A chilling wind rises on the moor, blowing at the jagged granite tors and slowly moving the banks of thick grey fog covering the treacherous bogs. Over the last few months, aberrations and crazed animals have been coming out of the moor and harassing the local populous at much-beloved inn at an important rest stop along the Viscount’s primary trade route. Long ago a battle was fought against demons in the moors, scattering its peoples to the neighboring lands, a battle no one remembers.
Curse of the Lost Memories is the first volume of the Chronicles of the Celestial Chains adventure path. It's hard fantasy—a ruthless environment with successful villains, detailed political setting, and tough consequences for heroes’ mistakes. The player characters have memories that are seemingly not their own—visions of the past that don’t feel like visions, some lingering while others vanishing as if hiding from something dark. The external threat coming from the local moors is only part of the fight PCs find themselves in. This isn’t simply a mission for the local Viscount to clean out a moor of monsters. This is a war for their very identities. They must stand together or perish all.
The 100+ page adventure is campaign world agnostic, but with original locations and written for both Dungeons & Dragons 5E as well as the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game on each game's respective OGL. The module will take characters from level 1 to level 4 and brings them through four narrative acts of a story arc, yielding 10-15 sessions of play.
Curse of the Lost Memories is a uniquely DM-friendly module that encourages role-playing even when players don’t normally do so. The inhabitants of the land the PCs interact with have their own motivations for the DM to use or modify, every location mapped carefully to provide a rich background of detail that when the DM starts to wing it, he or she has a solid foundation. The encounters are challenging and impactful, and many will leave players with a sense of accomplishment and sense of heroic wonder that will linger with them until the next play session.
Curse of the Lost Memories and the campaign world is not an MMO on paper with a formulaic progression. It’s table-top RPG with 100+ pages of pure campaign role-playing goodness that walks the fine line of giving the DM directions to take the adventure to its conclusion and support when the adventure goes off the rails. We want to deliver you a high-quality product with encounter maps, area cartography, pre-generated PCs, interior artwork and well-tested encounters in a bold, engaging style.
Offered both as a hardcover and PDFs, Curse of the Lost Memories is the first mega-module in an adventure path, with later modules taking the PCs all the way to level 20+.
The adventure starts as PCs are tasked to explore the vast, wild moor north of an Inn that is an important trade outpost on the Viscounty road. The moor is set as a vast "sandbox" for PCs to explore without rails but guided by strange memories they seem to have of the place. As they learn about the story of the moor and the great battle that happened there a century ago, they will face again the threat that destroyed the wealthy barony that was then established over the moor.
The module includes a balanced mix of outdoors adventures and dungeon romps, all pivoted around the mystery of the Knights of the Moor and solving the PCs particularly confusing memories.
Encounters are a big part of any module, and Curse of the Lost Memories encounters are impactful and have weight. There are no fluffy-bunny frou-frou encounters of attrition to get the PCs experience points so they can challenge the Big Bad. Most encounters will leave players with a sense of accomplishment and sense of heroic wonder that will linger with them until the next play session. Every combat encounter has the capability of dropping heroes to the ground, and if the players don’t combine arms, death or TPK.
- Setting Agnostic: We want you to include our adventure in your current or favorite world setting. We are designing the module to have its own lore but ensuring that this lore stays local to the module so it fits easily in any campaign you’re running. We will also propose some context to the most popular settings.
- Hard Fantasy: We like to describe a fantasy world that is tough, violent and ruthless. A world that looks real yet fantastic. A world where villains sometimes win. A world where, unlike in video games, success is not guaranteed and is celebrated when it happens!
Strong NPCs: We like characters as much as we like settings! Building strong NPCs is a big part of our fun in building RPG adventures. We pride ourselves with characters that are fully fleshed, with strong, complex personas and detailed motivations that not only explain their actions but guide DMs in improvising how they’d play the character. Villagers in the Crossroads see lots of travelers along the two roads, but when the PCs arrive it's obvious they are heroes and are treated as such unless proven otherwise. PCs are given reasons to care about the NPCs, not told to care. Rather than being rootless vagabonds or monster murdering hobos, the PCs are given the opportunity to really make a difference in people's lives.
- Book Mechanics: Well bookmarked PDFs. Quality hardcover book printed in color on thick paper you can write on. Module text dedicated to describing dynamic monsters and NPCs that could change tactics based on their overall motives and PC actions. Good stat blocks that are easy to read. Clear maps that can be used in a Virtual Table Top (VTT) program by having the map key in the module text rather than on the map.
