About this project
We teamed up with Wizards of the Coast to bring you Out of the Abyss and the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. Now Green Ronin wants to bring you a divine sourcebook for Fifth Edition like no other.
"As the editor and developer of the 1E Deities & Demigods, I'm pulling hard for your Book of the Righteous Kickstarter. I backed it, and I encourage every other dedicated 5E player to do the same!"
Return of a Classic
In 2002 Green Ronin published The Book of the Righteous, a massive tome for the Third Edition rules describing an entire pantheon of gods, as well as their churches, worshipers, and defenders. It was a big hit for us and became one of the most critically-acclaimed books of the d20 era. Now we are bringing it back for the Fifth Edition rules as a beautiful, full-color hardback book. Even better, the new rules material will be designed by Robert J. Schwalb, one of the designers of Fifth Edition!
Update #1: D&D Fifth Edition and Lords of Waterdeep designer Rodney Thompson has also joined the design team!
Update #2: There will now be a Fantasy Grounds version of The Book of the Righteous. There are three new tiers you can choose from covering this option. Fantasy Grounds is a virtual tabletop (VTT) app that lets you game online with your friends anywhere in the world. See below for more info.
Update #3: D&D Fifth Edition lead designer Jeremy Crawford is going to write a foreword for the new edition of The Book of the Righteous!
Update #4: We are fully funded and have unlocked our first stretch goal! The Book of the Righteous is happening!
So what is The Book of the Righteous? Simply put, one of the most comprehensive pantheons ever seen in roleplaying games. It presents more than 20 pick-up-and-play churches corresponding to gods that feature in most fantasy campaigns (god of war, god of justice, etc.). Each church features lavish detail, including in-depth information on its clerics, holy orders, dogma, prayers, and rituals. These churches can be used in any campaign to bring a whole new level of detail to the religious characters. Plus, for those who don’t have a complete cosmology in their setting, the Book of the Righteous provides a comprehensive mythology that unifies all of the gods in the book. That mythology, and its corresponding cosmology, is not tied to an existing campaign setting, making it as portable and useful as our long running Freeport series. If you want in-depth religions for your campaign, The Book of the Righteous is for you.
If you'd like to see a sample of The Book of the Righteous, you can read a complete chapter of the original book here. It details the church of Urian, the Sky King.
You can see a sample of the new design work here: the Beauty domain for 5E.
Praise for the Original Edition
"The Book of the Righteous is exactly what I wish the 3rd Edition Deities and Demigods had been. This book is a plug-and-play religion, usable in part or in whole, as needed, either exactly as is, or as an example of how to construct an elaborate pantheon complete with beliefs, practices, and myths."
Vincent Darlage, RPG Geek
"The Book of the Righteous scores such a strong success because of the way it holds itself together with intelligently constructed mythology and then stays intelligent with its presentation and the implementation of this mythology to players and GMs alike. Such attention to game detail includes making it “as worthwhile” for a PC cleric to follow the God of Roads as it is to follow the God of Secrets...I just could not help but be impressed by the Book of the Righteous."
Wyrdmaster, Geek Native
"Book of the Righteous is the classic pantheon product by Green Ronin. For me, and many others, this is the deity product that the Deities & Demigods should have been: a rich expose on the deities within, their lore, and details on their churches and followers. This makes Book of the Righteous one of the most compelling sources for Pantheons for fantasy RPG settings."
Alan K, RPGNow
The Book of the Righteous will be a full color hardback book featuring brand new art throughout. At the start of the campaign, the book is slated to be 256 pages but stretch goals can increase the page count!
Update: We've unlocked the first stretch goal, so the book will now be 272 pages!
Important Note: Shipping
We are going to be charging shipping separately next year when the books are ready. In our first batch of Kickstarters, we tried to keep it simple with just a few standard shipping costs but this proved a poor way to handle it. International shipping can be brutal and in too many cases we were paying much more to ship than we collected for it. So next year, about a month from shipping, we will assess and collect actual shipping costs (using Backerkit or something similar). The upside is that you don’t need to pay the full cost now; books now, shipping next year.
The Book of the Righteous will also be sold through distribution and into game stores after backers get their books. If you are concerned that shipping is going to be too expensive, be aware that the Kickstarter will not be the only way you can get the book. If you can get it from your local game store and save yourself a lot on shipping, that’s a totally reasonable decision to make. There is a special tier of the Kickstarter for retailers, so you can also talk to your local store and find out if they'll be bringing in books that way.
Fifth editions fans are no doubt curious about the design approach we're taking with The Book of the Righteous. Developer Rob Schwalb explains the design side of the project:
The richly detailed and evocative mythology presented in The Book of the Righteous could have been enough by itself, but the original book went above and beyond by expressing the narrative through the lens of the Third Edition game system, leveraging the various mechanical components to provide players and Game Masters with the tools to transform characters into true servants of the gods. The holy warrior class, prestige classes, new domains, magic items, and more gave players plenty of options for expressing their character’s religious devotion.
With the Fifth Edition update, my job is similar to what Aaron Loeb did during the initial design, chiefly to take the mythology and create the mechanics for the characters serving them. This won’t be a straight conversion, however. Fifth Edition places less emphasis on building-block mechanics to support the story-first approach, so it lacks many of the moving parts that were central to the older editions. Rather than force Third Edition back into Fifth, we’ve decided to make the existing game options do the work instead.
