First and foremost, while your attention is fresh, I want to thank my wife, Lisa, for making this project possible. As the wife of a life-long gamer, she gracefully accepts the fact that twice a week there will be a half dozen shady characters (i.e. my friends) gathered at the table, boisterously plotting world ruin and/or domination of the Known Universe. Without her, the Manor would have never been seen beyond my personal table. With that in mind, any future explorers of Ryubix Manor meeting a grisly fate within those haunted halls are obliged to blame my wife for their misfortune!
Update! (01/31/14)--Now offering all Backers at all pledge levels a link to a downloadable preview of the Manor (GM Notes, NPCs, Magic Items, Roofline Map, and Outdoor Descriptions)--basically, everything to get you up to the doors, but not quite inside, Ryubix Manor itself. The dropbox link for this preview can be found in Update #3
Update! (02/09/14) Art--If you've downloaded the preview of the Manor, you will have notice a few pieces of stock art scattered throughout. I'm pleased to announce that the talented Clarence Hall will be contributing a number of illustrations to Ryubix Manor. Here are a few examples of what you'll be seeing:
This is a completed module, 96 pages in length, written in a system agnostic style to allow a GM the greatest flexibility of integration into their own campaign/world setting. In order to keep the page length from becoming too unwieldy, an OGL and Pathfinder Bestiary of Manor Encounters is included as a free digital download. Ryubix Manor has been play tested by three different GMs, with mixed results (The GMs loved the depth and detail, while the players felt sorely tested: a win-win in my opinion).
Ryubix (generally pronounced Roo-bix, or Ruby if you're feeling Continental) Manor is approximately 500,000 square feet, including multiple lower level areas. There are over 325 areas with both a player and separate GM description for each.
The Manor is geared towards high level adventurers (16th-20th), but could easily be scaled to any level desired, The Manor is a fully detailed stage, allowing the GM the freedom to recast adversaries of an appropriate challenge to their particular group. A more detailed explanation of this can be found in the FAQ section below.
Excerpt from Ryubix Manor:
A Brief History. Three brothers – Staunton, Segar, and Severin – founded House Ryubix four centuries ago atop the windswept hills of the southern coast. Requiring the better part of a decade to build, a small village sprang up nearby to support the hundreds of workers who labored on the Manor’s construction. Upon its completion, many of the laborers and their families settled in the village and surrounding countryside. The Ryubix brothers were respected Lords of Order, who ruled fairly (and taxed lightly) the small but thriving community under their protection.
For many years, a steady stream of powerful and influential personages would pass through the village on their way to one of the Manor’s regularly held social events. This, in turn, required an almost daily supply of commodities to accommodate the needs of the Manor and its guests. The village saw prosperity, the roads were well patrolled and kept in good repair, and the Lords of Ryubix Manor were esteemed Champions of Light – a happy state of affairs for all concerned.
Like all men, no matter how powerful or revered, the original founders of Ryubix Manor in their due course, died. The passing of each was mourned far and wide, for they had brought peace and plenty to the small corner of the world they had claimed for their own. Their heirs assumed the mantle of authority, and life continued much as it had before in both the village and the Manor. Unfortunately, the descendants of Ryubix Manor would begin down a path that would ultimately lead to their own destruction.
Born into a life of idleness and ease, the subsequent Ryubix lineage slowly descended into wickedness, each successive generation subtly worse than the last. Eventually, the stream of great nobles no longer rode in splendor to the Manor as they once had; guests were of a more unwholesome type. The roads slowly fell into disrepair. Patrols became erratic and finally ceased. Heavy taxes were levied to maintain the Manor’s coffers. Villagers began to disappear from their beds in the middle of the night, and talk began to spread of human sacrifice and unholy rituals being performed in the Manor.
Not all members of the Ryubix line fell into evil, though. Every generation produced at least one Ryubix of noble bearing and temperament, reminiscent of the original Founders. Generally, these throwbacks were tolerated as oddities by the rest of the family, when not shunned outright. Finally, the malevolent impulses of the Ryubix clan overcame their filial bonds, prompting a curse that haunts their line to this day..
O1. Main Entrance (40’x80’)
You stand before the famed Ryubix Manor. Constructed of granite and timber, this massive home is both country estate and fortress. Tall picture windows, obscured by years of salt air and neglect, pierce the walls in both directions like a row of blind eyes. To the north, a wide vine covered promenade can be made out, rising above the dense undergrowth. From here, the bulge of a squat basalt tower juts from the southern edge of the Manor, looming above the trees. Just ahead, the slate roof angles down over an immense covered porch of leaf strewn and filthy marble. Deep within, a pair of forbidding steel-bound wooden doors beckons you closer.
The front doors are unlocked, but due to age, neglect, and corrosion, will require a combined Strength of 30 to open. The doors will groan and squeal with alarming volume each time they are moved until they are cleaned and oiled.
The best GMs are imaginative storytellers. Often, with nothing more than their voice, they transport players to worlds and realities far beyond the one we live in. The weaving of their player's decisions into an evolving history of famous (or infamous) deeds is how legends are created. The story is the key.
Ryubix Manor is one of those stories. It's a story I wanted to tell, but more importantly, it's a story I wanted to be involved in. It's a story I think you and your players will want to be involved in, too.
My goal is to put out a first print run of 250 copies. A breakdown of expenses are as follows:
- $250 ISBN numbers
- $225 Technical/Copy Editing
- $2200 Printing/Reward Delivery
- $250 KS/Amazon fees
Yes, the total is more than my stated goal. I've been crafting this module over the course of several years for my own personal satisfaction, and is a labor of love. My dream is to publish it. How can I ask you to back me if I'm not willing to back myself? I've already invested monetarily in mapping programs and the creation of the Encounter Bestiaries. The difference between my stated goal and the final cost is well within my means, and a small price to pay to see this project succeed. Ryubix Manor is waiting, now it's up to you to help bring its secrets into the light.
A picture is worth 1,000 words, or so I've heard. I consider myself a competent literary artist, capable of describing a visual scene with some style and skill. Art and illustration, on the other hand, are not my forte. (Let's just say you would be hard pressed to distinguish between a drawing done by myself and the average five year old with a crayon). I plan on using the Ryubix coat-of-arms as the back cover art for the module, at least once as an illustration within the module itself, and possibly as the outline encompassing each page number. What does this heraldry look like, you ask? That, Fearless Backer, is where you come in.
Backers of any pledge level may submit a coat-of-arms design throughout this Kickstarter (details and particulars are located in Update #1). At the end of the Kickstarter, Backers will vote to determine the official heraldry of the Ryubix Family to be used in the module. I could gin something up on a create-your-own-heraldry site myself, but feel that you, as a Backer, should have the opportunity to create a tangible impact on the product itself.
A Visual Recap of all Pledge Tier Rewards
Risks and challenges
With the module already completed, the only potential risk would involve some unforeseen calamity befalling the printing company we've chosen to produce the print run, or the total worldwide collapse of the internet and physical package delivery systems . Barring that, the Manor is a done deal.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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