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What if I was the lead designer of the next edition of the world's greatest RPG? I'd end up with Saga of the Splintered Realm.
What if I was the lead designer of the next edition of the world's greatest RPG? I'd end up with Saga of the Splintered Realm.
99 backers pledged $3,438 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Contributors!

I’m excited by the people who have agreed to contribute to this project! So far, I have confirmed:

  • Erik of Tenkar’s Tavern will contribute a bonus level to the Vault of the Goblin.
  • Kevin Chenevert of Red Kobold fame will contribute art, and has also agreed to contribute some of his incredible blue dungeon tiles to the boxed sets!

 More contributors to come!

It started with a simple enough proposition. Imagine for a moment that you were tasked with acting as lead designer for the NEXT edition of the world’s greatest RPG system. What would you do? Where would you start?

For me, it’s the 1981 BX rules. For me, it’s by beginning with what the game’s grandfathers started with – a simple set of rules, a world to explore, and a mighty dungeon to delve. The game grew out of those three things, and if I was to develop the next edition, that’s where we’d have to go back to. 

However, this game would also need stellar art – not only on the cover, but throughout the book – by some fantastic artists. It would need to be carefully tested and edited. It would need to be clear, easy to learn, and intuitive. It would need to be polished. And, finally, it would need to belong to the community from which it came. 

The result of that is the project I present to you: Saga of the Splintered Realm. This funded project would create three books: 

  • Book 1: Core Rules. All of the fundamental rules needed to play the game. This is not a retro-clone. It is a modern re-imagining of classic rules. The goal is to retain the spirit of the original rules and key ‘classic’ game concepts, simplifying and re-organizing these for quicker play and unified mechanics. 
  •  Book 2: Campaign Setting. An overview of the Splintered Realm, the default game setting. This includes the campaign world, its major locales, unique creatures and spells, and unique game rules, including a fate game mechanic, and subclass options for each class. 
  • Book 3: Vault of the Goblin. The megadungeon that acts as the hub of much activity in the Splintered Realm. This is composed of three primary levels with dozens of sub-levels that interconnect. This book would also include an overview of the keep and surrounding countryside near the Vault. 

However, producing books is not enough. We also need to give this back to the community. This means that if this project funds: 

  • The books would go up as Pay What You Want on RPGNow, meaning that new players could get all of the rules and game materials at no charge (if they so desired).
  • The print editions would be locked in at $9.95 each, regardless of how high the page count goes! 
  • ALL game content would be released under either the OGL or an unrestricted Creative Commons License (as applicable). This means that you could re-use, re-purpose and re-mix these rules (for commercial purposes, if you wanted) with virtually no restriction (except for the existing restrictions of the OGL). 
  • ALL art and ALL maps (including those produced by professional artists) would go into the public domain – you would be able to use, re-use and re-publish the art with absolutely no restriction.
  • Your PDF reward includes digital copies not only of the game, but high-quality image files of every piece of art and every map, for you to use, re-use and re-publish as you want! 

Why Should I Back the KS? 

As a backer, you will get exclusive content IN EACH BOOK that is not part of the release that goes to the public after the KS ends. You will also have access to special perks that only backers will get, increasing as the campaign goes on. Finally, only KS backers will have access to the boxed sets; after the KS ends, the boxed sets (and all bonus materials) will go out of print. Thereafter, people will be able to purchase each book individually, although these will not be the limited edition copies with bonus material. 

Funding Goals: 

$1000. Funded! The game is a go. I will produce three 64+ page books, each 6”x9”. All of the artwork produced, and all of the maps created, go into the public domain, for you to use as you want. 

$2,000: GOAL MET! Each book expands to 80+ pages. We have an art budget! I will allocate 20% of the total KS funds raised to an art budget ($400+ at this stretch goal), using this as wisely as possible, to get as many high-quality pieces (some from classic OSR artists) as I can. 

$3,000: GOAL MET! Each book expands to 96+ pages. The art budget bumps to $600+. Each boxed set includes a poster map of the Splintered Realm on one side, the City of Nethil Bay on the other. 

$5,000 (LOCKED). Each book expands to 112+ pages. The art budget bumps to $1,000+. Each boxed set includes poster maps of the Vault of the Goblin. 

$7,500 (LOCKED). Each book expands to 128+ pages. The art budget bumps to $1,500+. Each boxed set includes a pad of character sheets. 

$10,000 (LOCKED). Each book expands to 144+ pages. The art budget bumps to $2,000+. Each boxed set includes a special surprise! 

Risks and challenges

This is a big project, and it's going to involve other people - those are factors that can lead to delays.

However, I've run two successful Kickstarters, and both have remained on schedule. This project is the largest in scope of the three, but I'm building in ample lead time to complete the project in a reasonable time frame. While I will be commissioning artists to do work, I'll also be able to give them as much as 6 months to complete work, which should be more than sufficient to keep things on schedule.

I've been publishing RPGs and comics for over 20 years, and have released over 50 different self-published works. I'm excited for this - the biggest project I've ever done!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Patron! You've made a toast before our sojourn into the Splintered Realm. Thanks for your kind thoughts and for your contribution to our foray. You will have access to all play test documents as they are released.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    You join us on the quest! You receive downloads of pdf and/or high quality image files of EVERYTHING created for this Kickstarter campaign. You will have access to all play test documents as they are released. Your name goes on a dedication page in the core rules.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    $50. Expert. You receive the Adventurer reward, and you receive a boxed set that includes all three books as well as any stretch goal rewards.

    Your boxed set includes a flash drive with all game materials (including versions in PDF and Microsoft Word so that you can cut and paste, re-format, or change the three books as desired; this flash drive also includes high-quality scans of all art and maps for you to use as you will).

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    SOJOURNER. You receive the adventurer reward, and a hardcover copy of the complete rules, including the full text from all three volumes in one tome. You will also get the flash drive and all stretch goals as a separate package.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Master. You receive the Expert reward as a limited, signed edition; you also receive one piece of signed original artwork from the core rules, as well as a new set of dice.

    (Note: professional commissioned images will be included first; commissions will be randomly distributed among backers at this level, if fewer commissions are completed than backers at this level. All others will receive art I create for the campaign).

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Funding period

- (30 days)