About this project
Rothaen is a dark pulp fantasy setting with a modern edge that is Dungeon World-compatible. The world is densely layered with story hooks that will allow groups to tell amazing tales and shape the world. With this project, we are creating The Realms of Rothaen 300-page core PDF and POD copy, a 50-page monster tome PDF that can grow to 100 pages by hitting the backer goal (see below), 30 fantasy audio tracks, and 40 awesome digital maps.
What Makes Rothaen special?
- The Rothaen Register. Groups can submit stories of their adventures to our free quarterly PDF The Rothaen Register. If chosen, your actions will become canon for future products.This means your group will get to shape the world's destiny.
- The world is written to place the spotlight on the heroes not the NPCs.
- The interwoven story threads allow GMs and players to create compelling stories.
- Diverse cultures that go beyond the standard Viking or Medieval European feel.
- No one major villain, but instead, a fully-developed world with nations that face many evils both large and small.
- It is compatible with Dungeon World, a great rules system for creating well-crafted adventures.
Principles of Rothaen
- Your group’s stories are center stage. There are no right or wrong stories in Rothaen. Think of any Rothaen book as the bones of a colossal ice titan. Your stories rest on their mighty frames like muscle, tissues, blood, and awesomeness.
- Maps are printed on paper, not carved in stone. You’ll find wonderful maps for Rothaen. Many show a vast area with cities, natural features, and unnatural locations all waiting to be explored, but remember, not everything is detailed out. Some regions are left empty for your group to flesh out as you explore. Ruins may be marked, but they are waiting for your group to map and fill them with adventure. Even if there is a map for the area you want to run in, feel free to change it around. Maps are made by mortal hands, they can have mistakes in them and become outdated quickly. In short, fill in the spaces as your group sees fit.
- Wheels within wheels Remember that everything in Rothaen is interconnected in some way. The merchants at the bazaars in Asi sell elk meat imported from Noden. Luxinvale, Scaldival, and Carthic are allies sworn to protect one another if war was to erupt. It’s important to think about the connections your story has. Use them to weave a more tightly layered story. If your group is plumbing the depths of an old castle, think about who was in the castle before it fell. Are their ancestors still with us? Does a cult call it home now? If so, are there any politically powerful people in that cult? Every connection can lead to more adventure and a deeper story.
- Work as a group After the GM is familiar with the setting, get together with your group and discuss the game. Together, decide on a starting area in which you’d like to begin your story; each area has its own flavor. During this first session, everyone should make characters. Jot down notes as they create their PCs, listening to their discussion, adding in your thoughts, and get a rough idea of what your first game will be. Start small, maybe clear out a goblin hole in the nearby forest, but put some leads in for future games. If you are the GM, make sure to take your players' ideas and work them into your game.
Nations of Rothaen
- Acum: Holy wardens of the Doomlands prison.
- Asi: Land of ancient gods and the cradle of humanity, oldest of the realms.
- Athix Empire: After losing a civil war and many of its lands, the crumbling empire of Athix looks to its young empress to forge a new path to glory.
- Ba’Les: Monotheistic government run by an order of holy warrior women.
- Blood Orc Territory: Blood orcs push north into Noden lands from the corrupted hellhole known as the Acid Flats.
- Carthic: Military democracy with compulsory armed forces service because of constant threat of attack from all sides.
- Chiatex: Outlaws, fortune seekers, and inventors look for a new life in Raider's Valley, all while the indigenous tribes try to hold onto their lands.
- Cixit: Jungle nation ruled by twisted cults who sacrifice the common people.
- Crysom: Giant insect-riding, xenophobic, cannibalistic head hunters.
- Daceana: Freed from the slavery of the Athix Empire, Daceana is the first sun elf nation in over four thousand years.
- Doomlands: Dreaded wasteland where the worst prisoners of all of Northern Iros are held.
- Findi: Merchant-bought land centered around trade and treachery.
