About this project
Epyllion is a tabletop roleplaying game (RPG) where you play dragons in a dragon-centric world. You are the sons and daughters of the Dragonlords, mighty rulers who need your help to investigate rumors, solve problems, and discover the truth of a growing evil in the land. Along with your fellow dragons, you and your clutchmates will protect Dragonia from the Darkness and discover the true value of friendship. While you play, you’ll explore what dragons do, building on what each of you adds to the story, and exploring the meaning of friendship for yourselves.
*Back the game, download a draft of the Playbooks and Move Sheets from our first update, and give the game a try!*
Epyllion is based on the Powered by the Apocalypse system used in Apocalypse World, Dungeon World, Monsterhearts, and more. It's a simple system; when your character takes an action that fits a move, roll two six-sided dice, add in a stat, and look back to the move for a result. On a 10+, the character finds success. On a 7-9, the character finds success, but with some kind of price tag attached. On a 6 or less, the Dragon Master (DM) says what happens next... and it probably won't be good for the young drake.
Epyllion produces Young Adult fiction like the Harry Potter or Percy Jackson series, making it fun for adults and ideal for families. And the Powered by the Apocalypse system gives Epyllion the strong, yet flexible base necessary to tell your very own dragon epics!
Dragonia is a vast continent, filled from shore to shore with draconic cities, strongholds, and holdings. The mega-continent and its western archipelago are surrounded by dangerous waters filled with kraken who can swallow an elder dragon whole.
The beating of wings echoes constantly throughout the tiered council chambers, as dragons come and go bearing news from far off provinces. The many Houses share power through the Council of Dragonia; no one House can rule Dragonia alone.
The Moons that grace the sky of Dragonia are culturally and magically important to all drakes; dragons have always had a strong relationship with their lunar guardians, reflected in Dragonia’s art and traditions. Moon Magic is only given to those who ask for the assistance of the great moons, but the moons are generous and kind to those who seek their power.
For all its grace and beauty, Dragonia is home to much Darkness. Thousands of years ago, Dragonia battled the Darkness in The War of Shadows. The drakes of Dragonia fought back, ultimately destroying its forces, but the great seer Flyreign prophesied that the Darkness would rise again. Most dismiss her prophecy, believing Dragonia to be safe--aside from the occasional corrupted creature--but those who listen closely know that the Darkness is growing...
Dragonia’s Great Houses are charged with caring for the land and maintaining the strongholds that have been built in honor of older, influential dragonkin. They also protect Dragonia from the Darkness, even though many now believe Flyreign’s prophecy to be nothing more than the dying ramblings of a wounded hero.
Each House has a particular role to play in Dragonia, and drakes raised within a particular House take their traditions seriously, even when they find themselves rebelling against their elders.
Every character in Epyllion has a virtue--an attribute they hope to see in their clutchmates--like Honor, Curiosity, or Ambition. Whenever you see another player's character exemplify your virtue, you'll hand them a friendship gem. It's a simple, effective, and fun way to reward each other for playing to the virtues.
Friendship gems are used in two key mechanics. To help or hinder another dragon, roll and add the number of their friendship gems that you have in front of you. Earning friendship gems from your clutchmates makes you more capable of helping them, and giving friendship gems out makes your clutchmates more capable of helping you.
The second key mechanic, and one of the most important systems in all of Epyllion, is Moon Magic. When you cast Moon Magic, you can do nearly anything you can imagine! But you'll have to return your friendship gems to the other players in order to get any bonus to the roll. Earning friendship gems is crucial to being able to perform Moon Magic and keep it under control.
Advancement in Epyllion is about growing older; when you earn enough experience, you actually go up in age! Your dragon physically matures, growing larger and more powerful. Other dragons will treat you with more respect and your relationship with the rest of Dragonia will change.
But perhaps most importantly, as your dragon ages in Epyllion, your connection to the moons becomes more refined and specialized. Young drakes have a connection to all five of the moons, but as a dragon ages, they lose their connection to the moons one at a time. Eventually, an elder dragon will only have a connection to a single moon, but that connection will be strong and powerful, enabling that dragon to perform incredible moon magic, without the help and support of friendship.
Epyllion is a distinctive RPG in that eventually, the story will end. When the dragon characters have aged all the way, their stories will come to a close, as they become either Mystics--enormous moonstone statues, issuing wisdom to younger dragons, but only in response to questions--or Ancients--ethereal and mute servants of the moons, obeying the will of the magic while wielding tremendous power.