For example, the original sourcebook used prestige classes to describe one of the three orders serving each god. We entertained the idea of resurrecting prestige classes for the newest edition, but nature of class design in Fifth Edition largely renders prestige classes obsolete. Since each class has a built-in sub-class (ranger archetype, sorcerous origin, domain, pact, and so on), we can use that architecture to express service to a god without having to build an entirely new system. We simply find the class most closely linked to the prestige class concept and build a new subclass to express its features, giving the class an injection of divine power. Characters belonging to other classes who want to express their affiliation with the god can do so my using the multiclassing rules. In this way, we capture the concepts in the original and use existing frameworks to deliver them to characters.
Another key piece of mechanical design in the original book was the holy warrior class. This new class dismantled the paladin into domain abilities. In doing so, it was easy to build a paladin dedicated to a particular deity. Like prestige classes, we considered bringing the holy warrior forward with new design, but the Sacred Oath class feature has made this approach unnecessary. We can offer the same variation by creating new Sacred Oaths that reflect the gods’ interests and let the player choose.
In the end, my goal is to provide you with everything you need to incorporate all of Aaron’s great content into your games, but with the added benefit of having robust mechanics you can use for any pantheon you might use in your campaigns.
Our stretch goals for this project are about making the final book bigger and better. Basically, the more money the campaign raises, the more value you get in the finished book.
$30,000: We will add 16 pages to the book. New page count: 272. Unlocked!
$35,000: We will commission new cover art.
$40,000: We will add a poster with family tree of the gods to the book.
$45,000: We will add 16 pages to the book. New page count: 288.
$50,000: We will put a map of a cathedral of the Great Church on the other side of the poster.
$55,000: We will add 16 pages to the book. New page count: 304.
$60,000: We will create Hero Lab files for the book. Justiciars, Holy Warriors, and Unholy Warriors get them for free. Other tiers can purchase them as an add-on.
$65,000: We will add 16 pages to the book. New page count: 320.
Meet the Team
Here you can learn a little more about the people who will be bringing you The Book of the Righteous.
Aaron Loeb, Author
Aaron Loeb is an award winning game designer and playwright. He is the president of worldwide studios at Kabam, one of the world's leading mobile game companies. His videogame credits include Marvel: Contest of Champions, Simpsons: Tapped Out, Sims 3 and many more. His plays have been performed around the country and internationally, and include Ideation, and Abraham Lincoln's Big, Gay Dance Party. He is thrilled that Green Ronin is bringing back The Book of the Righteous, which was a true labor of love.
Robert J. Schwalb, Game Designer and Developer
Robert J. Schwalb is a writer, game designer, and game developer best known for his contributions to Dungeons & Dragons, A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying, and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. Robert launched his own imprint in 2014, Schwalb Entertainment. Shadow of the Demon Lord, his first game from his new company, took the world by storm in the Fall of 2015.
Rodney Thompson, Game Designer
Rodney Thompson is a 15-year veteran of tabletop roleplaying game and board game design. He was part of the core design team for the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons, and prior to that he was the lead designer for the Star Wars Roleplaying Game Saga Edition supplement product line. Before working at Wizards of the Coast, Rodney was a contract game designer for several publishers, including Green Ronin Publishing. His design credits include the Dungeons & Dragons Player's Handbook 5th Edition, the Star Wars Roleplaying Game Saga Edition, Lords of Waterdeep and its expansion, Scoundrels of Skullport, the 4th Edition Dark Sun Campaign Setting and Dark Sun Creature Catalog, Monster Vault, d20 Future, and for Green Ronin Publishing The Noble's Handbook, Dirge of the Damned, and Crisis in Freeport. Rodney currently works as a senior designer on the Destiny video game franchise at Bungie, Inc.
Chris Pramas, Publisher
Chris Pramas is an award-winning game designer, writer, and publisher. He is best known as the designer of the Dragon Age RPG and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, 2nd Edition, and as the founder and President of Green Ronin Publishing. Lately Chris has been collaborating with Wil Wheaton on the Geek & Sundry web series Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana, which he hopes will introduce many new people to roleplaying games. His most recent work is Dwarf Warfare from Osprey Publishing and the Fantasy AGE RPG from Green Ronin.
About Fantasy Grounds
Fantasy Grounds is virtual tabletop (VTT) software that allows gamers to play RPG games online or for use as an aid for running games at the tabletop. It features the most official licenses of any VTT available with support for popular games such as Dungeons & Dragons (R) fifth edition, Mutants & Masterminds and support for Open Gaming License content.
Risks and challenges
This is Green Ronin’s sixth Kickstarter. Four have been fulfilled and the fifth (the Blue Rose RPG) is on schedule for an August release. We’ve also been in business for 16 years and we know how to put together RPG books. There is no danger that Book of the Righteous won’t be finished and released.
The place we have sometimes struggled is lateness. Our first four Kickstarters were all completed later than we wanted for various reasons. With Blue Rose we simply decided to give ourselves more time to put it together and we will be following that model here. The promised delivery date is March of 2017 so that should give us the time we need. We always strive for quality first though. As we like to say, a late game is only late until it ships but a bad game is bad forever.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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