Iskloft is fully compatible with the fifth edition of the world's most popular roleplaying game, with thoroughly playtested and balanced new mechanics.
I and other GMs have run hundreds of games of Iskloft, and have created the setting slowly, and organically. It has been rigorously playtested to ensure that both the themes and mechanics gel wonderfully.
This book will contain detailed information on the world and its culture. Iskloft is a world rooted in our own Norse history, and is well researched over a great many years by players and GMs. Inside you'll find:
- Mythology, cosmology and how the world was made
- Information on the laws, traditions and customs of Iskloft
- Useful tables and tips on creating a genuine name in Old Norse
- A glossary of terms and a guide on pronouncing the authentically Norse names within.
- You'll get detailed information on some of the different Aettir, or cultures, that dwell in Iskloft.
- Each Aett will have information on the traditions of that place, as well as on some of the notable people from your Aettir. An Aettir replaces your race, for it is more than that. It is a culture, a history and a set of traditions. It will give you mechanical benefits, but also thematic ones, like bonus equipment, traditions and more.
- These Aettir also come with Hefðir, which are similar to feats based on your character's culture.
- Discover the harsh reavers of Iskolfinn from the frozen tundra to the North.
- Learn of the grand martial culture of Gunnland, a great and bountiful island.
- Join the unparalleled smiths of the Jarnaug, who revere the Allfather deeply.
- Stand with the proud farmers of Asblot, who inhabit the huge plains at the centre of Iskloft
- Or join the the strange and mystical people of Valiland, who openly accept witches into their holds.
You'll get ten new backgrounds for your characters, including personality traits, bonds, flaws and ideals.
- These backgrounds range from a lowly fisherman, to the apprentice smith, to the powerful huskarl.
- Discover the lifepath table, to tie you further into the setting. What have you done in your life? Did you raid the bountiful coast of Soderfjord? Did you once beat a famous jarl in a game of hnefatafl? Did you serve in a mercenary company, or fight in a war?
Iskloft has distinct kinds of magic, quite different to the way that magic works in normal D&D. As a spellcaster in Iskloft, you are one of very few. Spells and songs and curses are subtle, and require complex rituals. People fear, revere and revile you in equal measure. Here is a taster of what you can expect from magic in Iskloft.
- Songs of Odin: Odin tells of the eighteen songs he knows in Havamal, an ancient text. His spells that can do a variety of things from calming furious warriors, to speaking with the dead, to turning a curse back on the head of the curse-giver. These songs will be known by the Berserker and the Volva.
- Rune Magic: There are 24 runes in the alphabet of Iskloft, but each rune is more than just a letter. Each rune has diverse meanings, and the study and mastery of these runes leads to myriad uses, from breathing underwater, to ensuring a bountiful harvest, to controlling the flow of water. This will be the magic of the Galdr.
- Seith: Those who deal in Seith are curse-givers. To a seith-user, the other magics are parlour tricks. Tapping into the power of the world tree, of the cruel alfr, and of the monsters of the world, the magic of seith is profane, but powerful. Seith is the reason that people fear witches, the reason that myths of women dancing naked in the woods exist. Yet the use of such magic is not for a human form, and corruption will begin to fill your frail form. This is the magic of the Seithkona.
- Skaldic Songs: Not the grand songspells of Odin, the simple singing of songs is the domain of the Skald. With quick wit and vicious verse the Skald can inspire his allies, terrify allies, and guide the flow of the battle. This is the magic of the Singer.
No horned helmets to be found, but there will be a detailed section on equipment in this book.
- A detailed equipment section that fits the viking age. No shining platemail, but a heavy suit of ringmail and a stout, metal rimmed shield painted with protective runes will keep you safe on the field of battle just as well.
- Wear woad, sacred war paint, to turn blades away from you, and fight naked like the berserkers of ages past.
- New rules for helmets and shields. The shield was central to the viking way of war, and you'll find new mechanics for using them here, whether you're alone or in a shield-wall.
- Weapons break and rust, and inside you'll find new mechanics for the deterioration of equipment.
This book contains many new mechanics, including:
- Journeys in Iskloft are very dangerous. Inside you'll find new rules for travel through hazardous lands, be they deep dark forests, or frozen wastes.
- Countless ways to die! Life in Iskloft is harsh and unforgiving, and this book contains new conditions to help you paint a picture of this brutal land, without complicating the game. From snowblindness and frostbite, to infections and starvation, life is hard.
- Death lurks around every corner in Iskloft, and this is illustrated through the Brutal Wound system. A critical hit in Iskloft is much more than extra damage. Inside you'll find gruesome critical hit tables with agonising wounds based on hit location and weapon.
You'll find all of this and more inside this medium sized softcover. The book is planned to be around 100 pages, depending on the contributions we get. However, this book will be absolutely packed no matter what size it ends up being!
It's very important to me that the art in this book is both gorgeous and evocative. I've done a lot of searching and have found artists that I'm delighted to have involved in this project.
Dominik Mayer, who's work you can find here. Dominik is a German concept artist and illustrator working in Nuremberg. He's been working professionally for three years and has worked on several video and board games. His passion is to explore new universes, worlds full of unique atmospheres, fascinating stories and interesting designs.
I want to fill this book with beautiful and atmospheric art, and bring Iskloft to life, and with these artists on board I'm very excited to do so!
Iskloft will be fulfilled and printed by DriveThruRPG. Once the pledges are collected, there'll be survey in which you'll give shipping details.
DriveThruRPG will then print and ship the glorious book right to your door, so there will be no hassle with waiting for printers, or any shipping snafus.
Risks and challenges
Will you finish the book?
Definitely. The contents of the book are about 80% complete already. Once the Kickstarter funds, I'll hire a professional editor, pay for more art, and get to laying out the book proper. I have every confidence that the product will be finished on time.
Two main reasons.
1. Art. I want to fill this book with wonderful, lovely, evocative art, and that's not something I can afford to do on my own.
2. Editing. I want to hire a professional editor who is experienced in RPGs to ensure the product is the best it can be.
I will be partnering with DriveThruRPG for the delivery of both PDFs and physical copies of the book. DriveThruRPG deliver all over the world. Once the Kickstarter finishes and the funds are collected, a survey will be sent out to backers. You'll enter your chosen shipping address and email address, and when the book is done, it'll be delivered by DriveThruRPG right to your door.
- (33 days)