- Helliean: Growing naval power corrupted by pirates and the slave trade.
- Icy Waste: Homeland of the ice dwarves and frost giant clans.
- Kahadal: Cursed lands of the Pharaoh Lich Amed-Ra.
- Kalla’De: Resource-rich lands under threat of invasion from the Pharaoh Lich Amed-Ra.
- Kivca: Eternal darkness blankets this nation that has accepted the undead as citizens.
- Kosar: Pirate island nation that deals in slaves and magical drugs.
- Luxinvale: Barbarian nation trying to move beyond its savage past.
- Malo: Magic-poisoned land where arcane spells can go horribly wrong and are outlawed.
- Molati Horde: Nomadic raiders living on the grassy plains and stealing wealth for fun and profit.
- Mortem Insulam: Unknown
- Noden: Collections of warrior clans who work together to repel outside forces.
- Orlamain: A kingdom of serpent people located in the Black Mud Swamp.
- Ritona: Nation of the eslia, a magic-blessed race concerned only with the pursuit of greater knowledge.
- Rusal: A zealot queen and her dark fey court torture oppressed peasants.
- Scaldival: Noble barbarians fighting to save their monster-infested lands
- Sibra: Three warring czars fight for the crown while witch covens try to protect the peasants caught in the middle.
- Taseki Empire: Once great nation suffering from a magical illness.
- Tutacamai: Known as the "Nation of a Million Gods," the people of Tutacamai believe that once they die, they become immortal. They may not be wrong, but what is the cost?
- Ulenvin: Mist-shrouded land where it's best to stay in at night.
- Victoire Republic: Former vassal state of the Athix Empire whose rebellious citizens stole many Athix ships during the civil war and used them to declare their independence.
- The Wilds: Huge expanse of untamed land where savage elves live lives of freedom and chaos.
- Wisgo: A dictatorship ruled by the Clockwork Queen.
- Xisho: Warring shoguns fight for the love of the Hidden Empress.
- Yulima: Heavily fortified city states trying to defend against the Molati Horde.
Rothaen Player Races
Humans dominate Rothaen, but they share the planet with several other humanoids who control vast swaths of land. Here are all the playable races in Rothaen. In some cases, such as mountain dwarves or sun elves, these races will have the same game mechanics that are presented in the Dungeon World core book.
- Mountain Dwarves (Craftsmen, Miners, Stubborn, Greedy)
- Ice Dwarves (Hunters, Blood Lust, Nomadic, Fierce Warriors)
- Dark Elves (Sinister, Unhinged, Power Hungry)
- Savage Elves (Uncivilized, Tribes, Hunters)
- Sun Elves (Magical, Arrogant, Cunning)
- Xi-Lu Elves (Integrated, Honor, Loyal)
- Eslia (Magical, Intelligent, Controlled)
- Gnomes (Inquisitive, Open-Minded, Forgetful)
- Halflings (Cunning, Quick, Sneaky)
- Humans (Driven, Diverse, Single-Minded)
- Rincrin (Oppressed, Towering, Passionate)
New Compendium Classes
When a character achieves the prerequisites of a compendium class, they can choose to adopt it and in turn have access to new moves from that class. Here are the Rothaen compendium classes.
- Arcane Inventor You don’t understand the Tech Purist; magic is a great power source. Sure, it can backfire and, well, go really wrong, but it’s all worth it. You mix magic and technology to create new enchanted gadgets.
- Necromancer With the eyes of the dead fixated on you, their master, you raise your magical ebony-spine staff, signaling an attack. You are darkness, decay, and death. You are a Necromancer. Your power is that of the death gods of Rothaen. They let you tap into the dark energy that surrounds all of creation as it tries desperately to flood in and snuff out all life.
- Pirate Nation Sea Dog You have felt the freedom of the oceans, the chaos of the tides, and the blessing of the sea gods. Your boat is your home, and you are loyal to the nation that pays you. You trade in rum, slaves, and stolen cargo.