The Encyclopedia Draconica is a record of Dragonia, an ancient set of tomes, scrolls, and inscriptions, all assembled into the ultimate repository of draconic knowledge. Its creatures, its history, its places, all are recorded in the Encyclopedia somewhere, for enterprising and curious dragons to find.
In addition to the core text of Epyllion, we've also funded the Encyclopedia Draconica. Each 2,000 word entry in the Encyclopedia reveals a different part of Dragonia, including a custom move that you and your group can add to the game.
Here are the first encyclopedia entries:
- Marissa Kelly's Heart of the Great Sage Tree: The Great Sage Tree has remained dormant since before the War of Shadow. Return the heart and save the fate of the wilds from the agents of Darkness.
- Mark Diaz Truman's The Kraken: Kraken are dangerous creatures large enough to swallow elder dragons whole. Navigate the perilous waters Dragonia and try to keep your head above water.
- Brendan Conway's Stellar Mirror: The dark mirror whose silvery light whispers riddles of doom and victory. Bring the stars down to the dragons and bask in their mysterious light.
We're offering the Encyclopedia Draconica as a PDF download to all $10+ backers. If you want to purchase a print copy (see Add-Ons below), add $20 to your pledge.
Have you ever needed to come up with a non-player character (NPC) on the fly, and had that blank moment? That's why we created the Epyllion NPC Dragon Deck. Every card in the deck has a character written by Marissa Kelly, illustrated by Jason Poole, and colored by Juan Ochoa, featuring a unique dragon's portrait, name, age, House, occupation, demeanor, desire, and available moons... everything a DM (Dragonmaster) needs to incorporate an NPC quickly into a session of Epyllion.
The following sample cards have been beautifully laid out by Sarah Richardson. If you pledge $50 or more, you'll get a pack of 20 such cards, each one ready to use in play. We'll provide print-and-play PDF copies to all $10+ backers, as well.
We’ve unlocked tons of cool stretch goals, thanks to our generous backers. Click "Unlocked!" to read more about each stretch goal:
UNLOCKED! $3,500: "Aging Ceremonies," an Encyclopedia Draconica entry by Stephanie Bryant
UNLOCKED! $5,000: The Elementalist, a playbook by Andre La Roche
UNLOCKED! $7,500: "The Quest for the Far Reaches Stronghold," an Encyclopedia Draconica entry by Emily Care Boss
UNLOCKED! $10,000: The Orphan, a playbook by Sarah Richardson
UNLOCKED! $12,000: "The Sky City That Fell," an Encyclopedia Draconica entry by Ajit George
UNLOCKED! $14,000: The Rebel, a playbook by Adam Koebel
UNLOCKED! $16,000: "The Umbra," an Encyclopedia Draconica entry by Whitney “Strix” Beltrán
UNLOCKED! $18,000: The Trickster, a playbook by Fred Hicks
UNLOCKED! $20,000: "House Kebros: Dangerous Redemption," an Encyclopedia Draconica entry by John Wick
UNLOCKED! $21,000: "The Moonbeam Festival," an Encyclopedia Draconica entry by Eloy LaSanta
UNLOCKED! $23,000: “The Tribulatory Reckoning of Fostr Softclaw,” An Encyclopedia Draconica entry by Jason Morningstar AND The Encyclopedia Draconica is now available in print as an add-on!
UNLOCKED! $25,000: Creative Commons, MOBI, and ePub!
UNLOCKED! $27,000: "Icons of Insight,” an Encylopedia Draconica entry by Cam Banks
UNLOCKED! $29,000: The Envoy, a playbook by Eddy Webb
UNLOCKED! $31,000: “House Tessith and the War of Shadow,” an Encylopedia Draconica entry by Kate Lytle Elsinger
UNLOCKED! $33,000: "Of Legends and Lore" an encyclopedia entry by Michelle Lyons-McFarland
UNLOCKED! $35,000: Epyllion will be available as a special edition, foil-stamped hardcover!
LOCKED $37,000: Jonathan Perrine will show us the world of the Secret Seekers in a new Encyclopedia Draconica entry called “Seekers of the Source!”
LOCKED $40,000: Epyllion and the Encyclopedia Draconia PDFs will be illustrated in full color!
If we can reach this stretch goal, we’ll bring vibrant, full color images to both PDFs, so that the dragons of Epyllion can live on forever as beautiful drakes!
Social Media Stretch Goals
The council of Dragonia has sent us a list of special tasks that will unlock more cards in the Dragon Deck. These new cards will be added to all the NPC Dragon Decks ($50+ backers) for free!
We've got a ton of great rewards. Domestic shipping is included, but international shipping is a bit extra: $7 to Canada and $12 anywhere else.