Christophe Herrbach - Lead Designer
Anthony Pacheco (https://anthony-pacheco.com) - Lead Designer
Anna Meyer (http://ghmaps.net) - Cartographer Extraordinaire
Tad Davis - (https://arsphantasia.wordpress.com/) Maps and Dungeons Czar
Kate Strawbridge (https://www.dwelldesignpress.com) - Graphic Designer
Glenn Anderson - Testing and Honest-Tough-Feedback team
Without you, bringing the vision we have for this product would be tough. We have completed the storyboard and adventure outline, commissioned magnificent art pieces, and have designed and written encounters. Currently, we're working on the outline in the next book in the adventure path and making sure we’re not going to trip over ourselves with plot, setting and NPC advancement. We've stopped typing at the 30% mark, waiting to see our goal of a successfully funded campaign.
During the campaign we will:
- Furnish weekly updates (sometimes more than weekly!)
- Answer questions in the comments section
- Create and maintain the FAQ
- Periodic content reveals
- Release video updates
- Create a Discord chat channel for Backers
- Keep an open mind about suggestions
Region Cartography by Anna Meyer!
Awesome cartographer Anna Meyer of Greyhawk Maps (ghmaps.net) and Midgard fame will craft a full map of the Wailmoor where most of the action of Curse of the Lost Memories takes place. She will put together, per her usual standards, a professional grade map with awesome details. As part of the Map Folio tier of backing and should this goal be achieved, we will also offer a high-resolution, poster-sized digital version of the map!
More Maps by Cartographer and Artist Tad Davis
You can see Tad Davis's outstanding work with The Crossroads Village and The Tower. This goal greatly expands his expert and artistic exterior and interior cartography. Tad's pieces are fantastic, and this Stretch Goal will add that awesomeness to an already great offering. This includes the Inn, the Manor, the Stable, the Village of Harendale, and the Village of Grasden.
Kicked into High Gear Interior Design and Artwork Reaching this funding goal, we will be able to step up our interior design with an experienced professional design team and produce a deliverable that will compare or surpass current comparable products in quality (design, layout, content). This includes commissioned interior artwork and cartography--knock your socks off type stuff. We are looking forward to seeing that kind of finish on the campaign!
Cover Art by Oliver Wetter
Professional artist Oliver Wetter will produce an original cover for Curse of the Lost Memories. We are totally psyched at the idea of our content being enriched with Oliver’s amazing art and visionary character-driven, yet background detailed style. Oliver is a veteran and pioneer of the illustration industry, his portfolio can be viewed at https://fantasio.work/.
REACHED! $12000 (O_O)
Kingdom of Lothmar - Regional Campaign Setting Guide
While we will always aim at making it super friendly and easy for DMs to plug our modules and campaign into their existing world, we think we are putting together a pretty fun, hard-fantasy setting that has tons of potential for original and long-lasting adventures. The Kingdom of Lothmar Setting Guide (PDF) will describe lands beyond the Wailmoor, the Viscounty of Kandra, the Barony of Hardred and the different political and religious factions that tie this world together. As we hope to launch many more successful Kickstarter campaigns for the next modules after Curse of the Lost Memories, this Campaign Setting Guide will become a great tool and companion for DMs who will take on running the whole story arc across the adventure path! The Setting guide will include cartography from Anna Meyer and should be no shorter than the actual initial book (100+ pages).
Tales of the Celestial Chains
Speculative fiction author Anthony Pacheco (https://anthony-pacheco.com) will craft a 100% original novel based in the setting of Curse of the Lost Memories, that aims to be a huge source of fun and inspirations for players and DMs alike who will join the ride with us of the long term campaign achievement. We are hoping that this novel will be the perfect companion to our Campaign Setting guide! Available in PDF and Kindle. Hardcover as part of the physical book tiers and available separately to other backers.
Risks and challenges
While this is our first Kickstarter campaign as a new gaming company, we are no strangers to the publishing business and have launched and produced documents, books and novels in a professional context. We're confident that, if funded, we will deliver our first module right on time. After all, we're in this for the long run and will start working on building the second chapter of the campaign as soon we launch this first one!
We've noticed several RPG campaigns that have run into trouble with freelance talent going offline. We've done work to mitigate that possibility on our end--we've established relationships and commissioned some pieces ahead of the Kickstarter. We also have previous publishing experience prior to Griffon Lore Games, and have narrowed our talent pool to solid deliverers of awesomeness.
Our largest risk is schedule because we need both Pathfinder and 5E play tested. That's a lot of play testing, and we could get feedback requiring us to change an encounter's design. Since we're really picky about our encounters, this could push us out if done one time too many. We don't anticipate that happening, but we've heard the community that they want better play testing of these RPG products and we're going to deliver. We believe our mitigation strategy of engaging our play-testers early and often is sound.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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