The Mad God's legacy continues to plague the Eternal City!
The Echo of Faith, a twisted spirit obsessed with atoning for her crime of deicide, plunges Anduria deeper into the darkness of the void. Her plans bring the unsuspecting citizens that much closer to the brink of annihilation.
Only a handful of souls are even aware of the coming darkness, and most of those cannot be trusted. The characters are all that stand between the city and utter ruin.
Having survived the mind bending energies of corrupt artifacts, the hungry predation of nightmarish creatures and the plans of sorcerers and devil worshipers, the characters stand on the cusp of understanding just how deep the crisis goes...
The continuing adventures begin to peel away the final layers to allow the players to see the bigger picture at play. All the hints and clues they have gathered so far begin to fit together.
"Sanitarium" (Adventure 4) details the fall from grace of the Healing Hands, an altruistic organisation that has been secretly harboring the divine corpse of the Mad God Aether. The acolytes are about to learn that the aphorism "The road to hell is paved with good intentions" holds truth, as their attempts to siphon off divine energies only accelerate the city's woes, and that deals with infernal organisations never end well - for anyone. The city will never be the same.
As the dust settles, the characters, armed with knowledge of an arcane ritual that might arrest the slide into madness, must uncover why the city has been bled dry of much needed silver. "Seeking Silver" (Adventure 5) sees the characters uncover the oppression of a nearby mining community at the hands of evil forces and amoral merchants, and the seemingly unconnected events that are actually derived from the same source as the city's troubles. They must confront a fallen ally and offer them one last chance at redemption...
Lamp in the Dark - At this backer level and above there will be a kickstarter exclusive encounter location - "The Cancer Pit" in PDF (no print option at this time). This location falls within the setting (and the City of Anduria), and can be integrated into the campaign (or not) if desired. This will not be available anywhere else, and will not be offered again. This gives everyone a chance to access something unique for backing the project.
Lanternbearer - The primary backer rewards for this kickstarter are three PDFs; the 4th and 5th adventures in the series, as well as a Campaign Guide expansion that includes advice on managing the evolving setting where character choices and actions initiate lasting change, and a series of 'side-treks' and encounters that help link the primary adventures and give greater depth and continuity to the story and setting. It also offers the exclusive encounter and access to achieved Stretch Goals.
Flamebearer - This is the 'catch up' pledge level for those that missed out on Kickstarter 1. Although the PDFs are for sale through DrivethruRPG, this pledge level offers them at a discounted price, and of course includes the exclusive encounter and access to achieved Stretch Goals.
Pyromaniac - One of the most exciting aspects of the project for me is opening up opportunities for backers to contribute and see their own creations come to life in the material. This pledge level allows for the creation of a hero or villain NPC that will play a significant role in Seeking Silver (Adventure 5). While submission guidelines do apply, you get the chance to craft and stat the NPC, which will have its own bust art in the module (to your specifications).
As with the initial kickstarter, all books, art and maps are in full color, with 'player' and 'print friendly' versions provided. The maps will also be VTT compatible.
Pledge levels do not include printing or shipping of print materials. Print materials will be offered through DrivethruRPGs '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 will be through DrivethruRPG, while any Stretch rewards will be managed by yours truly.
I learned with the last kickstarter that my desire to add the 'optional' material more or less eliminated the promised "stretch" goals. Despite not funding I included all the stretch material (and more) for free to all full backers. Any game content I conceive of is always going to be added to the main body of the work. It is just not in me to leave anything out that improves the project.
This time around I'm taking a more pragmatic approach. There will be stretch goals, but they will not be in the form of new campaign content. They will instead be based around genuine 'extras' - bookmarks, mouse pads and so forth. Those little physical items that make the kickstarter experience a bit more tangible. If we are wildly successful there might even be dice...
The current Stretch Goals;
$4000 AUD - Once we reach this level each eligible backer (Lanternbearer onward) will receive their choice of 4 physical bookmarks from a selection (to be finalized). Each bookmark will be high quality card, and will feature the Pyromaniac Press logo and full color art from the project. Bookmarks will be shipped at no cost. Additional bookmarks can be added for +$5 AUD per 4 (around $4 USD) as an add on. There will be a (minimal) shipping cost for additional bookmarks.
$5000 AUD - Once we reach this level we will unlock a mouse pad add on for purchase. The mouse pad will feature either Cthulhu or the Pyromaniac (our mascot) for $10 AUD (around $8 USD). Shipping costs will be extra.
$6000 AUD - Custom Pyromaniac Press dice will be unlocked as an add on for purchase. Designs and price yet to be finalized, but I estimate around $15 AUD (around $12 USD), plus shipping.
$10,000 AUD - If we reach this lofty goal I will send every eligible backer (Lanternbearer and above) a FREE set of customized Pyromaniac Press dice.
Most of the stretch goals will require a small additional charge for shipping, but as these are very lightweight objects (bookmarks, mouse pads and even dice) I'd expect this will only be a few dollars at most.
I spoke about the philosophy of Pyromaniac Press in the last kickstarter. Quality over quantity, and the promotion of print books at cost (no markups or margin for the privilege of print). What can you expect this time? The short answer is "More of the same, but better". We learned a lot in the first kickstarter, we want to bring that to the second in the form of improvements in quality and delivery.
We discovered a lot of great artists out there, and the project was better for it. Dean Spencer, Denny Ibnu, Justine Malcantento, Xavier Ribeiro and more. You'll see more from some of these great artists, and hopefully new artists as well.
The words 'critical acclaim' get thrown around fairly easily is writing circles, and unfortunately sometimes this is a reference to some kind words said on a random blog, or perhaps by colleagues or friends. We all tend to take 'critical acclaim' (and similarly 'best selling') claims with a healthy dose of skepticism.
In my case, however, I use the term with a semblance of credibility. All of the products from the first kickstarter have received strongly positive reader reviews, but they have also been critiqued by Endzeitgeist a respected and impartial critic who is widely held to be the most prolific reviewer of 3rd party Pathfinder and OSR material to date, with a continually expanding catalogue. He has more recently added 5th edition material to his reviews. He has no compunctions about disassembling material and spotlighting its flaws.
All five products (6 if you count the Player's Guide) were rated 4.5 stars or better (on a 5 star scale), with two - the Campaign Guide for pathfinder and From the Ashes (adventure 3) for both pathfinder/5th ed - receiving his personal recommendation.
This is a passion project for me - you will only ever get my best work. You don't have to simply take my word for it, you can read the reviews here.
Risks and challenges
I have a successful kickstarter under my belt, and the lessons learned from that will improve the quality of this kickstarter campaign.
The original kickstarter ran past its delivery date - well past - as a function of my lack of project management experience, the expanding nature of the content (which was ultimately 3 times greater in word count than promised) and delays with art. I can both admit to and learn from my mistakes.
This kickstarter has the benefit of that experience, with better forward planning, a more realistic delivery date and greater diversity in freelance contributors to ensure delays from one or two individuals will not unduly influence the project as a whole.
As the kickstarter commences Adventure 4 is complete in draft, awaiting playtesting, editing, art, layout and final PDF production. Adventure 5 has been outlined in detail, with the draft in progress, and the Campaign Guide expansion content is in various stages of development. As each book is completed it will be released, so the rewards should be staggered across the project delivery time.
There remain the usual risks from a small operation - I am the sole author, editor, layout and production person for Pyromaniac Press. Illness, injury, unexpected life events, world ending meteors etc... may affect the project.
I will take the usual reasonable precautions (multiple data backups) and as always I promise regular, open communication with backers. If you look at the previous Kickstarter (with 48 updates) you can see that I don't lack for things to say.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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