactions among the Players.
This particular atmosphere is drawn from several sources of inspiration: the harshness and romanticism of Mel Gibson’s Braveheart; the universes of Tim Burton, particularly the one of Sleepy Hollow; Hayao Miyazaki’s Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and Princess Mononoke; as well as Berserk, the manga by Kentaro Miura. Regarding role-playing, Shadows of Esteren would be somewhere between Ravenloft, Game of Thrones and Call Of Cthulhu.
We have also put online an extract from the PDF of the core book, Book 1 – Universe. You can download it freely here.
Music is a very important aspect in Esteren. Here are some extracts: a bonus track from the first album released and two excerpts from the next album, the OST of Dearg, the official campaign.
The game system of Shadows of Esteren has been designed to support the atmosphere and encourage interactions among the Characters. Therefore, it relies on simple, intuitive mechanics so as not to burden the narration, particularly during combats, which are meant to be quick and violent. A particular importance has been given to the creation of the Characters, and the evolution of their mental condition. In Book 1 Universe, the game system takes about a hundred pages out of the 280 that make up the book.
Here are the main characteristics of this game system:
- A Detailed Character Creation. The creation of a PC goes through ten steps. The Characters are designed “inside-out”: you determine his psychology with 5 Ways that define how the Character sees and affects the world. Thus, there are no attributes such as Strength, Dexterity and so on, but there are Combativeness, Creativity, Empathy, Reason, and Conviction. By default, all the Characters are equally strong, fast, good-looking, etc. However a Character can purchase Advantages and Disadvantages to flesh out some of these physical attributes (“Strong”, “Weak”, “Hawkeye”, etc.), or provide him with allies, extra funds, etc... Skills are then picked according to several stages of his life (youth, professional training, miscellaneous activities).
The System of the Ways. The Ways are characteristics that determine the major traits of the Character’s personality: the Player allocates the scores 1, 2,3,4,5 among the 5 Ways. Ways are rated from 1 to 5: 1-2 is considered Minor, 4-5 is considered Major. Therefore, a Character will have 2 Major Ways, 2 Minor Ways and an average one. This makes it possible to roughly determine the way he thinks, his emotional tendencies, etc...
Additionally, there are five Faults, one for each Way: Passion (Combativeness), Subversion (Creativity), Influence (Empathy), Doubt (Reason), and Guilt (Conviction). The main aim of these characteristics is to give references for role-playing, but the Leader (GM) can ask a Player to make a Test roll in one of his Character's Major Faults to see if his Fault gets the better of him in a heated situation.
Also, a Character chooses 1 Flaw and 1 Quality based on his Major or Minor Ways (a Major Way can imply both a Flaw and a Quality). As shown in the example below, a Major rating in Combativeness can result in an Optimistic behavior, but also an impulsive one.
Example for Combativeness:
- Major Rating: combative, optimistic, dynamic, brave, pugnacious, etc.
- Minor Rating: calm, phlegmatic, cool-headed, peaceful, etc.
- Major Rating: impulsive, presumptuous, prideful, stubborn, arrogant, boastful, etc.
- Minor Rating: pessimistic, spineless, sad, weak-willed, fearful, self-conscious, coward, etc.
- A Resolution System Based on a D10. When a resolution roll is required, the Player adds the Character's rating in the appropriate skill + his rating in the associated Way + 1d10, and must beat a given Threshold. The margin determines the quality of success or failure. There are critical successes and failures as well. This resolution system is used for every aspect of the game, from fighting to using skills and calling upon mystical powers.
- Quick and Violent Combats. Combat is clearly deadly. Fighting attitudes have been designed to define how the Character fights. Moreover, the amount of Health Points defined at the creation of the PC (which is most of the time the same for every Character) does not increase as the PC improves in the various skill fields. The basic principle is that the human body is fragile: for example, close combat remains dangerous, no matter how good a PC is in a given domain.
- A Complete Sanity System. Dying is not the only danger that threatens the PCs: their psyche can be sorely tested, and they can even sink into madness. This is an important aspect of the game: where the combat system has been summed up in only three pages, the sanity system plays a much more important part and provides several tools to embody a psychically unstable PC. From the creation of his Character, the Player chooses a latent pathology for him, which may come to light if mental traumas become too heavy.
- Three Types of "Magic". Although Shadows of Esteren is defined as a low-fantasy universe, supernatural elements still exist. Magical powers are meant to be most often rare, but powerful, and their use is never without consequences. The game system details the Demorthèn arts (druidic/animistic tradition); the Miracles of the Temple, granted by the One God to the Elect; and Magience, a science using “Flux”, a fuel harvested from nature.
The illustrations and the visual atmosphere of Shadows of Esteren are a very important aspect of the project. We have wished for the illustrations to bring a meaningful support to the imagination of the Leaders and Players, once more with the objective of optimizing the mood during the sessions.
Here are a few samples:
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
After two successful Kickstarter campaigns (one for Book 0 – Prologue and one for Book 1 – Universe), we are aware of logistics-related difficulties, but also of how tricky it can be to propose stretch goals that end up hampering the whole process... For this new campaign, we are confident that we will be able to realize the content announced in the pledges in due time. For this campaign, we are not taking chances. Our challenge is more in improving all the technical and logistical aspects, particularly to respect the delivery date.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.