Funded! This project was successfully funded on August 11, 2012.

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An all Dwarven RPG in which you create, defend and fight for the honor of your own unique Clan

FINAL STRETCH GOALS HAVE BEEN POSTED BELOW!!

The Reward levels have become a bit involved so if you find yourself confused please refer to the summaries at the bottom of the page

A game about Dwarves written by designer Mike Nystul (D&D, BattleTech, Whispering Vault) and illustrated by legendary artist Jeff Laubenstein (Earthdawn, BattleTech, Shadowrun). 

What can you expect?

Dwarfiness: Everything about the game is intended to put players into the right frame of mind to play dwarves. It is a celebration of all things Dwarf from what a Dwarf's beard says about him to what the deal is with Dwarven women.

Simplicity: Because this is a niche game many people will turn to for a "pick up and play" experience the system has to be simple and character creation has to be fast and fun. It is possible to create a Dwarven clan and a full party of 4 to 6 player characters in under an hour.

Cooperation: Whenever possible the game places more value on "we" than "me". Your party works together to solve whatever problems face their clan. The combat system is also structured around team play. Work together and victory shall be yours - fight alone and face an ignominious defeat.

The design is axiomatic, meaning a few simple rules drive everything instead of having a special case rule for every situation that could arise. Character development is based on the idea that you start simply and add depth as the campaign unfolds, which allows players to get started quickly and learn any complexities they may add as they go along.

A key concept is that the Dwarven Clan is treated as a character unto itself. As you develop as individuals the Clan for which you fight will gain respect and wealth. Your Clanhome will also expand to suit your needs. This gives an Axes and Anvils campaign a focus that many games lack right out of the gate.  

For more about the game mechanics see the FAQ

THE LIVING CAMPAIGN

The campaign setting will be outlined in the basic book with enough information for your gamemaster to use as a foundation he can take whatever direction he likes. We will also provide a sort of "living history" that will evolve during the first year of the game's release. It will be played out through regular updates that the gamemaster can use as inspiration for his adventures.

Backers who choose the rewards that involve a contribution to the book of one of the Lords of the land will be invited to participate in the living campaign. They will be offered the opportunity to make decisions that will be used to shape the course of events in the setting. 

The Thanes, Dukes, Goblin Kings, Orc Warlords, Elf Lords and the High King will receive preview PDFs of playtest editions and print proofs well before the rest of the Dwarf loving world will have a peek at the final product (which means I will need you to sign an nondisclosure agreement but what's a little nondisclosure agreement between friends?)

BONUS MINIATURE!

By special arrangement with Stonehaven Miniatures, everyone at the Clanborn level or higher will be sent their choice of miniature from the Dwarven Adventurers line at no additional cost!

CLARIFICATION: I made this statement before setting the Reward level for the Collector's Edition. The bonus is meant for the Clanborn, Hero, Duke, Goblin King, Orc Warlord, Elf Lord, Thane and High King levels.

Choose from Mage, Berserker, Paladin, Cleric, Rogue, Mechanist, Necromancer, Bard, Druidess, Undead, Monk, Huntsman, Witch, Highwayman, Fallen King, Fighter (Female), Brewmaster or Miner. Check out the awesome options here -

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2087444096/dwarven-adventurers-box-set

CLARIFICATION: The Collector's Edition Boxed Set comes with EITHER the Adventuring Party (Berserker, Fighter (Female), Huntsman, Mage, Paladin and Rogue) and 1 Die or 6 Dice (and no minis). This way explained in an update but it seemed wise to repeat it here. I would have changed the Reward description but once you have Backers at that level you can't.

CLARIFICATION: If you are have the Bonus Miniature coming and you have upgraded or added the Collector's Edition with the Adventuring Party option you still get your Bonus in addition to the 6 minis that come in your box.

ADD-ONS

To add any of these items to your order simply choose the Reward Level you want, add the cost of all of the items you want and Pledge that amount (for example, Deluxe with a Tankard would be $40 for Deluxe and $16 for the Tankard - $56 all together). Choose tour selected Reward level. When the Kickstarter is over I will send out a survey which will allow you to list the items you paid for so you get everything that is coming to you.

Collector's Edition Upgrade (Add $40)

Upgrades the Hardcover provided with the Clanborn Reward level or better to a Collector's Edition Boxed Set. If you upgrade you get the boxed set *instead* of the hardcover. To get both choose the "Add Collector's Edition"

The Dwarf King will receive the Boxed Set at no additional cost.

Add Collector's Edition (Add $80)

Add Softcover Book (Add $20)

Add Hardcover Book (Add $40)

Extra Player's Guide (Add $12)

An extra Player's guide from the Collector's Edition. Only available if you have ordered the Collector's Edition.