- Master Mind You have true power in your thoughts that you can unleash on your enemies. Though your people look at you with fear and shame, you know the truth—magic is not the only power in Rothaen.
- Noden Warrior You are called "barbarian" by outsiders, but you are one with nature and the animal totems of your people. You pay homage to the spirits and fight to keep your customs alive in an ever-changing world.
- Black Marked Halfling You are a part of something bigger, one of the ten mob families of Rothaen. Kings, empresses, czars—they’ve got nothing on you. You and your family take what you want. You have the judges in your pocket and a list of vices your customers are into. You don’t play the game—your family created it.
- Xisho Samurai Honor—it’s the only thing that matters. You live by a code, and you will die by that code. Your shogun is the true leader of Xisho, and you will do as he commands.
- Tech Purists You know the score: magic is on its way out, the wizards just don’t know it yet. Sure, you might still swig a potion or appreciate a fireball when knee-deep in enemies, but times are changing. Steam and clockwork technologies will someday make magic obsolete. No longer will the wizards hold their power over the heads of the common man.
Dungeon World is a fantasy rules system where heroes explore ancient ruins and fight great evils. Players create characters together as a group talking about what they would like out of the adventure. Each class has a list of moves that players can make. Moves are actions that push the narrative forward in the game. The GM also has moves, but unlike the characters, they never say what moves they are making. The game has a classic fantasy feel mixed with modern game design.
Dungeon World is perfect for Rothaen in that it allows for awesome adventures while still being easy to jump into. The big change between Rothaen and Dungeon World is that Rothaen provides a ready made backdrop for your adventures and expands on some of the concepts put forward in Dungeon World.
In order to play Rothaen, you will need one person who has Dungeon World in some form. There is an SRD site that has all the necessary information to play, it can be found here: http://www.dungeonworldsrd.com/ But, you can also buy the PDF or a print copy, which I highly recommend, from here: http://www.dungeon-world.com/
Certain pledge levels will receive a coupon for a print-on-demand copy of The Realms of Rothaen Core Book at cost, shipping not included, once the book is ready for printing. It will be a 6"x 9", 300-page, black and white, hardcover book. Shipping cost will vary depending on your location.
There will be 30 ten-minute long background tracks created for locations around Rothaen that can be used with any fantasy setting. There will also be 10 additional audio stretch goals to unlock. Each track will come in both MP3 and FLAC formats.
Professional Golden Reel and Emmy-nominated sound designer Wes Otis brings you richly detailed audio for your tabletop games. They’re mixed to be played in the background, adding ambiance to your storytelling, LARP or board game without being a distraction. Wes has taken his 30 years of game mastering experience and 18 years of post production experience to craft each location. Over the past three years, he has created over 600 tracks for all genres. Plate Mail Games' professional audio tracks are the best background loops for your adventures. Combine them with our other tracks to score your entire campaign.
Bone Waste Sample
Blood Orc Battle Sample
The Rothaen Register is a free quarterly PDF where groups can submit their Rothaen gaming stories. If published, the actions in the story become part of Rothaen's canon and will be reflected in future products.
Rothaen has many horrible beasts and magical creatures which stalk its lands, and this tome is the GM's guide to them. The Rothaen Monster Tome features threats from all around the realms but can also be used in any Dungeon World game. When we fund, it will be a 50-page PDF, but through stretch goals, it will be expanded to a 100-page PDF.
Rothaen has 37 nations; it is truly a complete world. The map pack is a collection of 40 large digital maps that cover every nation and several adventure locations. The great thing is that the scale of the nation maps is meant to allow groups to create their own regions within them, like you are zooming into a smaller area. Yes, the map shows a town or forest, but when you zoom in, what does it look like? Make it work for your story.
The Realms of Rothaen is a team effort, much like a Rothaen adventure. Here is who will be working on this project.
