**A 45-page preview doc can be downloaded at RPGnow.com or DriveThruRPG.com. Take a gander, if you're so inclined.**
Even when the campaign's over, the show's just getting started! I will happily consider archetype and class inclusion for a section of Strange Magic 2 up until that section enters production. Once the campaign ends, Herbalism locks down, then Cartomancy in 6 months or so, and Onmyodo next year. Simply e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get the ball rolling. Your contribution counts toward stretch goals.
Hi there! I'm Bradley Crouch, owner and operator of Interjection Games. Back in 2014, I kickstarted Strange Magic, and, after a year of work, it was punted out into the wild to see how it'd do. Featuring a rebuilt truenamer, modular musical composition, and cosmic warlockery by the name of ethermagic, my virgin Kickstarter offering became the top-rated crunch book of 2015. Interjection Games is here to stay thanks to the generous contributions of that first round of Kickstarter backers, and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
As I've always advocated voting with the wallet, and as my fanbase simply wouldn't let me get away with a small Kickstarter, here we are again. It's time for the sequel!
Strange Magic 2 seeks to continue the war on Vancian magic that Strange Magic 1 started, featuring three more new or totally rebuilt magic systems for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game with translated versions for the 5th edition of Gary Gygax's baby: herbalism, cartomancy, and onmyōdo. Each magic system in this 245+-page* tome has been designed to fill a gap that classic Vancian magic simply cannot address (and believe me, there are lots of such holes), creating new and balanced play experiences that feel nothing like standard spellcasting. Each class, archetype, and prestige class in Strange Magic 2 includes a full iconic character writeup for Game Masters, making each magic system's insertion into a campaign world as easy as a cut-and-paste affair.
(*~110 pages content previously released in PDF format, ~110 pages new crunch content, 24+ pages NPC codex, more content from stretch rewards and high-level backers; counts are for the Pathfinder version. Strange Magic 2 for 5e will be shorter because the game engine is simpler.)
- 3 systems of magic unlike anything else compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: herbalism (druidic chaos magic), cartomancy (deckbuilding spellcasting), and onmyōdo (a combination of pets, talisman magic, and petitioning the spirit realm for aid)
- Character art for each class, archetype, and prestige class by Miguel Santos, and genuine watercolors (Shinhan watercolor and gauche on Arches watercolor block) by my dear mother, Vera Crouch
- Gorgeous two-page watercolor spreads for each system's introduction in the final product
- Over 300 petitions, talismans, herbs, recipes, seals, and portents 6 base classes: cartomancer, conservationist* herbalist, huckster*, onmyōji, and spiritblade*
- 18+ archetypes (or class kits for 5e), with a minimum of three for each class, including: deathdealer, disciple of the lucky god, flowerchild, and grinning fox.
- NPC writeups for all classes, archetypes, and prestige classes - Strange Magic 2 is a stealth NPC codex!
(*Name is subject to change.)
- A "puppetmaster" onmyodo class
- A recipe-centric chef herbalist class (PFRPG only; 5e herbalism will not have recipes to keep it simple)
- An as-yet undefined cartomancy archetype
Unlocked Stretch Goals!
- A chapter of prestige classes
Strange Magic 2 is two books, each with three subsystems. I expect to release a book containing an individual subsystem once every three months, alternating between the Pathfinder and D&D 5e versions, until everything's ready to be compiled. My expected pacing is as follows:
- Ultimate Herbalism (PFRPG) - November/December 2016
- Ultimate Herbalism (5e) - February/March 2017
- Ultimate Cartomancy (PFRPG) - May/June 2017
- Ultimate Cartomancy (5e) - August/September 2017
- Ultimate Onmyōdo (PFRPG) - November/December 2017
- Ultimate Onmyōdo (5e) - February/March 2018
- Strange Magic 2 (PFRPG) - May/June 2018
- Strange Magic 2 (5e) - August/September 2018
Hard Copy Fulfillment
Printing of Strange Magic 2 will be done by Lightning Source, which has presses in Tennessee and England. With the Brexit in full swing, I don't know how EU friendly the English press will be, but it'll certainly be better than paying to ship across the Atlantic.
In order to keep costs down, purchasing of the actual hard copy will be an option given to you once the book is complete. I won't be taking money for the hard copy up front, as that'd basically mean I have to overcharge you to account for shipping, the book growing over the course of this campaign, and the 8% Amazon and Kickstarter would take on the money from the first two bits.
$1 - Thanks for the vote of confidence! Your name goes in the back of the book, and you can snap up addons.