Card Set (Add $10)

The game uses a set of 12 special cards during Clan and character generation. You can copy them out of the book (or downloaded and print) then cut them yourself or you can use this deck. There is also a 52 card deck of color equipment cards that will make gearing up much easier (and prettier).

These cards are included in the Collector's Edition Boxed set. 

Runestones (Add $12)

A set of custom runestones that are used during character creation in a hand made pouch. You can just roll on a table instead but using a prop adds a lot of character.

Tankard (Add $16)

When someone rolls a 12 on their D12 they have scored a critical and everyone celebrates by raising a cheer and quaffing from their tankard. You don't have to quaff from the official tankard - in fact you can quaff from just about anything but why would you?

Dice (add $6 a pair)

Two 12 sided dice with a special design in place of the 12 (and possibly the 1). Sold by the pair. 

THIS JUST IN! By order of the Dwarf King I will be including one of these dice with every backer reward level Clanborn or higher.

CLARIFICATION: I made this statement before setting the Reward level for the Collector's Edition. The bonus is meant for the Clanborn, Hero, Duke, Goblin King, Orc Warlord, Elf Lord, Thane and High King levels.

Clan Patches (add $5)

Choose the Clan Emblem Patch of your choice.

Set of Clan Patches (add $20)

Celebrate your dwarfiness with all 5 Clan Patches for the price of 4.

NEW! By order of the King his Emblem will be added to every set at no additional cost.

GM Screen (add $10)

A three panel cardboard screen with color art on one side and useful information for the GM on the other.

Dwarven Fiction Anthology (add $15)

Soft cover 5.5 x 8.5" book (add $2 for international orders)

Signed Anthology (add $30)

Book signed by all contributing authors and the cover artist (Jeff Laubenstein) who will add a doodle on the inside cover. (add $2 for international orders)

TShirt (add $16)

Wear the D12 Dwarf with pride! White on Black in sizes up to 4X.

International orders add $2

Calendar (add $12)

An all Dwarven, all color 2013 calendar with events inspired by the game setting. How else will you know on what day the Long Chug falls next year?

Is included with the Clanborn, Hero, Duke, Goblin King, Orc Warlord, Elf Lord, Thane and High King Reward levels.

Giclee Art Print (add $30)

An 11 x 14" print of the cover image on 230 gsm smooth paper remarked by Jeff Laubenstein and signed by both Jeff and designer Mike Nystul. Each print will be Remarked - which means the artist will add a one of a kind sketch to yor print somewhere in the white border (this is a true add on not included with any level but the Dwarf King).

CLARIFICATION - I talked this over with Jeff and he is going to do a successful adventuring party relaxing in a boisterous tavern. Sounds good to me!

Campaign Integration (add $160)

I have received a lot of questions about, and interest in - the Living Campaign. I have also been asked to provide a way for folks who aren't playing a faction leader to get involved. Here you go -

The Living Campaign will be shaped by the decisions made by the leaders of the various factions involved. This will generate events that can be used by Gamemasters to give color and relevance to their games. At this level, it is a one way system (unless you are playing one of the faction leaders). We generate stuff, you use it or you don't.

With this add on your Campaign becomes part of the Living World. When you set up your Clan I will commission an emblem for you which will be created to your specifications (within reason). I will also work with you to locate you within a Campaign map that will be available to everyone online, along with an online guide to all of the Clans that are involved. 

IMPORTANT - you only need one "subscription" per Campaign and it will last at least one full year.

The activities of the Integrated Campaigns will be integrated into the material that will go out to everyone. Your Gamemaster will be asked to submit a monthly questionnaire and may be asked a few followup questions. Will there be the potential for conflict, for alliances, for competition? Yes! Do I know exactly how? Not yet! But I will... : )

It is important to note that because of the amount of work maintaining the Living Campaign will take, I will have to ask everyone to stick to answering the questions I send in the manner I ask. If you feel like offering more there will be Forums where you can share material with other participants. I expect this to be a very lively community!

The Living Campaign begins the 1st of the year. 2013 will be the Year of the Dwarf!

STRETCH GOALS

ACHIEVED! $3,000 Color and Runestones!

ACHIEVED! $4,500 Map and Tankards

ACHIEVED! $6,000 Language and Dice!

ACHIEVED! $7,500 Boxed Set!

ACHIEVED! $9k Color Cards!

ACHIEVED! $12k Dwarven Calendar!

ACHIEVED! $13k Dwarven Anthology!

ACHIEVED! $15k Dwarven Cookbook!

