Funded! This project was successfully funded on November 25, 2012.

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A Fantasy RPG featuring woodland animals such as mice, badgers and hedgehogs as epic heroes. Tiny critters - Big Adventure!

AS A THANK YOU TO OUR BACKERS ALL OF THE BOOKS AVAILABLE THROUGH THIS KICKSTARTER WILL BE HARD COVER. THOSE PURCHASED AFTERWARDS WILL ONLY BE AVAILABLE IN PERFECT BOUND (SOFT COVER) FORMAT SO IF YOU WANT HARD COVER THIS IS THE ONLY WAY TO GET THEM. 

PLEASE CHECK OUT OUR GROUP PAGE ON FACEBOOK FOR MORE ART & INFORMATION - https://www.facebook.com/CairnRPG

Welcome to Cairn, a town inhabited by very small creatures in a remote corner of a very large world. The gods they call Primals who once favored men now favor rodents like mice, hedgehogs and squirrels. These creatures have risen up and have established a society and a history of their own. Their heroes struggle to steer their people clear of the evils that led to man’s downfall. They are living legends and YOU will tell their tales!

Character creation is fast and simple. There are options to randomize any decision that might slow you down. The key mechanics are also simple. The goal is to get you up and running as fast as possible.

At one point we posted a link to a very early, unedited test layout of the intro chapter. Someone pointed out that because the rough presentation may have accidentally sent the message that our final product would have those kinds of errors we have pulled it down. Mike and Jeff have worked in the industry for decades and we can assure you that the final version will be very clean.

For more about the project you can visit us on Facebook.

To add an add on simply overpay for your chosen Reward level. When we send out the survey when the Kickstarter is over just let us know what you wanted.

SHIPPING - Most of these items ship free with any Backer level that includes one or more game books. Foreign customers simply pay for the extra weight and add $1 handling for each item. No need to add anything for shipping now - we will bill you when the time comes.

DICE & MINIS (we have to charge for both US and foreign customers for these items) when your order is ready and we know how much it will weigh we will ship however you like and bill you according to your instructions. If you order items that are coming out at different times you can either wait for us to send them all at once or ask us to send them as they become ready.

$3  Custom d12 (all Tests, Saves and Attacks are made with this die - any d12 will do but this one will have a custom face instead of the "1" to remind you that rolls of 1 are subject to Harmony bonuses and penalties)

$15 Set of 6 Custom d12's (one for everyone!)

$20 T shirt - Full color with the logo and the cover image

$24 Extra Book (Hardcover - you must have at least one coming from your Backer level to order extras)

$24 Pre-Order the Cairn Companion as a Hardcover book (exclusive to this Kickstarter - when it hits the market it will be as a soft cover)

$30 Personalized Storybook - For the kids - Give us the child's name, favorite animal and color - we will use art assets from the game to create a holiday storybook just for them! 5 x 7" soft cover book with full color throughout - 24 pages. Will ship with the Game Books.

$5 (each) Miniatures - all of the 20 playable PC Species will be represented  (Beaver, Groundhog, Hedgehog, Mole, Mouse, Squirrel, Armadillo, Feathertail Glider, Frog, Pika, Weasel, Rat, Meerkat, Opposum, Hare, Otter, Platypus, Lorus, Marmoset, Bat and one more to be announced)

$15 Miniature - Hound Rider

$20 Miniature - Dire Beastie (very large)

$100 - Miniatures - Set of 20 of the playable species + Hound RIder

When they become available the Character Sheets, Tokens, Holiday Adventure, Module, Kid's Stuff and Cairn Companion will be posted to a Dropbox for you to download for free!

ACHIEVED! $3,000 Character Sheet Blanks: Jeff will create characters sheets featuring blank sketches for the six PC races designed to make it easy for you to customize a drawing for your hero.

ACHIEVED! $4,000 Custom Tokens: Digital assets of the Cairn races to use with electronic gaming tools like Roll20. 

ACHIEVED! $5,000 + Hero Miniatures: D3 Adventures will produce a line of minis that will then be available as add-ons. The first will be released in May and then two a month thereafter (or faster if we can arrange it). Standard size minis will be available through the Kickstarter for $5 each (which will be lower than the expected $6.95 retail price).

ACHIEVED! $6,000 Custom Die: We will have a d12 made with a yin/yang in place of the 1 which will help you remember how important it is if your character is in a state of Clarity or Discord. They will be made available as add-ons but might not ship until January or February.

ACHIEVED! $7,500 Everyone will receive a special holiday related adventure as a PDF in plenty of time to platy it while your decorations are still up! 

ACHIEVED! $8,000 We will add the Hare as a playable PC species!

