Face Unknown Horrors!
You stand on the brink of the Apocalypse. The Demon Lord, an entity of incalculable power blights the lands with cursed evil, madness and slaughter. The dreadful beings let loose by the Demon Lord reflects this being’s nightmarish essence, the touch of its shadow and its insatiable hunger for all things.
Although the Demon Lord remains outside the mortal view, every new horror connected to him arises from the dirt and bring destruction and new death, also weakening little by little his planar prison, unchaining the constraints that are preventing him to escape the Void and bring catastrophic destruction to the world.
Robert Schwalb create a world facing the total annihilation, its lands torn asunder by war, plague, and ancient horrors. Urth, the world of Shadow of the Demon Lord, is one of many imperiled by the shadowy menace lurking without and in this game you can play through its final days as embattled survivors fighting against what to many seems to be an inevitable end.
A complete role playing game in one book, Shadow of the Demon Lord contains everything you need to create characters to confront the hordes of demons spilling in from the Void and to create and play through exciting stories steeped in horror and violence. To make this happen, the game system is easy to learn, plays fast, and requires little preparation to play. All these ensure both novice and veteran players can enjoy the game together. The benefit of short campaigns lets you tell more stories, create more characters, and experience more of the game's options than other game before. As a player, you are encouraged to play several heroes, trying the potential of the path’s engine to create incredible flexible characters. And, as a Game Master, you can run a complete campaign in lesser time than usual, introducing new ideas, places and horrors every time.
The horror is perfect when is narrated in short stories, full of madness and fear. These are the only stories that thrive you at night and remain in your memories for long time.
BlackStar is a whole new game line based on Shadow of the Demon Lord RPG, originally designed and created by Robert Schwalb. Death & Decay, our first release, will depict and introduce new monsters and develop exciting new ways to add fun and terror to the creatures you already know. It will be an immersive, dark fantasy supplement, that gives players and GMs alike new resources for their gaming sessions.
You will find plenty of undead out there ready to drain your last breath, coming from the Underworld itself or from the haunting darker places scattered through Urth.
The Creature Codex will be a 128 pages book that describes monsters of undeath, creatures of decay and lurking horrors. It presents many classical monsters revisited with new game options that can bring new excitement to your sessions, as well as plenty of new undead monsters of all types.
Following are some of the unique features introduced in Death & Decay:
• Presences: Infested dolls, whispers in the night, echoes of battles, doomed crypts and ghost ships! All of these entities can be found all around Urth. Infestations, apparitions, geists and malevolentes, all can be suppressed or banished forever. The task can be easy or hard, but presences might damn you for life. They can come back with renewed strength to drag you to the grave, corrupt your soul or lure you to the edge of insanity. Destroying them or survive can be the goal of an entire campaign. Death can be the minor evil.
• Spirits: Spirits or incorporeal undead are a simple form of monsters that cannot follow the cycle of life and death on Urth. They nurture the evil in others and feed on the anguish they create in their victims, the sorrow they cause, the evil they plant, all to feed the Demon Lord and unchain him. Spectral beings and ghosts, shadows in the mists or wraiths can appear everywhere, in lost cairns or abandoned tombs, in attics or cellars, in ancient forests or in the crypt of an important church to carry victims with them and bring, as well, survivors to death in a slow agony for the madness they caused. Spirits alter the land they haunt, so be aware that banish a tortured soul from the living world can be the most terrific experience you may have in your entire life.
• Corpses: Animated corpses, zombies, bone constructs, risen and others corporeal beings are the flesh of the hate that the demon lord feel toward the worlds of the livings. This contaminated corpses are risen by his foul cultists to generate waves of destruction, or they rise up by themselves to claim vengeance upon the mortals. Whatever the case, they are unstoppable, and their force can grow more than you can imagine in hordes capable of spread death and burning evil behind them.
• Nightmares: Not sure if they are undead or dead at all, nightmares are the immortal visions of thousand mad minds and foul dreamers. A nightmare created lives in a limbo of nonexistence. However, their corruption and insanity can open the gates, and they will haunt dreams during the night; pervade the mind of anyone corrupted or mad so to overwhelm him by supernatural horrors. That said, be aware that your corrupted soul can strive you more than you have imagined until now.
And if you want more, be sure to support Death & Decay campaign. With your help, more creepy things will rise from the Void in Death & Decay, new forms of undead never seen before. We will investigate through the nature of Urth to find plants, malefic fungi and vermins that can cause decay to the living, or supernatural horrors from the Underworld and the Void. And of course, new players and GMs supplements, villains and adventures, and so on.
After the initial goal is funded, here you will find a scheme of the backer levels with everything included in each pledge to easy understand what everyone will earn from the campaign.
Who is behind the veil of darkness?
Robert J. Schwalb is the mind behind Shadow of the Demon Lord RPG, and he wrote dozens of your favorite roleplaying game for many years, from Dungeon & Dragons to Warhammer. In Death&Decay he will be our Deus Ex machina and, as The Oversee Eye, he will grant to you the best game supplement for his game! (www.schwalbentertainment.com).
Dave Harrison brings over 30 years of GMing experience to the project. Ten years of that has involved coordinating the (undead) legions of organised play volunteers and conventions. He has been an editor and writer for a number of gaming products (Conflict, Fading Suns, Dark Sun, Pathfinder) and will also take care of language and style for Death & Decay. He has a morbid fascination with the grim and dark arts of the necromancer.