ACHIEVED! $16k Dwarven Drinking Songs!

ACHIEVED! $18k Dwarven Name Generator!

ACHIEVED! $20k GM Screen!

ACHIEVED! $25k Mike gets Inked!

$30k  Dwarf Con, Solo Adventure and Dwarven Ballad

I will set up a special one day con here in Austin TX that will feature all things Dwarven!

I will write a pick-a-path style solo adventure set in the Axes and Anvils game world that will be available to everyone as a download. If there is demand I'll print some physical copies.

I will also write and perform the Ballad of Hargas the Unsteady in full makeup and costume - the result will be screened at DwarfCon for all to see. 

Why Kickstarter?

This project began life as a stretch goal. While promoting "Nystul's Infinite Dungeon" I offered to finish up a game I had been working on called Delve and make it available to my Backers. Eventually my generic frpg became an eccentric game about Dwarves - one of my favorite subjects. 

As I set about the task of designing the promised game I realized that I had more than a simple one off on my hands. I fell in love with what was taking shape and committed to a campaign, which will likely lead to support down the line. I began to collect dwarven minis and to spread the word about what I was doing. When Jeff committed to being the main artist for the project I realized that it had taken on a life of it's own and was going to be a lot bigger than I had initially intended.

As the project was an "extra" it has no real budget associated with it. I had envisioned a digest sized rpg with some black and white illos, most of them second use general interest "fantasy" images. Now that I have seen how much fun the game has turned out to be I want to give it the first class treatment it deserves so to do that, and to make it available to an audience who may not have backed the original project I came back here. 

REWARD LEVEL SUMMARY

As of Tuesday the 7th here is what you get at each reward level - 

DIGITAL DWARVES - Downloads of all content that would otherwise be printed - including the main rulebook and everything from the stretch goals including the 11 x 14" map, rune font, cookbook, fiction anthology, GM Screen, recordings of the drinking songs, drinking song songbook, wallpaper versions of the images from the calendar and print and cut character generation and equipment cards.

Everyone gets access to the downloads available to the Digital Dwarf level.

BASIC - You will be sent a printed version of the rulebook (which at the moment is 160 pages but may end up larger).

DELUXE - Same as Basic except you will get a Hardcover version of the same book.

CLANBORN - You get the patch of your choice from any of the 5 NPC Clans outlined in the book, your character name will be listed with that Clan, you will be thanked by character and real name in the credits, your choice of miniature from the list near the top of the page, the 2013 Dwarf Calendar and one of the special Axes and Anvils D12s.

Every level from Clanborn on up gets the Hardcover, mini and die. If you want to upgrade to the Collector's Edition add $40 but then the only version of the game you get (other than digital) is the Collector's Edition. If you want to keep the Hardcover and get the Collector's Edition too, add $80. In either case, you will still be getting the extra mini and the extra die over and above the contents of the Collector's Edition.

COLLECTOR'S EDITION - You get the Boxed Set, which includes (at the least - there may be more) the rulebook divided into 3 staple bound books, map, character sheets, Rune Stones, Color Cards, GM shield and EITHER the Adventuring Party (Berserker, Fighter (Female), Huntsman, Mage, Paladin and Rogue) and 1 Die or 6 Dice (and no minis).

Remember - if your base Reward level is Clanborn, Thane, Duke, Goblin King, Orc Warlord, Elf Lord or High King and you upgrade to the Collector's Edition or include it as an add on you get an extra mini and an extra die.

DUKE, GOBLIN KING, ORC WARLORD, ELF LORD - Name the leader of you chosen faction, help decide who he is, help design the emblem of that faction and participate in the Living Campaign. We will send a Hardcover book, a signed portrait of your leader, a miniature, the calendar and a D12.

THANE - As the previous entry plus 5 of your faction's patches. 

HIGH KING - Your eternal loyalty and lots of good stuff.

FAQ

  • It is nothing like any of those systems but the cultural stuff about dwarves, many of the ideas and the Clan creation / evolution stuff should port over easily enough if you are of a mind.

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  • No, just the books.

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  • The following is an overview intended to give you a basic idea of what the system is like. It is not complete or intended to be complete.

    The basic concept underlying the design is that the core mechanics are simple and sophistication is added as the campaign evolves. This lets you get going quickly as possible and makes the system easy to learn.

    Creating the Clan: The players are each dealt two cards. These cards all have an asset and a liability on them. Everyone has to choose an asset from one of their cards and a liability from the other. Once these touchstones have been established the group takes turns telling the tale of the Clan’s history.

    Creating your Characters: Your group is created cooperatively by dividing a standard group of skills between the available characters. Every character ends up with one Primary and one Secondary skill, which provides a clearly defined focus.

