About this project
"Kos" is a fantasy campaign setting located in the real-world Mediterranean that is the perfect jumping-off point for swords-and-sorcery fantasy adventures of all sorts.
At the heart of this setting is the City and Island of Kos, located in the southeastern quarter of the wine-dark Aegean Sea. Although devastated by the volcanic cataclysm that blew apart the nearby island of Thera and threw the world into chaos a century earlier, Kos has since enjoyed a cultural and economic resurgence. Its main geographic characteristics are broad plains, arid hills, and a deepwater harbor along its eastern edge near the straits that separate the island from mainland Anatolia, just two-and-half miles away. Kos city is a metropolis located on this harbor and is home to innumerable merchants, rogues, adventurers, thieves, mercenaries, harlots, hedge wizards, cultists, and other transients. It is dedicated to the god Hermes and committed to commerce. It is also more tolerant than many other Hellenic cities of the resurgent trend toward devotion to the pre-Olympian Titans.
Externally, Kos has few immediate threats, as it has no aspirations for expansion beyond its boundaries, is a center of trade for nations throughout the Mediterranean, and has a consummate diplomatic corps. Its military forces are adequate to deal with almost any threat up to the size of a pirate fleet. Koans are perpetually apprehensive about the nearby Tetrarchy of Anatolia, however — a despotic military dictatorship ruled by Human and Goblinoid warlords.
When Skirmisher Publishing LLC began developing role-playing game supplements in 2002, we created the Kos milieu for purposes of playtesting material that could then be dropped into almost any other "traditional fantasy campaign setting." Over the past 10 years, we have developed descriptions and information for hundreds of places and characters, written a detailed and engaging back story, and created a quintessential swords-and-sorcery fantasy campaign setting that has been especially influenced by authors the likes of Fritz Lieber, Robert E. Howard, and Jack Vance.
Our goal with this Kickstarter campaign is to be able to refine and expand upon this material as needed, fully illustrate it, create maps for it, and then turn it into a comprehensive sourcebook that can be enjoyed by gamers and fans of fantasy literature and alternate history alike.
The Swords of Kos Fantasy Campaign Sourcebook will be an 8.5. x 11 fully-illustrated, softcover, rules-free universal sourcebook that is 250 pages long and is compatible with almost any role-playing game system (it will also be available in hardcover via print-on-demand and to participants in this Kickstarter if we exceed our goals sufficiently). It will contain sections on the history of the campaign world, the City and Island of Kos, the lands and encounter areas immediately around it, the major political entities of the known world, biographies of significant characters, mythology and legends as they apply to adventures, and more! It will include numerous maps and numerous pieces of original art by veteran fantasy artists. It will also be supported with material associated with various game systems (e.g., OGL v.3/v.3.5, Pathfinder, D&D).
Over the past few years, the Kos campaign setting has gone beyond a venue just for role-playing games and is now also the basis for a shared-world literary project, an ongoing feature in the d∞ ("d-Infinity") multi-platform gaming magazine, and more. In its simplest form, this Kickstarter campaign is designed for people who would like to avail themselves of this detailed, colorful, and thrilling campaign setting.
There are many ways for you to participate in this and to become a Citizen of Kos or an Explorer of Kos (the level at which you will receive the Swords of Kos Campaign Sourcebook); to take it to the next level as an Adventurer of Kos; or to play a role in and even influence the development of the campaign setting — or establish yourself as a fantasy fiction author — as a Hero of Kos, Lord of Kos, or Demigod of Kos. And all the benefits we offer to people who pledge on behalf of this Kickstarter campaign are available for much less than to members of the public at large.
Welcome to Kos! We hope you will enjoy getting to know it and want to become a part of it.
If we reach our goal, we will be able to produce a beautiful campaign setting sourcebook, but if we exceed it then there are bunch of fun things we would like to do to enhance the project for its backers.
$4,000 — Cardstock Characters! For every $100 we stretch past our $3,000 goal, we will commission one custom cardstock miniature tying in with the Kos setting, and if we hit $4,000 then we will also release a special terrain feature that can be used in RPGs (e.g., a room from our "Necropolis" adventure). Miniatures based on the characters of our Heroes of Kos will be part of this set, which is being worked on this very minute by fantasy artist Amanda Kahl.
$5,000 — Hardcover Books! If we reach this goal we will provide hardcover rather than softcover copies of the Swords of Kos Campaign Sourcebook to everyone who pledged $40 or more.
$6,000 — Color Maps! If we reach this goal we will run the primary campaign maps in the sourcebook in color.
$7,000 — Color Plates! If we reach this goal, the full-page illustrations at the beginning of each chapter in the sourcebook will be printed in full color.
$8,000 — Poster Maps! If we reach this goal we will include at least one full-color, poster-sized map with the sourcebook.
$9,000 — Cloth Map! If we reach this goal, we will provide poster-sized cloth map to everyone who pledged $80 or more.
$10,000 — Metal Miniatures! If we reach this goal, we will create a set of white-metal miniatures based on the most popular characters from the books/campaign setting, with input from those who are at least Heroes of Kos. These will be provided to everyone who pledged $100 or more.
Following are links that readers can use to get more information about the Kos campaign setting, see Skirmisher Publishing products that are related to or support it, and read excerpts from the first novel in our "Swords of Kos" line of fantasy fiction.
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