Bruce is a senior and award-winning game designer. He worked on D&D over the course of 4 editions as a writer and developer, with well over one hundred credits, including Return to the Tomb of Horrors, Expanded Psionics Handbook, Gamma World, and the D&D 5th Edition corebooks. On the design team at MCG, he’s worked on The Strange, Numenera products like Into the Outside and Jade Colossus, Cypher System books like Gods of the Fall, and of course Numenera Discovery and Numenera Destiny, to name just a few. He’s also a novel author with ten major publications to his name, including Myth of the Maker, as well as several books set in the Forgotten Realms, including the Abolethic Sovereignty trilogy, the Sword of the Gods duology, Stardeep, Darkvision, and more.
Sean is a very famous designer and developer. After finishing his chemistry degree he took a radical left turn and started working in the game industry. He’s been a webmaster, game designer, developer, freelancer-wrangler, and many other jobs that can’t be described in one or two words. He’s worked on a couple hundred books for a half a dozen RPGs (including Numenera and three editions of D&D), designed videogames, taught classes on game design, written plays and musicals, run online game conventions, judged international talent-search contests, and had bit parts in geeky movies like Gamers: Dorkness Rising and Attacking the Darkness. He draws, paints, and sings with moderate skill, and is passionate about helping people and introducing others to the wonders of gaming. He lives in a haunted building in Seattle, Washington with his cats.
The lead game designer team of WMS Publishing will be the BlackStar who will guide you through this journey. Experienced game designers, writers, editors and gamers in over 20 years they’ve helped to rise and shine dozens of titles in Italy as a team who prefers to show instead of tell. (Discover)
Hydra Team is a group of writers, editors, proofreaders, artists, graphic designers and consultants working in the game industry. We are all about fostering game literacy in its true meaning: as an enjoyable and educational tool. Hydra Team specializes in high quality and imaginative game projects, balancing strong artistic and creative talents over a more business-focused approach. (www.hydrateamgames.com).
Katerina is the first of our young and talented artist, who will make this project shine! She has a passion for old literature of 1800 and ’80. She loves Lynch and Cronenberg and videogames (more for the arts than for actual play). She is inspired by Giger and Bilal and by the darkest side of the human heart. She is our cover artist and will be our lead artist. (www.artstation.com/adrenochrome)
Melissa, known as Reddraws on internet, mermaid obsessed, karate teacher and tea lover, is a freelance illustrator, concept artist and comics book artist. She works with Wyrd Edizioni, Potato KIller Studios, Darkslinger Comics, NUpress and others, as illustrator and concept artist, and worked as miniature artist for Kabuki Studios. In 2018 has been selected for 'Infected By Art', and every year live paints on Area Performance in Lucca C&G. She loves to paint for herself original pieces too! (Reddraws/FB , Melissa Spandri\Instagram )
Andrea Guardino is a Freelance Illustrator/Character Designer born in 1988. He works in Milan, as Freelance Artist and Concept Artist, Character Designer and Illustrator for Wyrd Edizioni and others. Since 2010 he is in The Evil Company, he co-founded, a group of artists and authors ("Roll Again" and "The Take Five" comics are some of their works). He is also Character Designer/Illustrator for "Ventura", an online RPG. He is also a miniature Concept Artist for ClockWork Paladin Miniatures and member of Dicegames Italia (a group of Youtubers and artists whose aim is to spread the RPGs to the public). See his works here.
And other creepy beings will be revelead during the campaign.
We are going to be charging shipping separately later when the books are almost ready. It will be USA-, EU-, Canada-, and Australia-friendly. As the production will be european we try to keep it simple, but international shipping can be heavy for a small company. Shipping rates can also rise after a campaign ends but before the games are ready to ship. So, about a month from shipping, we will assess and collect actual shipping costs. The upside is that you don’t need to pay the full cost now. We also want to point out that we will try to sell BlackStar Death & Decay through distribution and into game and book stores after backers get their books. The Kickstarter will not be the only way you can get the book. However your contribute will be fundamental to obtain it.
You can see now the estimated costs in the Update #24
Blackstar Games: BlackStar Games is the new international label from WMS Publishing, licensee of Robert Schwalb’ Shadow of the Demon Lord RPG line. We apply our passion and creativity to bring you whole new levels of imagination. We believe RPGs are a way to forge together creativity, art and design to create a new form of communication. You can visit our facebook Page: BlackStar Games and our site pages on www.hbdragongames.
Schwalb Entertainment: Schwalb Entertainment, LLC was founded in 2014 by Robert J. Schwalb (veteran RPG game designer and developer, and author) to offer a rich, immersive game-play experience in worlds of dark fantasy and science fiction, most notably, the horror fantasy roleplaying game, Shadow of the Demon Lord. Before Schwalb Entertainment, Robert was a member of the 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons design team, worked as a developer for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition, and was lead designer on A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying. He has contributed design to a slew of D&D sourcebooks, supplements for the d20 system, the Cypher System, and many other roleplaying games. Schwalb Entertainment, LLC is headquartered in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Questions? Contact Schwalb Entertainment at firstname.lastname@example.org
Risks and challenges
We are a business company with 10 years of experience and RPGs are our passion. This is our first international product, done with our collegue and friend Robert J. Schwalb, that trust us non only as his partner for the localization of his Shadow of the Demon Lord, but also for develop new official things. At this point it's a matter of adding any extra material unlocked by stretch goals, commissioning the remaining art, and the doing the graphic design and layout. These are not trivial tasks but they are comfortably in our wheelhouse. The only real risk is one that confronts every RPG: lateness. This can happen on any project with a lot of moving parts but we are already well ahead of the game.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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