Even Gods can make mistakes, and when they do the consequences are much greater than mortals can begin to dream…
A thousand years ago, Aether - a young and ambitious demigod - journeyed to the edge of universe, to the extent of reality itself. There he found something. Something unknowable, unfathomable, uncaring, and overwhelming. Even Gods have their limits. Pushed past the point of sanity, he snapped, and fled screaming through the universe hopelessly seeking sanctuary from the torments in his consciousness. He disappeared to dark places, to hide, to endure, and - perhaps - to recover.
Three hundred years ago he emerged, and was profoundly changed. Driven by a psychotic obsession to unravel these dangerous secrets, Aether actively interfered in mortal affairs, established his own church, and recklessly forged a path to power by any and all means. He sought to forcibly usher in a new age of ‘enlightenment’ by opening a gateway to the source of his madness. His machinations brought civilisation to the very brink of extinction. Thwarted at the eleventh hour by a coalition of heroes and traitors within his own priesthood, he was struck down. The resulting damage was catastrophic. The pinnacle of civilisation – the Eternal City – was lashed by cataclysm, as cosmic energies were uncontrollably released. Thousands died in conflagration, or went insane as reality bent, shifted…and finally settled. In the aftermath of fire and ash, mortalkind endured. The city, and its people, slowly recovered, and generations rebuilt and moved on. The events passed into history, then story, then legend.
Three centuries later few details remain of that era, beyond deeply ingrained prejudices and faded scars. But the wheels of time turn and destiny cannot be stopped. Pacts were made, contracts were signed, and – inevitably - the consequences of Aether’s choices now come to a culmination. Once again, civilisation is threatened as shadowy forces seek to complete his works for their own ends…
What Lies Beyond Reason is an epic adventure designed to take characters from humble beginnings to renowned heroes. It explores themes of madness and obsession, of betrayal and consequence. It features epic locations, implacable enemies, and moral & ethical challenges. It offers players an opportunity to face unspeakable horrors in a high fantasy setting.
The Backer Rewards for this kickstarter are the prologue adventure "Difficult Circumstances" (around 50+ pages), and the adventure "Into Fear" (100+ pages) which is Part 1 of 3 intended parts to the full Adventure Path. The latter 2 parts will be released in the future either as KS campaigns, or straight to direct sale. The Stretch goals (if achieved) will add a third book of variable size.
All books and art are in full colour, though ‘printer-friendly’ versions will be available. In addition, all maps are provided in GM and player versions.
Pledge levels do not include shipping of print materials. Print materials will be offered through Drivethru RPGs 'on-demand' service, meaning that backers can choose the quality of their print materials at the price they determine. Printing and subsequent shipping will be at backer expense, but no margin has been added to the backer levels for this. Printing and shipping are 'at cost'.
The fulfillment of Backer rewards (and Stretch rewards) will be through Drivethru RPG
With the deadline looming, the stretch goals have been set.
Stretch 1 - $2500 AUD - A third book will be added to the project - the Campaign Guide - which will feature a detailed outline of the campaign setting that compliments the free Player's Guide, and contains advice on running the adventure path, optional rules for campaign elements & NPCs and making thematic alterations to personalise your campaign. This guide will be free to Torchbearer backer levels and above, in the ruleset selected at backing.
Stretch 2 - $3000 AUD - Russ Brown of Rusted Iron Games will contribute 5 new monsters to the Campaign Guide (in each ruleset), and will feature in upcoming adventure path products. I urge you to check out his work;
Stretch 3 - $3500 AUD - Richard Develyn of Four Dollar Dungeons will contribute a side-trek encounter to the Campaign Guide (in each ruleset). Again I urge you to check out his work;
Stretch 4 - $4000 AUD - I will contribute a side-trek encounter to the Campaign Guide (in each ruleset). I'd urge you to check out my work...but...well, you are looking at it. I do have a website;
For every $500 AUD I will add another side trek adventure. All these added adventures are designed to slot into the main story line and explore elements that are peripheral to the core journey but will add depth to the overall story.
There will be a section in the Campaign Guide advising where/how to inset and use these adventures.
The Stretch materials will be available for sale after the campaign closes, so if certain marks aren't hit all the material will still be made available (most likely in individual products to allow 'cherry picking' or 'set completion' without duplication). Of course, those of you pledging to the Torch Bearer backer level or higher will get all of the achieved Stretch material for free.
What can you expect?
The philosophy of Pyromaniac Press is to produce quality over quantity. We want to produce the kind of books that you want on your shelf, somewhere next to the professionals. That is why we are offering print 'at cost'. We're not charging you anything extra for the privilege of a tangible copy. We think that's the right of every gamer to have the 'feel' of their book in their hands. Will this work as a sustainable model? Time will tell, but for now, at least, the opportunity remains.
The books have backgrounds, borders and full colour art and maps. Here are some low res examples of what you can expect. These are the property of our artist - Dante Cifaldi - so please don't reproduce without permission. The art quality in the books is much higher.
Risks and challenges
Pyromaniac Press is in its infancy. It is a two man operation, and this is our first kickstarter, and our first product. So yes, there are risks. The usual ones associated with a small operation - illness, injury, failure of all three of my backups (yes i have three), angry wives, demanding children, world ending meteors...
However, the prologue adventure is complete, and in the proof stage as this kickstarter launches. The rest of the material is in various stages of production, but it is ALL in production.
I cannot possibly account for every eventuality, but I can promise regular, open communication. If anything does arise that threatens to delay or derail the project you will hear about it just after I do.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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