ACHIEVED! $9,000 Hardcover books will be made available. You wanted them - we will make it happen!

ACHIEVED! $10,000 At this level, you will all get a PDF of a full length adventure by Ross Isaacs. Our first module!

ACHIEVED! $11,000 The miniature at this level will be a hound with rider! I'm looking into getting multiple riders in the package. Cost will be higher than for the standard size minis.

ACHIEVED! $11,000 A print and play PDF "Kid's Pack" with extras for GMing the game for the younger set.

ACHIEVED! $12,000 Ok, the personal one. If we do this well in such a short time, I will create or commission a Cairn costume and wear it not only to a panel at my own con (Dwarf Con) but as a hall costume at Gen Con for at least an afternoon.

ACHIEVED! $13,000 We will add the Bat as a playable PC species!

ACHIEVED! $14,000 The Cairn Companion will come out in February. It will include all of the Backer sponsored adventures (and the new species they include), 4 new species (chosen by Jeff and Mike to round out the selection), rules for creating your own species, special Professions for each of the species in the game, new magic spells and magic items, maps for the other villages and hamlets on  the region map, adventure seeds and tips for the Gamemaster. You will all get a free PDF but can pre order a physical book as an add on for $24 (with free shipping in the US).

ACHIEVED! $18,000 Jeff and Mike will do a Cairn comic! We are discussing format but it will likely be a weekly strip we eventually gather into a collection.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

We have the game in hand being edited even as we speak. The art is mostly blocked out and is being inked. The cover is done, layout has been designed and we are all set to put the thing together as soon as it looks like we have the backing we need.

That said, we are a fledgling game company with two other projects that have material that we still need to get to our backers. Our biggest challenge will be juggling these tasks so that everyone gets what they have coming in a timely fashion. That is the biggest difference between a one shot project and a company - keeping tabs on multiple products at different stages of development. Worst case, we risk delays but we are doing everything we can to reasonably assess our staff and what they can do in the time we have.

This is a side project for only two men - Mike Nystul and Jeff Laubenstein. The rest of the company is still hard at work finishing up what we still have on our plate. Fortunately, Jeff and Mike have worked in the game industry for decades. Jeff has served as an art director and Mike a line developer many times. Still, the quick turnaround on this project and making sure it gets to you all in time for the holiday giving season has been a real challenge.

FAQ

  • Yes! When we have the product in hand and when we know where you are you an choose how you want it send - we will figure out how much it will cost and charge ya by PayPal. Add $2 handling for a single book or $12 for a signed book because we have to send it around before it gets to you. That way we don't have to guess.

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  • Depends on how it is run. It is a simple enough system and there are themes that are good for the younger set but it can also be played darker and mature. Personally, I like the idea of a hard bitten Mousey hero staggering away from a battle with a sword dripping blood - but that's me : )

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  • Get the Mole level and add $12 for the holiday extras (like the plush)

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  • Mouseguard (which is AWESOME) is a very serious tale about some very serious mousies in a very plausible real world analog. They are scouts and warriors and hunters in a wonderful early medieval setting. Cairn has a wider palette. We have more races, more magic and are a bit more playful with the genre. There would be no room in Mouseguard for a Squirrel Wizard / Acrobat or a Hedgehog Minstrel / Marksman but you can find them in Cairn : )

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  • Cairn has it's own easy to learn, easy to play system that is integral to the game experience.

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    SQUIRREL: PDF edition of Cairn.

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    MOUSE: Perfect bound print edition. We will have this done and to you before Christmas! You also get the PDF so you can read it while waiting for your book to ship! Instant gratification? You bet!

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    BEAVER: Cairn is the perfect gift! We will send a wrapped copy of the book with a few extras to you or wherever you would like (in the US). We can even fill out the gift tag so it comes "from" one of the characters from the setting and we will sign with a little pawprint!

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    BEAVER (WORLDWIDE): Cairn is the perfect gift! We will send a wrapped copy of the book with a few extras to you or wherever you would like (in the US). We can even fill out the gift tag so it comes "from" one of the characters from the setting and we will sign with a little pawprint! See the FAQ which explains how we will handle shipping costs outside the US

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    GROUNDHOG: A Deluxe version of the present that comes with a handmade plush mousie hero! We will name the plushie for you (or name it whatever you like - within reason) and include a Holiday greeting from them on a wee scroll!

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    FERRET: A Deluxe package that comes with some fun extras and a handmade plush mousie hero! We will name the plushie for you (or name it whatever you like - within reason) and include a special greeting from them on a wee scroll! This round of toys won't be available until January and we will wait to send your signed book until then but you will get your PDF in December (if you like you can add $6 to a US order to have us ship the book and toy separately). SHIPPING outside the US will cost a bit extra - check the FAQ for how we are handling this.