Wes Otis started Plate Mail Games to bring professional audio, as well as the worlds he has been creating over the years, to tabletop gaming. A game master with more than 30 years of storytelling experience, Wes created Rothaen with a dark cinematic tone that mixes influences such as Rat Queens, Greyhawk, and Breaking Bad.
When he is not writing games or recording audio, Wes runs Black Bag, a Call of Cthulhu stream on the Saving Throw Show channel on Twitch. He also likes to play video games but has to wait until the kids are asleep to do so.
Hamish Cameron is a writer, game designer, and historian raised and trained for adventure in New Zealand and now venturing deep into the wilds of the infamous "New England". He is best known for The Sprawl (2016), a game of mission-based cyberpunk action, but he has been playing and running Dungeon World at conventions across New Zealand and the US since 2011 or so. He publishes RPGs as Ardens Ludere (http://www.ardens.org) and board games as part of Cheeky Mountain Parrot Games. You can find him tweeting merrily at @peregrinekiwi and @thesprawl_rpg.
Michelle Otis, a partner in Plate Mail Games, will be editing the content Wes and Hamish produce with an eagle eye. She is an English teacher with sixteen years under her belt and has done several projects as a freelance editor. She is also an accomplished musician who composes much of the music for PMG. Without her, PMG would not be as good as it is.
Jack Lawrence has been a freelance comics illustrator and writer since 2003, working on titles such as Darkham Vale; Lions, Tigers and Bears; A.T.O.M.; Doctor Who Adventures; 2000 AD; TMNT, and most recently IDW's Skylanders. He is also self-publishing his creator-owned title Tinpot Hobo which he writes, pencils, inks, colors, and letters. Being a tabletop fan, Jack is excited to be dipping his toes into the waters of gaming illustration.
With five previous Kickstarters, we have created a lot of audio tracks for RPGs. If you would like any of these packs, just add the pack amount to your base pledge. If you want all the past Kickstarter audio Rewards plus everything we've put out through 2016 back THE SONIC SORCERER pledge level. All products are digital and will be sent via DrivethruRPG.
- KS1 Complete 104 $78
- KS1 Fantasy Pack 30 $30
- KS1 Horror Pack 17 $17
- KS1 Sci-Fi & Modern Pack 23 $23
- KS1 General Pack 18 $18
- KS1 Historic Pack 15 $15
- KS2 Complete 415 $80
- KS2 Weapons & Spells Pack 96 $15
- KS2 Monsters & Traps Pack 241 $15
- KS2 Backgrounds & Music Pack 78 $75
- KS3 Complete 96 $75
- KS3 Fantasy Pack 20 $20
- KS3 Horror Pack 11 $11
- KS3 Sci-Fi & Modern Pack 15 $15
- KS3 Historic Pack 10 $10
- Cavern and Dungeon Background Loops 10 $10
- Fantasy Tension Tracks 10 $10
- Horror Tension Track Pack 10 $10
- Modern/Sci-Fi Tension Track Pack 10 $10
- KS4 Complete 189 $141
- KS4 Fantasy Pack 56 $56
- KS4 Sci-fi/Modern Pack 44 $44
- KS4 Horror 27 $27
- KS4 Any Genre 22 $22
- Fantasy Event Tracks 10 $10
- Modern/Sci-Fi Event Tracks 10 $10
- Horror Event Tracks 10 $10
- Orchestral Event Tracks 10 $10
- KS Arcane Now Audio Collection 40 $40 .
- 2013 Non-KS Background Loop Tracks 8 $8
- 2014/2015 Non-KS Background Loops 33 $33
Once we have funded, we will start unlocking stretch goals. There are audio stretch goals and book stretch goals. Check your pledge level to see which stretch goals you are eligible for.
200 Backers = 10 More Fantasy Audio Tracks.
250 Backers = 50 more Monster Tome Pages.
Risks and challenges
Plate Mail Games has been successfully doing Kickstarters for the past three years. I'm confident in my ability to deliver this project on time. If there are delays, I will notify backers quickly.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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