    Basic Mechanics: A D12 roll is used to resolve most actions. A 12 is always a critical success. It is suggested that a critical be celebrated by the entire group by raising a cheer and quaffing from your tankard. Huzzah!

    Resolve: No one is as stubborn as a Dwarf. A character’s Resolve is used to reroll a roll for any action the outcome of which could be improved through sheer force of will. Failure can result in a loss of confidence that prevents the expenditure of any additional Resolve until it is regained. Resolve is restored through actions such as drinking a fine brew or singing Dwarven ballads.

    Roles: All characters choose a combat role such as Leader, Vanguard, Skirmisher and Support that define what they are able to do in combat. It is this role that defines the character’s choice of and effectiveness of armor and weapons as well as what actions and special abilities he has.

    Combat: I tried to strike a balance between abstraction and simulation that allows cooperative tactical play while maintaining an environment that encourages role play. This was accomplished through the concept of combat roles and the use of attack, defend and movement actions that can be earned and even bestowed on other characters by the choices they make.

    Experience: After any successful session every character can choose to add an upgrade to his character from lists of abilities for which he is qualified by his role and his skills. The group may also choose an upgrade for their Clan, which will allow them to shape the destiny of their Clan and their home.

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  • Please add $5 for the soft cover, $8 for the hard cover or $12 for the boxed set. Add-ons ship at no additional cost except the Tankards, which will run $4 extra and the Tshirts, which are $2 extra.

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  • A standard selection will be included.

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  • No. It contains the same material split between three saddle stitched (staple bound) books.

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    DIGITAL DWARVES! You will receive a PDF version of the game. All the higher levels will receive the PDF as well.

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    BASIC - When it is ready I'll send you your copy of Axes and Anvils.

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    DELUXE - You get the hard cover edition which will look great on your game shelf and doubles as a 1D3 bludgeoning weapon!

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    CLANBORN - Hardcover + When we have established what the 5 Clans that will be featured in the rulebook, game fiction and adventures will be, we will let you know so you can submit a character name to be added to that Clan's description. You will be thanked by that name and your own name (i.e. - Bryan "Grulden" Nystul) in the credits at the front of the book. You will also receive a patch for your jacket, book bag or kilt with that Clan's emblem.

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    COLLECTOR'S EDITION - A boxed set that contains the Rune Stones, Color Cards, 6 Dice and a set of 6 minis from Stonehaven's Dwarven line. The book will be split into Player's Guide, Gamemaster's Guide and an introductory adventure. Maps and character sheets will also be included.

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    RETAILERS - I haven't priced the retail version yet but it is likely going to be $25 or so when it comes out. At this point the hardcover version is a limited edition that won't be available anywhere but this Kickstarter. At this level I'll send a qualified retailer or reseller 6 softcover copies of the game and a signed hardcover.

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    HERO - As Clanborn + Your character is a famous hero of your chosen Clan. You can submit some basic information about him (or her) that we will use when adding them to the book. Your character will have a portrait - we will send a signed copy of the art with your book.

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    DUKE - Hardcover + You may name the leader of one of the three human Duchies outlined in the setting (subject to the designer's approval). You can submit some basic information about him (or her) that we will use when creating them. Your Lord's description will include a portrait that we will send you a signed copy of.

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    GOBLIN KING - Hardcover + You may name the leader of one of the two Goblin tribes included in the setting (subject to the designer's approval). You can submit some basic information about him (or her) that we will use when creating them. Your Lord's description will include a portrait that we will send you a signed copy of.

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    ORC WARLORD- Hardcover + You may name the leader of one of the two Orc hordes included in the setting (subject to the designer's approval). You can submit some basic information about him (or her) that we will use when creating them. Your Lord's description will include a portrait that we will send you a signed copy of.

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    ELF LORD - Hardcover + You may name the leader of one of the two Elven civilizations included in the setting (subject to the designer's approval). You can submit some basic information about him (or her) that we will use when creating them. Your Elf Lord's description will include a portrait that we will send you a signed copy of.

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    THANE - As Clanborn + You may name one of the five Clans and it's leader (subject to the designer's approval). You may also suggest a design for the emblem that we will try to incorporate into our final composition. As with the Hero level, your Thane will have a portrait that we will send you a signed copy of. We will also send you 5 patches instead of the usual 1 so you can distribute them to your subjects.

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    HIGH KING - As Clanborn + You may name the High King. The designer will work with you when creating him and you will receive a signed copy of his portrait. We will send you 2 of each of all 5 Clan emblem patches and 10 of a unique patch that will bear the High King's emblem.

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