$25 - As $1, but also pick 5e or PFRPG. You get all .PDF releases corresponding to your chosen system, and can buy a hard copy of the final product at cost. In addition, you get all previously-released herbalism, cartomancy, and onmyodo products, listed below, as soon as your payment clears. All previously-released products are PFRPG, but will be given to everyone at this level just because.
$40 - As $25, but you get the 5e stuff and the PFRPG stuff.
The Fluff: Fate is the both the lawmaker and the policeman of the universe. Responsible for developing simplifying assumptions about each individual under its jurisdiction, Fate defines the beginning, middle, and end of the existence of everything simply because it allows the universe to be more efficient as a whole. Still, in order to maintain this efficiency, Fate has forced itself to be exceptionally literal and open to... creative interpretation. A select few take the concept of confidence artist and point the con at the universe itself. Their favored word? "Technically..." Their favorite expression? A disarming smile. Their name? Cartomancers.
Masters of reading into the web that Fate has woven and pulling out dozens of possible scenarios that technically fulfill its requirements, cartomancers are both wise, for they must know how Fate works, as well as charismatic, for they must be able to get away with the half-lies that they spout. Cartomancers walk the razor's edge, constantly prodding at and manipulating Fate, forcing the cards to fall the way they wish. Does Fate respond? All the time. Cartomancers are used to the backlash, and some of their colleagues have fallen to Fate's particularly vindictive mood swings; most cartomancers simply smile and explain that it's all part of the rush. Half the fun of a con is the chance of getting caught.
The System: Each day, cartomancers build an active deck of spells, or portents, from a collection of cards. There's no collection aspect to this system. Instead, a cartomancer has many more cards than she can put into a deck and must choose which deserve to he in her repertoire for the day. Based on the concept of breaking luck and effectively rigging the game, the cartomancer's greatest enemy is the luck of the draw. As her hand of cards defines how she can manipulate fate, sometimes she has precisely what is needed to turn a fight her way - more often she doesn't. To get around the whiles of fate, adept cartomancers know a number of seals, or abilities that elicit a specific effect when fed a card. In this way, a cartomancer always has access to several specific tricks, even if her hand says otherwise.
Featured New Content for Strange Magic 2: Cartomancy is fairly hard to expand, for there's only so many ways a class can be built around building decks with the same cards. Given this, the cartomancer will receive a second deck of cards themed around the fact that death is the end fate for all things. Any cartomancy class will be able to choose to take the classic deck, or the new "deathdealer" deck, at 1st level.
The Fluff: While some individuals, the druids and rangers of the world, learn to coexist and be one with nature, other individuals, the alchemists of the world, learn to harness nature and force it to do their bidding. The herbalists of the world take a path between these two extremes. Herbalists see the natural world as a tool to be revered, a cornucopia of plenty that needs to be properly exercised to extract full benefit from it. From the smallest shelf mushroom to the greatest of flora, the herbalist knows the inner secrets of all things that grow upon this earth.
The System: Designed to play as an assassin / rogue / chaos druid, the herbalist uses the plants around her as a substitute for spells per day. As such, she is dependant upon her surroundings as a means of power acquisition. That is to say, if she is in the forest, the plants she can acquire are vastly different from those in the desert. Each biome (desert, forest, grasslands, jungle, mountains, tundra, underground, underwater, and wetlands) has been carefully balanced to provide healing, support, offensive, and defensive capabilities regardless of where the herbalist is, and a recipe system allows for the combination of plants into advanced products.
Featured New Content for Strange Magic 2: Biomes have always felt a little one-dimensional. You're in a desert, so you randomly roll to pick from this list of plants. While the limiter on pure RNG is necessary, it can get a bit dull in a campaign that doesn't travel the world. Further, it stands to reason that the echoes of a demonic invasion, a graveyard, an oasis, a village, or other such features within a biome would influence the herbs that can be found in an area. In Strange Magic 2, herbalism gains the sub-biome feature, an optional layer of complexity that partially alters the herbs an herbalism class can find based on special landmarks within a biome. Ten sub-biomes, each with four new herbs, are already ready to go to fill this feature out.
The Fluff: The onmyōji is a practitioner of onmyōdō, which is best described to the western layman as a sort of occult druidism with a focus on communication with spirits, whose advice and protection provides powerful abjuration and divination abilities. An adept onmyōji is in touch with the natural world, as well as the spirits that tend to it. Historically, onmyōji were retained by rulers and other decision makers to help ensure that all festivals and other holidays fell on lucky days, as well as in an advisory role regarding policy. Some onmyōji differentiated further, becoming ritualistic healers, as well. The kami are the onmyōji's lifelong allies. Some, he venerates as gods, while he may bind other, lesser spirits to his direct service as shikigami. The spirits of the land can be petitioned directly, or their powers channeled through mystical talismans: o-fuda and omamori. Without these spirits, the onmyōji is nothing in a fight, but without the onmyōji, the spirits have no mortal herald to call their own.