RAW-SCALED DRAKE ($10): You get a PDF copy of the Epyllion book and the Encyclopedia Draconica, as well as any PDF stretch goals we unlock.
WINGED DRAKE ($25): You get everything at the "RAW-SCALED DRAKE" level and a softcover copy of the 6"x9" Epyllion book.
LONG-TOOTHED DRAGON ($50): You get everything at the "WINGED DRAKE" level, a full set of 60 Friendship Gems (10 each of 6 different colors), a pair of dice with the Epyllion insignia (your choice of color), and the NPC dragon deck.
MERCHANT DRAGON ($50): This reward tier is for retailers only. You get everything at the "WINGED DRAKE" level, plus 3 additional copies of the book to sell at your store. If you'd like to order additional copies for retail sale, you can purchase them through Backerkit.
BEARDED DRAGON ($75): You get everything in the "LONG-TOOTHED DRAGON" level and Marissa will draw a custom location on the map.
ELDER DRAGON ($100): You get everything in the "BEARDED DRAGON" level and Marissa will draw a custom location on the map, complete with a custom move for you to use at your table!
FULL CLUTCH ($150): This reward tier is for those who want to supply their whole Clutch with everything they need to play the game. You get everything in the "WINGED DRAKE" level, 5 copies of the softcover Epyllion book, a full set of 60 Friendship Gems, the NPC dragon deck, a laminated map of Dragonia, and the full set of Epyllion dice (all colors). In addition, Marissa will draw a custom location on the map, complete with a custom move and a custom letter written to your clutch of dragons from the Council, giving them a mission along with a custom move for their task.
MYSTIC ($250): You get everything in the "ELDER DRAGON" level, a handmade, 8" tall (with a 1-foot wingspan), custom plush dragon (your choice of color), and you'll get to add your dragon's name and quote to the Encyclopedia Draconica, immortalizing your dragon's wisdom. International shipping is a bit extra: $10 to Canada and $15 anywhere else.
ANCIENT ($500): You get everything in the "MYSTIC DRAGON" level. You'll also get to supply us with ideas for an Encyclopedia Draconica entry that we'll write, complete with a custom move. Your version of Dragonia will live on forever as part of the Encyclopedia Draconica! International shipping is a bit extra: $10 to Canada and $15 anywhere else.
Add-ons are for adding some extra goodies to your order. To add one of the following to your order, increase your pledge by the appropriate amount. After the Kickstarter is over, you'll select exactly what add-ons you want using Backerkit.
Additional Dice Set ($5 ea.): $50+ backers can add an additional set of dice to their pledge for $5 each. You'll get to pick the color of your additional sets. For $25 you can complete your collection with all six custom Epyllion Dice! No additional shipping.
Encyclopedia Draconica ($20): $25+ backers can add softcover copies of the 6"x9" Encyclopedia Draconica book for $20 each. Domestic shipping is included, but international shipping is a bit extra: $7 to Canada and $12 anywhere else.
Special Edition Hardcover Upgrade ($25): $25+ backers can upgrade their softcover copy to a hardcover copy for $25. No additional shipping!
Special Edition Hardcover ($50): $25+ backers can add an additional hardcover copy for $50 each. No additional shipping.
Epyllion was inspired by such awesome works as Spyro the Dragon, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, and Lord of the Rings. It draws heavily from the aforementioned Powered by the Apocalypse games, like Apocalypse World, Monsterhearts, Dungeon World, and more.
Ultimately, Epyllion wouldn’t be possible without the core team: Mark Diaz Truman and Brendan Conway have helped Marissa test the rules and hone in every aspect of the game to be as tight as possible, Jason Poole’s art has brought the dragons of Dragonia to life, Shelley Harlan's editing keeps the text clear and interesting, and Kaylee Groyer’s amazing graphic design presents the game in an iconic style.
And a huge thank you to all of the other contributing artists that we have unlocked along the way and to all of the backers and supporters. This game wouldn’t be possible without your help!
STRETCH GOAL CONTRIBUTORS:
Risks and challenges
This is the sixth Kickstarter that we've run at Magpie Games, and we've got a long history of fulfilling projects, including Our Last Best Hope, The Play's the Thing, and many more for other folks (Wicked Fantasy, World of Dew, etc). We've got a pretty good grasp on how to get stuff designed, shipped, and fulfilled.
The largest problem we've encountered is delays. We've taken all the steps we can to limit delays with this project, including writing, printing, and releasing an ashcan for Epyllion at GenCon 2014. We know that delays sometimes pop up in the process, but we'll keep backers informed at all times about what's happening with the project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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