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    MOLE (WORLDWIDE): Give us a name. We will use it somewhere in the book. We will also thank you in the credits by that name and the name you gave us (i.e. Mike "Burbix" Nystul). That's not all! Jeff and Mike will doodle on credits page of your book before we send it out (Jeff's doodle will be better but that's because he is an artist)! See the FAQ which explains how we will handle shipping costs outside the US

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    MOLE: Give us a name. We will use it somewhere in the book. We will also thank you in the credits by that name and the name you gave us (i.e. Mike "Burbix" Nystul). That's not all! Jeff and Mike will doodle on credits page of your book before we send it out (Jeff's doodle will be better but that's because he is an artist)!

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    RETAILER: We will send you 6 copies and some promotional materials for your store. SHIPPING outside the US will be extra (see the FAQ)

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    HEDGEHOG: We will send you 6 printed copies - enough for you whole gaming group. Give us a place name. We will assign it to something on the game map. We will also thank your group (you will need a name for your fellowship) as a group, by character name and real name (i.e. Special thanks to the Graybeards - Bryan "Sunseeker" Nystul, John "Longshadow" Ilger and so forth). SHIPPING outside the US will cost a bit extra - check the FAQ for how we are handling this.

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    VILLAGE: Like Hamlet - but for the Village to the North. What's up there? Let us know!!

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    HAMLET: You decide what it is named, which of the playable PC species is dominant there and what kind of a place it is. Is populated mostly by Frogs? Rats? It's up to you! You can also decide how the Hamlet is run. Is there a king? A council of the wise? A mayor? When you figure that out - name the leader. You also get a signed book and special thanks in the credits.

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    ABBOT: The temple of the Bright Ones in Cairn is run by the Abbot. You may name him, decide what sort of a critter is and even tell us a few things about him. Is it a he or a she? What species? Venerable or unexpectedly young? You get a signed book and special thanks in the credits.

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    VILLAIN: Cairn is a dangerous place. Not everything is sweetness and light. Create a villain for us. You may name him, decide what sort of a critter is and even tell us a few things about him. What kind of threat does he or she pose? You get a signed book and special thanks in the credits. SHIPPING outside the US will cost a bit extra - check the FAQ for how we are handling this.

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    HERO: One hero fought back the darkness to claim the Cairn for his people. You may name him, decide what sort of a critter is and even tell us a few things about him. You get a signed book and special thanks in the credits. SHIPPING outside the US will cost a bit extra - check the FAQ for how we are handling this.

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    MAGUS: The most powerful magician in the Known World is the mysterious Magus who lives alone high atop the Cairn. You may name him, decide what sort of a critter is and even tell us a few things about him. You get a signed book and special thanks in the credits.

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    TITAN: Name the world. Mike and Jeff will have to approve what you come up with, but it's yours to name. The whole damned planet. No matter what we do with this setting or how far we get that will be your name on there. Anyone who plays will use it.

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    NEW CRITTER: Choose a new species to join the first favored as a standard PC race. It has to be small (it should fit in a breadbox). You get a signed book with a sketch of your animal on the inside cover and special thanks in the credits as "Proud Sponsor of - (name of animal)". An illustration of a character of that species by Jeff Laubenstein will be included in the Core Rulebook and you will get a signed print of that art AND you also get a one of a kind handmade plush based on your chosen race. SHIPPING outside the US will cost a bit extra - check the FAQ for how we are handling this.

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    CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE: The author will create an original 8 page adventure module to your specifications and Jeff will illustrate. Each story will also feature a new playable PC species (your choice). We reserve the right to publish and distribute but you get to tell us what you want! You also get a signed copy of the book. We will send the core rulebook in Dec and the PDF of your adventure will arrive in January. We won't publish until Feb so you will be the only one in the world who has it for a month! SHIPPING outside the US will cost a bit extra - check the FAQ for how we are handling this.

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    MORE NEW CRITTERS: Choose a new species to join the first favored as a standard PC race. It has to be small (it should fit in a breadbox). You get a signed book with a sketch of your animal on the inside cover and special thanks in the credits as "Proud Sponsor of - (name of animal)". An illustration of a character of that species by Jeff Laubenstein will be included in the Core Rulebook and you will get a signed print of that art AND you also get a one of a kind handmade plush based on your chosen race (the custom toy may have to come a bit after Christmas - my source is making a lot of them). SHIPPING outside the US will cost a bit extra - check the FAQ for how we are handling this.

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