The System: Interjection Games' onmyōdo is a tripartate system.
1: Talismans - Talisman magic comes in two main categories, o-fuda and omamori. Usually used to bring good luck and ward off specific evils, omamori ward people and o-fuda ward places. This translates to gaming by making omamori single-target talismans that go on creatures, and o-fuda talismans affect a radius. Unlike most magic, talismans allow no saving throws for any of their effects. Instead, the only way to stop a talisman is to beat on it until it breaks (or to wait until the magic runs out).
2: Petitions - Petition magic is the simplest component of onmyōdo. In essence, a character has a point pool and spends those points to ask the spirits to do something for him. This basically boils down to spell point casting with a unique, mythology-drenched spellbook.
3: Shikigami - The shikigami is a kami that has been bound to service in an origami shell. It acts as a familiar, but it can also deliver talismans given to it and cast petitions using its very own point pool, thereby making a shikigami class a tag team caster.
Featured New Content for Strange Magic 2: The three subsystems of onmyōdo can exist on their own, but become more powerful as the others are added in. This gives the system an unparalleled amount of flexibility, as new base classes can be made by taking one of the three away and replacing it with something new. A talisman/petition martial class with no pets? Sure, no problem. A dual pet petitioner with no talismans? I could make it balanced. This enormous expandability is why onmyōdo is getting updated last: I want the most time to think about it because it's probably going to be the runaway star of Strange Magic 2.
+$12 - Add a .PDF copy of The Big Book of Bloodlines (Pathfinder only; sorry!) You also have the option to order a hard copy from DriveThruRPG/RPGnow at cost, or roughly another $10 + shipping.
+$20 - Add a .PDF copy of Strange Magic 1 (Pathfinder only; sorry!). You also have the option to order a hard copy from DriveThruRPG/RPGnow at cost, or roughly another $14 + shipping.
+$75 - Add an archetype or prestige class to Strange Magic 2.
For those with Strange Magic 1, the posterchild of this funding level is the etherfuser archetype, which built a secondary pool system that allowed an infinite spellcasting class to get access to healing. Very cool stuff.
+$225 - Add an entire class or subsystem to Strange Magic 2. Is there this insane thing you'd like to see layered onto what already exists in the book? Here's how you get it.
For those with Strange Magic 1, the best example of a new subsystem is the breakdancer base class, which took freeform composition and added a rhythm engine to power maneuvers by getting down with your own music. Once it was finished, musical composition never looked the same again.
$5000 - At this level of funding, Strange Magic 2 will include a chapter of prestige classes. Now, I know we all hate prestige classes because of how 3.5 did things, but let's just add the following rule to the mix: "A creature may only have one prestige class at a time. Prestige classes at their maximum level do not count toward this limit." That fixes most of it, yes?
$6000 - At this level of funding, reviewer Endzeitgeist will be retained as an editor on the final product, and will also contribute a "dark onmyōji" base class to the onmyōdo portion of the project. As is usual for projects to which Endzeitgeist contributes, he'll still (probably) review the thing because his voice is more or less the only big one in the 3pp space, but won't assign a star rating to it.
$7000 - Who hasn't wanted to play as a piece of hovering origami paper? At this level of funding, rules will be penned for unfettered shikigamis, onmyoji spirit-servitors that have found ways to be rid of their masters.
$8000 - At this level, a series of feats with their own unique cards will be added to cartomancy. These cards will not interact with the main deckbuilding engine you build, but rather exist as their own minigame that any sufficiently-wise character can grab. This third deck of cards will be made available for purchase from the printers.
Risks and challenges
I've delivered two Kickstarted hardcovers in the past, and, while both were late, both were the sort of products I could be proud of in the end. This time around, I'm giving myself significantly more time to work and have taken care to scoop up large quantities of art before launching the project because that has been my traditional sticking point when it comes to the schedule. All character art (black and white samples above) will be supplied by Miguel Santos, who has shown an ability to make good art faster than any man should ever be able to. As such, I think the art problem won't happen this time!
The only way this book could get cancelled is some flavor of spontaneous existence failure on my part, and any budgetary crisis that may or may not arise can be defeated simply by diverting attention to a project that produces income now, thereby providing a monetary buffer that allows me to get back on the horse. This said, Interjection Games is growing like crazy without a single salaried employee under its banner, so I don't see going broke being a thing.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)